Shipping containers can ease the housing crunch says Kailua homeowner

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Can shipping containers help with Hawaii’s housing shortage? It might not be as crazy as it sounds.

It’s a solution we first showed you a few months ago.

Some families see the shipping containers as a more affordable way expand their homes. We caught up with one homeowner who says it makes a lot of sense.

KHON2 first showed you the Kailua home in April as a bit of an oddity. The second floor addition is actually two shipping containers welded together, sitting on cement columns. Homeowner Chris Ramirez says it drew a lot of stares from the neighbors, including his own family.

“Initially they thought I was crazy. My dad was the same, he didn’t see the end product, he just saw the containers,” said Ramirez.

No one’s calling him crazy now as it looks just like a normal additional unit. Inside is a 320-square foot studio with a kitchen, bathroom, and a queen sized Murphy bed.

When space is limited, you need furniture that can fold and expand and do multiple functions.

“This converts into a desk if you want to. And there’s actually a chair,” said Ramirez.

But his favorite part is the covered lanai. He says having it raised saves his front yard and keeps things cooler.

“I didn’t want to lose that space so we decided to do it. Plus I thought you’d be able to capture a lot of the trade winds,” he said.

The base price for the shipping container home is $69,000, considerably cheaper than the conventional addition to a home. Ramirez sees it as good way to help with the lack of housing.

“Yeah it brings our kamaaina back home, it gives them a chance with the housing shortage,” he said.

And now that it’s built, his dad has changed his tune.

“He said hey, maybe we should stay in here, be a little bit closer to grandson. I was like oh, okay,” said Ramirez.

There are at least two companies in Hawaii that provide shipping containers and build them as an addition or a stand alone unit. This one was done by Extra Tiny Homes.

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