Top 20 Shipping Container Home Designs and their Costs 2018

By | May 9th, 2018|Architecture, Home Designs, Shipping Container Homes|

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. 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 $300K+, 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 $350,000 – $490,000 (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 […]

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

By | February 23rd, 2017|Architecture, Decks and Porches, Design, Energy Efficient Homes, Going Solar, Green Living, Home Additions, Home Improvement Costs, Remodeling Ideas|

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. […]

Top 20 Tiny Home Designs and their Costs – Smart Green Living Ideas

By | December 6th, 2016|Architecture, Design, Energy Efficient Homes, Green Home Ideas, Home Designs, House Design, Tiny Houses|

If you don't want or can’t afford a brand spanking new, five bedroom home that occupies 4,000 sq. ft., don’t despair! ;) There’s still a chance for you to live the American dream! Let us present the top 20 professionally designed tiny houses. It’s true that a family of four will probably have some problems [...]

Top 15 Prefab Home Designs, and their Costs – Modern Home Design & Architecture

By | December 6th, 2016|Architecture, House Design, House Plans, Modular Homes, Prefab Homes|

While having a custom-designed home might seem like the golden standard in terms of getting that beautiful and exquisite architecture, design, and decor elements, there are many good reasons why you might opt for a prefab house instead. First of all, you have to consider the cost. Building a custom house requires you to pay 15-30% more. Then, there is the significantly longer time frame necessary to build a custom house from scratch. With prefab houses, you simply order the kit, and then you can actually put the pieces together by yourself, provided that you have some construction experience. If you don’t, you’ll have to hire professionals to get the work done. Either way, you will pay less for labor, not to mention that you can completely bypass the costs related to the actual design of the house. 😉 Architects are not that cheap to hire, so if the whole prefab house idea doesn’t make you happy, you should expect to give 8-15% of the project value to the architect. If you are planning on building a house worth $100,000 you would be paying an extra $8,000 to $15,000 to the architect. — If this doesn’t chip away at your enthusiasm, then you are probably making the right call. Anyway, for all of you who are on board with the prefab home idea, we scoured the internet for 15 designs that will show you don’t have to wait years to have a brand new home. The HOMB House Image via Method Homes Developed by Method Homes and Skylab Architecture, this design comes in different sizes. Regardless of size, the house will be made of 100 sq. ft. triangular models that can be transported hundreds of miles away from the construction site. If you are looking for the cost effective option, the 1 bedroom 900 sq. ft. XS model is perfect for a couple with no kids. However, you have to think about the future, which is why the 3-bedroom M model would be more suitable if you think you will expand your family in the future. Besides, the M, L and XL models offer garage space. The very essence of the design is to combine coziness with some pragmatism, and we can say they nailed it. A great feature of the HOMB house is that regardless of how small it is you always get at least 400 sq. ft. of deck space. How awesome is it to wake up in the morning to drink your coffee on your deck watching the sun come up? It’s not only very romantic but also relaxing. Such an experience fuels you up for the entire day that lies ahead of you. 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. […]

Top 15 Custom Homes, Plus their Design and Decor Elements, and Costs

By | November 21st, 2016|Architecture, Design, Home Designs, House Design|

Custom homes allow consumers to control everything from size to layout and interior design. In most cases, the buyer already owns a land lot on which the house will be built. It’s important that the architect sees the lot or at least a site plan before starting the design process. Expect to meet with him several times, because good communication between the architect and the buyer is the key for a successful collaboration. If your dream is to have a one-of-a-kind house, you have no other choice but to get a custom made home plan. You will have to pay an architect to design your plan, and then contract a builder to actually build the house. You could look for professional home builders that offer both design and build services in order to simplify the whole process. When asked “how do you want your house to look like?”, many people lack the words to enunciate their desires or they don’t even have a specific image in mind. We are going to jog your imagination by presenting 15 models of custom built home. The trend is for custom builders to build high-end homes but you will find decent companies who will take a project estimated at less than $1 million. All of the following designs can be built with that sum or less. The construction cost of a custom home ranges between $200 and $400 per sq. ft. depending on multiple factors such as the average price in that area, the quality of the materials, specific design requests that are tricky to build etc. The cost of hiring an architect to make the plan of the house ranges between $0.75 (western Texas) and $3.5 (southern California) per sq. ft. depending on what state you live in. Other factors that affect the price of hiring an architect relate to his experience. Architects can charge an hourly fee or a percentage of the value of a project (5-15%). An intern architect with 3-5 years of experience charges around $65 per hour whereas a project manager with more than 10 years of experience charges close to $100 per hour. Acacia Avenue Custom Home Image via Patterson Custom Homes What better way to start the list than with a contemporary design? Built in the Corona del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach, this custom home has 2 levels above ground, one of which is represented by the roof deck that was beautifully decorated for the taste of anyone who enjoys modern designs. This compensates for the small are of green space in front of the house, thus making it perfect for small land lots or neighborhoods where houses are tightly packed. The big windows play a major role in this design that’s mainly comprised of straight long lines. This rectangular appearance is sweetened by curvy interior elements. If you take a look inside, you will notice the central concept of openness alongside more transparent glass surfaces. 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. […]

Top 15 Garage Designs and DIY Ideas, Plus their Costs in 2016 – Smart Home Improvements

By | November 9th, 2016|Architecture, Design, Garages, Home Additions|

A garage is one of the most-commonly overlooked structures when it comes improving and remodeling a house or buying a new one. More attention is paid to the inside of the house and the garage is just something that’s supposed to exist. Because of this superficial attitude, many home owners later realize they should’ve taken a second look at the garage before making the purchase or a major home improvement decision. Luckily, it’s not difficult to build a new garage. It’s a significant investment however, which is why you have to put a lot of thought into this project. We are here to give you a hand in finding out what you really want. Let us present 15 garage plans, each with its pros and cons. The most common dissatisfaction reasons relate to the size of the garage, because you may say “it’s fine, I don’t have much stuff anyways”, until you have to actually fit everything in there. That’s often when you realize that you have a lot of stuff to store, which may force you to park the car in the driveway. 😉 Drive-thru garage Images via The Garage Plan Shop Here is a 4439 sq. ft. drive-thru garage on a slab foundation. The gable style roof has a truss frame. The front of the garage is made of brick whereas the other walls can be made of wood. The inside of the garage is not compartmentalized in any way. Building 1 sq. ft. of brick wall costs $ which is higher than the price of 1 sq. ft. of wooden wall. The garage can shelter 1 car and it has 2 entries at either side of the building. This design is suitable for properties with access to 2 different streets. The plan costs $500 and the cost to build is estimated at $200,000 because of its huge size. 1-Car gable roof garage Images via The Garage Plan Shop Here’s a much smaller gable style garage on slab foundation. The property measures 424 sq. ft. featuring one large door for vehicles and one smaller door for human use. There are no interior walls and the roof is built on stick framing. The design is perfect for those who want storage space and enough room to shelter a car from bad weather. There is a considerable amount of empty space left along the wall after you park the car inside. You are free to add cabinetry, a counter and even a workbench. The space can be used to open your own car repair shop if you give up on keeping your own car inside. The garage walls are made entirely of brick. You will see this design more often in European countries because Americans prefer wood as building material but why not bring some innovation into your neighborhood? The plan costs $350 and the estimated cost-to-build rises up to $22,000. Modern 1-car garage with sloped roof Images via The Garage Plan Shop This design offers 432 sq. ft. of unheated space on monolithic slab. The roof is framed with truss trusses featuring a rather contemporary design that fits modern houses. Gable style roofs are known to be perfect for rainy or snowy areas because the slope doesn’t not allow snow and/or rain to stop on top of the building. This type of roof design serves this purpose too, but not as well as gable style roofs. There’s a door dedicated to human use, which is a great idea considering the garage is not attached to the house. The walls seem to be made of a combination of wood and brick that go well together. The plan costs $250 and the construction price rises up to $24,000. […]

Top 15 Deck Designs Ideas – DIY Outdoor Home Improvements and their Costs

By | November 2nd, 2016|Architecture, Decks and Porches, Design, Home Additions, Remodeling Ideas|

Building a deck expands your living space outdoors. Just think about all the parties you will throw and all the quiet nights you will spend hanging out with your friends and family on your beautifully-designed and well-built deck! 😉 Here are 15 great examples of deck styles to get your wheels turning. We will also present the costs associated with each deck design, whether you hire a pro or choose to go the DIY route, so you can keep your feet on the ground while your design thinking and imagination are going wild! 😉 Low Budget Deck Design for DIY Enthusiasts Image via If you have a small backyard and you don’t want to cut a lot of green space, this deck is the best choice. Building a deck is more convenient than a patio if you’re working on uneven terrain or rocks. You can build a deck as small as 16’x14′, so that you minimize material costs. The least expensive option is pressure treated pine. The materials would cost roughly $2,000. Another great option is redwood that adds about $300 to the material costs. This low elevation deck gives you the space to add a table and a few chairs where you will be free to enjoy a cold beer with your friends. Deck with octagon pergola Image via You need more space than earlier to build this deck considering that the smallest size available is 26’x18’6″. The small space on the left easily fits an averagely sized grill. The outdoors furniture goes under the 12’x12′ octagon pergola that not only looks great, but also shades you from the burning sun. It’s not necessary to put chairs and a table in there, you could opt for benches that surround 5 sides of the octagon or a small outdoor sofa with a coffee table in front of it. There are all sorts of options, all you need is imagination and of course, money. The materials required to build this 364 sq. ft. deck cost at least $4,000, if you use pressure treated pine and as much as $10,000 for exotic hardwood. […]

Top 15 Sunroom Design Ideas – DIY Cozy Sunrooms, Plus Remodeling Costs

By | November 2nd, 2016|Architecture, Design, Green Home Ideas, Home Additions, Remodeling Ideas|

Sunrooms, sun porches and sun lounges, they all mean the same thing. It doesn’t really matter how you call it, we are talking about a room with large windows, and sometimes even a glass roof called conservatory designed to allow plenty of natural light in. Sunrooms are normally additions built and adjoined to the side of a house that faces south, the more south-facing exposure you can get the more light and warmth will get inside the room. If this concept sounds good, we might have just given you an idea for your next home improvement or a fun DIY project! 🙂 Let us be your source of inspiration and share the following 15 sunroom designs to get you started. Sunroom with blinds Image via Homedit At a first sight, blinds may seem to be against the very concept of sunrooms but if you take a moment to think, you will realize it’s actually a brilliant idea. Maybe there are moments when you want some privacy. It’s obviously hard to get that when most of the walls are made of glass. Blinds solve this problem elegantly and also improve the looks of the room. You can’t say that they don’t go perfectly with the furniture in this photo. The cost of a 15×15 ft. sunroom starts at $15,000. Before we introduce the next design, let’s quickly mention some boring, yet absolutely necessary element to consider for your project. […]

Top 15 Energy Efficient Homes and Eco-Friendly Home Design Elements – Green DIY Home Design Ideas Illustrated!

By | August 2nd, 2016|Architecture, Energy Efficient Homes, Green Home Ideas, Home Designs, House Design|

Most people don’t think about energy efficiency, Eco-friendliness, or environmental considerations when buying or designing and building the house of their dreams. Perhaps this happens due to a general lack of knowledge and understanding of the many great benefits of green home design, budget worries, or other factors. Regardless, making your house more energy efficient and Eco-friendly can bring us one step further to preserving the beauties of this Earth, while also enjoying some hefty benefits of superior energy efficiency and tangible cost savings from reduced utility bills. 😉 Going green comes with a price, though. Energy efficiency upgrades are not cheap, but you will recover your money in the long-term considering you will no longer be paying electricity bills. We are going to present 15 energy efficient house designs to give you a starting point in your quest for making your home more Eco-friendly and energy efficient! 🙂 If you are planning to design and build your very own Green-inspired, Eco-friendly 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 our 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. WaterShed Maryland House Via Inhabitat The purpose of the University of Maryland was to design a house that does not depend on fossil fuels like the majority of houses in the US do. Waste water from the washing machine, dishwasher and shower is recycled and filtered. Moreover, rain water is not wasted because there is a special harvesting system that collects and filters it. There is a liquid desiccant waterfall that not only looks great, but also ensures the right humidity control. PV solar panels provide more electricity than needed, so the excess energy is stored for later use. The house has a high-end system that monitors and controls several parameters to ensure a high level of comfort: temperature, lighting, and humidity level. DesertSol Las Vegas House Via Inhabitat The University of Nevada Las Vegas built an ultra-efficient house that uses solar energy (there’s plenty of that, obviously) and preserves water. It’s named DesertSol because it is designed to withstand desert weather. The 30 PV solar panels generate enough energy to ensure cooling, heating, LED lighting and the well functioning of the common appliances you find in a regular house. Rainwater and humidity is collected to be used for cooling and irrigation. The hydronic radiant floor heating system uses water for heat transfer because it is 20 times more efficient than air. The house was awarded the LEED Platinum certification for green building. The High Sierra Cabin Via House Plans Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, this house measures 1015 sq. ft. and has 2 bedrooms. One of the main things that makes it energy efficient is the fact that the walls are made of SIPs (structural insulated panels). The costs are about the same as building with wood, so there is no financial reason for not choosing SIPs. They are prefabricated and shipped to be assembled on site.  SIPs are perfect for areas with heavy snowing and strong winds, insulating the interior tightly thus reducing heating costs. Besides, the house has clearstory windows and vent skylights to make the use of as much natural light as possible.  Supposedly, there are also photovoltaic solar panels installed on the ribbed metal roof (not shown from the angle the picture is taken). Notably though, according to, a standing seam metal roof would have been a better choice than a ribber system for the mounting of PV solar panels, given how easy it is to install a PV solar power system over standing seam panels when employing an S-5 bracketing system. — In addition to the panels, there is also a battery storage system (not shown in the picture) hooked to the PV solar power system to enable storage and use of any excess electricity, even during night-time. The Jungle Shelter Via House Plans Here’s a smaller house of only 384 sq. ft. and 1 bedroom. The plan costs a bit over $1,200. Designed to resist in tropical climates with frequent rains and high levels of humidity, the exterior walls are made of studs with spray foam insulation while the roof has 6-inch thick rigid foam board insulation. The house has a rainwater harvesting system that allows you to use it on-site. The roof is not suitable for photovoltaic panels, but you can install them on a separate pole. Y Container China House Via Open Buildings This is a Y-shaped solar house made of 6 shipping containers, hence its name: the Y container. This shape allows residents to view the varying landscapes in different yard sections. The hot water and floor heating systems use the heat that comes from the solar thermal collector. Heat transfer is blocked through phase change and vacuum insulation materials. Fresh air supply is ensured without extra electricity consumption through a natural ventilation tunnel located in the center of the house. The design belongs to the Chinese at Tongji University who participated at the Solar Decathlon in 2011. […]

Top 15 House Plans, Plus their Costs, and Pros & Cons of each Design

By | April 5th, 2016|Architecture, Design, Home Designs, House Design, House Plans|

Have you finally decided to build a house of your own? Well, you know it has to be perfect. After all, you’ve been dreaming about this for years! 🙂 We know, it’s always hard to decide how your house should look. There are endless possibilities. To help you narrow down your search a bit, here are top 15 house plans, designs and styles to entertain. Keep in mind that all the building costs are based on the national average and may vary considerably from one city, state or region in the US to another. Before we take a deep dive into various house designs, architecture, and styles, 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 our 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. Modern style Basement plan Level 1 plan Images via Eplans This modern 1 story house has a living area of 4,600 sq. ft. There are 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 2 garage bays, so it’s perfect for any big family. There are some special features that sets this design apart from others: Full window walls that make the rooms look even more spacious Decorative stone pillars at the entryway A fireplace in the master suite A garden tub A recreation room A wet bar that connects the professionally designed kitchen to the vaulted dining room 11×14 ft. double garage that you can turn into a workshop The plan costs around $1600 if you don’t want to modify it, but if you want to make changes prepare to pay as much as $3000 for the AutoCAD file. You have to admit it’s a gorgeous home, but there’s a major downside too: the average U.S. cost-to-build settles at around half a million dollars. New American Style Level 1 plan Level 2 plan Basement plan Images via Eplans This design with high peaked and steeply sloped roofs actually combines the New American style with the French country style. French influences are seen in the design of the doors too. There is a certain rustic elegance about this house. Given the fact that there’s a wraparound front porch and 3 rear porches, the house is suitable for families who enjoy outdoor activities. Measuring 4,012 sq. ft., the living area includes 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and 2 garage bays. The house has 2 stories. As you enter inside you will see an informal dining area that leads to the study room. One small rear porch can be accessed directly from the master bedroom. Upstairs, you will see 3 bedrooms each with its own bathrooms. 2 of the bedrooms actually have walk-in closets. The modifiable plan costs between $1500 and $1800. The cost-to-build is anywhere between $400k and $500k. This may be a disadvantage for those looking for affordable homes. […]