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Carib Housing

Category: Carib Housing
Carib Housing is for those who are interested in affordable housing and or living in a Green Community in the Caribbean. Carib Housing core business is to advertise and promote eco homes and Green Communities.
Category: Carib Housing

The smart housing solution

We pride ourselves on being able to take one of the world’s strongest, most durable structures, a corten steel shipping container, and converting it into a high-quality, practical, environmentally responsible small home or residential or commercial unit. Containers are recognized as earthquake, hurricane and fire resistant. We have liaised extensively with local councils to ensure our designs meet and in many cases exceed building code requirements ensuring you are getting a structurally sound, watertight, climatized, energy efficient home that will last for many years. Built in features such as photovoltaic systems (solar) and rainwater harvesting not only reduce long-term running costs but ensure you are doing your bit for the environment. Our Eco Homes are suitable for cost effective timber and or concrete pile foundations, making them an ideal solution for sloping sites.

Category: Carib Housing

Using shipping containers, and converting them into residential and business units made it possible to create a modular home concept.

The advantages of these new accommodations are:

  • They are modular, units can be extended and stacked.
  • They remain mobile, they can be relocated any time!
  • Great steel structures which makes fabricating a home fast and cheaper than conventional construction.
  • Earthquake and hurricane challenged and fire resistant.
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We support being “Green” by stressing the fact to be eco minded. And our mission is to have new customer residents experience affordable sustainable but self-sufficient living.
For example cost of living could be reduced tremendously for each self-sufficient and sustainable Eco Home when hooked up to a :

  • Solar & Renewable energy system which creates a very low electricity bill.
  • Waste management and Biogas system. Organic waste will be recycled providing free cooking gas.
  • Waste water management system. Grey- and even black water can be recycled creating lower domestic water bill. 
  • Aquaponic Gardening. In collaboration with Stichting Marlin Yard we offer several courses and workshops for those interested in an independent life style by living sustainable and being self-sufficient.  Aquaponic gardening allows families to create a self-sustaining environment that grows vegetables, fruits, flowers and more with as little maintenance as possible.  Basically, aquaponic is a food production system. It combines aquaculture (raising animals such as fish, prawns or crayfish in water) with hydroponics (growing plants in water instead of soil). The goal of aquaponic is to create a fully self-sustaining system of food.
    • Benefits of Aquaponics
  • Grows more food in less space.
  • Grow chemical free food.
  • Plants grow much faster.
  • Provides high-protein meat to supplement your garden vegetables.
  • No weeds and fewer garden pests.
  • Healthier plants and fish than can be found in supermarkets.
  • Uses 10 times less water than traditional gardening.

This workshop is for Netherlands and St. Maarten residents and or internationally based persons who are willing to learn Aquaponic Gardening. A maximum of 7 persons can attend the workshop location.

Potential residents will have a home that supplies its own energy and or food resources!

Category: Carib Housing

Have a look at the eco home designs that are available for purchase. To make these Eco Units self-sufficient the following can be added (additional costs): 

  • Wind turbines (e.g. roof), and or solar and water boiler system.
  • “Grey / Black” water recycle system.
  • Waste Management and Biogas system.
  • “Green roof”  is a roof that is covered in plants, which reduces storm water run-off and lowers cooling costs.
  • Exterior wall panelling.

Because the Eco Unit is made out of shipping containers it cannot collapse during earthquakes. Besides these Example Applications, we have many more Eco Home layout designs to choose from.  Or we can custom design a layout to match your wishes for your new Eco Home.

Category: Carib Housing

First of all the Eco Home is a shipping container for which a different rule apply (grey area). 
For example on St. Maarten it is required to have a shipping container on a foundation and anchored (locked down) if you want to stow a shipping container at a premises. According to the Building and Spatial Planning department no building permit was needed in 2017 before Hurricane Irma struck. 
This does not mean that one does not have to check with their Building and Spatial Planning Department in their home town or country prior to purchasing our Eco Home. 
Furthermore our Eco Homes are constructed according to the Dutch Civil Building codes, a strict policy which warranty’s high housing standards.   

Category: Carib Housing

We have liaised extensively with the local council to ensure our designs meet and in many cases exceed building code requirements ensuring you are getting a structurally sound, watertight, acclimatized, energy efficient home that will last for many years.

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Definitely you can!

For example shipping containers are easy to stack, this is why we designed our Eco Homes to be modular. This gives us the advantages for our Eco Homes to be single units by itself, or joined side by side together or stacked using combinations of 20ft with 40ft or even 45ft containers. Creating all kinds of forms e.g E-shaped, H-shaped, L-shaped, Octagon-shaped, U-shaped etc. 

Depending on what the customer wants and if his/her location is suitable to accommodate a small to medium or big size container home we can create it.

Our Eco Home concept:

•       are modular, units can be extended and stacked.

•       remain mobile, they can be relocated any time!

•       great steel structures which makes fabricating a home fast and cheaper than conventional construction.

•       Earthquake and hurricane challenged and fire resistant. Looking forward to show you some example applications at our home listing page.

Category: Carib Housing


Whats a smart house you might ask?

Imagine waking up in the morning, not to the glaring blare of an alarm clock, but to your favourite song streaming through speakers in the ceiling, as your blinds slowly open to reveal the morning sun. Touch one button by your bed and the lights in the hallway turn on so you can safely navigate to the kitchen where the TV is already tuned into your favourite morning news program.

As you race out the door for work, smile as everything powers down—the lights, the TVs, the audio—even the thermostat dials back to a more energy-efficient setting. The alarm arms, the garage door closes and every door in the house gets locked. Automatically.

It might sound like the ultimate in luxury, but really, having a home automation system today is a very affordable reality. Plus, not only does it make life a little easier, it can also help you save time and money.

Category: Carib Housing

Containers are designed to be stacked in high columns carrying heavy loads. Containers come with 8 Corner Casings which are the only points where a Shipping Container is meant to be anchored. This makes a container can only rest on it’s 4 bottom Corners and can only support loads from above on it’s 4 top corners. Everything else on a container is not meant to carry any significant load. This mean you can only stack containers in configurations where all for bottom corner casings of the upper container are supported by four top corner casings of lower containers. This results in many desirable stacking configurations being impossible from a stability standpoint.

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At first

Proper preparation is needed to make your steel structure last for a long time. Definitely, the strongest adhesion of protective layer is when the edges of the steel structure are rounded and well-covered surface is the best way to prevent rust. Fit for that purpose is a special type of bevelling process – metal rounding. In most applications bevelling is removing certain volume of metal at required angle along an edge prior to welding. Rounding is removing metal from a sharp edge to create uniform radius. The larger bonding surface for paint and coatings, the lower risk of peeling and corrosion.


The proper corrosion protection is crucial. Currently, there are two most common ways to prevent rust:

  1. Application of zinc coating – steel galvanization it’s a process which creates a coating of zinc over metals surface.
  2. Application of paint coating – painting creates coating barrier to moisture (which also beautifies metal structures).
  3. Choosing your coating is inherent on the containers purpose and on the location (e.g. close to the coast or in the country).  


Using Primers is strongly recommended. Primers and finished coatings protect metal surfaces by providing a barrier between the steel and the corroding elements. They also prevent moisture from reaching the surface of the steel. A coating film protects underlying metal substrates in three ways.

  1. Coatings can slow the rate of diffusion of water and oxygen from the environment to the metal surface. This slows the corrosion process.
  2. The paint film can slow the rate of diffusion of corrosion products from the metal surface through the paint film. This also slows the corrosion process.
  3. The anti-corrosive pigments contained in quality primers change the surface properties of the base metal. The metal develops a high electrical resistance as a result. Different pigments accomplish this reaction in different ways. Primers absorb and tie up moisture so that it does not react with the steel.
Category: Carib Housing

In case of water damage:

The steel wall structures are inherently watertight so that rains driven by hurricane force winds, are unlikely to breach the structure.

In case of wind damage:

In a strong hurricane, the wind speeds can reach upwards of 160 mph.  However, the strongest winds associated with hurricanes are generally caused by tornados spawned by the hurricane.  The winds from a strong tornado can be higher than 250 mph.  A high percentage of the wind damage is actually a result of debris being hurled through the air.  Experiments have shown that items, such as small trees or two-by-fours, can actually penetrate the walls of a CONCRETE BLOCK HOME when hurled at the velocities generated by a moderately strong tornado.  The steel wall structure of homes made out of Shipping containers is inherently secure against intrusion from such debris during a hurricane or tornado.

Shipping containers are resistant to any natural disaster available, including tornadoes, earthquakes, and even hurricanes. Shipping containers, whether single units or multiple connected units, can withstand up to 100MPH winds when rooted on foundation, or 175MPH winds when anchored with pylons, making container-homes extremely solid in both tornadoes and hurricanes. And even after a direct hit during an earthquake, the structure would never collapse; “it would be the most perfect safety cocoon in an earthquake, at least 100 times safer and stronger than a conventional housing structure.”
Source: ISBU Association – Intermodal Steel Building Units and  Container Homes

Category: Carib Housing

Many customer preferences for external cladding is to leave the containers bare. Most customers love the industrial look this creates. It also helps that this is the cheapest option for external cladding. It costs absolutely nothing- well you might want to spend some dollars giving the containers a new lick of paint every 10 – 15 years with our favourite ceramic coating which is specially designed for shipping containers. However in certain areas, zoning restrictions mean you have to clad your containers so they ‘blend’ in with the other homes in the local area. 

The first cladding material we will look at is stucco (render). Stucco is fine plaster which is used to coat external surfaces- you’ve probably seen many ‘stuccoed’ homes.

Other cladding options to give your Eco Home a more curb appeal we offer exterior panelling made out of:

  • Timber types
  • Composite (recycled plastic)
  • Plaster)
  • Brick, Stone, Morter
  • ……and many more options
Category: Carib Housing

Of course when you actually start working on your Container Home in the process you will face challenges. But it all boils down to making choices. However good preparation is half the work done already.   

A few things you have to consider before you start designing and planning your Container Home are:

  1. If applicable its recommended to check with the Spatial Planning and Building department in your home town for Building codes, Building permit, Demolishing permit and fees. Find out first if its allowed to place a Container Home at your location.
  2. Choosing the right container type to suit your home needs, and which will match your location. There are different container types.
  3. Choosing the right foundation type. For example are you on flat land or a land slope, or on an existing flat building roof?
  4. Do you live off-grid or would you like your Container Home to be tied in the grid when it comes to energy supply?
  5. Choosing the wrong contractor! Not everybody knows how to work with shipping containers compared to the conventional building method.
  6. How to design your container home:
  • Think about weather and nature conditions such as snow blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fire events due to drought, floods etc.
  • Don’t weaken the steel structure. For example not cutting to much steel out of your container for too many windows and doors to avoid collapsing.  
  • Using the right type of insulation. Especially when you are you living in a warm, humid, dry or cold climate.

The last point really can give you a bad headache and you end up not only wasting your time but also a lot of money. 

Category: Carib Housing

When preparing our Eco Homes we consider our customers location and also their budget. However we advise strongly not to cut corners when it comes to insulation. Keep in mind if the insulation is not properly done it could be too warm in summer and too cold in winter if you live in a seasonal area. When it comes to insulation there are three options:

  • spray foam (expensive option)
  • panel (moderate option)
  • blanket (cheapest option)
  • InSoFast panel (best option!)

If your budget allows it and you want to maximise your interior space then “” is the way to go!  Contact us for a quotation. 

Category: Carib Housing

If you do not maintain your Container Home properly then rust can surely rear its ugly head.

This is why it’s important that all surfaces – especially welded areas – are rounded. A special type of bevelling process is called metal rounding. Rounding is removing metal from a sharp edge to create uniform radius. This is needed as a bonding surface for paint and coatings which lowers the risk of peeling and corrosion (rust).

Once that is done then its crucial to prime paint your container and finish it off with metal paint coatings. Metal paint coatings will last you about 5 years when located in a salty air climate – for example living close to the beach or living on an island. 

Category: Carib Housing

Fortunately in the Caribbean shipping containers are not abundant.

However today, there are roughly 36 million shipping containers in the world. And on any given day, there are between five and six million shipping containers on the high seas, transporting everything from chips to dishwashers. That adds up to approximately 120 million containers packed with cargo traversing the oceans every year, with an estimated value of more than $4 trillion (based on 2013 figures).

However, costs of shipping empty containers back to their origin are high, so often times the containers sit unused in ports. If one lives near a port with abundant containers, then the energy required to transport the steel container to a local building site will be lower than an inland location, far from the port. Today, it would just be cheaper to have your goods shipped in a brand new container, especially given the trade deficit.

Whilst you could argue that melting down the shipping container and recasting the steel into something else is more environmentally friendly, you would be wrong. Recasting steel requires an incredible amount of energy and it isn’t financially viable- this is why there are so many abandoned shipping containers in the world. For each recycled shipping container we are reusing around 3,500kg worth of steel.

Melting these containers uses about 8000 kWh of energy, while refurbishing one into a building uses just about 400 kWh. In fact, hundreds of thousands of containers sit unused in big ship yards around the world. This is why our partner HoomStreet convert shipping containers into Eco Homes for people!

Category: Carib Housing

Like any new house built, there are pros and cons with the chosen building material- Container Homes are no different. Then again building material prices varies when a customer lives on an island compared to a customer living in a big country. We’ll get to this point in a bit.

BUT…using shipping containers offers exceptional value for your money. They’re are already the perfect shape to be repurposed into homes, so a home built out of them is a minimum of 30% cheaper than a same sized home built in brick and mortar. The structural work is also minimal, reducing the cost even further.

Customers living on an island experience high priced building materials because everything has to be shipped to this island. Duty fees and or import taxes has to be paid for which are added to the cost price of building materials. And the amount of customers living on an island is far less than those living in big countries. There is also the risk when a Hardware Store on an island runs out of building materials, this same customer has to wait about 3 – 12 weeks for new supply.

Customers living in big countries have the benefit of having access to building materials on a 24/7 basis. And because of the amount of people living in bigger countries gives the opportunity for building materials to be bought in bulk – making building material prices much cheaper. 

So… for island residents it pays even more to have a container home prepped with regards to building materials off-island before its shipped to their island location. And this is what Carib Housing and our partner HoomStreet does! 

Category: Carib Housing

At this moment we don’t have video tutorials. But it’s on our To-Do List also together with creating our own Eco Home YouTube Channel. However we are sure you will find many YouTube Container Home constructing videos which provides a better understanding on how to create your own shipping container home.   

Category: Carib Housing

No we don’t provide financing or work with any particular lender. But we do provide a payment plan option.

1.     Phased payment plan – (50% down payment, 40% before shipping / relocation, 10% upon delivery).

 2.     Hire purchased – the home is hired with option to purchase. The hirer becomes the owner of the home immediately after the last instalment is paid. (60% down payment) This option is oonly applicable to those located on St. Maarten and on Aruba. It can be combined with Temporary Hosting Service – limited spaces!

 3.   Commercial Unit Lease for Eco Business Unit (EBU); Carib Housing remains owner of the EBU, and the lessee can use the EBU within the agreed lease period. This option is only applicable to those who want to do business at The Keys Market location in St. Maarten – limited spaces!

Eco Homes are built on two locations. At first our partner HoomStreet is located on Texel, the biggest Waddensea island in the Netherlands. Once an order is received HoomStreet prepares a shipping container by converting it into an eco home kit on Texel. In turn the eco home kit is shipped to it’s final destination where HoomStreet then put the eco home together and delivers it as an Eco Home to it’s new owner.

Green Community - Aruba

In a residential area in San Nicolas a property called “Hofi Diamant” is being prepared to accommodate a Tiny House community. Hofi Diamant means diamond garden.

At this location future residents will be living in self-sufficient tiny houses built to withstand the Aruban climate. A tiny house is a sustainable built house, approximately 15m² – 44m² (161sq.ft – 473 sq.ft) in size. It’s creatively and resourceful designed to maximize space and light. It provides own renewable energy sources (e.g. electricity, biogas) and is hooked up to a waste-management and waste-water management system which in turn is connected to surrounding landscaped gardens providing this little community own and home-grown vegetables, herbs, flowers and various fruit.  Each tiny house furnished with renewable energy sources will be equipped with Smart Home Technology. The landscaped premisses with different garden sections and common areas for relaxation will also execute Community Supported Agriculture. Harvested fresh produce will be sold in the Shop unit located at the entrance of the premises. The focus at this “Green Community” location is on simple, environmentally conscious, and healthy living.

A Tiny House is a sustainable built house, approximately 15m² – 44m² (161sq.ft – 473 sq.ft) in size. All Tiny Homes are creatively and resourceful designed to maximize space and light. Each home is hooked up to the waste-water-management and waste-management systems. Tiny Homes that are furnished with renewable energy sources will be equipped with Smart Home Technology. The premisses will be landscaped with different garden sections and common areas and for relaxation and to execute Community Supported Agriculture. Harvested fresh produce will be sold in the Shop unit located at the entrance of the premises. The focus at this “Green Community” location is on simple, environmentally conscious, and healthy living.

It’s important for us to know your name, current address, number of residents, telephone number and email address and to know your intentions. Interested parties can sign up through this form.

Because of the limited spots we have put a selection procedure in place. Candidates who want to live at the Green Community will undergo this selection procedure. Selection starts with filling out this form. Based on the filled out form you will be contacted either to schedule an appointment to continue your candidacy, or to be declined.

Carib Housing stands for flexibility. We provide options to help make your tiny home experience the best choice ever made to live sustainably and self-sufficiently. The tiny homes at our Green Community sites have the option to be constructed to function on a:

  • Grid-tied system: completely dependable on the utility company services.
  • Hybrid system: be able to produce own energy but still dependable on the utility company services.
  • Off-grid system: be completely dependable on own energy sources.

Tiny homes based on the Hybrid or Off-grid system have the option to be furnished with renewable energy sources which are a wind turbine combined with solar panels with a power wall battery for electricity storage, warm water boiler, biogas system, own waste water management system* and own waste management system* which is connected to the surrounded landscaped food garden.

[* It is a standard procedure for a new tiny home to be hooked up to the generic community waste water management system and waste management system of that Green Community. But we consider the customer’s wish to have an own system installed directly connected to the new tiny home.]

Committed parties are:

Together with Stichting Marlin Yard, Carib Housing promotes the “self-sufficient living” concept by starting a Green Community pilot on a small site in Aruba which is owned by Stichting Marlin Yard. Self-sufficient living means generating your own electricity, recycling water and produce your own biogas. All homes are connected to the gardens (permaculture vegetable garden, aquaponic and hydroponic) for residents to cultivate fresh produce on site. Stichting Marlin Yard designed the “Green Communities” concept in Aruba with the intention to increase self-reliance, including quality and healthier life while living on a piece of paradise. Marlin Yard’s mission has only been accomplished by helping to build and teach people to build ecologically responsible homes that are hurricane, earthquake and fire resistant, to set up efficient and effective agricultural activities, to promote sustainable entrepreneurship so that profit-sharing opportunities (crowd profits sharing) are created among communities.

Carib Housing is responsible for the plot allocation, onsite logistics, maintenance, and administrative processing.  Furthermore, Carib Housing is responsible for the supervision and ensures that the Tiny Home project is executed accordingly on location.

Hoom Street is responsible for the designing, construction, shipping, and installation of the Tiny Homes.

No and Yes.

No, it is not allowed to build your own designed Tiny House at this Green Community location. Reason for this is that we already have liaised with the spatial planning department regarding our designed Tiny Houses. Any other designed Tiny House plan must fit within the Green Community plan that Stichting Marlin Yard has envisioned and must be reviewed by the Aruban spatial planning department and must receive consent before it can be built. Not only is this process time consuming but there is a risk that this plan gets denied. So, to make things easier, you can choose one of our plans and we’ll make sure it’s constructed accordingly.

Yes, under consultation with Hoom Street and at additional costs it is possible to adjust certain elements of the Tiny House to your likings. And Yes, it is possible to assist with the installation of the Tiny House at the Green Community site should your agenda allow it.

Meanwhile Carib Housing remains responsible for the supervision and must ensure that the Tiny House project fits in with the environment and with the plan that Stichting Marlin Yard has for a Green Community.

Depending on the chosen Tiny House designs there is room for either 4 or 10 Tiny Homes at Hofi Diamant. View map of Hofi Diamant.

The designed Tiny Houses at Hofi Diamant are for sale. In addition once you’ve bought a Tiny House from us, your new home will enter the Carib Housing Maintenance Program and a monthly Service fee is applicable to accommodate your home at Hofi Diamant.

Issues regarding roof, foundation, exterior plumbing, exterior electrical works and landscaping regarding your Tiny House will be maintained on an interval until the home is moved from Hofi Diamant Green Community location

To stall your Tiny House at Hofi Diamant it is mandatory to pay a monthly service fee. This fee is used to maintain all property facilities and services such as the waste-management system, waste-water management system, exterior tiny house maintenance, and garden service. The service fee starts at US$ 350.- per month and is prorated according to the size of the occupied eco home. The service fee is yearly indexed based on economic developments.

The Tiny House location contract is valid for 7 years. Option for renewal is taken into consideration but depends on the waitlist with other potential Green Community inhabitants. Option for renewal also depends on your behavioural history and community track record.

All Tiny Houses are for purchase. For this we have two payment options:

Phased payment plan

You purchase the Tiny House of your choice which will be constructed by HoomStreet and installed accordingly at Green Community Hofi Diamant. A 50% down payment is required, 40% before shipping/relocation, 10% upon delivery of the Tiny House.

Hire purchase

The Tiny House is hired with the option to purchase. A 60% down payment is required, the remaining amount is paid in monthly instalments together with the monthly service fee. The hirer becomes the owner of the Tiny House immediately after the last instalment is paid.

Shipping and on location crane use are not included in the sale price. These costs will be quoted upon once a Tiny House is purchased.

Once the Tiny House is paid in full, you are free to sell the home to a 3rd party. It’s yours to sell. However the spot where your Tiny House is on is not for sale(!) If the sale takes place before or after the 7 years contract is finished then you are obligated to move the Tiny House from Hofi Diamant Green Community.

It is possible that you find yourself in a situation with a result that you have to sell your Tiny House. After a taxation procedure and based on mutual agreement we are willing to buy back the Tiny House.

The spot to where the Tiny House is allocated to is only for rent. We do not sell spots. In a practical sense, this means that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a mortgage with one of the banks. If you are interested in renting a spot, you will therefore have to be able to finance the realization of your Tiny House in a way other than via a bank mortgage.

The spots are for rent for a definite period of 7 years with option to renew. The rent is indexed annually.

Eco Homes are built on two locations. At first our partner HoomStreet is located on Texel, the biggest Waddensea island in the Netherlands. Once an order is received HoomStreet prepares a shipping container by converting it into an eco home kit on Texel. In turn the eco home kit is shipped to it’s final destination where HoomStreet then put the eco home together and delivers it as an Eco Home to it’s new owner.

Green Community - Sint Maarten

Eco Homes are built on two locations. At first our partner HoomStreet is located on Texel, the biggest Waddensea island in the Netherlands. Once an order is received HoomStreet prepares a shipping container by converting it into an eco home kit on Texel. In turn the eco home kit is shipped to it’s final destination where HoomStreet then put the eco home together and delivers it as an Eco Home to it’s new owner.

Carib Housing © 2022. Initiative of Stichting Marlin Yard. All rights reserved.