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Couple builds new Waveland home out of shipping containers

Anita and Paul Johnson are creating an innovative space for their son who is returning home to the Coast from Arizona.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:37 PM CST
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WAVELAND, Miss. (WLOX) - In about 30 days, the first home built in Waveland using shipping containers will be ready for move in.

Anita and Paul Johnson are creating an innovative space for their son who is returning home to the Coast from Arizona.

“I think it brings a touch of modern to the area,” Paul told WLOX.

The concept is becoming increasingly popular out West, but it’s a new trend in Mississippi.

“We have people stopping by every day, like four or five people, like, ‘We just really love this,’ ‘This is really neat,’ ‘We want to do this,’” Anita said.

According to code, the containers are able to withstand 180-mile winds.

“The way they’re built, they’re very strong. I think it’s a good thing for this area,” Anita said.

The design is also new to city leaders.

“When you step inside, it’s so sound. It just feels good,” Mayor Mike Smith.

Smith said he is already receiving feedback from neighbors concerning the curb appeal.

“It’s not going to devalue the neighboring houses,” he said. “The tax assessor assured me of that, and after seeing it, I can see why it would not.”

Construction kicked off in February 2020, but work was halted by torrential rains and material shortages amid the pandemic.

Aside from the delay, the Johnsons said it took about six months from start to finish.

“Once they set them out here, you can already work inside. You don’t have to worry about putting walls up,” Anita said. “You already have your structure, so it goes a lot quicker.”

With the framework ready to go, they cut holes in the metal for windows and doors and finished out the walls.

They have cabinets, flooring and landscaping left to go.

The Johnsons purchased the used containers from ConGlobal Industries in New Orleans, transforming its leftover resource into affordable housing.

“There’s many, many companies all over the country, but we wanted to buy something local,” Anita said. “It’s really nice to be able to reuse them.”

The city’s current zoning ordinance does not refer to container construction, but steps toward regulating properties like this in the future will be discussed during a special meeting on Feb. 16.

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