Container homes are legal and can be small, but perfectly designed
TINY HOMES are an alternative for building in Cape Town, and John Venter, director of Umnyama Ikhaya, which offers space-saving, eco-living, micro, off-the-grid container homes, says the company has had more than 3 800 inquiries this year.
Its first homes have already been delivered to Angola and KwaZuluNatal; the next batch is going to the Garden Route and Western Cape.
“( People) love the fact these homes are transportable and completely off the grid. They also simply love the inventory, finishes and high-end appliances. Some people need to get used to the idea of a waterless toilet, but it really works.”
The average cost of a 30m² pod home, inclusive of delivery, crane service, full inventory and off-thegrid systems and appliances, is about R350 000.
They can, however, be scaled to any size by connecting or stacking them to create multi-level homes or apartment blocks, Venter says.
Others in the industry agree, but the idea does take time to be accepted.
Cape Town and the rest of South Africa were hesitant about container homes, says Alicia Kalil, managing partner at Sustain Ability Products, formerly Berman-Kalil Housing products.
“I think the misconception is that it is what is says – a shipping container made of corrugated iron and looking like the site offices on many building sites. However, three years on people are becoming more accepting of these homes because of how they are finished, their cost and the timeframe for delivery.”
Kalil says they have two homes in Bot River, one in Fisherhaven, and another in Pringle Bay.
“I think most people love the innovation and once they’ve seen them in person, it’s the affordability, timeline and how the unit actually looks that they love.
“What did take a while to get used to was the idea of a ‘shipping container’ as most people see them beside the road or on the back of a truck, and they would never think you could do what you can do with them.”
She says prices for turnkey one- container units range from R110 000 up to R230 000, keeping in mind one can use 6m or 12m containers.
A modular off-grid, eco-friendly, tiny home from Umnyama Ikhaya.