Shipping container installed above Kailua home

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A Kailua home is turning a lot of heads lately. A shipping container has been installed above it. It turns out, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

With the lack of space and housing here in Hawaii, it’s good to think out of the box for solutions. And sometimes that means living in a box. 

Drivers along Mokapu Boulevard can’t resist staring up at the structure, two shipping containers welded together on top of the garage. Homeowner Chris Ramirez has been getting a lot of visitors because of it.

“I’ve had multiple people stop over and neighbors called and was wondering what that was,” said Ramirez.

The containers are built above concrete pillars and will eventually become a studio apartment, with plumbing and electricity.

There’s 320 square feet of living space, with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom with a pull out Murphy bed, and there will even be a lanai.

“My son says it looks like Wall E the robot cause it’s so boxy, and I look at it and I was like oh no please don’t let that be the end product,” said Ramirez.

The end product might surprise you. A company called Extra Tiny Homes just started selling and installing them and this is their showroom. A company spokesman tells me this is the first time they’ve ever had to put one on top of the house. 

But he says shipping containers make sense because you can add on to your house at about half the cost, and it’s much faster, because it’s pre-built.

“Once the foundation is put in, we fly them in, put them together and within four to six weeks the construction is done and you can move in right away,” said Gunther Gonzales of  Extra Tiny Homes.

It’s insulated to keep it from getting too hot, although air-conditioning is a good idea. Because the containers are made of steel, they will last and you don’t have to worry about termites. Siding is also put on the outside so when it’s done, it won’t look like a shipping container.

“I wish actually that the rest of my house was built that way (laughs),” said Ramirez.

Stairs will be built to get up to the unit. Ramirez has family moving back from the mainland. so the new addition to the home will be ready for them to move in.

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