San Diego couple using shipping containers to live for less

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 22:05:27-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - As housing prices continue to skyrocket, San Diegans are finding ways to live here for less money. Mike and Shawn McConkey found their solution in shipping containers. 

"It seems far-fetched to some people, maybe even primitive. But when you go inside and you see what the inside of a container home can look like, it's not at all primitive, it's very custom," said Mike.

They used three shipping containers for the foundation of their home. Excluding the cost of the property, the 700-square-foot home totaled $160,000. To stay in budget, they shopped at IKEA as well as using reclaimed materials. Due to the location of the home, the McConkey's used flame resistant materials. 

Mike believes it's the first fully permitted shipping container dwelling in the county. 

On the outside, sections of the original shipping materials were kept exposed, a decision Mike says was intentional. 

"The scrapes and bumps and bruises, it just shows the history."

They recruited an architect to help design the home. It's a hybrid of containers and stick frame structure, with ceilings up to 13 feet between the containers. 

While the permitting process took a bit longer than the average home, the county cooperated with their vision. 

"Then we had every building official out here from the county at one point or another, because they just wanted to see the container house." said Mike.

Because container homes are a relatively new concept, the McConkey's advise having your financing and insurance secured early if you want to build one. 

Follow the McConkey's container home journey on Instagram @thecontainerhomeproject.

If you'd like to learn more about the McConkey's container home, email Mike at