Deck and Landscaping

Cabin with deck

My shipping container cabin is starting to look less like a bunch of containers and more like a real cabin – at least when the doors are open.  The biggest single change has been the addition of a deck at the end of September.  This one thing has made working on and staying in my cabin so much easier that I wish I would have done it sooner.  It also allowed me to finally install the two large gliding windows on the right.

I had started on the chimney a few weeks back, but the entire insulation fiasco delayed it until last weekend.  It’s now in place with the wood stove hooked up and seems to be working well.  I’ll go into a bit more detail on the wood stove and chimney in a later post.

Cabin with deck - closed

With the deck finally in place we were able to tidy up the landscaping a bit.  I had one of my sons and his friend up to lay some new fabric, build a field stone border, and add some more gravel.  Over time I’ll probably add more and bigger rocks to the border since I have literally thousands of field stones in several rock piles around the farm field.  I just need some young strong backs to do it for me.

11 thoughts on “Deck and Landscaping

  1. John Kislewski

    Hey Steve,

    This is very cool! The deck, windows, and front door look great. I can’t wait for the virtual tour of the inside when it’s complete with IKEA furniture and accessories! I’m sure you’ve ticked off a lot of the locals, who won’t have access to a sweet pad! Oh well, you can’t win them all.

    1. Steve Post author

      Thanks John, I wish I could have brought you up there when you were in the states – maybe next time. Yea, I think the days of kicking in the door and partying in my cabin are over for some people.

      I’ll give some thought to the virtual tour thing. Maybe a video of the place when it’s all done.


  2. Ken Perkins


    Awesome, awesome job on the steel container cabin. I just found your blog and have read it from begining to end. Your in depth commentary and detailed pictures were very informative since I am trying to desing a house using 6-8 containers. My wife thinks I’m crazy! I tried google sketch-up with little success. Not much time to devote and I’m not very savy on computers.

    Did you consider a polished and stained poured concrete floor? Maybe not homey enough for a cabin, huh? Did you polyurethane the floor before deciding to put down plywood floors or some other reason? A man of your hieght could’ve definitely benefitted from using High Cube containers. Anyway great job, look forward to seeing more of the project.


    1. Ken Perkins

      Found my answer about the floor while showing my wife your blog. Don’t know how I missed it the first time.

    2. Steve Post author


      Glad you like it. I’m pretty lucky in that my wife has been OK with the idea of a shipping container cabin. Now if I tried to make our primary residence out of them, she would definitely think I was crazy.

      I have seen another container cabin with concrete floors, but it just doesn’t do it for me. It would also be a lot of thermal mass to try and heat up when I arrive at a cold cabin for a weekend in January. I also like the look of wood floors, although I will just be simulating it with laminate – it is just a cabin after all.


  3. Tristan

    This is very cool.. Thanks for the blog.. Please let us know how the interior turns out.. One idea which I think might work would have been to weld the door together and then use some sort of hydraulic lift to lift them up and down (horizontally) so that when you open up the cabin, the doors lie flat and form the deck flooring while also opening up the whole front of the cabin to the outside.. I like what you did, but I find the doors open as they are restrict the views.. Keep up the good work and enjoy!!

    1. Steve Post author


      I agree that the doors do restrict the view somewhat, but it was a compromise I was willing to live with in exchange for the security. It’s really not that bad though, and it does help keep the hot sun out during the summer.

      Your idea for the doors is a good one, but I prefer the simplicity of the existing manual doors. I would be wary of trusting some powered hydraulic device to give me access to my cabin. There’s a turnkey shipping container cabin called the Ecopod,, that has the entire side of the cabin fold out to provide a deck and reveal a wall of sliding glass doors. It’s very nice, but definitely beyond my construction abilities.


  4. Chris

    Love you cabin… just found your site and am reading it right now… I built my own off-grid cabin (you can check my site for the build details)… I have to go back and look at all your old posts but this rocks… I will be working on a guest cabin in the next couple of years and maybe something like this would work out.. keep up the good work…

    1. Steve Post author

      Hi Chris:

      I checked out your site, and that’s a great place you’ve got. I especially like the pole barn and wood shed. I haven’t been able to stockpile wood yet since I don’t have a secure place to keep it. I’m hoping to get two more containers this coming summer which will be my wood/tool shed and a bunkhouse.


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