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Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House

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This is a 320 sq. ft. tiny house named the Empty Nester built and designed by Custom Container Living.

What do you think? Would you ever consider converting your own shipping container into a tiny home?

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320sf Empty Nester Shipping Container House… The Perfect Retirement Home?

Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House Empty Nester Shipping Container Tiny House


  • 320 sq. ft.
  • Built from shipping containers
  • Made out of Archie, MO
  • One bedroom
  • Sleeping loft
  • One bathroom
  • Loft storage
  • Customizable


  1. http://customcontainerliving.com/the-empty-nester/
  2. https://customcontainerliving.com/gallery/
  3. http://customcontainerliving.com/

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Beth Grant DeRoos
    November 26, 2017, 3:37 pm

    As a general rule a tiny house is supposed to be simple and less cluttered. Having said that, this is a house, that is simply made from a shipping container to be as cluttered and materialistic as a conventional house.

    • James D.
      November 27, 2017, 10:40 pm

      I’d have to disagree, people go tiny for many different reasons and the only real commonality is that everyone wants to do it their own way and what’s right is what’s right for each, which doesn’t have to be the same as what’s right for someone else.

      So, if there’s any general rule for tiny houses it’s that there’s generally no common rules for tiny houses as it’s suppose to be what’s appropriate for each person… IMO, there’s not much point to creativity, customization, and achieving freedom if there’s only one way it should be done and you’re not actually free to do it your way…

      A conventional house is also over 2600 sq ft on average, with many coming from even larger houses. So it can hardly be called just as materialistic to downsize into a space that’s less than 1/8th the size of a conventional house… If that was actually true then they wouldn’t be able to even fit through the door because they would have too much stuff for a Tiny House…

      This is meant as a commercial product, however, and is meant more for people looking for a turn key solution and in that respect can be considered like a conventional house but people living in it will still be downsizing and living a less materialistic life than they would in a conventional house.

      Besides, custom means it entirely depends on how the owner has it customized anyway. The above configuration is just how a family may have it done, with bedroom for parents and loft for a kid… While a single person could have it far more simply designed or leave it open to change over time… So these aren’t going to be used in the same way by everyone as you would expect with a conventional house…

      So I do not agree with the direct comparison and IMO there should be no proprietary standards where all Tiny Houses should all be judged in the same exact way to the point that failing to meet such a proprietary standard means being treated like you didn’t even try…

  • AVD
    November 26, 2017, 3:45 pm

    Except for some obvious design and functional flubs, I guess the solution works about as good as any shipping container projects. Far too many folks don’t know which end of a hammer does the work, so it might be hard for the average tiny house DIY dreamer to pull it off.

    The big surprise for folks trying to live and afford the tiny house dream is the cost of land to buy or lease. The cost of materials, transportation to the selected site and utility service or off-grid requirements.

    Containers have great structural integrity built-into the shell. But in most cases, a fairly serious foundation solution is required.

    With all of the add-ons and add-ins to make a container pencil out for the non-DIY person, a “stick-built” solution can be more affordable than re-purposing a cargo container.


    • bellestory
      August 22, 2019, 5:57 pm

      Yes and no. It depends on where you live. I can buy 14 acres of unrestricted property that already has septic, electric and water on site was used for a mobile home for $46,000 near where I live. Stay in a camper while finishing your container built. home and you still come out way cheaper than a stick built. A 30 ft container with shipping is about $3500 and local craftsmen can fit it out for another $25,000. My small 900 sq ft stick built was more than that and only has 2 acres.

  • Rick C
    November 26, 2017, 4:31 pm

    I wonder about the reliability of those combined washer/dryers. I like the idea for the space savings, but I talked to a salesman at an appliance store and he said they’re a lot more complex. Didn’t go so far as to say they’re more prone to breakdown because of that but I’d love to see some data.

    • Jaime
      November 26, 2017, 6:07 pm

      In my experience, these units ARE a great deal more prone to mechanical failure than separate washer/dryer pairs. Further, the dryer portion of these combination units doesn’t get clothes completely dry. Rather, the manufacturers more or less assume that the final drying stage will take place on a clothes line. In Europe, where these things are a lot more common and popular, that is indeed the case. But here in the states, not so much. They also have a much more limited capacity in terms of wash load than more conventional units, and each load can take a much longer time to complete – along as four and half hours for one unit I had for a while.

      I agree that the single unit/space saving is an attractive idea – but at present, I don’t think that the added expense of the unit, the limited capacity, long runtimes and the increased maintenance worries are sufficiently offset by the space savings.

      • Beth
        November 26, 2017, 6:36 pm

        Jaime may I ask what brand and model you have owned/used? The LG one we have had has had NO issues at all.

        • Jaime
          November 26, 2017, 8:12 pm

          I’ve used two units in past, both in places I was renting – I’m sorry I don’t recall specific model numbers, but one was a Panasonic which worked, more or less, most of the time, but had a TINY load capacity, and never seemed to get things close to dry in anything less than four or five hours.

          The other was an LG which did okay when it was working, though clothes were still kind of damp at the end of cycle, they would air dry quickly enough after… it also had a really small capacity, but the biggest issue I had in the eight months that I lived in that apartment was that it wasn’t working for literally half my tenancy. They’d fix it, it’d go out. They’d fix it, it’d go out. It surprised me, really, because in general, I love LG – they’re a rock solid brand.

      • Frank
        November 26, 2017, 7:24 pm

        I understand that they come in vented and ventless modals. The vented would be more what we are used to using. The ventless uses condensation (like a dehumidifier) as a method to remove the moisture and therefore takes a lot longer.

      • Sondra
        November 27, 2017, 5:29 pm

        My grandma had one in Europe in the 1980’s when I use to go visit her, they’ve been around for decades, she had no issues other than it took a couple cycles to dry clothes !

      • Rick C
        November 28, 2017, 1:43 pm

        Thanks for the response!

        I live in an apartment right now. I’m pretty sure I can’t use a clothes-line, which is probably typical for apartment-dwellers, at least in the US. Plus, the only place I would be able to put a line faces a 6-lane main street, so isn’t what I’d call ideal.

        I see below that Beth didn’t have the drying time issues you have. I’d’ve strongly considered having my complex take away the stacked washer/dryer combo unit the apartment came with and buying one of the new combo units, because the washer is horribly noisy and the dryer routinely takes 2 hours to dry clothes, but only if it would be an improvement.

        Could be the case you got unlucky twice. My current dishwasher is a replacement because it kept either breaking or failing to actually get dishes clean, so after repairing it 5 or 6 times, they put a newer one in.

        • James D.
          November 28, 2017, 6:19 pm

          Rick C, sometimes it’s also how you use it… For combo units you have to be sure to not fill the unit to capacity as the dryer cycle needs space for the cloths to dry and expand, otherwise it’s too compacted and won’t dry properly.

          Getting to know what the ideal capacity for the machine actually is can take some trail and error but properly used it should actually dry the cloths completely…

          Though, another issue is what people are used to… Evaporation based drying runs cooler and thus when it’s done the cool to the touch cloths may not seem dry even though they are because people are used to hot vented dryers that toast the cloths and you have more fibers standing on end, static cling, etc.

          While needing to do smaller loads may mean doing washes more often, combo units are much more energy efficient and thus it balances out with even multiple loads but if you need to do a lot of cloths or just want to do it less often then separate units would be better in that case and possibly worth the extra space that would use up…

          Though, having separate units doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a vented dryer, vented dryers are so inefficient they’re outlawed in some countries and are steadily being phased out, but it will be larger than the washer and thus help ensure there’s enough space for proper drying…

    • Beth
      November 26, 2017, 6:15 pm

      The LG WM3997HWA, $1,740 is excellent and LG also makes the Kenmore Elite 41002 all-in-one washer/dryer, $1,500. In fact LG gets the best reviews for ALL their washer/dryers.

      The Haier HLC1700AXW is a compact washer dryer combo with nine washer cycles and three dryer cycles and seems to be getting great reviews.

      In Europe and Japan the all in one washer/dryer units have been the norm for years. Because the dryer is ventless it requires a little space around it to allow for in-room circulation. You can install them in small areas or closets, but the closet door should be left open when drying And they take longer to dry clothes.

      A reputable appliance store will have someone who knows a LOT about the machines.

  • Eric
    November 26, 2017, 5:55 pm

    But… but it’s in a factory. Not a home yet, looks like a show home that they can then hock off to the next sucker at an extreme price. IMHO

  • Chuck
    November 26, 2017, 7:18 pm

    This would be so claustrophobic for me.

  • VL
    November 26, 2017, 7:54 pm

    There is nothing wrong with making the interior upscale or at least IKEA or similar standard. Certainly better the 2×4 abborations one might see. Having said that, there are a few things that I see wrong here, at least to some extent.
    Cutting out the roof of the box and add on a presumable stick built addition to raise the height defeated the purpose of using a container.
    For two, the loft is unnecessary and a high cube container can be used for an extre foot of over head space. So the the raised section on this one may complicates the transportation of the unit. It is possible that routing that avoid overpasses may be needed. That should be checked. I’m guessing that the raised roof adds about 4 feet to the height, so that would put it to 12.5 feet high. Add to that the deck height of the trailer. May go over 13.5feet limit. That would have to be checked.
    Generally these things set up with lower level accommodations. The length is sufficient for a pretty much standard lay out. There is only so much one can do with an 8x8x9.5 box.
    If the loft is eliminated then the space taken up by the stairs would be available.
    You can put in a queen size bed and have a out a foot of space on either side of it if it placed parallel to the centre line or about a foot of it placed perpendicular to it, unless one doesn’t mind one side of the bed up against one of the walls to gain a little more space on the other side.
    The 40foot length is eduquate for a decent sized bathroom, living area, kitchen and bed room with closet space for two.
    Insulation is the big part of this kind of construction. Insulating it on the inside use up precious inches from the interior dimensions. So outside insulation might work better, but again, you loose transportability unless you build with removable insulation panels.
    There are many challenges with this type of construction and the gain is questionable.
    As for the foundation, generally speaking there are many simple solutions for it. Such as posts, slab or building a garage and place it on the top that would also give a patio area. You can get the hardware that locks the box to the trailer or the ships container grid and also to each other. You can also purchase a skid made of steel with the corner locks and that could be integrated into whichever foundation system you want to use.
    I think that in the big scheme of things, the foundation is the least of the problem. It’s everything else that adds to the cost.
    If you can have it stationary, and transportation is not an issue, then that will make it easier to construct a home out of these boxes especially if one use more than one container. Just don’t expect huge savings on them.
    With all that, I am still a big fan of building from container, but wouldn’t do it here in the USA. One of my fav is built by Casa Cubica in Costa Rica, very sensible design and just about enough for two to live in as long as you live an uncluttered life, like outdoors and prefer a cottage style living.

  • Carol Perry
    November 28, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Just love this tiny home! I love the kitchen cabinets, counters, & appliances! I like the fact that the bedroom is on the first floor! The bathroom tile is amazing! The price seems reasonable! Thank You for sharing! Love touring them!🏡

  • keepyourpower
    November 29, 2017, 12:08 am

    Does $64,900 include all the appliances, bath fixtures, etc?

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