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Container house progress delayed by leaky windows, busy construction industry

Rob DePiazza's hope was to be in his home before September 2019, the second anniversary of Hurricane Irma.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A few years ago Irma destroyed a house on St. Augustine's Prince Street. For the past few months the owner has been rebuilding, it is called the container house.

"It was something I had always had an interest in," Rob DePiazza said. "I have been working with industrial design."

DePiazza decided to use nine cargo containers to build his new home. In a neighborhood of traditional homes, it definitely stands out.

"It is not a conventional house," he said.

And that has created its own construction challenges. The project started in August of 2018 but has been fraught with delays. The latest delay being the proper installation of the windows.

"You run into a problem like I have run into with the window installation and it completely holds up the process," he said.

Where do you find the right person or company to install 14 windows and doors in a very unorthodox structure? 

DePiazza turned to the sales company but that did not prove fruitful.

"It is just this environment right now construction is booming contractors can pick and choose," he said

In July, a sole installer accomplished the job, but when rain started coming down the windows began leaking.

The installers employer tried to resolve the issues but couldn't. And since there was no written contract, no money paid he gave up on the project.

DePiazza removed the windows and now he has to clean them up and find someone else to install them. It has become a lesson in patience.

"I was about three months out of completion," he said.

He feels like a hurricane victim who has now become the victim of an industry with good and bad characters and sorting them out is not easy.

"The take away is to be extremely cautious when you hire people to do the work," DePiazza said.

His hope was to be in his home before September 2019, the second anniversary of Hurricane Irma.

DePiazza continues to work to bring the Container House on Prince Road to completion.