Thinking out of the box for a house made out of twelve shipping containers

By Bethany Tiddy

David Wade is building a house made out of twelve steel shipping containers.
David Wade is building a house made out of twelve steel shipping containers.

David Wade says building a shipping container house requires living outside the box as well as thinking outside the box.

The Fonterra transport manager relocated to New Zealand from England 10 years ago for a lifestyle change.

And now he's building a house in Ohaupo made from 12 steel shipping containers.

He started the project in November after he was inspired by a similar house in Maine, designed by architect Adam Kalkin.

As a qualified engineer, Mr Wade had a "burning curiosity" to make his own shipping container house.

A photo of what the container house will look like when finished. Photo / Facebook
A photo of what the container house will look like when finished. Photo / Facebook

"I just had to see if I was capable of doing it. So I threw everything into it."

Mr Wade has arranged the 12 containers within a structure made from steel and glass.

Space is maximised by using the areas outside the containers, he says.

"Staying within the containers is limiting.

"It's not just about thinking outside the box - but living outside the box."

Each container is purchased from Royal Wolf, weighs 2220 kg, is 6m long, 2.5m wide and 2.6m high.

Some of the container doors are sealed shut to become walls, while some remain as doors.

Each of the 12 shipping containers were purchased from Royal Wolf and weigh 2220kg. Photo / Facebook
Each of the 12 shipping containers were purchased from Royal Wolf and weigh 2220kg. Photo / Facebook

He plans to leave some of the exterior walls and roofs of the container as original.

"I wanted to make sure the house still looks like it's made from containers."

The ground floor is open-plan to reveal a spacious kitchen and the living area.

Also on the ground floor will be a media room, bathroom, laundry and garage.

Photo / Facebook
Photo / Facebook

Two old fire escape staircases purchased from Trademe will reach the second level of containers.

A gallery walkway on the second floor connects the two wings of the house and overlooks the ground floor.

The house can have up to six bedrooms, but Mr Wade has plans for two rooms to be used as an office and a gym.

The master bedroom is on the second floor, complete with a large walk-in wardrobe and ensuite.

Photo / Facebook
Photo / Facebook

A deck will extend from the master bedroom and overlook Lake Rotomanuka.

The whole house is 320 metres-squared and is surrounded by lush Ohaupo countryside.

Mr Wade is joined by a team of tradesmen who are willing to think creatively and use unconventional methods, he says.

"There's nothing they can't do."

Photo / Facebook
Photo / Facebook

With a strong team around him, Mr Wade hopes the house will be finished in April.

Since starting the project, he created a Facebook page - Ohaupo Container House - to keep his family updated with the project.

And in a matter of months the page has attracted more than 3000 followers.

"It went viral.

"The level of interest towards the build is flattering."

- To keep up to date with the Ohaupo container house visit the Facebook page.

- Te Awamutu Courier

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