Shipping containers have long been part of Tasmania’s housing scene.
Nanjing Night Net

But while most people use them to move their contents from one house to another, Bishopsbourne’s Graeme and Fiona Turner are using their seven containers to make a home.

Mr Turner said the couple checked building prices to see what options were affordable and the container option worked out best.

”It was not so much about the end price, but we couldn’t borrow at the time and only had our own money available,” Mr Turner said.

”I wanted to do as much as possible myself to save money.

”I’m not a builder, but because the containers are structurally sound, we could have them put on the foundations and I could get to work adding to the basic structure.

”The council has been great, very supportive and we’ve got them involved all the way along to give us advice and tell us what they needed.

”The containers arrived on site and were welded together and on to the footings – it was quite a process.”

Mrs Turner said it cost about $54,000 to get the containers on site and to lock-up stage, but a major flaw was uncovered.

”They’re not insulated yet – they will be when it’s all finished.

”They’re hot in the summer and cold in the winter,” Mrs Turner said.

”We moved in in May last year and it was freezing – we had a wood heater and electric blankets this year and that made a huge difference.

”The idea of recycling old containers really fits with our philosophy – we’re right into recycling and are using second-hand items wherever possible, even the raised garden beds are made from second-hand apple bins.”

Mrs Turner’s response was immediate when asked how much the total project would cost.

”I think the jury’s still out on that one, but it allowed us to move out of rental accommodation sooner,” Mrs Turner said.

Graeme Turner and his daughter Rhianna, of Bishopsbourne, outside their unique shipping container house. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON

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