Geelong Tradesmen Lead the Way in Shipping Container Home Innovation

In Geelong, an innovative trend in housing is offering a cost-effective alternative to traditional homes. Two local tradesmen, a plumber and a carpenter, have joined forces to craft self-sufficient living spaces using shipping containers.

These compact homes are proving to be a hit, as they offer a budget-friendly solution to the escalating prices of conventional housing.

The state of Victoria has eased planning rules, eliminating the need for permits for granny flats up to 60 square meters in many residential yards. This regulatory change has sparked interest in these alternative dwellings, boosting the business for the duo behind Geelong Tiny Homes (GTH) Living.

A converted shipping container home with sliding doors opening onto a wooden deck, under a blue sky. (Photo: Alan Barber)

Specifications and Features:

  • Timeframe: Conversion of containers to homes can take as quick as one month.

  • Cost: Approximately starting at $70,000, with deluxe versions nearing $100,000.

  • Structure: Choice of one or two-bedroom layouts, complete with living spaces and combined bathroom/laundry.

  • Sustainability: Options include eco-friendly composting toilets or connection to existing utility services.

  • Customization: Adaptability for various uses, from family living to creative studios or wellness spaces.
Plumber Ron Hartshorne and carpenter Jesse O’Connor have joined forces to create granny flats/small apartments from shipping containers. (Photo: Alan Barber)

Residential Adaptability:

Residents are increasingly attracted to these compact residences for diverse reasons. They serve as an excellent option for those with adult children unable to afford their own homes, as well as for senior family members.

Unique customization options have also led to uses such as personal art galleries and even health retreats with built-in saunas.

The bathroom features floor-to-ceiling tiles. (Photo: Alan Barber)

Regulatory Environment:

While the Victorian Government’s streamlined regulations under its Housing Statement have facilitated easier installation, these dwellings still undergo building inspections to comply with safety and site-specific criteria.

A cozy one-bedroom interior with a green bedspread, pink pillows, a bedside table, and a pendant light, with a view of greenery through the window. (Photo: Alan Barber)

Planning permissions may still apply in certain regions due to environmental considerations, like bushfire risk or flood proneness.

The rise in popularity of these shipping container homes underscores the larger trend towards affordable and versatile housing solutions. They offer a blend of sustainability, convenience, and tailored design that can satisfy a variety of living requirements.