Burying A Shipping Container


If you have ever thought of burying a shipping container there are certain precautions you must take. If done improperly the results can be less than desireable including catastrophical failure.

In the video above faircompanies.com takes a tour of a home built out of two shippig containers that were fully buried. The Rees family incorporated proper drainage and a concrete slab to help disperse the soil weight to the correct load points of the containers.

After a few years of camping on their 10 acre plot in Northern California, they bought two shipping containers, hired an excavator and got to work. Doing most of the work themselves, their finished home cost them $30,000 (solar included). Their 640-square-foot space cost them less than $50 per square foot.

Rees explains that while this is less than conventional construction costs, the savings only begin with construction. With a solar-powered well, a bit of propane and solar tubes for most of their light, they haven’t had any city water or electric bills since 2002. Winter temperatures in their home (even during 20 degrees outside) never fall below 62 degrees (an RV catalytic heater is sufficient for heating). Even when the temperature rises to 110 outside in the summer, their home has never risen above 82 degrees.

Steve Rees has written a book about his method that is available on Amazon.

Off Grid and Underground: A Simpler Way to Live

This book is a unique look into one of the most unusual building techniques – underground installation of shipping containers – finished out into a very modern, energy efficient home that has proven to be a delight to live in. Detailed how-to instructions from start to finish give the reader a real handle on how they could build this home for themselves successfully and enjoy the wonderful benefits of living underground and off the grid. A real must for those who are considering cutting the city ties and venturing out into the country to establish a successful homestead


  1. I was thinking 2 or 3. then I would build the A frame on piers around them so theres no real weight on the tops. One could be a workshop a garage and storage put them into a hill so they function like a walkout basement

  2. Sorry to just jump in, but if anyone is in need of shipping containers for storage, to build a tiny home, etc please contact me for a quote. I have 20′ and 40′ in good condition, delivered right to you.

    Feel free to call or text me or just leave a message here if you have any questions. If you’d like a quote I’ll need the size, qty, and zip code.