The Porter came about as a result of a customer who reached out to us looking to build a customized container home to add to his rental property portfolio in Central Texas. Now listed on Airbnb as The Desert Rose, this build features luxurious upgrades designed to open up the space such as a wood and glass garage door that opens up in the living area. We took the best practical features of our other models to create a feature and comfort rich 40 ft container home designed to catch the eye. In this blog we will break down the process from design to build and into delivery and setup. This will give you valuable insight into what goes into designing, building, and delivering one of our container homes.
Since this build was going to be a rental unit from the outset we had some great upgrade options in mind. The customer was highly instrumental in creating the design he was looking for and our team had a wonderful time bringing their dreams to life.
Approaching The Porter with the mindset of simplistic elegance allowed us to tactfully fill the space with luxurious creature comforts while keeping the livability of the unit intact. Since the space in a shipping container home is limited, we took the simple, minimalist approach to make the most out of the space. Placing the bathroom on the opposite end of the unit creates a natural feel and flow whether the guests are coming out as a couple or a family. If you are interested in more creative “hacks” to maximize space, check out our blog on optimizing the interior of your shipping container.
Custom Garage Door
Custom options on shipping containers can catch the eye and expand the space. The Porter features a fully custom wood and glass garage door. This addition further creates that elegant feel while allowing the space to open up when the garage door is open. Picture you or your guests sitting out on a cool evening, watching a late season football game in this luxurious container home with a nice breeze flowing through the unit. We rounded out the custom garage door with weather stripping and custom drainage to keep water from collecting.
Our rooftop deck upgrade is one of our most requested upgrade options, but The Porter takes the rooftop lifestyle to a whole new level. With breathtaking views of the Texas hill country gracing the land, it made sense to offer a feature filled rooftop deck on top of the comfortable living space below. We routed water up to the roof to fill the cowboy hot tub and installed a hammock on one end of the container. When we say luxury, we mean it!
Outdoor Spiral Staircase
A wonderful rooftop deck would be nothing without easy access. As mentioned before, the space in a container is limited, so we got creative with the implementation of the unit’s stairs. Our standard builds feature a single stairway that leads up to the rooftop, but nothing about The Porter is standard. We wanted to “think outside the box” a bit and came up with a spiral staircase for rooftop access. This upgrade feature continues the luxurious feel from the lower living portion to the rooftop deck. Pair the unique experience with a couple of glasses of wine on the Adirondack chairs while taking in the incredible views and you may just have some repeat guests sooner than anticipated.
As soon as we enter the luxury and custom space, complications are added to the build process. This is why our custom and luxury builds take longer than our standard shipping container home builds. While we continue to learn and grow into our processes, there are always hiccups with a highly customized model.
The garage door, as awesome as it is, created all kinds of headaches for us to overcome. First we had to source the proper size and that was a process in and of itself. While we could have quickly ordered and installed a standard metal garage door there is nothing luxurious about this type of addition. We knew we had to take it to a new level for The Porter. We were collectively dead set to have a custom wood and glass garage door to allow light in and look quite good while doing it. In the end, this came together better than expected.
Building the spiral staircase did not pose a wealth of complications, but shipping it did. Parts that stick off the back of the container such as the hammock and staircase can cause problems for shipping. So we not only had to design and add the staircase to the unit, we had to make sure it would ship properly. No one wants to do onsite work upon delivery, especially when it is unexpected.
Building out the shower with tile is another popular upgrade our customers choose and this one was a no brainer. Shower tile can immediately upgrade the look and feel of the bathroom. We chose colors to not only match the rest of the container, but the entire experience as a whole. Your guests will be dreaming of those Texas sunsets while cleaning up.
Custom cabinetry can, just like in a standard home, push the kitchen to another level. Sticking with the “let’s do it” mentality, we went with a fully custom cabinet installation for The Porter. The flow of the unit allowed us to put cabinets on either side of the kitchen and custom floating shelves keep the idea of expanding the space alive in the kitchen. Standard overhead cabinets can make limited space feel cramped.
Cowboy Hot Tub
We did not know how this one was going to turn out at first, but once everything was set up this add-on came together really well. The customer had a vision of relaxing in a warm outdoor bath, but the weight of water can make it hard to install these types of additions on the roof (we love our hot tubs, they just have to go on the ground). On top of this, we had to figure out how to get water up to the roof. The plumbing did not pose much of a problem in the end and the guests can enjoy a rooftop, outdoor bath. Come on, what more could you ask for?!
But no, we did not stop there! The final piece of a truly luxurious experience is in the finer details. These upgrades made their way into The Porter in the form of fixture upgrades. From the cabinetry hardware to the ceiling fans we used, you will be hard pressed to find a more feature filled shipping container home.
Loading, Delivery, and Setup
Once the container is complete and has worked through our QC process, it is ready to ship. We were as excited as we have ever been to deliver a container. You will find the step by step process from loading to delivery below.
Loading and Securing
As mentioned above, a few upgrades posed some risk for shipping we had to address. We had to collapse the hammock and secure it to the end of the container. Since the spiral staircase was welded to the container we were able to avoid the onsite work and ship the unit with the spiral staircase still attached to the back. This creates less work, less cost, and quicker turnaround.
We loaded the unit onto the tilt trailer using the wench on the trailer itself. It may make a bunch of noise as it slides on and off, but containers were designed to be moved in this manner and we have perfected the pick up and drop off process. Once we had the container secured, it was time to head to the property!
Transporting the Unit
Similar to the way you would transport another payload via trailer, you have to be careful and conscious of your surroundings. Our drivers have to consider a checklist of elements like total width, height, maneuverability and more. We are fortunate to have an incredible team of delivery drivers who are certain to dot their i’s and cross their t’s. Once we arrive at the property is where the real fun begins.
The Drop Off
Excitement was in the air all around and we were glad to help the customer prepare his land properly so drop off could be as smooth as possible. There was some maneuvering around for the proper placement, but once things settled in they came together quite nicely. Land preparation is one of the most important parts of ensuring a hassle free hand off of your container home. Check out our blog on how to prepare your land to learn more. For The Porter, the customer elected to utilize a gravel pad. While there are pros and cons to nearly all types of foundations, the gravel pad lent itself to natural landscaping to make the unit fit in with the land.
Landscaping and Experiential Elements
The luxurious feel of this container home continued as the landscaping and other elements started taking shape. The customer used metal edging to create an expansive feel outside the container with the gravel pad. They then added items like a fire pit, native plants, and ground level seating to create a natural campfire feel just outside the unit. Think of this area as a natural porch. A pathway leading from the parking area to the unit itself brings the entire package together to make you feel like you are truly entering a Texas hill country oasis.
Learn More or Book This Unit
We are proud to feature this incredible Airbnb build. You can view the unit and book if you so choose by following this link. If you’d like to learn more about The Porter or one of our other builds you can schedule a meeting with us or call 833-265-3269. Browse all photos of The Porter below: