Update Coming Soon!

I know it seems like its been forever since our last post, but don’t you worry, work has not ceased…

Since our blog has been a little boring these last couple of months, and it will still be a few days before I get a full post up,  I will do a mini update. This one will be all about our DIY (well how bout.. design it yourself”) mailbox.

We purchased a plain white locking mailbox, one just like this:

We chose it: 1.) because we wanted a locking mailbox  2.) we wanted one with more of a “modern” look than a regular ol’ box and 3.) we chose a white one because I wanted to paint the outer casing a funky color to give our entrance some visual appeal.

Instead of painting it we decided to go ahead and wrap the outside with vinyl, so we took it to our local sign guys, at Sign It! and picked out a color for our mailbox wrap, and a font for our numbers. And here is how it turned out… (I think its pretty nifty)

We have been working on our entrance, possibly laying sod tomorrow, so hopefully there will be a blog update for our finished entrance as well! Keep checking back, I think the blog will be back in full swing soon with lots of updates and progress! Thanks for following!

Container Movement

As I mentioned in my last post, the first two containers are now officially on the slab! As quick and easy as that was to say, the task wasn’t quite as fast or as simple.

It was a multi step process that lasted from 7:30 in the a.m. till dark. With lots of help from family and friends our bottom story is coming together. A special thanks to those valuable helpers: Grandpa Charley, Fred Hill, Larry Yates, Keith Kelley, Steve Waller, Mark Mcguire, Wade Leslie, Sheilah Bright for capturing our moments on film, and of course our MVP Kent Bright, who makes this project possible.

The first step in the process was to rotate the containers on their side and spray foam the bottom. Yet again, a lot more difficult than it may sound. In order to place them on their side, we needed two crane trucks, thanks again to Fred Hill for getting those for us. The crane trucks were located at one end of the container and hooked onto the container so that it would rotate when lifted. Here are some pictures to show the process:







Once the containers were on their side, the next step was to spray foam the bottom, which adds more insulation between the containers and the slab. Tyler geared up and was ready to go. And, just our luck, the nozzle was broken, and the spray foam went everywhere, including on our brand new car, the camera and in mine, Tyler’s and Fred’s hair. It took a couple of showers before it all came out of my hair, and as Tyler said, it looked like I had large lice. The spray nozzle was replaced and all was good to go. Tyler sprayed a couple layers on the bottom making the spray foam an inch thick.

Here is Tyler geared up and ready to go:

The moment everything was foamed…


All finished:

The containers were then rotated back to normal position and placed on our modified container trailer. They then drove the containers to the build site, and maneuvered around the trees, until it was ready to be picked back up by the crane trucks. Getting the large equipment close to the slab proved to be tricky. With lots of trees and small passageways, they had to be creative to keep from damaging any trees. The crane trucks were placed opposite of each other on either side of the slab. In order to get the trucks close enough to the slab a hole had to be dug for one of the trucks to fit in, and on the other side a ramp was built.

The first container on its way to the slab:

The container was then lifted and adjusted above the predicted destination. The container had to placed on the slab within less than half an inch, since there were cut outs for some of the conduit and plumbing that were on the slab. The first container went fairly smoothly, the second… not so much. Some conduit was broken off, which isnt too big of a problem, and it took quite a bit longer and needed additional cutting before it could be placed completely on the slab.

Preparing to lift the container and move the trailer underneath it:


Place Container Here:


Tyler helping guide the container to its mark:


Grandpa Charley manning the other side:


Here is a picture to show just how precise the container had to be placed.. not even an inch from the plumbing and downdraft vent:


Multipy all these steps by two, and you have one full and trying day. All the hard work paid off though when both the bottom containers were set on the slab.  Here they are:


A lot has happened since our last post, including: finishing the walls and cutouts in our second container, and the most exciting news, the first two containers are now on the slab! This post though is going to be a quick update about all the work that went into our second container.

This second container proved to be a little more time consuming, mainly due to the fact that it was in worse shape. In addition to cutting out the openings, power washing and building the walls, that our previous container endured, which you can see here, this container also required heating and beating out dents in the walls, removing stains from the floor, and sanding down the floor since it was in such bad shape.

The first step to finishing this container was to heat up badly dented parts of the wall, with a torch, and beating them out with a sledge hammer. This process was very loud and apparently dangerous. Multiple fires broke out, and there were some casualities. Two hoodies actually, and the front of Tyler’s pants (that picture is a little inappropriate for some viewers, so it will not be shown).

Here are Ben and Tyler’s hoodies after about 2 seconds:

The next step was marking out the openings and then cutting them out with a plasma cutter. Here are some pictures of all the openings.

The opening on the left is our office doorway, and the opening on the right is the pass through from our entryway into our main living area, which includes our dining room, kitchen and living room. The office and entry doorways were framed out with two inch square tubing which you can see here.


(From left to right) A large window in our entry, the mudroom window, and two slitted windows in our office, which will be above our book/record shelves.


This will be the window above our desk in our office.


After the cut outs were finished the next step would be to power wash, but since the weather had been cold and rainy we delayed that until we finished the walls. And I missed the oppurtunity to capture Tyler in his “hazmat” suit, that I had to wear for the previous container, (but maybe Ill get him next time). Here is a view of the walls from our front door: and also a picture of how useful I am in this building project:


(I think I was close to sleeping here)

For the walls in this container we used 6 inch studs for the front and mudroom door frames, to add additional support, since we are using a old heavy wooden door for the mudroom. 4 inch studs were used for the remaining walls. The first door way is the front door, which will enter into our entry way, the mudroom is next, and then the utility room. At the far end of the container is our office. In our entry way we are going to install this great light Tyler’s Grandpa Charley refurbished for us pictured here:

In our mudroom I plan on using some of the vintage metal cabinets I talked about earlier here, and painting them a pistachio green, (I know what your thinking, gross), but I have a vision and I think it will turn out great. I got my color inspiration from my pistachio green kitchen aid mixture, which looks just like this:

So there you have it, our second container. Check back soon for our new post about how our containers made it to the slab!

In The Meantime

The Sand Springs Leader wrote a great article about our container house last Thursday. If you missed it, here is the link!


Also, a post about our recent progress is in the works, but due to slighlty colder and rainy weather, most of the work took place inside the shop, which means no pictures to go along with the post. Our newest container was also in a little rougher shape than our first, so some extra steps had to be taken to finish it out. That updated post should be up this week, which will include, cut outs and walls inside our second container, and hopefully news as to when we will be placing them on the slab!! So keep checking back.

In the mean time…

Since I haven’t posted any pictures of the property yet on our blog, I thought I would do so now.

Bright Container House

Bright Container House

Bright Container House

Bright Container House


And Then There Were Walls

What’s a house without walls? Ours in this case would be a cut up shipping container not fit to live in. But with a little hard work and some metal studs, a shipping container becomes a home.

The walls were installed over a few nights, courtesy of Tyler and Kent Bright, and with a little help from our friend Ben Belden. Our first container now has the bones of a true house, and the final product is now becoming visible. The walls were installed for our closet, our shower, and the end wall where the original doors were removed.

We used metal studs, not only because they are stronger and straighter than wood, but they are 100% recycled, and 100% recyclable. Using metal studs will also give us fire protection, termite protection, and hopefully save a few precious trees in the process.

Now down to the nitty gritty..

We used 3-5/8″ studs for all the walls in our master suite, besides the bathroom, where we used 6″, to leave space for the bathroom plumbing.

Here are our shower walls:

The hole in the floor will become our shower drain, and the floor in the entire bathroom will be tiled over.

His and Her walk-thru closet:


The walls in our closet will be metal as well as the ceiling. To finish it out we will put a nice coat of paint on the walls, add some closet storage and refinish those awesome teak floors. We will also install a $5 vintage light fixture we picked up at the flea market this weekend.

The master bedroom (the truck will not be our view from our newly framed out window):


There was also a hole cut in the bathroom floor for the toilet, and I know you really want to see it… so here it is:


So there you have it, we officially have walls in our master suite!

There is still a lot of work to be done on this container, including cutting holes for the HVAC system and also the finishing touches, such as: drywall, refinishing the floors, tiling the bathroom floors and shower, installing bathroom fixtures and painting the walls and ceilings. But those will not be completed until the house is “dried in”, which will be after all 5 containers are placed on the slab and connected. But for now this container will probably not be mentioned again until it is on the slab!

Numero Dos

Our second container arrived on January 25th, and construction on the container should start sometime this week! This container will become our downstairs entryway, mudroom, utility room and office.




This container’s last cargo haul, is not a mystery, unlike our previous container. The shipping list from its last voyage is still attached to the door. It hauled furniture, 22 chocolate brown sofas, 16 love-seats, 9 chairs, and 6 ottomans, to be exact. Thats more furniture than we will probably have in all five of our containers!


Our next post: “And Then There Were Walls” – COMING SOON!

Kitchen Cabinets circa 1940

Hannah Bright reporting

Our kitchen cabinet project is in full swing, just like the music of the day when our 1940s Youngstown steel metal cabinets were built.

Tyler and I purchased them from a couple in Stillwater. The cabinets had come out of some old apartments located above a post office in downtown Stillwater. We scored 3 sinks, 6 base cabinets, and numerous large and small upper cabinets. Tyler’s mom, Sheilah, utilized one of the sinks in their party barn, and the other two will be installed into our home. One will be placed in the mudroom, as well as some upper cabinets for laundry room storage, and the other sink and some of the additional lower and upper cabinets will be installed in our kitchen. We plan on mixing our old metal cabinets with new stained wooden cabinets to complete our dream kitchen. Check out our Youngstown steel cabinets in their prime in this old magazine add: (Click to enlarge)

Reality check:  Our kitchen cabinets currently look like this:

In order to refurbish the cabinets, they must first be sandblasted, which I am currently working on. Next,  they will be primed and painted (which we plan on doing ourselves), and the cabinet hardware will be re-chromed. There are original stickers on the inside of the cabinet doors, but they are going to be hard to salvage during the sand-blasting process. Instead, Tyler is going to recreate them and have them printed. Here are pictures of the first cabinet I sandblasted, before I realized I needed different work clothes and a better work space:

Here is what I have learned about the Brights: They like to do things right, which sometimes means building or buying stuff to get the job done Bright. I’m happy to call this 20ft container my new sandblasting space, it allows me to collect and reuse the sandblasting media. After we are finished sandblasting, this will become our painting space as well.

Tyler and his dad Kent, added lights and a exhaust fan to our sandblasting/painting container, making the process a little less horrible. Plus, it not only helps keep me warm on cold winter nights, it also gives me a nice golden tan.

Our kitchen cabinet project will be a long process, with many more steps ahead. So keep watching and I will update as we go.

Dangers on the Job: Not for the Faint of Heart

Hannah Bright reporting:

While working with power tools, there is always an element of danger. So far both Kent and Tyler have experienced that. Let’s just hope that I’m not next. Tyler’s run-in with a grinder wins the worst-looking award.  It happened while he was grinding the openings, using a nine-inch grinder to smooth things over. The grinder hit a sharp spot, broke the buffing pad and kicked back and hit him in the face. The scene in the shop where it happened looked like a small animal was murdered there. The doctors said it was a false burn that took off a whole layer of skin. With some TLC, the doctors said it will not scar, but may be discolored until fall. Thanks, Dr. Paulsen and nurse Glenda Bullock for checking it out. Let’s hope this is the last microdermabrasion incident of the project.

Like son, like father. Kent’s grinding war wound actually had happened a few days before. He was wielding a 4-inch grinder with a cutting wheel attached. When Kent turned on the grinder, it kicked and twisted in his hand, cutting his finger Luckily, he was wearing gloves. But this cut didn’t stop Kent, even though it most likely needed stitches. He  just taped it up and kept on working.

Lesson learned: I’m not touching a grinder.

The Beginnings of our Master Suite

Hannah Bright reporting:

The first cuts were made in the container a couple of weeks ago, and our master suite is officially under construction.

Three windows and one door were cut out, as well as a large opening where our master suite will be extended.  The cuts were made using a plasma cutter. Here are Tyler and Kent showing off our first window:

Here is the large opening in our master bedroom. We will  build metal stud walls to enlarge the space. The other opening is for our bathroom door:

Here are the rough cuts for our bathroom and bedroom windows:

Once the cuts were finished, Tyler and I used a grinder to smooth and buff the openings. For the first time in my life, I used a power tool. Yeah, check out these photos:

Here’s Tyler doing his daily grind:

The next step after using the grinder was to power wash the interior walls and ceiling, using an industrial strength soap called Dynamite. This was one tough cleaner so it required another wardrobe change.  Here I am with my rubber shoes, dust mask, goggles, face shield, rubber gloves and a “hazmat” suit, as I like to call it. (I decided after that experience, I’ll let Tyler take the next one.)

The next steps to complete our first container are:

  • Cut holes in the ceiling for the HVAC system
  • Cut out the bathroom floor to run plumbing and to lay tile
  • Frame in the doors and windows
  • Build the non-load bearing walls for the closet, shower and where the original doors were removed