A standard shipping container is eight feet wide, by eight-and-a-half feet tall, by 20 feet long. They also come in 40 foot lengths, and taller versions, known as “high-cubes” that rest at nine-and-a-half feet in height.

Let’s live in it!

What is this, Jakarta? No, let’s not live in shipping containers. Unless you’re an obscure character from a lost Roald Dahl manuscript… “A bearded bole weevil who wears suspendered canvas coveralls, who makes his living in the ironworks, and lives in a personally retrofitted Kelly green shipping container long abandoned by old radish divers in the inland foothills.” That guy can live in a container. No sweat.

The rest of us, let’s continue living in properly constructed houses, framed and sided. Let’s continue to hire seasoned, trustworthy builders, whose project plans don’t involve cranes balancing enormous metal boxes atop one another. Let’s see, do we want to simply frame-out and case the new windows in the house? Or should we pull out the blowtorch and UV helmet to carve out our window holes?

There is something sort of whimsical about the more masterfully constructed models of these modular dwellings. Certainly there’s a strong degree of ingenuity involved in crafting these hulking industrial metal boxes into actual living space, with windows and power and maybe even a floor.

The web is littered with building plans to retool a standard shipping container into a home. While the some of the poorest on the planet have found a roof over their heads in the form of a container’s flat top, savvy westerners are gentrifying the derelict dwelling.

Popular Mechanics has outlined shipping container homes around the world that have assumed “home sweet home” in all shapes and sizes. Artists and architects get off on this kind of stuff: the amalgamation of the unforgiving, indestructible metal box with the cozy nuances of the homey home. Some of the ritzier dwellings are peaking at costs comparable to a traditional stick-framed home.