One of the many side effects of the tiny home movement is that people are starting to realize that building their own home is not as complicated as DIY home building used to be. For one ambitious man, the experience of building his own shipping container cabin in northern Wisconsin was definitely a learning experience filled with both pros and cons. His project, the Tin Can Cabin, was built out of three repurposed metal containers. With no professional building or architecture experience, Steve managed to design and build the 480 square foot cabin by himself and furnish the home all at an amazing cost of just under $36,000.
With Steve doing the majority of the work on the home, the recently-finished Tin Can Cabin took almost four years to complete. With little building experience, he first consulted with an engineer in order to avoid any major mistakes in the building process. With a feasible design decided, the project began by ordering three standard shipping containers from China. Once the containers arrived and the shell of was welded together, Steve focused on digging a “a purposefully overbuilt foundation” for the structure, which would turn out to be one of the most expensive costs of the entire project. The process begin by laying down a concrete foundation with embedded steel plates that secure the container corners. This techique allowed Steve to weld the the containers directly into the foundation.
Once the foundation had been set, steel box beams were equipped to secure the roof. Steve chose a standard pole shed roof with rafters and purlins covered with a galvanized metal roofing. On the roof, he constructed a roof mount with a solar array that consists of two Uni-Solar US-64 panels. After the roof was in place, he contracted a local welder to cut the windows and remove a few sides of the containers to create the interior living space.
Lucky for ambitious amateur builders, Steve has detailed the process of building the home in his blog, Tin Can Cabin. In the final post, he reviews some of the many pros and cons of DIY building with repurposed materials.
Via Jetson Green