Greetings from Texas! 🙂
Today we at Dwell Boxes have a real treat in store for you guys! We got the exclusive with shipping container cabin owners, Jason Sabo and Lisa Kerber, about their new home.
Located in Llano, Texas, this 300 sq. ft. tiny shipping container cabin was mostly built with the blood, sweat, and tears of Jason, Lisa, and their family, with the exception of a few hired help. For about $18,000 with the goal of it only spending $25,000, Jason and Lisa tells us they has been steady working on this home for 4-5 years.
Jason and Lisa explain they bought the container at Falcon Container in East Austin, and used limestone blocks to build piers.
“May not look like it in this picture, but all four corners are solid and the container is level in all directions. The slope of the hill will make the container and deck feel very up-in-the air once built.”
Jason and Lisa walk us through almost step by step on their building process for the cabin.
“Here is the view looking north at the Llano River from what will be the living room.”
This is the layout of the container before any windows or interior walls. Rectangle in back is bathroom. L in front is kitchen counter.
Someone they affectionately call “Michael the Machine” is said to have been “fighting the demon wall with nothing but a circular saw and a box of metal cutting blades.”
8 windows in total were installed with a sliding glass door leading to the deck. From the back of the container the layout of the cabin is seen to be: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room. With the living room view showing the Llano River and the ranches beyond. They then had a bench/couch/storage bin/bed built on the left wall.
Even though Jason and Lisa installed the front door of the cabin, they said they are keeping the big steel doors to lock up the container when they aren’t there. Noting the homey (yet industrial) front porch.
When asked what they were doing for electricity they answered, “No, we are not doing solar. The Central Texas Electric Coop is our sun. The goal is to use morning sun to warm us up in winter and the roof to create shade from afternoon sun in summer.”
The attached deck took 85 post holes and 35 bags of concrete to complete. The bench used to be the deck on our house, then became a wall of a treehouse, then became the deck to the container, and finally it emerges as a bench.
Here we see the windows are trimmed out and ready for priming and painting. The primer is brown. The container is green. The unintentional effect is camo. Several hours grinding rust spots smooth and priming for a paint job. The whole thing will be roughly that grey inside the big doors.
Here we see a great view from the top of the container out over the Llano River.
“I must admit working up there yesterday did make me think a rooftop deck might be an interesting proposition.” Jason shares.
Ultimately a big metal roof was put over the cabin instead.
We are also shown the propane-powered external hot water heater for the outdoor shower and kitchen and bath. He also installed a pocket door that should “withstand a direct nuclear blast.” As you can tell, Jason and Lisa had a lot of fun putting their cabin together. 🙂
Jason and Lisa even shared their secret with us, “Meet Ronnie – the best spray foam insulation guy in Llano County.” With the spray foam insulation installation, they are able to keep the temperatures under control when they aren’t there year round.
Here we see that after “Michael the Machine” finished the windows with trim he milled out back from cheap 2×4’s on his portable saw, the drywall team got to work. “Starting to look more cabin, less metal box every week,” said Jason and Lisa.
In total they installed waferboard around front door of cabin, drywall, and painted the interior, roof, the exterior, and deck.
I think the interior of the container is really the best part. With a little less than 8 feet wide and a little less than 40 feet long after framing. Bedroom is in back, bathroom in middle, kitchen, and living in front. Jason and Lisa show us that deck scraps and two sheets of plywood were used for the couch, and clearance bin wood on floors.
The shelf in the bedroom is from IKEA with Jason and Lisa stating “came with explicit directions not to hang.”
Honestly as much as I loved getting a nice virtual tour of this cabin and the way it was built, the star of the family looks to be Taco (the dog) a.k.a. Mistress of the Shipping Container Cabin. How adorable!
Also, Jason and Lisa asked me to give a special shout out to metal smith Carlo Nieri at Nieri Design in Austin. “He deserves the credit for the roof. It’s a work of art all by itself.”
So what do you think? Would you live here? 🙂
Information Source: Jason Sabo and Lisa Kerber
Photo Source: Jason Sabo and Lisa Kerber