Emily was inspired by what she read in magazines about living off-grid on her own raw land and reducing her carbon footprint. She ended up buying a shipping container before she even purchased land in Maine to put it on. Thankfully it all worked out and she found her perfect spot.
For the past decade, it’s been her mission to transform that container (and the 3 additional ones she has purchased since) into a fully off-grid and sustainable home for herself. The last couple of years have enabled her to take what was a weekend project and turn it into her full-time focus, and now she has such a tremendous spot. Be sure to read her interview with us after the photo tour!
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Look What She Did With These 4 Shipping Containers!
I love the porches she created.
She did a lot of the work herself.
This covered patio area looks great.
Tons of solar power!
Getting it all worked out.
She actually purchased the shipping container before her land!
What an awesome home sweet home
Kitchen, living, bedroom.
Wood burning stove keeps thing toasty.
Extra sleeping areas for guests.
A look inside her gym.
Emily is a personal trainer.
What a super cool arrangment.
Now those are some views!
Set-up down by the water.
Interview with Emily
What are your name(s)? Emily Savard
Where are you from? East coast mutt
How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes? Reading magazines and realizing I wanted to build my own off grid tiny house on raw land to get in touch with nature, live more simply, and have a smaller carbon footprint. I didn’t have the means to buy a regular house nor did I want all of that waste and excess.
What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on? It is presently made out of 3 used shipping containers and a 4th one as a garage/gym. I bought all of them from different places one at a time on Craigslist when I would have the money and time to work on them. This project will always have some kind of addition going on I’m sure 🙂
Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself? Independence and a sense of accomplishment. I don’t know what I’m doing (I’m a personal trainer not a tradesperson) but I enjoy the challenge. Nothing has nor will come easy but I have and hope to continue to learn a lot. I believe that is what life is all about
How long did it take you to finish your tiny house? The raw land was purchased 10 years ago in Maine and I had one 40ft container that I was starting with. I would come up on the weekends from Boston to work on it. The pandemic made it possible for me to work remotely so I squeezed probably 4 years worth of time into that first 1.5 years of the pandemic working and living in it full time. Before that it was only a weekender type of stay because I just didn’t have all the infrastructure in place yet.
Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it? I did everything I possibly could do myself, but I did find individuals who could help me with welding, excavation, crane work, carpentry, and solar knowledge. I have stopped counting the build costs but I would think $175k including the cost of the land.
How did you figure out where to put it? Do you keep it in one place or do you move around? I actually bought the cart before the horse. I found my first shipping container before I had found the land, but it worked out. The container was getting welding done off site and by the time it was ready I had the land. I spent sometime camping on the land first to get a feel of the property and let it tell me where things should go.
What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far? Finding help. Normal people are curious and intrigued by the shipping container idea, but if you ask them for their services on something that is custom and off grid like this people look baffled.
What benefits are you experiencing from it so far? Everything! It has changed my whole outlook on life. When I started this project, I didn’t know what I didn’t know and sometimes I wonder if I had known how hard things would be if I would have stuck it out? Thankfully, ignorance is blind! The hardships have been out weighed by the rewards tenfold.
What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny? What mistakes could you help them avoid? Buy land or at least know where you want your tiny house to be and have that set up first. Many towns have issues with tiny houses so make sure you can do what you wish to do
- Shipping Container Tiny Home Built Like a Cabin
- The Blue Beetle Shipping Container Tiny House in Marble Falls, Texas
- Her Shipping Container Home in a Tiny House Village
Our big thanks to Emily for sharing! 🙏
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Natalie C. McKee
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Emily great job
Is there a bathroom, or a composting toilet? I didn’t see one.