Category Archives: Architecture and Design

Changing Your Home Floor Plan: Home Extensions – Home Addition Costs

You’re probably here because your home isn’t working for you anymore, but you’d prefer not to sell and move. If so, consider making your old house work for you again by updating its floor plan. — This can be a feasible way to transform the outdated dwelling to the kind of home you will love! 😉

3D Floor Plan Photo Render via 24h Plans

If are in the process of exploring floor plan change possibilities, then consider the following scenarios:

  • Maybe you need more bedrooms and another bath, possibly a two-story addition that solves all your home’s shortcomings
  • A more open plan might suit your lifestyle, or you may want to create smaller spaces with a specific purpose in mind
  • Maybe that kitchen is just too small for your culinary ambitions or that bonus room is too big to be of practical benefit
  • Perhaps you’re planning ahead to provide a place for an aging relative to live nearby, and an apartment addition would be the solution

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Top 16 Shipping Container Homes in the US – How Much They Cost

Many people don’t know that shipping containers can be used for more than transporting merchandise across the ocean. You can actually build residential dwellings and custom-designed homes by assembling the old shipping containers!

A simple, multi-container home. Estimated cost $100,000 to $150,000.

via Back Country Containers

Not only can you build a fully-fledged, custom-designed home with all the bells and whistles of traditional construction, but even modern and trendy coffee shops, office spaces, apartment buildings, schools, and emergency shelters can be constructed utilizing re-purposed shipping containers.

The containers are made of steel, a durable material that is strong enough to be used for building and yet soft enough to be cut in suitable shapes. The fact that shipping containers are stack-able makes them a good option for creating homes and even office buildings that are several stories high! 😉

Did you know? Shipping container houses are expected to become more commonplace, as it’s estimated about 500,000 shipping containers are abandoned each year.

So, if a shipping container home build uses five standard shipping containers, around 17,500 kg (38581 lbs) worth of steel will be recycled. Not to mention that by building with containers you aren’t using other building materials, which helps reduce a tall on the environment.

Shipping Container Home Costs:

According to 24hplans.com, 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 container 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 per container, plus permitting, planning, structural engineering and architectural design fees.

Ferndale container house

via FreeP.com

Located in Ferndale, Michigan, this 1,808 sq. ft. house was built with from 5 ½ shipping containers. It was sold for $415,000.

This high-end, contemporary home features three bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 9-foot ceilings, a second-floor, walkout balcony, and a fully-poured basement.

If you take a look inside, you will find a floating staircase tailored from wood and steel that leads to the living room, dining room and kitchen. The bedrooms and laundry are on the first floor.

via FreeP.com

Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors at one end of the second story’s open floor plan lead onto a balcony that overlooks the backyard.

Ferndale home second-story 320 sq. ft. Trex balcony.

via FreeP.com

The kitchen features tiled backsplashes and a custom-made island made of reclaimed wood.

via FreeP.com

What the developer aimed to accomplish with this design: “Our goal is to set the standard in quality in this type of construction. You have no idea it’s made out of shipping containers,” said Stephanie Coyle, co-founder of Forever Home, who partnered with Dee Tignanelli, owner of Alpha to Omega Properties LLC, to build the house – their first made from shipping containers.

Coyle said she hopes their house will “remove the stigma that can sometimes be attached” to such homes, which are found throughout the world, but are a new concept to many. “It’s just a different way to build a home,” said Coyle. “Show people this type of construction can be beautiful, and let’s show you it can actually look and blend into a community.”

LoHi container house

LoHi container house

Via Prefab Container Homes

Located in Denver, this 2,192 sq. ft. house was built with 7 containers and was sold for $679,000.

Many people argue that shipping container house designs would somehow upset neighborhood associations because they don’t usually blend in with traditional homes.

We don’t think you should be concerned in the case of this house because it looks just like a regular home, the one difference being that it’s made of metal.

The house has a two-car garage and 2.5 bathrooms, which is more than ideal for a family of four or five people.

If you take a look inside, you will find the master bedroom that’s connected to the rooftop through a spiral staircase.

There are 2 additional bedrooms, a large living room with a kitchen island, and of course an office space for whoever works from home.

Ocean container house

Ocean container house California

Via Prefab Container Homes

Built in California and designed by Leger Wanaselja Architecture, this shipping container house looks stunning at dusk, measures 1350 sq. ft.

The three re-purposed shipping containers were insulated and modified to make the structure of this beautiful home.

Note the large windows that allow inhabitants to make use of natural light as much as possible. They also direct the attention away from the metal containers.

The roof is flat which is pretty much what you would expect from a shipping container house. This design also blends in a traditional neighborhood.

The Nest home

The Nest home

Via Prefab Container Homes

The Missouri University of Science and Technology built this design with 3 shipping containers to compete in the Solar Decathlon in 2015.

For those of you who don’t know, this is a competition where countries from all over the world are trying to build the most self sufficient house.

So, you will probably not be surprised when I say the house has photovoltaic panels, an HVAC system, a grey water collection system, automated lightning and 3 hydroponic gardens.

As for design, the metal is covered with refurbished shipping pallets, while carpeting is made of reused fishing nets. Insulation consists in recycled denim batting.

Ocean shipping container house in Kansas

Ocean shipping container house Kansas

Via Prefab Container Homes

This design features entire walls made of glass. Some would argue that it makes the house less energy efficient, but this can be resolved by purchasing Energy Star windows.

There is a small porch near the entrance door where you can put some outdoor furniture and enjoy a relaxed meal with your family.

Inside, the living room is very spacious as you can see in the pictures showed by the source website.

The metal walls were painted in a light blue shade to mix with the rest of the interior design elements while creating a warm feeling of harmony that is not what you would expect when looking at the exterior of the building.

Modular steel container home

Modular steel container home

Via Echotech Design

Built in the Mojave Desert, California, this house is made of 6 shipping containers and actually has its own water tank that can hold up to 10,000 gallons of water.

The construction is protected against wind and fire by a steel shade canopy with an integrated metal framing system.

The architects made sure the house withstands a harsh climate like the one of the Mojave Desert so they made it sustainable while keeping the afferent costs in mind.

According to the guys at Ecotech Design, the construction costs were far below the ones of a comparable prefabricated or manufactured house.

Modular container home in New York

Modular container home NY

Via Prefab Container Homes

It took 6 containers to build this house: 4 for the ground floor and 2 on top of those. The latter make the dining room, living room and an open kitchen.

Both the ground and upper floors offer some outdoor space: you can see the balcony and the ground deck where the owners have actually installed a swimming pool.

The inside walls are painted white which combined with the white oak floors make the rooms look very elegant and also spacious.

The house has energy efficient windows, Energy Star appliances and white thermoplastic roof with spray foam insulation.

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Top 10 Green Home Improvement Upgrades, Plus Costs & ROI

This year, homeowners are more focused on renovating their houses rather than buying new, especially in places with booming economy like Seattle. Hot real estate markets mean that it’s often too expensive to buy a new place for many people, but it’s a great time to fix up your current home! 😉

If you can’t afford to move, but you are getting bored or frustrated with your house, a properly planned remodel can help make it feel like a brand new place! 🙂 And if you ever decide to sell your home in the future, strategically-done home improvements will help make it more desirable and attractive in the eyes of potential buyers.

solar-thermal-panels-on-a-metal-roof

No matter whether you’re remodeling to make yourself more comfortable or to entice potential buyers, it’s a no-brainer to lean towards environmentally-friendly design. Most green home remodeling projects result in huge savings on your energy bills, in addition to simply being the right thing to do for the future.

And green is really in right now: a recent study found that homebuyers are willing to pay 3.46% more for a home with green features than a home without.

A lot of people are under the impression that green remodeling will cost them a fortune, but that’s not necessarily true. We’ve rounded up a set of 10 awesome (and cost-effective) green remodeling projects for your consideration. Read on to get the scoop on what goes into each project, how much each one might cost you, the kind of return on investment you can expect, and more.

1. Energy-efficient exterior doors

energy-efficient-door

Replacing an old exterior door is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. If your current door is worn, cracked, or isn’t energy efficient, replacing it with an Energy Star-certified exterior door can result in a savings of as much as 10% on your costs to heat and cool your home.

To replace your door, you’ll need to first choose what kind of new door you want. While there are a variety of options, the most energy-efficient and durable kinds are fiberglass and steel.

door-energy-efficiency

Fiberglass doors are often better looking, since they more closely mimic the look of authentic wood doors. They are also ideal for harsh climates (very cold or very humid), since unlike steel, they don’t sweat when exposed to cold or moisture. However, they are more expensive than steel, and easier for intruders to break into.

Steel doors, on the other hand, are cheaper, stronger, and usually more energy efficient in temperate or hot, dry climates. However, they may not be as attractive, and they can rust if not treated properly and exposed to the elements.

Many doors come in pre-hung in a frame and pre-drilled and can be installed yourself, but if you are choosing a door that is not the exact same size as your old door, you’ll need to hire a contractor (usually a carpenter) to install the door.

A new exterior door offers some of the very best returns on your investment. This year, the average cost of a new exterior fiberglass door, including installation, is $3,276, and tends to add an average value of $2,550 to your home, for a 77.8% ROI.

The average cost of a new exterior steel door, including installation, is only $1,826, and tends to add value of $1,368, giving a respectable 75% ROI.

2. Non-toxic carpet

Non-toxic-Carpet via ServiceExpress.co

If you want to install or replace your carpet, you should be aware that not all new carpets are the same. A lot of new carpets and their adhesives contain chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are not only bad for the environment, but also dangerous to breathe in, causing a host of symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.

Still, there is an ever-widening variety of Eco-friendly, non-toxic carpet available on the market today, and there are benefits of carpet over wood or laminate floors: carpet is cheaper and provides comfort, noise damping, and – most importantly – energy conservation. They are a great way of keeping the warmth in your house in the wintertime without turning up your heater.

When picking a green carpeting solution, look for carpets labelled “low VOC” and made from natural fibers like wool, jute, seagrass, or sisal. Choose lightweight carpets without petroleum-based padding – either no padding or padding made from felt is ideal. If the carpet requires adhesive, go for water-based, low-VOC glues, or ask your carpet installer to use these eco-friendly products.

This year, new wool carpet is running about $8-$10 per square foot. Installation is typically between $2.00-$4.00 per square foot. While return on investment data is somewhat hard to find on carpet alone (as opposed to a whole room remodel), there is widespread general agreement that potential buyers are turned off by old or dirty carpet, making replacing carpet a winning resale strategy.

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