Shipping containers are usually used to move things, but one couple in Williamsburg has moved into a home made solely out of shipping containers. NY1's Real Estate reporter 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 is living in one. Michele Bertomen and David Boyle live in the city's only home made out of shipping containers, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
"It's six shipping containers stacked up. 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 outdoor roof decks and two balconies on the front," Boyle says.
The couple originally tried to build a typical brick home, but it was just too expensive.
"This is where we cut out one wall of of one of the shipping containers and this is where we took another wall out, so you can walk from one side to the other," says Boyle.
After seeing Bertomen's students at 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… created a model and they went shopping for the right containers.
"You get them in New Jersey, they are like $1,500, $3,000 apiece, and you have to get riggers to come put them into place. This whole structure went up in three-and-a-half hours," Bertomen says.
Now getting this place built was no easy task. First there were financing and appraisal issues and then they had to deal with the various city agencies to get permits. Then there were audits. It all took a lot longer than expected, but they finally got it done and with the help of the community.
"We made a conscious decision to hire locally, so we asked everyone what they did. Someone was a welder someone wanted to learn how to do framing, a super knew how to do drywall and said I'll put together a team. Someone knew how to paint," says Boyle.
One thing's for sure -- this home is 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 though their home is made of shipping containers, this couple is not shipping out anytime soon.