Blog

/Blog/

Top 20 Shipping Container Home Designs and their Costs 2017

There is a hot new trend: shipping container homes. Basically, you modify and re-purpose used shipping containers and stick them together to build a house. Architects, designers and builders have actually found a way to transform big boxes of steel into beautiful and fully-functional homes. With proper planning, you can endeavor to design and build a luxurious house for half the price of a “normal” house. 🙂 Let’s talk a bit about the costs of building a shipping container house. Base cost to build per container: There are two standard sizes for shipping containers: 20 x 8 x 8 ft. covering a surface of 160 sq. ft. and 40 x 8 x 8 with a surface of 320 sq. ft. A used 20-footer costs anywhere between $1,400 and $2,800, whereas a 40-footer costs $3,500 – $4,500. You will also have to pay for labor (about $50-$150 per hour) and for the modifications needed to make the container livable. Expect to pay at least $10,000 for labor, more likely $15,000. If you are planning to design and build your very own shipping container home, then it’s important to note that in many cases it may be necessary to provide a site plan to obtain various home building permits from your city hall or township. You can turn to 24h Plans to get a custom site plan drawing prepared for your dream home in less than 24 hours by our team of experienced architects and drafters. Use the promotion code: 24hplans-20off to get a 20% discount off any package. — Please note this is a limited time offer, exclusive to the readers of our blog. This offer is not being advertised anywhere else. There are prefabricated shipping container houses sold for as little as $15,000. A big and luxurious house made of shipping containers can cost more than $200,000, but this is one half of the price of a regular construction that has the same size. Green Home Via Digital Trends With a surface of 2,000 sq. ft., this house combines the industrial design on the outside with a walnut finish on the inside. The floors are made of concrete and the dual-pane aluminum windows provide natural light all year round. The house has 5 separate decks to enjoy the sun while eating outside, tanning or simply standing still to enjoy the view. You would probably have to pay about $150,000-$200,000 (estimated) for a metal container house this big. Compared to the $300K required to build a normal house with the same dimension. We think metal containers sound quite attractive at this point. 😉 Container Guesthouse Via Digital Trends The costs to build this 1,000 sq. ft. house rise up to $40,000 – $80,000 (estimated). They used 2 x 40 ft. containers and added large windows to make the house look very spacious. This will get your mind off the fact that it’s made of metal containers. Although you can’t tell from this picture, the house is located near a 2-million people city: San Jose, Costa Rica. This is a great way to build the house of your dreams without burying yourself in debt. Any young married couple who bought a house agrees their life became a lot more difficult after getting a loan of $150K+, so why would you do the same when there is a more affordable way? You have to be open minded though about the whole shipping containers idea. Green and black containers house Via Digital Trends Located in France, this house measures 1,119 sq. ft. and is made of two metal containers positioned on top of each other. Maybe you don’t like the green color, but this is not a reason to dislike this design. Remember that you are free to paint it in whatever color you want. Besides, you have to appreciate the desire of architects to make the construction look as if it defies the laws of physics. Inside, you will see the house looks like any other one: wooden floor, white walls, and a comfortable sofa in the living room. If you go upstairs you will find the bedroom that has a door (or window, you can’t tell for sure from the picture) that leads to the top of the first container. You can put grass there or add a chaise lounge to get a tan during hot summer days. PV14 house Via PV14 house Here’s what a guy from Dallas, Texas, managed to build; an impressive house comprised of 14 steel shipping containers designed and built for around $300,000 – $450,000 (estimated total cost to build). It has an impressive surface of 3,700 sq. ft., featuring 3 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, a garage large enough to fit 2 cars, and a roof deck. There is also a study that the owner (who is an architect) probably uses for late night work. You must admit that the design is innovative. You can barely tell the walls are made of metal. On the other hand, your bank account would definitely tell if you were to build a regular 3,700 sq. ft. house with pool. PV14 House interior by Wade Griffith Photography […]

By | May 25th, 2017|Architecture, Home Designs, Shipping Container Homes|6 Comments

Small House Movement: The Cost to Build a Tiny House – DIY Options – What to Expect

"Yea, I know what a tiny house is, I live in one." Many people who wake up every day in cramped living quarters feel like they ARE living in tiny houses. But there are folks, more and more as the years trickle by, who seek out smaller spaces, wanting a simpler, more efficient life. These [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|Design, Green Home Ideas, Green Living, Tiny Houses|0 Comments

Top 20 Residential Landscape Architecture Projects – Landscape Design Ideas

A beautifully-done landscape design can help improve the curb appeal of your home and ultimately make you feel better whenever you step outside. Let’s review the top 20 residential landscapes designed by pros with many years of experience in landscape architecture. Cherry Hills landscape design Image via Designscapes Colorado Born out of the owner’s dream of sipping tea in a gazebo by an outdoor fireplace, this landscape shows how important lighting is for setting the mood. From the moment you enter the yard at dusk, the light invites you to discover the beautiful details of the landscape. The brick walls of the fireplace (you can see it to the right side of the picture) create a cozy and rustic environment. The plants were chosen to look warm and colorful when light shines on them. In daylight, the landscape is dominated by a powerful green color that suggests vitality and tranquility at the same time. The cushion covered seats in the gazebo offer you the perfect place to admire the view. Woodland garden with forest floor Image via Garden Design This landscape was designed to mimic a deep forest glen. You can see both larger trees that make shade as well as smaller ones, such as Japanese maples, eastern redbuds, rhododendrons and ferns. The oval stones create a path that doesn’t seem to lead anywhere but it makes you think of fairytales where characters start amazing journeys by following a road just like this one. The bench is there for when you want to just sit and admire the sky, the greens that surround you and to enjoy the quiet of this small piece of heaven. The place will always be cool even when the “outside world” will simmer under the hot sun and you have to thank the tall trees for providing the shade. 😉 […]

By | May 6th, 2017|Landscape Architecture|0 Comments

Landscape Architecture & Design Cost, Plus Landscaping Costs

On your property, there is your home and other buildings such as a garage, shed, etc. And then there is everything else, which is what landscaping architecture and design are concerned with. Landscaping improvement entails any alteration to the observable land features on your property. While the focus may be on gardening, sod, and natural elements, landscaping also entails managing water drainage, adding human made features and sprucing up your yard with light, or even sound. 😉 Note: Landscaping varies by regional understandings of local topography, such as soil quality, prevailing winds and depth of the frost line. For any comprehensive landscaping project, it is recommended to have a landscape designer or expert visit your property to advise on matters not just on layout, but on topography. — All this aims to establish a character for your property that extends beyond your home, as is visible to a visitor or passerby. Where To Start and How Much will Landscaping Design Cost? A landscape designer can be expensive, costing on average $4,200 to create a detailed plan for comprehensive changes to your property. […]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Landscape Architecture, Landscaping Costs|0 Comments

Top 20 Pergola Designs, Plus their Costs – DIY Home Improvement Ideas

First and foremost, what is a pergola? Briefly, a pergola is an outdoor, open-frame structure commonly used as a stylish outdoor room providing privacy and elegant space for relaxation. A classy pergola can also add an extra spark of beauty, while integrating tastefully with the landscape architecture of your home. A pergola can stand on its own, as well as be a part of a deck or patio setup. via Cederberg Kitchens Most commonly made of wood, pergolas can also be built out of metal or a combination of two of the following materials: stone, wood, metal. The frame consists in posts that hold a roof or an arch. Vines can be grown on this frame. The pergola is meant to offer shade and privacy or to simply embellish an otherwise dull landscape design. Most pergola designs don’t require a building permit, but if you are planning on implementing a complex design that involves many changes to your property, you should contact the relevant authorities or your local city hall’s building board to find out if you are required to apply for one.  Now, let us present 20 of the most beautiful and interesting pergolas designed by talented minds. Via Home Improvement Pages This is an attached wooden pergola that offers both shade and a place to grow vines. The posts are very slim and are not meant to fully support the roof because this role is taken by the house wall. Pressure-treated pine and cedar are great choices for a pergola. They are treated with a copper based pesticide that prevents it from rotting and repels insects. Besides, it’s considerably cheaper than other types of wood. The only problem is that the treatment leaves little indentations in the wood that are visible upon painting or staining. You can find pressure treated lumber for as little as $5 per sq. ft. It all depends on the wood type you want to use. For example, ipe costs $23 per sq. ft. whereas redwood is a lot cheaper: only $8 per sq. ft. Via Home Improvement Pages It’s important to note that in many cases it may be necessary to provide a site plan to obtain various home building permits from your city hall or township. You can turn to 24h Plans to get a custom site plan drawing prepared for your dream home in less than 24h hours by our team of experienced architects and drafters. Use the promotion code: 24hplans-20off to get a 20% discount off any package. — Please note this is a limited time offer, exclusive to the readers of our blog. This offer is not being advertised anywhere else. […]

By | May 1st, 2017|Landscape Architecture, Remodeling Ideas|1 Comment

Top 20 Outdoor Playhouses for Kids, Plus their Costs

The spring is almost here and the summer is just around the corner. Wouldn’t you love to let your kids play in the backyard all day, and what better way is there, other than a playhouse, to keep your kids outdoors for hours? Here are the top 20 outdoor playhouses for kids. Some of these designs are relatively low cost, while others are quite expensive, so let’s explore the pros and cons of each design. 1. Pirates Playhouse Image via Kids Krooked House This playhouse comes at a price of about $7,600. It’s hand crafted and has a unique design. The exterior is ready to withstand bad weather while the playhouse as a whole will be in good shape for years to come. You are free to choose whatever color your child wants. After all, not every wannabe pirate is a boy. Girls might want a pink pirate place where to carry on their piracy related activities.  The windows are round allowing children to pretend this is an actual pirate ship.  Moreover, you can’t see them in this picture, but the house actually has a few scratches that are meant to be scars from previous cannon ball battles. If we take into account the mast, the playhouse looks like a pirate ship even more. You can actually see a cannon going out through the top window! 😉 2. Sassafras Castle Image via Lilliput Playhomes If you want to let fairytale princess and princesses come to life, this playhouse is exactly what you need. The tower is accessed through a rock climbing wall on the outside. Princesses who don’t want to get through all this trouble will enter the castle through the door. The castle has a courtyard, a great hall accessed through the wooden door you see in the picture above and the tower with a secret room below that you can enter through the great hall. Your children will have a great time pretending to be knights in shining armors who defend the castle. The price is not low, but considering all that you get, it’s fair: $7,599. […]

By | March 29th, 2017|Playhouses|0 Comments

Top 9 Exterior Remodels that may Require a Site Plan to Get a Building Permit

Major exterior remodeling upgrades such as building a new deck, adding a sun room or reshaping the landscape architecture on your property are exciting and fun, but these projects can go a lot smoother if you have a solid plan in place before any work is done. In many municipal districts i.e. local cities and towns, the local government will normally require a building permit to be “pulled” aka obtained prior to any major remodeling work commencing. Wait, What’s a Building Permit Anyways? A building permit provides a legal verification that the proposed project and its explicit plans meet the local building code requirements and state ordinances. Often times, many homeowners aren’t sure which projects require a permit and which don’t. Not surprisingly, most major projects do. It’s always prudent to contact your local zoning office to double check if your upcoming project(s) will require a permit. Doing this in advance can streamline the process, as approval can sometimes take weeks. When is the Building Permit Required? As a very general rule of thumb, most municipalities go with a figure of $5,000. If your project is priced at over $5,000, then plan on having to get a building permit. But, even if it costs less than that, you may still need one. Remodeling projects where building permits are almost always required include: yard fences over 3 feet tall, room additions, decks, garages, sheds, new windows and siding (to name a few). Upgrades that normally don’t require a permit are: installing hardwood floors or carpeting, minor electrical repairs, interior painting and/or wallpapering. What Happens If I Don’t Pull a Building Permit? Not having a building permit pulled for a project that actually needed one can have major repercussions for you later on. For instance, if you decide to sell your home at some point in the future, then any major upgrades for which the permit was not pulled, could open you up to a law suit, unless you disclose all the “unapproved” upgrades prior to the sale. If a home inspection or appraisal discovers an “unapproved” upgrade (especially, if on top of not having the permit pulled for, the upgrade in question is not in compliance with the local building code), then the buyer’s loan could be denied until or unless the project is remedied in such a way that a proper building permit is obtained. In other words, a time consuming process that could cost the seller a lot of money. There are also potential issues with your home insurance company denying a serious claim and nullifying your policy for non-compliance with the local building code requirements i.e. not pulling the permit and knowingly engaging in unauthorized improvements to your property. A Site Plan Can Help You “Hack” and Speed Up the Whole Building Permit Obtaining Process Part of what obtaining a building permit for some of the larger, outdoor home improvement projects may be significantly less painful — less costly — less time consuming, if you provide a site plan to accompany the proposed renovation. […]

Privacy Fence Ideas and Costs for Your Home, Garden and Backyard, Plus Pros and Cons of Each Fence Type

Yard fences come in a wide variety of materials and styles that can accent and compliment the look of any home. Fences contribute to safety, security, peace of mind, curb appeal and overall style of your home. Before delving into various types of privacy fences and their styles, we have to examine local construction ordinances. Let’s briefly address these considerations first, and then get to the top fence types for residential properties as well as their costs and pros and cons. […]

By | March 18th, 2017|Gates and Fences|0 Comments

What is a Site Plan? 12 Elements of a Smart Plot Plan, Plus a Floor Plan vs. a Site Plan — What’s the Difference?

Home and property improvements can result in significant changes to your residence and outdoor space including landscaping and backyard. Whether you do the work yourself or hire an architect, builder, or a contractor, the desired change to your property normally starts with a plan. And part of that plan is knowing the existing territory and layout of your property and understanding how it will be improved or altered. — This is where a site plan comes into the picture. In a Nutshell A site plan is a readable map or a residential diagram depicting the plot of land on which the house sits, along with landscape topography and any exterior features or structures such as a detached garage, in-ground swimming pool, large trees, fencing, utility poles and power lines, driveways, easements, etc. […]

By | March 12th, 2017|Plot Plans|0 Comments

Top 20 Big Ticket Home Improvement Ideas and Their Costs in 2017

Spring is just around the corner, which means that now is the perfect time to start planning to tackle your next major home improvement project! 😉 With that being said, here the top 20 big ticket home improvement ideas, plus their costs including materials and professional installation. 1. Building a Garage: Detached vs. Attached There is one important consideration to take into the account: building an attached vs. a detached garage. All things being equal a detached garage will cost more to build vs. an attached one. If you opt for a detached garage, expect to pay between $25,000 and $40,000 for labor and materials. But, on top of that, you may also have to plan additional expenses for plumbing, electrical wiring, and heating, if you want to use the garage for more than just storage purposes. The average cost to build a detached garage is $40 per sq. ft. […]