A Complete House, Delivered
Living on the East End of Long Island with steadily rising property values is a challenge for many -both long time residents and young individuals and families. Many find it increasingly hard to own a home in a areas in which they grew up in or came to love as adolescents. Hence they are forced to move away to other towns with lower property values, leading to a demographic homogenization of the population.
Five years ago, to help reverse this trend, we embarked on an exploration of very affordable single-family residences and workspaces. In 2009, we built our first prototype for a double-height artist's studio made of two recycled shipping containers perched on a concrete foundation. The project, at a cost of under $90,000, and located in Amagansett, New York, was seen by many as an alternative to high-priced real estate. We received many inquiries from a wide swath of the public and became aware of the real need for very affordable housing in the 'Hamptons'.
Our first goal was to provide a solution for those with little disposable income. Secondly we wanted to arrive at the least expensive housing solution that we could provide, using prefab technology, while creating a pleasing spatial environment.
Working backwards, we set for ourselves a target price of $99,000. With careful design considerations, and minimal but critical design modifications, and by working pro-bono (not our partners), we have been able to achieve this target price. Our third round of estimates from two different fabricators have confirmed that our target price and the options below are realistic.
The base unit that we call the Container Studio is made of two 40' containers on top of another two. The four unit assembly has a double height workspace, is fully finished and habitable and is roughly 900 sf.
An additional bedroom, walk-in closet, full bathroom and kitchen adds $30,000, and a second bedroom and bathroom $20,000 to the base cost.
We further searched for compelling and cost effective options:
-cold climate package $8,000
-marine grade paint $8,000
The critical inclusion of a double-height workspace or living room creates a light-filled, voluminous space (14' wide by 19' deep by 18' tall) and transforms the containers into a spacious and workable room. Further, the interior has been designed to accommodate the functionalities of various inhabitants, from a single person, to a small family, from start-up home-owners to those who may need a weekend cottage. Finally at the cost of $149,000, the two bedroom/two bathroom, 900 sf, insta_house brings home-ownership truly within reach for many.
The cost of delivery, site-preparation and installation can range from $25,000 to $45,000 depending on location and site accessibility.