Shipping containers are usually used to move things, but a Brooklyn couple has moved into a home made solely out of shipping containers. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.
With such limited space, sometimes, New Yorkers have to find unconventional ways to live. One Brooklyn couple's way of thinking outside the box? Living in one.
"It's six shipping containers stacked up," says David Boyle, who lives with Michele Bertomen in New York City's only home made out of shipping containers. "It's got a garage. The ground floor is an apartment. We have a basement. We've got a little backyard, a little front yard, two big roof decks and two balconies on the front.
The couple originally tried to build a typical brick home, but it was too expensive. So after seeing Bertomen's students at the New York Institute of Technology build one as a project, they knew it was something that could work for them.
Bertomen is an architect, so she drew up some plans and created a model. Then, they went shopping for the right containers.
"You get them in New Jersey," Bertomen says. "They are like $1,500 to $3,000 apiece, and you have to hire riggers to come put them into place. This whole structure went up in 3 1/2 hours.
Getting the place built was no easy task. First, there were financing and appraisal issues. Then they had to deal with the various city agencies to get permits. Then there were audits. It took a lot longer than expected, but they finally got it done, and they did so with the help of the community.
"We made a conscious decision to hire locally, so we asked everyone what they did," Boyle said. "Somebody was a welder. Somebody wanted to learn how to do framing. A super knew how to do drywall, and said, 'I'll put together a team.'"
The home is definitely sturdy. Boyle says they had no worries during Hurricane Sandy, and have even been told by an expert that it could be earthquake-proof.
Now that it's finally done, the two love what they have created. So if you are wondering if they would ever sell, not a chance.
"I can't imagine selling it," Boyle says. "We are not interested. We want to grow old in New York City."
So even thought their home is made of shipping containers, this couple is not shipping out anytime soon.