Intermediate Bulk Containers, or IBC totes, have found a completely different market outside of just commercial storage in recent years. They are being used by creative DIY enthusiasts to create a variety of functional equipment, storage units, and small vessels for home use. If you are the creative type, you may find the following ideas quite fascinating.

Making and Selling Chicken Coops

Whether you own a fully-fledged farm, or just a few hens and a rooster, you can use IBC totes to create fully functioning, weatherproof chicken coops. Not only will they save money, but expert DIY projects using an IBC tote can also help you earn money for your efforts. Provided that your chicken coops are good enough to be sold, you should be able to sell them quite easily at your local farmer’s market. Be sure not to put too many chickens in the coop, as they must have enough space to move around in there.

Rainwater Collection, Storage, and Distribution

IBC totes present huge opportunities to DIY enthusiasts, as far as rainwater collection is concerned. For starters, just the sheer size of an intermediate bulk container is large enough to store more rainwater than roughly ten standard 55-gallon drums combined. They can be used in some states to drastically reduce a home’s annual water expense.

However, depending on how skilled you are, you can fit your IBC tote rainwater container with several additional features. Popular additions include but are most certainly not limited to external and internal water filtration systems, strategic water outlets, compartmentalized storage system for different uses, an irrigation system for gardens/fields, a watering system for farm animals, and so much more.


If you visit a natural pond that is not yet tainted severely by water pollution, you will find that the water, plants, trees, fish, and aquatic lifeforms are living in perfect harmony and balance with each other. That is, of course, just one of the many wonders that exhibit the grand design of nature. More importantly, you can replicate something very similar, albeit on a much smaller scale, in your own home with an IBC tote. 

The fact that you will be using aquaponics to also grow your own food is an expected bonus. The agricultural process of aquaponics involves using water, plant, fish, and bacterial actions within a large container to create a self-sustaining ecology. In many ways, consider it to be an advanced version of hydroponics, which only makes it better for practical usage. Consult the USDA page here for more information.

There are country homes and farms where multiple IBC totes have been assimilated by expert craftsmen to create huge storage sheds for timber and firewood. Even if you are not willing to put in that much effort, even a single tote can be easily turned into a small wood and tools storage shed with minimal effort. From dog pens to calf hutches, the possibilities are quite vast, and especially so if you have a large piece of land that’s fit for small to medium scale farming.