Drawing closer! An update – 3D drawings

Building a house is not for sissies. Building a house made from shipping containers is…cool, but can be cumbersome!

Sometimes things do not happen as fast as you would want them to. Although it looks like nothing is happening, we are doing a lot of ground work behind the scenes.

Just to give you an overview of what we want to achieve, here are the objectives:

  • On “Freedom Land” we are in the process of developing “House Madeline”, SA’s First Off-Grid Luxury House using recycled shipping containers and other material. We believe we have found a solution for the housing crisis in SA.
  • We have completed phase 1 and currently have 2 containers on the land. When completed, the home will consist of 6 containers. Our aim for it is to serve as a show / concept house which will lead to a viable building alternative. The house will be opened to the public about twice a week. Its cost is at least half of a conventional brick and mortar structure.

We have secured quite a few sponsors thus far, and we daily invite green initiatives and companies to come on board as partners. We see our project as a great opportunity for companies to demonstrate and visually illustrate the mechanics and features of their products.

We are very excited to finally show you the plans and drawings of the proposed home…whoop!

The 3D view.
The 3D view.

Please don’t mind the ugly green facade. Take in mind that we must still add the wood cladding on the exterior walls.

Side elevations
Side elevations

Ground floor

Ground floor

First Floor
First floor

Here are the generous sponsors who came on board until now: (not in order of importance)

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download (1)

download (1)


It feels good to know that there are companies and individuals that share in our vision. THANK YOU!

Exciting stuff! Now we are trying to secure funding to complete the project. If we have the funds and all material on site, we can complete this build in about 6 weeks or less! One of the perks of using this system!

If you would like to get involved, kindly contact us:


Watch this space for updates!


Proposed container home floor plan


Ashley drew up this plan in January this year. So far we are right on track with following through. The only change is that the girls are sleeping in the bathrooms! Eeek! We haven’t done the bathrooms yet, so we use that space as their bedroom.

The plan illustrates how the home will consist of 4 shipping containers on the bottom floor. We have plans to build another floor…but that is only later.

I have highlighted in green the section that is completed.

Living in a container house: Photo essay

Lilly Loompa

It has been 3 months since we moved into our dream home. Ironically it looks far from dreamy right now…but I can tell you for certain…I have never felt prouder. Our dream to build an off-grid, bond-free home, requires patience and sacrifice. Admittedly it is really tough some days without the usual luxuries, but other days you are reminded of the vision and you carry on happily!

I thought I would keep you in the loop with a photo essay:

Empty lot

Window gaps cut out Window gaps cut out

Bedroom walls are up using the cut-out steel from the main walls Bedroom walls are up using the cut-out steel from the main walls

Before moving in Before moving in

Front facade with polystyrene panels on roof Front facade with polystyrene panels on roof

Bathroom windows Side view bathroom windows

DSC08919 Polystyrene panels being mounted

DSC08933 Side view panels up

DSC08932 Front view

DSC08951 Kitchen view

DSC08956 Study

DSC08957 Little hallway


DSC08959 Dining area – open plan

DSC08962 Sitting area

DSC08963 TV + lounging area

That’s it for now!  I am hoping to give you another…

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Living in a shipping container house – Moving week

Lilly Loompa

After about 10 days of being on site, our shipping container home was ready to move into. Now when I say ready to move into…I mean liveable, but not near done and complete as we want it to be.

We have big plans to overhaul this building to something spectacular. And with that said, our vision is to do this without a bond (or mortgage). We are going cash all the way. Now to create a warm and cosy home, you will have to provide essential components and rooms within the building. For now, we only have 2 bedrooms (one for us, the other for our daughters, and one big open living space which doubles up as dining room and kitchen. No bathroom inside yet! Eeeek!!!!

Outside bathroom Outside bathroom

We use the outside bathroom (with shower) of the adjacent main house which our neighbour occupies. At least it has warm water!…

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Building a shipping container home: Week 3

Lilly Loompa

Although the last few weeks have been extremely busy, it has certainly been the most exciting time of our lives. My husband and I have build numerous homes for clients in the past, and finally we have the opportunity to build our own. A debt-free, off-the-grid house that will be home to ourselves and our children. Now although we have some experience with this kind of build, we still have a lot to learn. Our motto has become: “Trial and error…we learn as we go along.”

The build of a shipping container home should be fairly quick as it is a building block in itself. As a rule, we do not work on holidays and weekends, thus yesterday was our 10th actual day of working on the structure.

In this time we managed to get the house livable. We now have all of the following:

  • Running water (pulling from main…

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Week 2

After 5 years of dreaming and conceptualizing, it almost seemed unreal when the containers were delivered last week.

We share the land with another couple who lived on the adjacent land, exactly the size of our plot. During last week, we continued completing the pre-cast wall, to create a boundary between us and the neighbour. We had to remove a tree and some branches in preparation for the trucks to deliver.

Container hit a tree

The delivery company was scheduled to deliver on Wednesday and when they arrived they realised the truck won’t be able to turn on the land as it had a super-link fitted. The next day we had more problems with the tree in the driveway and to cut a long story short, on Thursday late afternoon, after 2 days of logistical challenges, it was finally in position and level. The work continued during the days that followed with cutting out window openings and making the frames.

My beautiful aluminium window frames was delivered and will be installed today. As a designer I hate the idea of burglar bars on the windows, but due to our unfortunately high crime rate in SA we will have to. So we just opted for a plain design with horizontal bars.

Bathroom windows


The structure is positioned at a noticeable angle to maximise the northern sun.

Cutting out the inside panel

We intend completing the building in 3 phases. Phase one consists of two 40’ containers. This will house me and my family comfortably. The home will have 2 bedrooms, 1 and a half bathrooms and an open-plan living area and kitchen. It will be 60 sqm in total. As the project progresses and funds become available, we will add another 2 containers which will double the living space to 120 sqm. For the next few weeks we will use the bathroom facilities on site, while we research off-grid water and toilet solutions. It is not ideal, but its ok as a temporary solution.

If all goes according to plan, we will move in 9 days. Yeah!