About

Rock n Roll Problems?  It’s what my husband and I refer to when we’re having issues that others might not…problems that others can’t relate to because they just aren’t at that stage.  Fancy problems.  You know, it’s like telling a friend who lives on his girlfriend’s couch that you’re trying to decide which quartz countertop to install on your kitchen island: “arctic snowflake” or “arctic ice?”  Your friend doesn’t care, no matter how many samples you show him.

I started this blog just after our third attempt to buy an over-priced fixer-upper in the same neighborhood failed (and not because of us in any way).  Three strikes and you’re out, right?  We decided instead that building might be our best choice, but we aren’t really into traditional houses.  We like modern architecture, new techniques, sustainablity, and unusual materials.  We weren’t finding what we wanted out there with the usual suspect builders, and we definitely weren’t finding anything affordable.  That’s when the idea to build a home from shipping containers came about, and the rest of the story can pretty much be found here on the blog.

This blog is about building a better life.  It puts our lot buying and container house construction experiences under the microscope to help you understand the process and to help me keep my sanity amidst all the decisions to be made.  Hopefully, someday soon, this blog will celebrate the end of that process and the beginning of a better life, with new rock n roll problems, no doubt.

14 thoughts on “About

  1. I love the container home concept. i am very interested in one day building one. I will read up on your blog because you seem to have a ton of data on this stuff! If you have any other ideas of how to get cost projections and exact details on building them, I’d like to know.

    • We’re using a builder who is experienced with containers, but I bet you could do it on your own…this guy did it: http://renaissanceronin.wordpress.com/

      I think the awesome thing about container homes is that they can be whatever you want them to be, at whatever price point you need or can afford.

      • You are so right. You can spend $50 a foot for an ISBU home.

        You can spend much more per foot. but in the end, it’s the comfort of knowing that big steel shell is protecting you from whatever comes…

        We help as many families as we can…

        I wish there were more of us…

        Someday…

  2. Pingback: Kafkaesque | Rock n Roll Problems

  3. I’m so happy to have found this blog, as we are in the designing-on-bar-napkins stage for our dream container home in Houston. I’ll be reading it in its entirety over the weekend!

    • Wow, I can’t wait to hear more about your project! Read this blog In chronological order if possible…you’ll see the ups and downs ahead of you. Best of luck on your project!

  4. Hi
    Did you ever make the gabion with bottles fence? I’d love to see pictures…I’m going to be building one this summer but don’t know exactly what it may look like as I can’t find any finished product pictures on the web. Thx and love your blog.

  5. Hello… My name is Mike,
    First off let me send my condolences to your dream of building a “Corrugated Home”, I know it might be a while before you respond back and I understand why. I’ve been following your Blog and have been disappointed in the out come your situation. To be honest my dreaming of building a “Corrugated Home”, has vanished like a “Frat in the Wind” due to your many set backs. If I do decide to still pursue my dream of building my “Corrugated” retirement home. What advice can you give me, so that it wont turn in to a nightmare, as far as Money, Banks, Contractors, Realtors, Designers, etc… I really wish you wouldn’t give up, I know it’s easier said than done but Faith can move mountains!!!

    “The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people’s opinions.”
    Paulo Coelho

    • Hi Mike, thanks for following along. If you’ve been following, you know that our building plans included so many nightmares with banks, contractors, designers, etc…so I don’t know if I’m the best person to give advice on how to avoid these!

      I think this is what I’d do if I had to do this all over again:
      1. Have more money (this would make everything easier)
      2. If you don’t have a ton of money, start with banks and find out if they really will lend on an unconventional project–maybe look to smaller or local banks
      3. Find a designer who has a contractor lined up already (it took us a year to find a contractor who would work with containers for our budget)
      4. Work with your city to obtain permits, but expect to pay for them and not to get the special treatment that the suburban developers will get. Expect to find errors in their records and be prepared to fight to fix these.
      5. Expect that everything will take far longer than you expect and probably cost more too (see #1)

      You’ve given me an idea here for a longer post…maybe look for that in the future!

      Good luck if you do build!

      • Would you say that it’s a myth building a “Corrugated” home is inexpensive? If so on average, how much would you say someone would need to build a basic 5 to 6 “Corrugated” container home?

  6. Hi April,

    My name is Jeff and I own the website http://www.isbudepot.com – I have been fascinated w/Shipping Container homes since around 2008. I have spent countless hours designing and re-designing homes in order to maximize every square inch of floor space and use right angles almost everywhere in order to reduce the complexity of the overall build.

    I also live in Houston, TX and am finally ready to begin the process of seeing what it will take to start the construction process. I am wanting to build on a 3.4 acre lot that is on Greens Bayou on the East side of town. I think I may face some of your similar issues in dealing with the city of Houston.

    If you have some free time, please email me – I would love to exchange some thoughts and ideas on the subject.

    I commend your blogging skills, 3+ years is a long time to dedicate to trying to make your dream home a reality.

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