Top 10 Container Homes in Australia

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Kaloorup Container Home front with cantilever container
Kaloorup Container Home, Western Australia

Shipping containers are an innovative way to create a living space on a budget and in recent years, their popularity has grown greatly. Is it any wonder – with the cost of the average home in Australia being $660,800 [1] – people must look for cheaper alternatives?

Shipping container homes Australia prices

The average price of a used shipping container is around $2000 and a new container costs around $5000 [2]. Transportation costs vary depending on location, however once the container is on your land, what you do with the container, how fancy you make it and how much you spend on it is up to you.

From those looking for a container home to live in permanently to those who want an office space in their garden or a holiday rental – container homes offer great flexibility. You can stack them together or use them individually. Container Homes offer a reasonably cheap and easy way to construct a home as the main structure is already there. The structure may need reinforcing if the container is going to be chopped about a lot and an Engineer will need to sign off on any alterations.

Shipping container homes Australia regulations

It is worth noting that in most States & Regions in Australia, the usual council approvals are required as that of any new dwelling, but container homes are worth considering as an alternative to traditional construction methods. Container homes can be space saving so if your land size is small and you need a compact building, a container home is a great way to provide compact living.

Container home builders Australia

If you are thinking about building a container home in Australia, it can be quite daunting even knowing where to start. I suggest contacting a builder or architect who can help you to work out exactly what your requirements are and the next steps of the process. The following builders and architects are a good place to start:

Eco container homes Australia

For those among you who are sustainability conscious, used container homes can provide a sustainable way to construct a home. With over 5 million containers coming in and out of Australia every year [3], re-purposing a used container can be an environmentally friendly way to construct a home. Instead of using traditional construction materials where over 20 million tons of construction industry waste is produced each year [4], why not re-purpose an old shipping container destined for life rusting in a lot?

Here are my top ten best container homes in Australia:

1. “The Container” Recycled Shipping Container Home – Tasmania, Australia

“The Container” Recycled Shipping Container Home front elevation – Tasmania, Australia​

This container home is based in Tasmania and rented out as a holiday home via AirBnB. It was 2016 Finalist in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards and offers one-bedroom with king size bed, outdoor bath tub, wood fire and amazing views. The description states “Recycle and re purpose with creativity and style is the mantra at the container. A recycled shipping container renovated to a luxury standard utilising local eclectic materials.”  

The Container - recycled shipping container home side elevation in Tasmania
The Container - recycled shipping container side elevation
The Container - recycled shipping container home living room with large picture window and a mixture of recycled furniture and interior finishes
The Container - recycled shipping container living room

The industrial feel is emphasised with added Corten metal sheeting and leaving some of the internal plumbing exposed. The use of reclaimed materials adds an eclectic charm to this container home and the large glazed picture windows frame the beautiful views. Located on a small holding of 50 acres, “The Container” uses solar and hydro sustainable energy systems. 

 

The Container - recycled shipping container luxurious bathroom with exposed pipework
The Container - lndustrial charm in the bathroom

2. Off-grid Container Home – Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Off-grid Container Home front elevation – Byron Bay NSW Australia
Off-grid Container Home front elevation – Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

This gorgeous container home is owned by Jamie Smallwood – an architect who focuses on sustainability. Here he lives off-grid in the mountain rainforest area overlooking Byron Bay. He has used recycled and repurposed materials to create a stylish and comfortable home out of 40ft containers including beer keg sauna and hempcrete walls.

Off-grid Container Home cantilever elevation – Byron Bay NSW Australia
Off-grid Container Home – Cantilever
Off-grid Container Home box window – Byron Bay NSW Australia
Off-grid Container Home – Box Window
off-grid container home byron bay living room with wood fire
Off-grid container home - living room with wood fire
Off-grid container home compact kitchen
Off-grid container home - stylish & compact kitchen

3. Bungwahl Tiny Container Home – Bungwahl, New South Wales, Australia

Bungwahl Container Home Front Elevation
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home - Front Elevation

This cozy tiny container home is constructed from one shipping container and is rented out as an AirBnB. It backs on to the forest in Bungwahl, New South Wales. A perfect getaway, this container home sleeps 2/3 people and is fully equipped with kitchen and bathroom. It is not connected to mains water and so uses recycled rainwater. Relax and enjoy the great outdoors with hundreds of miles of forest surrounding the property.

Bungwahl Tiny Container Home Front Deck
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home - Front Deck
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home Kitchen
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home - Kitchen
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home Bedroom
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home Bedroom
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home - Kitchen
Bungwahl Tiny Container Home - Kitchen

4. South Coast Container House, New South Wales

South Coast Container Home Front Elevation
South Coast Container House - Front Elevation

This shipping container house on Australia’s south coast was designed by architect Matt Elkan. It is an eco-friendly family home constructed from four re-purposed shipping containers. The containers were laid out on the site in a way to maximise natural light and utilise passive temperature control. There was also no excavation on site which saved costs. 

South Coast Container Home - Doors
South Coast Container House - Container Doors as Shutters for Windows

The design does not hide the fact the building is constructed from containers. Instead, this is used as a feature both inside and out with the large container doors being used as ‘shutters’ with the shipping details left visible – a quirky touch. Inside the metal has been painted in a glossy white and mixed with a few accents walls in blonde wood to bring some warmth.

South Coast Container House living room opens up to deck area. Steel columns visible.
South coast container home - living room extends on to deck
South Coast Container Home iving area extends on to outside deck
South coast container home - dining room opens on to deck
South coast container home bedroom with exposed metal sheet walls painted glossy white
South coast container home - walls painted glossy white

5. House 28, Wye River, Victoria, Australia

House 28 front elevation showing how containers are raised on stilts
House 28 front elevation - raised on stilts to minimise impact on surroundings

Situated along the Great Ocean Road, this container house designed by Studio Edwards is in Wye River – a popular tourist town during the summer months. Constructed from 3 x 6m long recycled shipping containers from nearby Port Melbourne, this weekend retreat is set on stilts overlooking the Otway Coast. 

House 28 container house raised high on stilts.
House 28 - Containers raised on stilts
House 28 - Living Room with fire & wood finishes

Designed to make minimal impact on the existing trees and vegetation, the container house camouflages itself by having native plants growing on the roof. These plants also provide extra insulation during the winter. 

House 28 - Living Room / Kitchen with wood finishes
House 28 Container Home - Bedroom onto deck

Due to the steeply sloping site, the structure has been elevated on steel stilts embedded in concrete piles. A decked area, large windows and glazed doors on the southern side provide a great vantage point to overlook the coast.

6. Copper House, Coogee, New South Wales, Australia

Copper House container fits nicely in to tight site
Copper House - Container fits perfectly into the tight site

Replacing an old 1890 cottage, this holiday home container house designed by Takt Architects is built on a very tight and steep site. Three sections of the building follow the contour of the slope whilst the butterfly roof provides natural light together with maintaining privacy for the house and its neighbours. 

Copper House three tiers following slope of site with butterfly roof
Copper House - 3 tiers following slope of site with butterfly roof
Copper House - Copper theme continues in to bathroom with copper walls and exposed pipes
Copper House - Copper theme continues in to bathroom

The copper cladding is a response to the beachside location and the salty and humid air will age the copper giving it a patina which will change the aesthetic over time.

Copper House open plan living and dining room with lots of natural light opening on to garden
Copper House - Open-plan living space with lots of natural light
Copper House container is tiered to follow contour of site
Copper House - tiered containers follow slope of site

7. Cronulla Two-storey Container Home, Sydney, Australia

Cronulla Two storey container home front elevation
Cronulla - two storey container home front elevation

It took 8 x 20ft and 3 x 40ft containers to create this two-storey container home by Container Build Group in Sydney. It includes three bedrooms, four bathrooms, an office and garage. This luxury home features large concertina doors which open the home up to the beautiful surroundings. 

Cronulla - rear elevation showing deck and balcony
Cronulla - rear elevation showing deck and balcony
Cronulla - outside deck area

The containers were fully completed off-site in a factory and then installed on site. The total on-site construction time including landscaping was only six weeks! Prefabrication is a great benefit of construction using shipping containers.

Cronulla - stylish black kitchen with copper back-splash
Cronulla - Stylish black kitchen with copper backsplash
Cronulla - dining room extending outside via concertina doors
Cronulla - dining area extending outside via concertina doors

8. 20ft Container Home, Byron Bay, NSW, Australia

20ft Container House - front elevation with living room which opens on to stepped verandah
20ft Container House - front elevation with living room which opens on to stepped verandah

This small and cosy shipping container house is made from only 1 x 20ft shipping container. This holiday rental may be small, but this container home packs in everything you need for a relaxing getaway and is located amongst tropical rainforest between Byron Bay and Suffolk Park, NSW. 

20ft Container home with outdoor bathroom
20ft Container - outdoor bathroom
20ft Container - bringing the outside inside with a large deck, hammock and folding doors
20ft Container - bringing the outside inside
20ft Container - Outdoor kitchen area on deck with bbq
20ft Container - Outdoor kitchen area on deck

Inside the container there is a bed and lounge area with large glazed doors on one side opening out to a decked area. The large deck maximises the space making the inside seem larger and features a BBQ, hammock, seating area and outdoor bathtub for those relaxing evenings. There is even a dunny squeezed round the back.

20ft Container House - living roomt elevation with living room opens on to stepped verandah
20ft Container Home makes the most of the outdoor space with large folding doors and a large deck

9. Kaloorup Shipping Container House, Kaloorup, WA

Kaloorup Container House - luxurious two-storey home made of 9 40ft shipping containers front elevation
Kaloorup Container House - luxurious two-storey home made of 9 x 40ft shipping containers

Constructed from 9 x 40ft containers this two-storey container home is situated in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Inspired by the Devil’s Corner Winery Cellar Door in Tasmania, the owner Steve Hick built this holiday rental in just two years on his semi-rural land in Kaloorup, WA. 

Kaloorup container home front elevation
Kaloorup container home - front elevation
Kaloorup container home exterior cladding from recycled jarrah wood found at nearby demolition properties
Kaloorup - recycled jarrah from nearby demolition properties

Steve used a large amount of recycled and re-purposed materials, sourcing items from ‘verge clean ups’ and land fill. For example, the jarrah cladding was salvage from nearby demolition properties and the aluminium sheeting was saved from landfill. To achieve the 6-star energy rating for new builds, Steve used recycled double glazed glass panels and quality insulation.

Kaloorup large picture window at end of one container
Kaloorup open-plan living room dining and kitchen area
Kaloorup large window seat built in to picture window
Kaloorup - large window seat built in to picture window
Kaloorup large picture window over bath
Kaloorup - large picture window over bath
Kaloorup bedroom with bed built in to box window
Kaloorup - bedroom with bed built in to box window

Swapping the container doors for large picture windows frame the beautiful views around the property. A large deck area also extends the living space by providing an additional dining and living area. 

Kaloorup large deck area provides additional dining and living spaces outdoors
Kaloorup - deck area providing additional dining & living spaces
Kaloorup open-plan living room dining and kitchen area
Kaloorup - open-plan living room dining & kitchen area

10. Graceville Container Home, Brisbane, Australia

Graceville Container Home - large 3-storey home constructed from 31 shipping containers

The largest shipping container home of its kind, this 3-storey family container home designed by Ziegler Build is constructed from 31 shipping containers and is in a quiet suburb of Brisbane – Graceville. The containers sit on a 706 square meter site and stand out from the surrounding traditional Queenslander properties. 

Graceville container home side elevation with mural on side of containers
Graceville - Industrial chic finish both inside & out
Graceville - metal & wood create an interesting facade

As the previous house on the site was destroyed in the 2011 Queensland floods, the new house is designed to be flood proof. The ground floor consists of 10 x shipping containers which create a double garage, gym, home office, pool room and art studio. 

Graceville - ground floor with pool, pool room, art studio, home office, gym & double garage

The second level contains 11 x containers and has a large open-plan living room/kitchen, bathroom, three bedrooms and a study. 

Graceville - Open-plan living spaces connected together. Steel beams and columns visible.
Graceville - second level with open-plan kitchen/living room, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and study

The top floor is made from 10 x containers which create a master bedroom with walk-in robe, ensuite and terrace. The interior and exterior have both been finished in an industrial chic way with some of the metal beams and columns left exposed along with the metal ceiling.

Graceville - luxurious bathroom with feature wall over bath and double vanity
Graceville - Luxurious bathroom with double vanity and feature wall
Liana x

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