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Modular Design – Custom Container Homes and Building off the Grid

In Design, Home Building on

What is your motivation in modular design?  Is it a fast build? Is it to get out of the weather as rapidly as possible? Do you seek an alternative lifestyle? Perhaps the goal is building off the grid? What are the motivations?

Build Rapidly

Do you have space and/or access considerations?  This might come into play with guest house plans or your new home office, for example.  Say you want to build a guest house in your backyard. But your lot is tight so that you literally have to lift materials over your existing house. Building a guest house in your backyard means you have to figure out how to get lots of contractors and materials back there every day.  Your backyard will likely be trashed by the time it’s all done. So, why not build off-site and lift one or two finished modular design “boxes” over your existing house and done.

The Other Big New Trend in Modular Design Today

In the building of custom container homes, you start with a pre-existing box.  Furthermore, with custom container homes, you can also place it on a trailer platform with wheels.  Now you can transport your fully movable custom container home to be anywhere your heart takes you.  How cool is that!

Live for a little while in the sunbelt, then spend some time in the fantastic National Parks across the United States.  Go wherever you can pull your custom container home – from north to south, east to west.

Given today’s great home automation ideas equip your custom container home with some smart features.  The more you dive into building off the grid, the more energy-efficient equipment you need, and today, this quickly leads to home automation ideas.

Build Out Your Custom Container Home

As a small structure, custom container home living wants to – and needs to – maximize every inch. Duel functions and use of every nook and cranny for storage are big in custom container homes.  The smaller space is, the more you want to learn from people who have gone before you.

Check out Smart Healthy Green Living’s Containing Luxury. Blake and Tyler show you what’s important and how to do it yourself.  With a little carpentry skill, and their guidance you can do it.  The key: Blake and Tyler show you a few cool designs you may not have thought of. For example, you want to install interior and exterior insulation along all of the walls.  You can imagine just how the sun can “bake” a container.

Modular Design in Custom Container Homes

Blake Madgett pushes the limits on the modular home design in his series, Containing Luxury.

Blake and Tyler also talk about one rarely discussed detail: New versus old shipping container!

Layout and window space is also important to make your small custom container home bright and airy. AND, of course, there are super tight bathroom facilities, not to mention your custom container home has to handle wastewater.  You also need sufficient A/C and heating.

If you are a free spirit and would like to have no limitations on where, or how far from civilization you can go, you will want to put solar cells on the roof.  Check out Containing Luxury and learn from the experts. They just published are their full all-in costs. Since costs are always a part of every project check out this video to know what they built for how little money.

For another great approach, watch Modern Builds, Mike Montgomery, as he presents his “School Bus to Tiny House” show. Follow his version of a custom container home through the many details and installation.

Building off the grid takes on a whole new meaning on School Bus To Tiny House

Mike Montgomery is taking building off the grid to a whole new level in the series School Bus to Tiny House on SHG Living.

Eco-Friendly Building Design

Keep this principle in mind for any modular design project. The tiny footprint of a modular design compounds any sort of VOC off-gassing issues. VOC off-gassing is especially found in a lot of glues. This makes them difficult to detect, except much later on when your nose picks it up as “the new car smell”.  Then it is too late.  Do a little research on eco-friendly building design ahead of time.  Find healthy building materials to keep your body healthy and away from VOC off-gassing issues.

Young or old, if you are ready to slim down your house footprint and you seek the wide-open road it need not be an expensive RV.  Make it a modular design – a converted school bus or a custom container home. Include a few critical building off-the-grid installations and go anywhere you wish to live and explore for a little while. Enjoy!