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Affordable, doable: How to build a container house in the Philippines |

Modern Living

Affordable, doable: How to build a container house in the Philippines

Jade Yamanaka Gime -
Affordable, doable: How to build a container house in the Philippines
Kim Manzo's DIY container house before (inset) and after
Kim Manzo via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Shipping container homes are increasingly becoming popular as potential homeowners look for alternatives to the usual high-priced standard houses.

Kim Manzo, a single mom who only dreamt of living in a container house, has finally achieved her vision. From her interview with Real Living Philippines, we created a list of how she built her dream home.

If living in a traditional multi-bedroom house is not within your reach, you might want to check the process of building a container house. 

Here’s how Manzo achieved hers: 



A post shared by Kim Manzo (@araxinerak)



When you decide to build a house, you have to know what you are getting yourself into. Building a house is a life-long commitment, thus the need to have a deeper understanding of the venture you are about to take. Enjoy the process of exploring your options.

Apart from getting ideas and inspiration on the Internet, it is also important to weigh the pros and cons of having a container house. This includes checking online shopping sites and marketplaces to know if your budget is enough to put up an affordable yet durable home.

“You need to do your research! Make sure you have the right amount of information, especially the pros and cons of using shipping container houses. It's doable, but you have to know what you're getting yourself into. See how it's different from a traditional house, too,” Manzo advised.

Hire the right people 

Hiring professionals may be regarded as an additional cost, but doing so will actually make home construction a lot easier. 

Although her dream house is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself), Manzo still hired an architect to have her home designed the way she liked it. Likewise, she got a skilled mason and an electrician.

Save and construct 

“That's just how my process goes: Save and construct. And once I resume the construction, I make it a point to hire different sets of workers every time,” she said. 

While the Taal Volcano eruption and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic had led her to completely stop the construction for two months due to the lockdown, it also gave her more time to save and plan the budget. 

Be open to adjustments 

Manzo shared that the budget for her dream house ranged from P1.2 to 1.5 million. 

“I really tried to stay within my budget. Unfortunately, I had to downgrade some areas during construction but honestly, as long the home is functional and durable, I'm satisfied,” she said. 

To diminish the costs, some of the projects were also made by her. 

“I DIY-ed all interior paintings of the walls up to the ceiling. I also painted the toilet and bath area, and DIY-ed my bedroom to make it pretty and comfy. I was the one who painted my son’s room too, to make it the way he wanted,” she added. 

Anyway, you can always upgrade when the budget finally permits. 

Manzo also shared her container house at the Facebook group “Home Buddies,'' where the post has now garnered almost 10,000 reactions. Now that she’s achieved her dream house, she also helps other people who are interested by answering queries in the comments section. 

RELATED: How to get rid of pests: DIY home remedies for pest control

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