Gloucester Off-grid Container Holiday Home Built in Just 12 Weeks
One of the cost-efficiencies of building a shipping container home is that they can be built extremely quickly. The Redpath family’s holiday home in Gloucester, NSW, was built in just 12 weeks.
One of the drivers for the container build in this case was that many trades aren’t available in this part of the country, thanks to the relative scarcity of work compared to major urban centres. The labour costs for a normal build would have cost extra due to getting them to travel sometimes very long distances to the site.
Why so quick?
The speed of construction is down to getting the containers ready and fitted out in a factory environment. Essentially the windows, doors and spaces are cut out, as well as insulation, lining, kitchens, bathrooms, plumbing and wiring fitted before the containers were transported to site.
The containers are then taken to the site and slotted together, weatherproofed and then the rest of the fit-out is done on-site.
This has the advantage over brick-and-mortar and wooden construction in that the modules are fitted out and cut in a production line environment where even a good bricky would struggle to get the blocks down and first fix fitted in anything close to the time.
One company reckons that using the $3000 basic containers, each unit can be fully fitted for around $27,000. That would mean the Redpaths paid out around $108,000 for a three bedroom holiday home, plus land and other costs. That’s still ridiculously cheap by homebuilding standards.
Another advantage comes with our wayward weather here in Australia – whether a massive heatwave or extreme storms, the modules can be fitted indoors and are largely unaffected by the weather.
The big delay making the Redpath home slower was the nature of the site – it sits on a steep slope, meaning that there have been a number of complications laying things out and fitting them together. If it was a flat site – perhaps on a city street – the home could have gone up in eight weeks or fewer.
The Redpath family’s container holiday home is designed to work off-grid. It uses solar power for energy, stored in batteries when not required, and takes water from a nearby spring.
This isn’t to say this building is a hermit’s shack! The home has a lot of architectural merit as so many other shipping container homes have.
In this case, the ground floor consists of a 40ft container and a 20ft container for the living space, while upstairs, at right angles to the ground floor, the bedroom spaces consist of two, 40ft containers were laid with windows to appreciate the views around the Gloucester, NSW home.
This approach makes for a somewhat daring, architecturally appealing construction.
Could you do the same?
Thanks to its speed of construction and extremely competitive cost compared to traditional homebuilding, container architecture in Australia is starting to catch on in a big way. Here at Gateway Container Sales we supply the containers to a range of different clients including those who build container homes. Could you be our next client? If so, contact us to discuss your needs!