May your Corten be Merry…

11 Dec

In the beginning, there was Corten Steel…

ISBU (Intermodal Steel Building Unit) homes, also called “Corten Container Homes”, also known as “Shipping Container Homes” are often called much more…

(And most of it is even printable!) :)

When you talk to your neighbors about ISBUs, they immediately envision Apocalyptic Sci-Fi fantasies painted with a canvas of burning oil drums in the street, wrecked vehicles in the distance and Zombies crawling toward you  to eat your  brains.

When you talk to your brother-in-law (you know, the one that works in Construction) about ISBUs, he’ll tell you that they’re unsightly, complicated and expensive.

When you talk with your architect about ISBUs, they’ll usually tell you that they have a drawer full of renders and floorplans, but they’ve never built one.

Despite  the fact that we’ve been building ISBU Homes and Buildings since 1977, less than 1% of Architects and Builders have ever constructed one of these Corten Clad beauties.

When you talk to your local planning and zoning office about ISBUs, they’ll either embrace you with open arms, fascinated that you’re  about to build  a Corten Ark for your tribe… or they’ll slam the door in your face and race to the water cooler as fast as their fat little legs will carry the, trying to try to knock back the rapidly forming sweat over their eyebrows.

When you talk to families who have actually “coveted the Corten” about ISBUs… families that have actually built Corten Castles for their clan, you’ll hear stories about sustainability, affordability and a monumental strength that usually only come from textbooks or Grandparents  as they remind you about the pioneering stock of Americans who expanded and then built this great land. They’ll tell you about determination and dedication and hope and dreams…

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And, if you listen to them ALL, you’ll start getting an idea about  what the road to “Corten Coolness and a life lived within ISBUs” is paved with.

Are there potholes along the way? Sure.

There are always bumps in the road less traveled. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it! The key to navigating these roads is to have a goal, make a plan, involve the right people  and then communicate your project clearly and concisely with all the participants.

We teach our Corten families to push their boundaries by integrating well thought out and proven architectural and interior design disciplines  into construction practices that implement affordable, space and time saving techniques that fortify and protect a family’s building budget.  By re-using, reclaiming and repurposing cast off materials, we’re  building incredibly efficient affordable homes while actually “acting on green initiatives to promote wellness both within and without our own yards.

The goal isn’t to simply build a metal structure, or even to publicly reclaim or repurpose old cast off materials…

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… the goal is to build a HOME where wellness and comfort thrive as “person and place combine” to create an environment of sustainability and positive growth.

You’re building a “Corten lifestyle” where that ISBU “home and hearth” participate in your lives on a daily basis, symbiotically.

You’re  building a low maintenance, high efficiency, sustainable, (even – GASP!) GREEN home that works with you to shelter and cradle your family securely as you face the pleasures and perils that life brings to our porches.

If this idea, if this “lifestyle” interests you, you might just want to stick around. We’ve been “sticking around” since 1977. We didn’t “re-invent ourselves” to explore another niche as the economy drop-kicked us. We didn’t just suddenly shift gears to embrace an emerging trend on TV. We saw (early on) the potential for these “weathering steel beauties” and we started exploring the road with our own hands (despite the nay-sayers).

It’s funny… when we started this trek, we were “young, foolish, simple idiots helping hippies”.

Few actually saw the merit in the road we were traveling. Now, 35+ years later, we’re suddenly “Green Gurus, Geniuses and Pioneers”. In all that time, you want to know what’s changed about  us  (besides the position of our hairlines)?

Nothing, except that the tools have gotten better.

We’re working with the same kinds of families – with the same concerns and the same kinds of care.

Our mission remains the same. Every family deserves a safe roof over their heads.

In three decades, we’ve built a lot of them. We have a lot to share on the subject.

Stay tuned as we introduce some of our newest projects;

  • A 900 square foot 1BDRM/1 Bath Corten Cabin in the mountains…
  • A 1,200 square foot 2BDRM/2 Bath Corten Cottage perched by the sea…
  • A 1,600 square foot 3 BDRM/2 bath Corten Castle sailing the prairie of Kansas…
  • A 2,250 square foot 4 BDRM/3 bath Metal Meadow Manse fit for a King and Queen…
  • A family owned and run ISBU Island Destination Resort so cool that you might not ever want to come home…

…and a few more projects that you might find pretty interesting.

ISBU Farmhouse 440 Concept - web
All of these ISBU projects share something in common;

In every one of them, we’re going to push the boundaries of “normal and expected” to places rarely imagined. We’re talking about homes where energy efficiency, integration and affordability combine to create monuments to families dedicated in living out their days cradled firmly by Corten comfort… by creating a new style  of “lifestyle luxury” for demanding families with small budgets.

Stay tuned.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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