​This man built his own house for R50,000

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Stefan Brandt - solare Luftheizsysteme und Warmuftkollektoren Minimalist house
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Since the dawn of time, we humans had to resort to creative thinking in order to find shelter. And the same way that our country is a diverse assortment of peoples and cultures, our homes and neighbourhoods vary considerably. The South African home can be a spacious mansion on a hill, a space-pressed apartment on the 12th floor, a rustic cottage surrounded by rural landscapes, or anything in-between. 

A very modern concept to housing in the 21st century is the container home. Although this is still a relatively new idea, especially to us South Africans, there is no denying the charm and benefits that such an option presents. And even though this may not present the perfect solution for everybody, do not rule out this idea because of a lack of knowledge.

Today on homify 360°, we take a look at the pocket container home created by German designer Stefan Brandt – a very simple yet very stylish solution to the modern home.

Compact and contemporary

Imagine having a home that is completely self-sufficient within the dimensions of a standard shipping container. However, one wants to include a relevant dose of aesthetic quality to consider such an option for housing.

Our designer agrees. After some significant alterations, the exterior of the container shell was altered to include windows and glass doors. The metal shell wasn’t completely done away with to make space for the transparent elements – the metal cuttings were simply attached to an automatised pulley system, visible in our image above. 

For a striking visual addition, a timber deck was created alongside the shell of the container – perfect for an intimate gathering space.

Sturdy and trusty

Since container homes are made from high-strength steel, they are definitely built to last; hence, their resistance when it comes to the elements. Since they consist of such a strong material, most people would assume that it would be quite difficult to alter a container home; however, with the right tools and knowledge, it is quite easy. 

Fortunately, the steel can be cut and removed in a variety of methods and still retain its structural integrity, meaning openings can be made without too much restriction. 

In our image above, we can see the freedom (and style) afforded to those who alter their shipping containers. No more thinking about these container homes as “cookie cutter” houses – each one can be designed and styled to reflect your unique vision and requirement, and even more so when it comes to painting, adding decor, etc.

The plans

Before taking a sneak peek at the interiors, first: the floor plan. All the essentials of the typical home are present, including a place for resting, cooking, and washing.  

Although a bit on the small side (it doesn’t exceed 15 square metres), the space has been organised in the most optimal way. And adding a deck inserts a significant amount of extra space to the house. 

Wooden or otherwise, take a look at our wide range of balconies, porches and terraces here on homify.

Looking inside

The interior setting looks and feels quite bright and open – not at all what one would expect when viewing the house from outside. The abundance of timber cladding ensures a light and natural frame for the interior decoration. 

At the back of our image above, we can see the shower unit, encased by a sheer glass plate. 

To make use of every available squire centimetre of space, a minimal amount of furniture has been placed inside. And to ensure that the home doesn’t feel cramped, many of the items are multi-functional (for example, the bed folds up into a stylish seating option). 

And thanks to the glass doors and windows, lots of natural light come streaming inside, making the interiors and exterior settings melt together.

Climbing in popularity

Don’t be fooled by the attractive interiors, as this is most definitely more than just a pretty space. It is a fully functional home that has all the necessary requirements to live comfortably, including electrical  circuits, a heating system, and insulation. 

As we’ve said, a pocket container home might not be the perfect solution for everybody, yet it is a great alternative for those seeking a more affordable housing option. With the costs of housing rising (like everything else), more and more people are turning towards this style of living, especially overseas.

Can you actually live in a container house? Trust homify to find out for you…

Would you consider living in a container home? Tell us why...

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