Today we went house shopping–at the shipping yard. When we decided to build with recycled shipping containers, the price range we were looking at was between $2,000-$3,000 per container plus about $600 for shipping. With the trend of this building style growing in Costa Rica we soon came to find that containers were more like $4,100-6,000–not including shipping. Needless to say, a bit of a damper on our plans. But the New Yorker, go-getters that we are, Justin and I decided to take it upon ourselves to scout some more options. Even though we don’t speak Spanish (yet!), the day after we arrived in San Jose, we drove around to different shipping yards and did our best to inquire about containers for sale. At the first yard we went to we were turned away at the office. As we began to walk back to our car, one of the truck drivers ran after us and clearly had a connection for containers. We were thrilled. Although the language barrier left us guessing, we departed with his phone number and some reignited hope. We had a Spanish speaking friend call him the next day and to our delight, his friend sells shipping containers.
Some stats on shipping containers. For the most part they come in two sizes, 20ft and 40ft long. Both sizes are just about 8ft wide and 8.5 feet tall. You can occasionally find what they call “high cube” 40ft containers which add about a foot to your height at 9.5ft tall. Turns out this guy had 40ft high cubes for $3600 if we paid in cash. It was by far the best deal we had heard of so we went for it. Here’s a pic of me at the shipping yard scouting out the scaffolding of the first phase of our new home. We decided to just start with one container for now. I’ll post the sketches of our plans soon. Things are starting to take shape!