Over at Renaissance Ronin, a blog that I follow regularly, I saw the image above that sparked some inspiration for a small ranch container home (could also easily be a pool house or guest house as well). In the image above you can see that the structure is very simple – two 20′ containers spaced about 18′ apart with a simple gable roof spanning the gap.
Using the same concept, I’ve taken (2) 20′ High Cube containers with a 24′ span between for an overall width of 40′ (I’m using a more generous span in order to maximize the public/entertaining space – you can reduce this span as needed for your purposes). The first container contains the entry and a small coat closet and one bedroom. The second container contains one bedroom, one bathroom and a utility closet.
This design could easily be modified as a small pool house with one bedroom and one bathroom, making the additional bedroom equipment storage for the pool – possibly even a pump house if necessary.
The large roll-up doors (insulated of course) allow the user to completely open the public living spaces to the outside for entertaining or just to enjoy the outside. The slab on grade foundation allows for easy construction and assembly. The vertical siding and wood awning windows give a clean modern aesthetic while saving cost and at just over 800 sf there is plenty of space under roof for all your living/entertaining needs.
Add a standing seam metal roof with integrated solar panels, rain water collection and composting toilets and you’ve got an off-grid home or guest house that will save you money instead of eating resources.