For years, Will Breaux tried unsuccessfully to find a home designer to help him realize the vision he had for his Houston house. Not willing to give up, he decided to take matters into his own hands. After exhaustive research, design, and planning, Breaux – who has plenty of residential construction and design experience – used eleven shipping containers to build the house of his dreams with his own hands*! The first time I knew of someone using shipping containers for living space was in 2014 when I heard of a couple who made themselves a cute house on a narrow lot using just a few containers. I was amazed by that small container home, but Breaux’s plans kick the ship out of that one.
*With the help of a structural engineer
Breaux’s home is located in Houston, and it may be the most intricate, extensive project of its kind. Shipping containers make ideal building blocks, especially in a region like Houston that can get severe weather. Here’s Breaux explaining the containers’ benefits:
“Shipping containers are strong, fire proof, long lasting, hurricane resistant, and have common characteristics. The United States is currently importing more than we are exporting, which often means we have more containers coming in than going out. Many ports have containers stacked up as surplus. A brand new container can cost $9000 or more, while a used container that has a few overseas trips under its belt can be as little as $2000 in usable condition. They are designed to be transported, stacked, and locked down.”– McGowen Container House FAQ
Breaux is working on the 2500-square-foot home in stages. He and his macaws are currently living on the first floor while he works on the levels above (as time and funds allow). The single-family structure features a balcony at the front of the building (shown in the photo above), a built-in double carport, and a large roof-top terrace with views of the city. The interior spaces will include a media room, great room, studio, kitchen, master suite, guest suite, and a bar.
You can read all about the fascinating ongoing project on Will Breaux’s blog, though I don’t recommend you read about it anywhere else. As if Breaux wasn’t busy enough, he has had to spend a fair amount of time correcting errors reported about his wonderful house on various websites. (Will, sincerely hope I got it all right!)