While preparing a series on the pros and cons of building shipping container homes, this cheerful video from May 2013 caught my attention.
Michele Bertomen and David Boyle owned an empty lot in Brooklyn, NY, and found themselves unable to afford a regular home. When they priced the masonry envelope (the building structure without utilities or anything else), bids came back at around $300,000.
They decided to rethink their plans. The purchase price and installation cost of shipping containers, they realized, would only come to $50,000. They had found their solution.
Bertomen (an architect) and Boyle (a general contractor) turned a difficult situation into a resounding success. As Michele Bertoman says in the video:
There are a lot of people who walk by on the street and say: Great building!
David Boyle continues:
Or they’ll just stand outside kind of mesmerized, until you say – you know, I gotta go talk to this person. They’re just staring…and then they (say): I think I can do this! …That’s the nice thing. A lot of people say: I look at your house, and I want to do it.
You see something and think, Hey, I could do that. That’s how it begins.