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40 Foot Shipping Container Home Floor Plans – The Best Ideas

To begin with, the concept of repurposing 40 foot shipping container home floor plans into homes has gained significant popularity. If you’re searching for an innovative and eco-friendly housing alternative, look no further than 40 foot container homes!

These unique dwellings are creatively designed using repurposed shipping containers to provide an affordable, trendy, and environmentally conscious living solution.

Container architecture has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its numerous advantages. Not only are these homes highly durable, but they also offer exceptional portability and versatility.

With 40 foot container homes, you’ll have the freedom to easily transport your living space or modify it according to your changing needs.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy and compact retreat, a stylish office, or even a vacation cabin, container homes can accommodate a wide range of purposes.

But what sets these container homes apart is how they make the most out of limited space. While the dimensions may be compact, the importance of thoughtful design and space utilization cannot be overstated.

Architects and designers have unlocked tremendous potential by implementing ingenious layouts and innovative storage solutions.

Inside 40 foot container homes, you’ll find intelligently designed living areas, efficient kitchens, comfortable bedrooms, and creative multi-purpose spaces, all within a surprisingly functional and inviting environment.

Whether you aspire to minimize your ecological footprint, embrace minimalist living, or simply adore the unique aesthetics of container architecture, 40 foot container homes offer an exciting opportunity to incorporate sustainability and style into your lifestyle.

Discover the countless possibilities that await you and unlock the potential of living inside these remarkable shipping containers!

Table of Contents

Interior Design and Layout of 40 Foot Container Home Floor Plans

Below we’ve provided you with some 40 foot shipping container home floor plans that can be used with either one, two, or more intermodal containers to help with your home design.

Creating a comfortable and functional living space inside a 40-foot container home requires careful planning and innovative design ideas.

Here are some key considerations for maximizing the available square footage and enhancing the overall interior.

Maximizing the Available Square Footage

With limited space, it is essential to make the most of every inch. Opt for multifunctional furniture that can serve multiple purposes and save valuable floor space. Choose sleek and compact designs that don’t compromise on style or comfort.

Read More: 10 Shipping Container Homes You Can Order Right Now

Creative Storage Solutions for Compact Living in Your 40 Foot Container Home

Storage is often a challenge in small homes, but with clever solutions, it doesn’t have to be. Utilize vertical space by installing shelves or cabinets that go up to the ceiling.

Consider built-in storage options such as under-bed drawers or hidden compartments in furniture.

Modular Furniture Ideas for Versatility and Functionality

Modular furniture pieces are perfect for container homes as they offer versatility and adaptability. Look for modular sofas, tables, and shelving units that can be rearranged or expanded to suit different needs. This allows you to transform your living space as required.

Floor Plans for Efficient Space Utilization

When designing the layout of your container home, prioritize efficient space utilization. Open floor plans with integrated living, dining, and kitchen areas create a sense of openness and maximize usable space. Consider utilizing natural light and strategically placing windows to open up the interior.

By carefully considering these interior design and layout aspects, you can create a welcoming and functional living space in your 40-foot container home.

Read More: Seven Helpful Ideas for Designing A Container Home Bedroom

40 Foot Shipping Container Floor Plans Dimensions

In brief, it’s obvious that 40 foot shipping container home floor plans can’t give you 40 feet of space in horizontal and vertical directions. You must calculate the interior and exterior dimensions to get a good sense of how much it holds.

A standard height 40 foot container’s exterior dimensions are 40′ long by 8′ wide by 8’6″ high, with mild variations depending on the shipping container manufacturer.

In meters, a 40 foot shipping container’s dimensions are 12.192 m long x 2.438 m wide x 2.591 m high. Again, you’ll find small variations from company to company.

Overall, doors are around 7’8″ tall and 7’5″ wide for 40 foot shipping container home floor plans. The interior dimensions will vary depending on how thick the doors are and how thick a container’s steel is.

In general, however, interior dimensions are 39’6″ long x 7’6″ wide x 7’10” high. A good rule of thumb is assuming you’ll get around 2300 ft.³, or about 68 m³, of space inside a 40 foot shipping container.

Read More: 1 Bedroom Shipping Container Home Floor Plans – Great Photos

How Much Can You Move in a 40 Foot Shipping Container?

From time to time, a 40 foot shipping container is typically spacious enough to accommodate the belongings and contents of a family home with 3 to 4 bedrooms.

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However, irregularly shaped objects or specific furniture require more space than similarly sized boxes. Put differently, depending on their sizes, you can fit approximately three to four cars within a standard 40 foot shipping container home floor plan.

Alternatively, you could even fit around 400 mattresses inside! It’s important not to be deceived by the external dimensions of the container.

It’s crucial to consider the internal dimensions to pack and store efficiently. Moreover, consider including non boxed items and whether you can effectively utilize the container’s full height.

The organization of the materials you intend to place inside the container also plays a significant role.

Read More: 4 Bedroom Shipping Container Home Cost – Expert Advice

Designing a 40 Foot Shipping Container Home Floor Plan

Now comes the most thrilling aspect of selecting a container home, planning the interior design. When creating homes using shipping containers, careful consideration is given to floor plans that optimize every available inch of space.

Typical container house plans often involve a single 40′ x 8′ container, providing approximately 320 square feet of living area to unleash your creativity. However, you need not limit yourself to a sole 40′ structure.

You can expand the space by combining multiple shipping containers into a unified dwelling. You can position the containers side by side and stack them on one another.

This allows for even more space. Here are what to consider when planning your 40 foot shipping container home floor plan layout:

  • Enhance your living space by installing a Murphy bed.
  • Consider constructing a lofted area in your bedroom to maximize the available space.
  • Opt for a high cube shipping container instead of a regular one to gain an additional foot of vertical space in your dwelling.
  • Choose furniture with convenient storage options, such as a couch with a bench seat that can be lifted or stairs leading up to a loft with built in drawers.

Read More: Shipping Containers For Sale In Texas

Real-Life Examples and Inspiration of 40 Foot Shipping Container Homes Floor Plans

Looking for inspiration for your own 40 foot container home floor plan? Look no further! We have gathered a collection of real-life examples and innovative projects that showcase the endless possibilities of container living.

1. Rustic Retreat XL by Backcountry Containers

Situated just outside Houston, Texas, the Rustic Retreat XL is an impressive 40 foot shipping container tiny house skillfully crafted by Backcountry Containers.

This remarkable dwelling, spanning 270 square feet, gained recognition when it appeared on the fourth season of the popular show Tiny House, Big Living!

It was custom built by Jon Meier, the proud owner of Backcountry Containers, specifically for his sister in law, Emily Flowers.

This container home boasts notable features such as a spacious rooftop deck, a generously sized bathroom, and a closet spacious enough to accommodate Flowers’ extensive collection of 200 pairs of shoes.

The kitchen has a convenient breakfast bar, a charming farmhouse sink, a freestanding range, and a refrigerator tailored to apartment living.

Adding to its allure, a charming barn door cleverly separates the bathroom and, when closed, reveals additional shelves hidden behind it.

Finally, the Rustic Retreat XL offers various customizable options, including a layout that accommodates two bedrooms or a single bedroom with a dedicated storage area for gear and ATVs, complete with large exterior doors.

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2. Mainsail 40 Foot Shipping Container Home Floor Plan by CargoHome

The 40 foot Mainsail shipping container home floor plan is a compact dwelling with a bedroom on the main floor and a rooftop deck.

In addition, this small container home was constructed by CargoHome. This is a Texas based company. The 40 foot shipping container home is now available for nightly rentals through Airbnb.

It is ingeniously fashioned from a repurposed shipping container, combining dark cedar siding with the original metal structure for its exterior finish.

The rooftop deck can be accessed via a spiral staircase and features metal safety railings with cables, allowing guests to appreciate the surrounding views.

LED lights underneath the top railing create a charming atmosphere in the evening. The walls are adorned with pine shiplap inside the Mainsail, while the trim and beams showcase the rustic beauty of 100+ year old barn wood.

The kitchen boasts an attractive barn wood accent wall. The kitchen in this 40 foot shipping container home floor plan is complemented by dark cabinets, epoxy coated barn wood countertops, and open barn wood shelves. 

Also, the kitchen has an under counter refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker. The main floor bedroom features a comfortable Tuft & Needle queen size mattress.

Not to mention, there is also a nightstand and lamp on each side of the bed. Located in Waco, Texas, this unique dwelling offers nightly rates starting at $95.

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3. 40 Foot Shipping Container Home By Green Creek Shipyard Tiny House

Green Creek Shipyard is a luxurious tiny home experience like no other. Nestled in Green Creek, North Carolina, this 40 foot shipping container tiny house floor plan is now available for nightly rentals on Airbnb.

Its remarkable features include a sprawling 18 feet by 23 feet deck adorned with a spiral staircase. Also included is a soothing hot tub, a cozy fire pit, and a tranquil pond.

As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a 10 foot glass garage door that effortlessly rolls up. It seamlessly connects the house with the covered patio.

You’ll discover the inviting hot tub, comfortable chairs, and a convenient BBQ set up on the patio. An enchanting spiral staircase gracefully winds from the corner of the patio, leading up to the expansive deck.

The deck in this 40 foot shipping container home floor plan itself boasts an array of seating options. Options such as a stylish bar area with four barstools, two delightful hanging egg chairs, two regular chairs, and a charming bench.

Behind an elegant barn door lies the spacious bathroom, showcasing a corner glass shower, a flush toilet, and a sink. The bathroom offers ample room to unwind and rejuvenate.

A tastefully decorated bedroom awaits on the main floor. It features a queen size bed and an expansive five foot window that bathes the room in natural light.

Note that the ceiling height in the bedroom is 5 feet 10 inches, allowing ample space for the loft area.

Read More: Shipping Containers for Sale in North Carolina

4. Lake Cabin by Custom Container Living

This remarkable 40 foot Lake Cabin tiny house is ingeniously crafted using a shipping container as its foundation.

Custom Container Living, the skilled builder behind this project, cleverly added a raised gable roof. To point out, this transforms it into a charming dwelling resembling a conventional house rather than a container home.

The exterior showcases a rustic aesthetic with cedar lap siding, a metal roof, and elegant full light French doors.

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The modern interior boasts painted tongue and groove walls, beautifully stained pine trim, and resilient vinyl plank flooring.

To infuse a rustic charm that harmonizes with the exterior, the living room and bedroom feature accent walls made of barn wood. The main floor bedroom incorporates a raised platform for the bed, creating valuable storage space underneath.

A queen size bedroom loft is also available, making it ideal for guests or a cozy bedroom for children. The living room in this 40 foot shipping container home floor plan has a wood stove for warmth. There is also a Mitsubishi mini split unit ensures comfortable temperatures throughout the year.

The kitchen has custom built white birch cabinets. It also has a sleek granite countertops, a full size gas refrigerator and stove, and a convenient double sink. The Lake Cabin was listed for sale at an attractive price of $68,900.

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5. Empty Nester by Custom Container Living

The Empty Nester is a popular model of a shipping container home built by Custom Container Living in Archie, Missouri.

It measures 40 feet in length and is constructed from sturdy steel. This design provides a cozy living area. To clarify, it features a primary bedroom on the ground level and an additional guest bedroom in an elevated loft space.

The house’s outer appearance incorporates various materials, including corrugated metal, stucco stone, and vinyl siding.

As you enter through the full light French doors, you step into the main living area. Also, a separate back door provides private access to the master bedroom. The living room and master bedroom are divided by a barn door and a stylish wooden accent wall.

The galley kitchen has a full size freestanding electric range, an over the range microwave, and a refrigerator.

The kitchen features elegant granite countertops, a modern full height tile backsplash, and gray upper and lower cabinets. The bathroom showcases a gray stonework accent along one wall and is tiled around the shower and tub area.

Above the kitchen and bathroom of this 40 foot shipping container home floor plan is a guest bedroom in the loft space. Note that this is complete with sturdy pipe handrails and additional storage.

Read More: How Do You Attach Wood To A Shipping Container? Easy Way

Sustainable Living in Container Homes

Container homes provide an innovative solution for sustainable living, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional housing.

By repurposing shipping containers, these homes contribute to reducing waste and minimizing the environmental impact of construction.

  • Repurposing shipping containers for eco-friendly living: By using recycled shipping containers as the primary structure of a home, we reduce the demand for new building materials, therefore lowering our carbon footprint.
  • Use of eco-friendly materials in construction: Container homes can be designed and built using sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring, low-emission paints, and recycled insulation, further enhancing their eco-friendliness.
  • Integration of renewable energy sources for energy efficiency: Container homes are an ideal platform for integrating renewable energy systems, including solar panels and wind turbines, to generate clean and sustainable energy.
  • Strategies to reduce carbon footprint in container homes: Container homes can implement various strategies to minimize their carbon footprint, such as water conservation techniques, energy-efficient appliances, and efficient insulation to reduce the need for heating and cooling.

Cost and Budgeting for Container Homes

When it comes to creating your dream home, cost and budgeting are important factors to consider. Let’s explore the financial aspect of building and living in container homes.

Average Cost of Purchasing or Renting a Shipping Container

The first step in building a container home is acquiring the containers themselves. On average, the cost of purchasing a new 40 foot container can range from $3,000 to $5,000.

However, keep in mind that prices may vary based on factors such as location and condition. If buying a brand-new container isn’t within your budget, you can also consider renting one for a lower upfront cost.

Read More: What Is The Cost Of Constructing A Shipping Container Home?

Conversion Expenses and Cost-saving Strategies for a 40 Foot Container Home

Converting a shipping container into a livable space involves various expenses. These may include insulation, plumbing, electrical wiring, flooring, and basic interior finishes.

Depending on your design preferences and complexity, the conversion expenses can range from $20,000 to $50,000 or more.

To save on costs, you can opt for a more minimalistic design, choose affordable materials, and handle some of the work yourself.

Comparison of Costs Between Container Homes and Traditional Homes

One of the main reasons people consider container homes is their affordability compared to traditional homes.

While costs can vary greatly depending on the region and level of customization, container homes generally offer a more cost-effective option.

Traditional homes can cost upwards of $200 per square foot, whereas container homes can range from $50 to $150 per square foot.

Economic Feasibility and Long-term Savings of Container Living

Container living not only offers cost savings during the construction phase but also over the long term. Due to their durable metal structure, a 40 foot container home requires minimal maintenance, resulting in lower upkeep costs.

Additionally, container homes offer excellent insulation properties, leading to reduced heating and cooling expenses. These long-term savings make container living an economically feasible choice.

  • Average cost of purchasing or renting a shipping container
  • Conversion expenses and cost-saving strategies
  • Comparison of costs between container homes and traditional homes
  • Economic feasibility and long-term savings of container living

Considering the cost and budgeting aspects of container homes will help you make informed decisions throughout the building process.

By carefully managing expenses and exploring cost-saving strategies, container living can provide both an affordable and sustainable housing solution.

Maintenance and Longevity of a 40 Foot Container Home

Maintaining a container home is essential to ensure its longevity and structural integrity. Here are some important maintenance requirements to consider:

Maintenance Requirements for Container Homes

  • Regularly inspect the exterior and interior for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Clean the container, both inside and out, to prevent the buildup of dirt and debris.
  • Check the condition of doors, windows, and locks to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Inspect the roof for any leaks or damage to prevent water seepage.
  • Monitor the electrical and plumbing systems for any issues or leaks.

Prevention of Corrosion and Proper Insulation Upkeep

Corrosion is a common concern for container homes, but with proper maintenance, it can be easily prevented:

  • Apply a high-quality rust-resistant coating or paint to the exterior of the container.
  • Regularly inspect and touch up any areas where the coating or paint may have chipped or worn off.
  • Check the insulation for any signs of damage or deterioration and repair or replace as needed.
  • Ensure proper ventilation to prevent condensation buildup, which can lead to corrosion.

Ensuring the Longevity and Structural Integrity of the Container

To ensure your container home lasts for years to come, it’s important to take the following steps:

  • Reinforce the container’s foundation to provide stability and prevent shifting.
  • Regularly inspect the container for any structural issues, such as bent or twisted frames, and address them promptly.
  • Keep an eye out for any signs of pest infestations and take necessary measures to eliminate them.
  • Monitor the container’s weight-bearing capacity and avoid overloading it.
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Tips for Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Here are some tips to help you with the regular maintenance and inspections of your 40 foot container home:

  • Create a checklist of maintenance tasks and perform them on a regular schedule.
  • Use appropriate cleaning products and tools to avoid causing damage to the container.
  • Engage professional help when needed, especially for complex maintenance tasks.
  • Keep records of all maintenance and repairs for future reference.

Legal and Zoning Considerations for Container Homes

When considering the idea of living in a container home, it’s crucial to be well-informed about the legal and zoning considerations that come with it.

By understanding and adhering to specific regulations and laws, you can ensure a hassle-free setup and avoid potential legal issues down the road.

Specific Regulations and Zoning Laws for Container Homes

Each region, city, and even neighborhood may have its own set of regulations and zoning laws regarding container homes.

Before embarking on your container home journey, it’s essential to research and familiarize yourself with these specific rules. Some areas have restrictions on the size, height, and location of container homes, while others may have no restrictions at all.

By being aware of these regulations, you can make informed decisions about the design, placement, and construction of your container home.

Obtaining Necessary Permissions and Dealing with Local Authorities

Depending on where you plan to build your container home, you may need to obtain various permissions and approvals from local authorities.

This could include permits for construction, zoning changes, or even variances. It’s essential to reach out to the appropriate departments and engage in open communication with the local authorities to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork in place.

By proactively addressing any concerns or requirements they might have, you can avoid potential roadblocks and delays in the setup of your container home.

Compliance with legal requirements for your 40 foot container home is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free setup for your home.

This might involve meeting building codes, fire safety regulations, and energy efficiency standards. By working closely with an architect or a contractor experienced in container home construction, you can ensure that your design and construction plans align with the necessary legal requirements.

This will help you avoid any complications or fines that may arise from non-compliance.

Legal aspects of container homes can bring along various concerns and challenges. Some common concerns include insurance coverage, property valuation, and financing options.

It’s important to address these concerns upfront and seek professional advice from experts who specialize in container homes.

They can guide you in finding insurance providers who understand container home coverage and help you explore financing options tailored to container home projects.

By proactively addressing these challenges, you can mitigate potential stress and complications.

Testimonials From Owners of 40 Foot Container Homes

Don’t just take our word for it – hear from real owners who have successfully transformed shipping containers into comfortable living spaces. Learn about their experiences, challenges, and how they have embraced the container lifestyle.

Design Ideas and Practical Inspiration

Whether you’re looking for interior design inspiration or ideas to enhance the exterior of your container home, we have you covered.

Discover practical tips, creative solutions, and innovative use of space that will help you make the most of your container living experience.

Success Stories Highlighting the Benefits of Container Living

Container living offers unique benefits that are both sustainable and cost-effective. Hear success stories from individuals who have embraced container living and experienced the advantages firsthand.

From reduced carbon footprint to financial freedom, container living has transformed the lives of many.

Off-Grid Living and Self-Sufficiency in 40 Foot Container Homes

In addition to their affordability and versatility, container homes also offer the opportunity for off-grid living and self-sufficiency.

By incorporating sustainable practices and alternative energy sources, container homeowners can reduce their reliance on external resources and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Here are some ways to achieve off-grid living and self-sufficiency in container homes:

Exploring Alternative Energy Sources for Off-grid Living

One of the main challenges of off-grid living is finding alternative sources of energy. Container homes can be equipped with solar panels or wind turbines to generate electricity.

By harnessing the power of the sun or wind, homeowners can become self-reliant and reduce their carbon footprint.

Rainwater Harvesting and Sustainable Gardening Practices

Another important aspect of off-grid living is water management. Container homeowners can set up rainwater harvesting systems to collect and store rainwater for everyday use.

This water can be used for washing, flushing toilets, and even watering plants in a sustainable garden.

By implementing sustainable gardening practices such as permaculture and companion planting, homeowners can cultivate their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, further reducing their reliance on external resources.

Composting Toilets for Sustainable Waste Management in 40 Foot Container Homes

Traditional flush toilets can be wasteful and rely on external sewage systems. Container homeowners can opt for composting toilets, which convert human waste into compost that can be used as fertilizer.

Not only does this method minimize water usage, but it also contributes to a more sustainable waste management system within the container home.

Achieving Self-sufficiency and Reducing Reliance on External Resources

Ultimately, the goal of off-grid living and self-sufficiency in 40 foot container homes is to reduce the need for external resources.

This can be achieved through various strategies such as growing your own food, producing your own energy, and implementing sustainable waste management practices.

By taking a more self-sufficient approach to daily living, container homeowners can enjoy the benefits of a sustainable, off-grid lifestyle.

Challenges and Limitations of 40 Foot Container Home Living

While living in a container home offers numerous advantages, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges and limitations that may arise. Let’s explore some key areas to consider:

Weathering Challenges and Insulation Considerations in Container Homes

One significant challenge in container living is ensuring proper insulation and weatherproofing. The metal exterior of containers can make them susceptible to extreme temperatures and condensation issues.

It’s essential to invest in high-quality insulation materials and techniques to maintain a comfortable living environment.

40 Foot Container Home Floor Plans Limited Space and Overcoming Spatial Constraints

40 foot container homes are inherently compact, requiring careful planning and creative design solutions to make the most of the available space.

Clever storage solutions, multi-purpose furniture, and efficient layouts become crucial in maximizing functionality while avoiding feelings of confinement.

Noise Insulation Techniques and Dealing with Potential Noise Disturbances

Living in a 40 foot container home may pose challenges related to noise insulation. The metal structure of containers can amplify external sounds, making it vital to implement noise reduction measures.

Installing soundproof panels and ensuring proper sealing can help minimize disturbances and create a quieter indoor environment.

Addressing 40 Foot Container Home Building Restrictions in Certain Areas

Container homes face varying degrees of acceptance in different regions due to building regulations and zoning restrictions.

It’s important to research local laws and regulations before embarking on a container home project. Working with professionals or seeking guidance from local authorities can help navigate potential obstacles and ensure compliance with regulations.


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored various aspects of living in 40-foot container homes. From interior design and layout to sustainable living, cost and budgeting, maintenance and longevity, legal and zoning considerations, real-life examples, off-grid living, and the challenges and limitations of container living.

Throughout this content, we have highlighted the many benefits of container homes – their affordability, versatility, and eco-friendliness.

These homes offer a unique and sustainable housing option that allows individuals to minimize their environmental impact and live in a stylish and functional space.

We encourage you to explore the possibilities that container homes offer. With their adaptable design and cost-effective construction, they provide an opportunity to create a dream home that suits your individual needs and lifestyle.

As container architecture continues to gain popularity, we believe that it has the potential to revolutionize the housing industry.

By repurposing shipping containers, we can move towards a more sustainable future, reducing waste and conserving resources.

Whether you are looking for a small and cozy residence or a spacious family home, container living can provide an affordable and environmentally conscious solution.

Embrace the creativity and freedom it offers, and let container homes be your pathway to a greener and more sustainable future.

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