Ben Uyeda

Founder of The Modern Home Project



The Modern Home Project shows how to build small affordable modern designs one house at a time.  We will begin by showing how to build a house out of shipping containers. We built this shipping container house in Joshua tree California and documented the entire process from buying land, getting building permits, selecting materials, building, hooking up utilities, and furnishing the finished home.  This project is a mix of do-it-yourself and hiring professionals to do critical tasks that require specialty equipment or specific expertise. 

 When we first started researching shipping container houses we found more questions than answers particularly around getting building permits, and construction costs.  This is just one house in a very specific climate and location so it won’t have all the design solutions but at least should be able to communicate the process of how we found the answers.

 We have experience in design and construction but are not home building experts. This is a learning and sharing process and we invite the constructive feedback of industry professionals.  We want to present the best possible information to our audience and ask commenters to refrain from exaggerations and when possible to site sources or references for statements and suggestions.  We are ok with people pointing out how they would do something different but we want to hear the why.  We want the comment section to educate and inform not confuse with simple statements without reasoning behind them.

These videos and web posts contain products and materials from sponsors and should be considered as branded content with integrated advertisement.  The Home Depot sponsored parts of this project and has an ongoing business relationship with Ben Uyeda and HomeMade Modern.

 Disclaimer: These videos are intended for entertainment and inspiration only. Construction and making stuff is dangerous. Always seek professional advice and training before using any power tools. If you have any uncertainty before performing any construction or fabricating procedure, stop and learn a safer method. Do not attempt anything simply because you saw it in one of my videos. Summary: be smart, use common sense, and respect your power tools.

For project updates or to see what we are working on next follow us on Instagram


Where did we buy the shipping containers?


How much did it cost to build?

We will have an episode dedicated to breaking down the budget for this project.  A lot of the costs associated with the project were for very specific site challenges like the unique septic and leach field system.  There are also costs that are specific to San Bernadino County in California.  In this Location all residential buildings are required to have fire sprinklers.  This single requirement resulted in more than $7000 of construction costs that are avoidable in states with less strict regulations. We want to try and separate out the different parts so that the audience will have a better understand if they try and build their own house. 

Where are you located?

Joshua Tree California

 Can I come visit the Shipping Container House?

We will be listing the house on Airbnb soon

 Can I hire you to build a shipping container house for me?

Maybe!  We occasionally take on custom projects but only when we are confident that the client will respect our creative process and has realistic expectations about their budget.

 Who is that annoying guy named Ben?

Ben Uyeda is the Founder and Creative Director of HomeMade Modern, a creative agency founded in 2013 that distributes free instructional design content over the internet. In the last 5 years Ben’s designs ideas have reached more than 50 million people and the free designs he gives away are being built on 6 different continents.

 Previously, Ben founded, a web-based media company that eventually became the largest supplier of home designs in the country before it was acquired in 2014. FreeGreen was created out of the idea that the internet and social media are not just new tools for presenting and advertising; they are paradigm shifting forces that challenge almost every conception of architectural practice and critical discourse.

 Prior to FreeGreen, Ben co-founded ZeroEnergy Design (ZED), an award winning architecture firm that specializes in ecologically conscious housing. ZED was recently named one of the 50 best architecture firms in the US by Architect Magazine and a top 3 for Sustainable Design. During his time at ZED, Ben also worked on a number of pro bono affordable design projects, including leading a team to build affordable green homes in New Orleans’ Broadmoor neighborhood. This project won the US Green Building Council’s Natural Talent Design Competition and was featured in the 2012 documentary film project NOLAbound.

 Ben received both his B. Arch and his Master of Architecture from Cornell University, where he has also served as a visiting lecturer. Upon graduating, he created an original curriculum for teaching sustainable design and the importance of contemporary media when implementing environmentally progressive technologies.

In 2015-2016, Ben published his first book HomeMade Modern and spoke at TEDxJamaicaPlain in a talk titled “Why I Give Away My Best Design Ideas for Free”. Ben is committed to making progressive design readily available to the masses as free media content rather than distributing it for the wealthy few who can afford it.

 Thank you for watching and check out HomeMade Modern, our DIY channel: