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Containers of Hope Affordable Housing

Have you ever thought, “I’d like to scale down my life, live simpler, smaller”? Or maybe you have some rural land where you relax on weekends and holidays. And it wouldn’t hurt if you helped the environment as a bonus, right? Well, check out the Containers of Hope affordable housing unit, designed by architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe.

It’s hard to believe the house was constructed from two 40-foot shipping containers, connected side-by-side, split by a “hallway” with a raised ceiling. This clean and open design, along with the brightness of the home’s many windows, creates an impression of spaciousness in the small, but incredibly functional home.

Affordable? Absolutely! The original house was built in 2011 for only $40,000! You will be amazed at how functional this small “green” home can be! Please enjoy and re-share below. Thank you.

Containers of Hope Affordable Housing


Images © Andres Garcia Lachner

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Images © Andres Garcia Lachner


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Pamela is a writer and blogger and Tiny House Talk is excited to have her on our team helping us share more inspiring tiny houses and stories on simple living with you.
{ 52 comments… add one }
  • Lynnette
    February 25, 2015, 4:38 pm

    In LOVE with this! ♡♡♡

    • Cahow
      February 26, 2015, 10:19 am

      BLISS…just sheer bliss. ~sigh~

      Lynette: HOW do you make the darling hearts that you included in your post?

      • Lynnette
        February 26, 2015, 10:43 am

        It’s on my keyboard on my phone. 🙂 ☆♧♢♡♤

        • Cahow
          February 26, 2015, 11:10 am

          Thanks, Lynnette. <3

          Lucky for you and Boo-Hoo for me. 🙁

          I still have an Agent Gibbs phone. ~snicker~++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        • Lynnette
          February 26, 2015, 11:17 am


        • Cahow
          February 26, 2015, 11:31 am

          BTW, the plethora of + signs in my post is courtesy of my kitten jumping onto the keyboard as I hit SUBMIT!

          Ya gotta love the Furbabies! >^..^<

    • Alex
      February 28, 2015, 9:55 am


  • Shirlok
    February 25, 2015, 6:40 pm

    I love it! Normally I don’t like white walls, but love this with the dark floors and dark wood furniture. I would love to wake up to that view instead of a cinder block fence in Vegas. Love the bathroom view too. No view here! lol I love the floor plan.

  • Empress Lockness
    February 25, 2015, 7:16 pm

    I really like the upper windows for extra light and ventilation. Also, I would love to take a bath in that bathroom.

    • Lisa E.
      February 25, 2015, 11:40 pm

      With my luck, I’d be taking a relaxing bath and enjoying the scenery when the land tax assessor would walk by with a clipboard! Que the one-way mylar!

      • Cahow
        February 26, 2015, 11:35 am

        OMG, THAT is a very funny image! Bwhahahahahhahhaaaa! 😀

        I’d suggest a locked metal gate at the head of your driveway and a large and hungry Junk Yard Dawg for added security!

        • Lisa E.
          February 26, 2015, 1:07 pm

          Don’t laugh, Cahow. Something very similar actually did happen. It was in my last home and I was in the upstairs bathroom that overlooks my neighbors roof. I was communing with nature and my neighbor (who is a contractor) picked that very moment to go up on his roof to do restoration work on his chimney!!! I couldn’t leave, and he wouldn’t leave!!! (Talk about an OMG moment!) PS My last name is Ekland; toller svensk?

        • Cahow
          February 26, 2015, 3:12 pm

          Okay, Lisa E: WARNING! Do NOT read the following true story if you have food/liquids near your laptop! It ties into what you just wrote.

          Decades ago, early 80’s, my husband and I owned a gorgeous rustic “hunting cabin” on 80 acres of the Palisades of the Mississippi River bluffs, outside of Galena, Illinois by Blanding Landing. We had a well for water that fed into the cabin and solar power panels for electric. Heat was provided via a massive stone fireplace.

          The Palisades are a beautiful, wild and DANGEROUS PLACE! Our elevation was on the top of the cliffs was 10+ stories from the Mississippi River lowlands; the area is nothing but cliffs, steep ravines and killer caves/sink holes! Our driveway to get to the top of the cliff was 3 miles long as it snaked its way through the ravines and finally to the cliff tops. Oh, and did I mention the native Rattlesnake population!? Yeah, we had that! We had a steel gate and fence at the bottom of the drive and locked it up tight no matter what: either present or gone. It took a 4-wheel drive car in the lowest gear 20 minutes to reach the top; by foot, over an hour.

          Okay, now that I set the stage, here’s my story. It was a gorgeous Summer afternoon: no mosquitoes! no sand flies! temps around 76 degrees. Both my husband and I decided to go work in our garden…skyclad…and we were groovin’ on being that free and also in being a bit *naughty*. 😉 Having all your bits & pieces out and about is liberating!

          We were chattering away like magpie’s, my husband working the hoe and myself pulling weeds. Suddenly, we were addressed with this question, “Excuse me, but have you found our Lord, Jesus Christ?” 😮

          We froze in place, turned toward the voice, and there, not 20 feet from us were TWO Jehovah Witnesses, one male and one female, dirty and covered in sweat from the ONE.HOUR.CLIMB. over our gate and up the driveway!!!

          Obviously, as they approached us, they had taken in our “natural glory” so there was no use scarpering off and feigning modesty! So, my husband turned directly to them, doing the Full Monty (as I continued to melt into the soil in a crouched position) and he said, “Yes, yes- we DO embrace our Lord, Jesus Christ. That’s why we are doing the Lord’s work in this garden, clad in the ‘clothing’ that he gave us at birth.” (and he said this with a straight face, too!)

          Both missionaries nodded in agreement, asked if they could “leave some reading material”, my husband walked over to them, accepted it and thanked them. He then casually strolled back to the garden and went back to hoeing.

          The couple stood there for a moment and then thanked us and began their climb back down the treacherous drive. After they turned the corner of the drive, my husband and I burst out laughing and THEN ran back into the house to put on some clothes! Bwahahahahahaaaa!

          Those missionaries taught us a valuable lesson as wouldn’t you know it…2 weeks later, we were back in the garden (clothed) and two men on horse back come climbing out of one of the ravines, looking for “…2 lost bison calves.”

          This just goes to show you, NO PLACE is safe to be buck nekkid! Hope you got a giggle outta this, Lisa E. 😀

        • Cahow
          February 26, 2015, 3:14 pm

          Oh, I can’t translate “toller svensk”. I come up with either “great swedish” or “swedish custom taker.” LOL

        • Eric
          February 29, 2016, 4:32 pm

          @ Cahow: Straight translation of Toller Svensk from Norwegian (not Swedish as I had originally thought) is publican Swedish. So, could mean possibly Swedish pub manager or similar. Then again maybe Swedish national as someone from Sweden. Translations, unfortunately, aren’t always exact when converting to English. Or any other language for that matter.

  • Karen R
    February 25, 2015, 7:29 pm

    The versatility of these is endless, from a single container (single bedroom and bath) to multiple containers with any number of bedrooms and baths

    Great use of excess containers, great price, great looks!!!

  • Marcy
    February 25, 2015, 7:32 pm


  • Indira
    February 25, 2015, 9:18 pm

    Superb design using containers! Well thought out plan, good use of windows for natural lighting, white walls with dark wooden floors add a spacious feeling, and the tub is magical! 🙂 The views are great, too!

  • February 26, 2015, 3:38 am

    The interior design and furnishings are gorgeous and I love the recycling aspect … Beautiful, practical and responsible. It doesn’t get better than that!

    • Alex
      February 28, 2015, 9:56 am

      Thanks Holly I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  • alice h
    February 26, 2015, 10:20 am

    Amazing results for that amount of money, looks very luxurious.

  • Sue Reynolds
    February 26, 2015, 11:43 am

    I had some great conversation by email with the designer’s office a couple of years ago after we saw this in Costa Rica (living there at the time). The work was all done with local guys via simple instructions from the designer. The shipping containers are plentiful and readily available from either the port of Puntaranas or Limon and generally can be delivered if the road is accessible for a cost of between $3-4K. My main question (because of the strong rainy season in Costa Rica) was if leaks had been a problem. And of course the answer (duh!) was that these containers are designed to resist crazy storms on the sea. You will note that the center roof has good overhangs where the containers have been altered.

    I will tell you for sure what a big problem is during rainy season: NOISE!! We had a steel roof on our house in Costa Rica and during heavy rains and it was so noisy inside we could barely hear each other speak. So anyone planning to use containers MUST plan for sound-proofing insulation to alleviate this issue. Obviously, if you buy the refrigerated containers, the whole inside is already insulation..eliminated this issue and giving a good R rating for climate concerns.

    But this plan is just genius…huh?

    • Breezee
      September 27, 2015, 10:53 am

      Ur review is the most helpful I’ve read, thank you. I emailed Container of Hope also, n there response didn’t really help me. I read there’s a “kit”, but don’t know if those are the plans or what. 1 question, would u say the final move in cost was $40,000 or more? Thanks for any help ur able to give.

      • troy
        March 5, 2016, 1:28 am

        i’ve seen plans for these actually being sold on ebay. go figure, they got it all including plans for conversions of containers to a home. chow.

  • Lisa E.
    February 26, 2015, 3:35 pm

    Cahow: “toller svensk?” translates, “Do you speak Swedish?”
    Yes, I’ve also had a J.W. skyclad moment at my washing machine early one morning when I decided to throw my nightgown into the wash with the sheets and pillow cases from the bed I just stripped. I had the back door wide open for the first breath of summer when I turned around and there were two males. They had jumped our iron gates at the bottom of the hill and hiked in. They didn’t bat an eye but launched into their pitch. I told them I was not Bible based and that, in fact, I was a High Priestess of a witches coven. I watched them blanch from head to tow, gulp, and then quickly leave. (It was the only think I could think of to get rid of them!)

    • Cahow
      February 27, 2015, 8:14 am

      Lisa E.-LOL regarding being a High Priestess of a Witch’s Coven! I probably would have gone that route if not for dying of embarrassment, as I was sinking into the garden’s soil. But, I’m glad that my DH said what he did because you can’t “convert the converted” and it “got them gone”!

      I do speak Swedish and Spanish quite fluently but reading them, I’m limited. I did a translation of “toller” in my Swedish app and NOTHING came up; weird, huh?! 😀

      • Kevin H
        March 1, 2015, 1:41 pm

        Cahow and Lisa,

        Talar du Svenska? is Do you speak Swedish? Toller is German for great, so toller Svenska would be great Swedish. But what do I know, I’m Norwegian.

        • Cahow
          March 1, 2015, 7:06 pm

          Kevin!!!!! Thank YOU, Thank YOU, THANK YOU!! I thought I had lost my marbles when I couldn’t figure out what “toller” was, having never heard or read it in Swedish. And I also appreciate the confirmation that “toller” IS German, as I expected and that it does, indeed, mean “great”. Phew…what a relief that the part of my mind that’s still working was going haywire! LOL

          And it was nice to read Talar du Svenska, to which I say, “Ja, jag talar svenska ganska bra men inte så mycket med läsningen av den.” Have a wonderful evening, Kevin H. 😀

      • Trish
        May 1, 2015, 10:07 pm

        Cahow & Lisa E. — you are both have such funny stories. When I say that jetted tub and awesome view, I thought how wonderful it would be to have a long, relaxing soak. Now, I think I’d need a coating on the window, so I can see out, and the missionaries or local cowboys can’t see in. Thanks for the chuckle.

    • Dainty
      May 1, 2015, 2:00 pm

      Next time just say not interested in the Bible message being delivered. Repeat if necessary. They are very polite so that should suffice.

  • Kelly Libert
    February 27, 2015, 1:11 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I want. Just placed somewhere near a stream in the Virginia mountains. I’m curious what mechanicals are included in the $40k price. I don’t see solar panels or a heat source, for instance. If the additional expenses (land, site preparation, etc.) don’t exceed about $25k, I could sell my house and move in asap with a nice little cushion left over for retirement. This makes me smile. Thanks for posting it!

  • Sandi B
    February 27, 2015, 3:30 pm

    I really like these “container” homes — people are so creative with them from single stories as this one to two and three stories. Again, however, one needs to have the land to put them on in an unregulated area. They had, a few years ago when the idea of using used sea-going containers for living quarters was first thought of, a contest for architects to design and build viable houses from containers — there were some really terrific ones.

    You can purchase the containers with the walls already insulated, windows in, electical plumbing run, and flooring — along with a small porch area behind the double doors for around 4 to 5,000 dollars. Of course if you wanted major windows that would be another story.

    These containers were situated as another house had them a couple of months ago. I really like the idea of staggering them — I have also thought one could use four of them and “circle them and give yourself a private interior courtyard. Perhaps using two 40 foot and two 20 foot ones. I also really like the hunting “lodge” the one fellow made from containers. He put a special blow on insulation on the outside, which, I would think would cut down on the rain noise.

    Anyway, a great share and a great home. Thanks

    • Alex
      February 28, 2015, 9:57 am

      Thanks Sandi!

    • Deb
      March 8, 2015, 10:54 am

      Where can I purchase the containers with walls already insulted, windows, electrical and plumbing for the 4-5,000 price? I am very interested! Thank you!

      • BC
        April 2, 2015, 3:38 pm


        It’s not $4-5k, but for $15k you can get a 20ft container with floors,electrical, plumbing, insulation and drywall. Evidently the builder he can go all out for you from there including arranging delivery.

        • Deadrock
          November 27, 2015, 12:18 pm

          Followed your link – thanks for providing it!

          Evidently the price is now $25,000 for the smallest (160sf, 20’x8’x8.6′) container – a single 40’x8’x9.6′ container goes for $102,000. That’s 320sf, and while you do get a W/D hookup, you don’t get an actual W/D, apparently. This is before delivery costs, of course.

          For their price of two 40′ containers, as seen in the post above, it would be cheaper to fly the laborers from Costa Rica to your hometown, put them up in a hotel for a couple of months, feed them 3 meals a day, and send them back to Costa Rica with gifts for all their children.

  • April 2, 2015, 4:01 pm

    If this only cost $40k, I’ll eat my socks! I think the pilings/foundation and windows together added up to at least $40k. The floating staircase… a LOT of money.

    All that said, take 2 storage containers, throw a roof over the space between the two, stagger them for some outdoor living areas and cut a few holes in them for windows, yep, probably could cost even less than $40k, but there is no way THIS unit shown in the photos only cost $40k. POSSIBLY the PRODUCTS only cost $40k, but when you add labor…

    Yea, I still don’t buy the $40k… nah!

    All that said, it’s really pretty!

    • GL
      March 4, 2020, 6:46 pm

      No labour was spent other than for the architect himself and another construction person he was with. The owners helped self build the house.

  • gale
    April 2, 2015, 10:17 pm

    I really really like this home. Storage containers seem to convert to some of the nicest and most unique homes I have seen on this site. The versatility is wonderful and opens up all kinds of ideas…like the earlier post of using 4 and having a courtyard. Great home. Thanks for the post Alex.

  • Alecia
    April 3, 2015, 6:19 pm

    This container house is AWESOME!!! I am a big fan of container houses and this one is giving me a lot of great ideas. I love everything about this I just wish we had more people/companies in Atlanta Georgia doing these types of projects. I would love to find a builder or company to take on this type of project and get a little jealous that CA, OR, WA, TX seem to have more people on board with this idea 🙁

  • Two Crows
    April 3, 2015, 8:00 pm

    Love this for this sort of setting.
    For the city, however, this is FAR TMI.

  • Kayce
    April 5, 2015, 1:54 pm

    A very luxurious interior and quite different from all other tiny/small home interiors. While it doesn’t blend with their nature scape, it’s really beautiful. The sofa’s focal point is refreshing nature. The consistent interior colors create a spaciousness. And finally, the BATHING area, stunning!

  • Bernard
    May 1, 2015, 11:09 am

    I keep seeing “built for $40k” associated with this house, but the caveat “in Costa Rica with local labor” is never added to that first statement. I have a very hard time believing that house could be built in the US with US tradesmen doing the work for $40k. Maybe $60k, likely $80k, but i doubt $40k.

    I’d LOVE gone wrong about this though

  • Catherine Wilson
    May 1, 2015, 6:41 pm

    This is the first small house I’ve seen using containers that has not looked claustrophobic! Love the centre raised roof idea. also love Sandi B’s idea of “circling the wagon’s” to have an inner courtyard!!! Better yet, an atrium for my surviving our interminable winters here!!!
    Thanks Alex

  • Jane
    May 1, 2015, 10:10 pm


  • Erikson
    May 2, 2015, 1:00 pm

    Awesome example of a container house. I wouldn’t be able to do as many windows, and I’d like to add another container on top, but otherwise exceptional.

    Jag talar inte Svenska, but I’m learning slowly…

  • sofia
    May 4, 2015, 10:33 am

    very beautiful!

  • Drew Williams
    May 25, 2015, 1:37 am

    If I get the land that I will need for a two 40-80 foot shipping containers. Have someone co-sign for a loan, how much will 2 contaners and have a replica of this house built. We both are disabled and know nowing about wood or construction . I don’t know who in this area that would build it but I do know how to ask around and very computer literate. Can you point me in the right direction? I have never had a home of my own before so I need guildance more then anything.
    Thank You very much
    Drew Williams

  • La Tanya
    October 27, 2015, 4:02 pm

    This is very nice and only $40,000! It was indicated that two 40 ft containers were used, but what is the sq footage?

  • Nancy N
    February 29, 2016, 9:14 pm

    LOVE how bright it is inside! Beautiful!

  • Ilona
    February 29, 2016, 10:24 pm

    How amazing this house… Wher i can find container to buy?

  • Denise Caldwell
    March 2, 2016, 7:53 pm

    Love it! Who can build it in Bessemer Al?

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