Had it not been for the internet and HGTV, I would have never even known that shipping containers were an option for homebuilding.  My husband, wrist deep in chopped tomatoes, laughed and then quickly took cover in the kitchen when I announced my discovery. “No, seriously, we could build a house out of shipping containers! It’s not like you don’t have the contacts…”

My continued pleas to ‘just take a look’ fell upon deaf ears until months later when we found ourselves at a birthday party in the sierra. The party was held at an outdoor adventure park.  As the kids ran through the obstacle courses and clipped in and out of the maze of ziplines, the adults sipped coffee inside the park’s cafe/restaurant.   It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for an outdoor party and staying true to form throughout the course of Spanish group banter, I did what I always do: I zoned out. Too many voices arguing to make the same point, clanging cutlery as competing background noise and the always present football/soccer game blaring from the back corner of every bar leads to a headache for me so I almost always tune out for a while, this time appreciating the amazing views (see actual photo below) of the Cordoban sierra from within the bar area.

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I remember thinking how cool it would be to live in a house with such big windows (minus the fingerprints) and amazing views. You don’t get this kind of build from tract housing in suburban Des Moines, I thought. I leaned back deeper into my chair and waited for a break in the conversation. Nice floor, hardwood.  Generous French doors, especially for a Spanish construction. Wonder how they decided on the L shape?  Seems tight for restaurant seating. And then, out of nowhere, it hit me.

“Dude, we’re in a container!” I slapped my husband on the forearm.


“A container.  This is a SHIPPING CONTAINER.”

“No we’re not. No it’s not. You’re losing it.”

“Yes we are. Look, there’s the seam where the two containers meet.”

Annoyed (it was Real Madrid playing afterall), my husband rose from his chair, walked over to the seam, then over to the far wall where he stopped dead in his tracks and just stared at the wall.  Eventually, he wandered out the door and I neither saw nor heard from him throughout the rest of the birthday party. We were indeed inside of a shipping container that had been finished into a restaurant. And unbeknownst to me, he was in awe.

It should have come to no surprise then when weeks later he announced the building plans for our adjoining lots in Granada. “Guys, I’m done with the plans for the house! It’s gonna be eight 40’s double stacked. Come check it out, you’re gonna love it!”

Huh? Eight what? What’s a 40? Someone, Google translate!

He announced it as if he himself were Edison, lightbulb in hand, “We’re going to use shipping containers, like the ones I showed you up at that restaurant in the sierra! Remember? Alejandro’s birthday party?”

Whatchu tawkin’ ’bout Willis?!Sales-Cargo-Worthy-Container-Ship

So much for me being crazy. He was onboard alright, though come to think of it perhaps a little too much because now I was on the edge of scared and terrified.  Shipping containers? Seriously? What have I gotten us into?  I’m way past forty yet the scrolling banner of, my parents are going to kill me just wouldn’t slow. Before I could offer up any type of rebuttal to his newly found stroke of genius, he was firing off his list of pros, available on any website near you. And that readers is my free advice for the century: no need to argue with your spouse, just get them to think that they thought of it first. But be careful what you’re going for because this strategy works every time.

That was roughly a year ago.  I’m over the shock and awe of the husband’s construction epiphany and ready to get my hands dirty. The kids are still young enough that there probably won’t be too much lingering emotional damage once all is said and done.  Then again, this being Spain, we very well may still be building the danged thing ten years from now.


07/03/2017 = Meet with the architect & view first draft of plans

07/05/2017 = Move the kids & dog to Granada

Wish me luck!