Creating Outdoor Living Space for Our Shipping Container Home

We were officially dried in, but still had so many outside projects that we needed to wrap up before we were ready to move inside and start finishing our home.


The Roof

A shipping container doesn’t need a roof, but I wanted a unique roof to create a dry space over both our deck and our front door.  We have a 20’r sitting on top of a 40’r, leaving 20’ of deck space off of our master bedroom. We roofed 10 of that space creating one of our favorite places in the entire house – living space right outside our bedroom door – and the view 🙂

2015-10-22 14.16.30
Friends are the greatest gift!

Dave’s friends came and helped us complete the roofing.  Our roofing is called Rusteel and is unique in that it rusts almost immediately upon exposure to the elements.  Yes, I paid extra for metal that will rust – Dave still questions my sanity at times 😉


Turning a Ginormous Gravel Pile Into Access

In order to meet code, we had to have access to the front of the house that didn’t exceed certain tolerances.  The only thing we had infront of our containers at this point was a huge pile of gravel that had been used to park the crane when we placed our shipping containers.

But Dave and our son, Bryce, got to work and upcycled some 4×4’s that had been salvaged from a project on the Canadian border.  He reused the brackets, the boards and designed the large pile of gravel into our home’s approach 🙂

2015-11-08 16.49.38

2015-11-11 16.36.39
Bryce – hardest working little man I’ve ever met 🙂

The Deck

As I’d mentioned before, Dave’s OT set up therapy for Dave.  The upstairs deck and exterior stairs were a project that Dave meticulously worked through as part of both his cognitive and functional therapy.  From laying out the deck boards, screwing them on (a challenge when he couldn’t feel his right hand), cutting and laying the final stair treads, upcycling and designing the outside stairs and access.  All of these steps needed to happen to make our shipping container legal and meet building code.

2015-10-20 12.45.39
PT 2×2’s to support the deck boards
2015-10-20 10.46.46
PT 2x4s anchored in place with brackets that Dave created and welded to the railing base
2015-10-28 09.01.14
Brackets that stabilize the deck runners

2015-10-21 12.02.42

2015-10-21 09.24.20
Cedar Decking


2015-10-26 09.37.37
Outdoor living space being created!

2015-10-29 10.22.30

2015-10-29 11.43.05
Replacing the ‘work’ treads with the final cedar treads
2015-12-28 11.45.03-2
Building stairs to code, especially after a brain bleed is quite a task!

2015-11-10 16.58.50

2015-11-12 09.17.27
The lower landing was off 1.25″ to meet code, so Dave created a platform over the concrete landing ~ it turned out much better than the ugly concrete 😉

2015-11-11 16.38.58

2015-12-28 11.45.02-2
The lower landing was where Dave’s creativity started to really shine again ~ Gorgeous!

This was a project that would have taken us a couple of weekends before Dave’s ICH.  But even working on it 6 days a week for a couple hours a day in the beginning and then longer as he got stronger, it took him almost 6 weeks to finish.


Outdoor Living Space

When Dave had sealed and laid the last board, he was so proud of the deck and stairs – and he should be.  I was so proud of him. I had seen him struggle through the processes in a way that tore at my heart, but he preserved.  It turned out amazingly gorgeous. The biggest victory was how much he was able to regain his dexterity and skill level during the project.  The project may have taken weeks and weeks, but to this day, it is one of the areas of our home we are most proud of!

2015-11-11 16.38.11
you’ll always have a friend in me…
2015-12-28 11.45.03-4
Bryce working on the future flower gardens!
2015-11-11 16.40.07
That is amazing therapy!

2015-10-26 14.18.59

2015-10-26 14.11.30
Our Valley!


Still Persevering!

Jaimie & Dave

One thought on “Creating Outdoor Living Space for Our Shipping Container Home

  1. Jaimie & Dave,

    Good day,

    While watching your shipping container video make my heart overwhelmed. It is really artistic and mindblowing how you did the craftsman craft in a small container making it a living house for a family. Beautiful place and a lovely view from the terrace. Very unique stairs fitted in a small area. I’m impressed and would love to spend a week in your container home.

    Hard work pays!

    Best Regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.