Thinking outside the box: Isanti couple builds home out of 6 shipping containers

An Isanti couple is making a house out of shipping containers.

For years, Ian and Janna Ebeling have fantasized about building their perfect home. Now, their dream is becoming a reality.

The Ebelings are constructing a 4,000-square-foot home on 60 acres in Isanti made out of six corrugated steel shipping containers. Ian got the idea after visiting a friend who was storing tools in an insulated shipping container one winter and thought putting several of them together could be the building blocks for a more energy efficient home.

"It’s very exciting. It can also be a little stressful. We don't know what each day or week will bring. It will be an adventure," Janna said.

"I've gotten everything from, ‘you are crazy’ to ‘this is really cool.’ It's such a wide variety of responses. Everyone has their own opinions," Ian added.

Container homes have been growing in popularity across the country for the last few years, with enthusiasts saying they cost less to build than using traditional building materials.

Earlier this year, FOX 9 visited a container home built out of five shipping containers in north Minneapolis as part of program to make more affordable housing.

On the inside, it doesn't look much different than your average home, but it took Janna a while to warm up to the idea.

"I had a different picture in my head. I was envisioning box car children kind of style, so in the bedroom talking about it, I started crying, thinking ‘I don't want to live in a box,'" Janna said.

Ian, who is building the container home himself, hopes to finish the house by next summer, complete with a rooftop patio and a hot tub so they can call their new creation home sweet home.

"I take a lot of pride working on it, and I'm really eager to see that finished product and show it off to people," Ian said.