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Home made from containers

David and Mireille Hicks. PHOTOS/BECKIE WILSON

BECKIE WILSON
[email protected]

Living off-the-grid and being self-sufficient on their 1.3 hectare lifestyle block was all part of the Hicks’ family plan, and the newly-built, unique six-container home gets them one step closer to that.

It has been three years in the making, but David Hicks has finished building the new family home out of six second-hand shipping containers in Clareville.

Open plan living area, with the kitchen island with a macrocarpa finish.

The four-bedroom 180msq home is complete with two bathrooms, a large open plan living and kitchen space, and a laundry.

“Even though the house is made from shipping containers and is unique, we never wanted it to look like a spec home,” David said.

The kitchen has macrocarpa finishings to soften the look, which brings through David’s passion for building macrocapra furniture.

The exterior is also softened with macrocarpa joining the roof and the outside walls.

David is a strong believer in keeping the detail of the shipping container.

The containers travelled around the world and picked up many dents along the way, he said.

Getting the containers into place.

“If you are going to work with containers, work with what they are, don’t try to hide them.”

David invested in a high-quality insulation foam machine for his Container Conversions business, which was used to insulate the larger home.

The house was designed using six containers, two horizontal containers at either end as the bedrooms, and two vertical containers in the centre for the living space.

David and his wife, Mireille, spent a lot of time discussing the location of the house on the land to make the most of the northern aspect of the sun.

“When this was a paddock we used string-lines to play around with the angles,” he said.

The house is angled just right to get a restricted amount of direct summer sun through the living area windows, and more in the winter months.

David had set the goal to build the large container home after buying the land in 2015.

But the family needed a house meantime, so David converted a single 12 metre shipping container for the time being.

However, while working on the larger home he was approached by people enquiring about shipping container conversions which turned into a business called Container Conversions.

“We built the house because it was a long-term goal, but it has since developed into a business,” he said.

The couple, and their two children Angelique, 13, Julien, 11, and their dog River had been living in the single container for the past three years.

One of the bedrooms.

“We are living proof that a family of four with a dog can live in one for three winters, even if it did get testing at times,” he said.

With a strong focus on the environment, the family live completely off-the-grid using solar power, catching rain water and using a Wormorator as a septic tank.

“It’s very satisfying — everything we shower and wash in is from the sky and the power is from the sun.”

David said many people can’t grasp the concept of solar power and what electronics can be used.

“We can have everything we want, we just have to be aware of how we are using it.”

They have installed a Pyroclassic fire which is similar to a kiln, and its output is a lot cleaner than a standard wood fire.

David said in hindsight he could have saved many thousands of dollars on the new build, but it was a new project with learnings along the way.

“Working with a great engineer and the team at Loader Construction Engineering Ltd, helped the project progress along the way,” he said.

He does not know of any large container homes in the region, making the Hicks’ home a unique design.

David has plans for a shipping container swimming pool but said moving in before Christmas was the goal.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi fantastic, im looking at off grid aswell, you mentioned a wormorator could you give more info on the type you have or web site ?

  2. What a superb home so magnificent light sunny what more could anyone want trend setters are so brave now others will follow an inspiration to us all I would love one even though I am getting on I would love to live in a container home well done

Comments are closed.

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