How To Insulate A Shipping Container

We’ve written before on the Container Stop Blog about the energy efficiency of shipping container homes and storage container homes. There are several reasons why container living spaces are so eco-friendly. One of them has to do with how to insulate a shipping container in the first place, which we’ll get to shortly.

It’s important to understand that shipping containers are designed with energy efficiency in mind before they ever begin their second lives as living spaces.

Consider Chiquita Brands International, the huge and world-famous supplier of (mostly) bananas. The company has been working to improve the design and energy efficiency of containers used to store and ship their fresh produce to ports throughout the world.

Some of the innovations — which, according to a Chiquita press release, have led to an annual 17,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions — include containers that:

  • Are 50% more energy efficient than older models
  • Require less energy to function
  • Are equipped with greenhouse-friendly refrigerants
  • Feature better insulation

“Even with a 25% increase in the number of Chiquita containers in use,” writes Chris Kroger of The Packer, “the company saw an 11% drop in electricity use because of the more energy-efficient containers.”

It’s that final bullet point above that we’ll focus on now.

Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading this blog post, you’ll have a better understanding of how to insulate the interior space of a shipping container. (Not to mention some pros and cons.)

Insulating A Shipping Container

In order to maintain a comfortable temperature inside shipping containers, they need to be insulated. It’s also important to insulate in order to prevent condensation, which can lead to corrosion and mold.

Before moving on, let’s clarify a couple of things.

First, Container Stop sells a lot of insulated containers for refrigeration purposes. These come insulated; Container Stop can add a new cooling system to them, if and when necessary.

Second, insulating a container for a mini home, however, is a different process.

There are several shipping container insulation options; which one you choose is based on a variety of factors, including the climate where the container home will be located. (Another factor is budget.)

Here’s a quick look at the most typical kinds of insulation.

Blanket Insulation

These come in batts, which are pre-cut to fit, and rolls, which must be cut during installation. You’re probably already familiar with this type of insulation; it’s the fluffy, compressible kind that wraps your home in some type of fiber. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Types of blanket insulation:

  • Fiberglass
  • Mineral (rock or slag) wool
  • Plastic fibers
  • Natural fibers (e.g., cotton)

Note: Fiberglass can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs. Be sure to have a professional install your shipping container insulation if you choose this method.

Loose Fill And Blown-In Insulation

Installers blow or pour this type of insulation into place. It’s typically made from cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral (rock or slag) wool.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this type of insulation is “good for adding insulation to existing finished areas, irregularly shaped areas, and around obstructions.”

Spray Foam Insulation

This is a mixture that expands into a solid, creating a continuous foam that reaches into the insulated space. This method requires trimming. The material? Typically, it’s polyurethane (open or closed cell), cementitious foam, or cellulose.

One final point — expressed perfectly by DiscoverContainers.com:

“One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily have to use a certain type of insulation exclusively. For instance, you could use closed-cell polyurethane spray foam insulation for the container walls and roof, and then use rock wool blankets underneath the container to keep the cost down. You can even combine insulation in the same area.”

Container Stop: Your Personal Shipping and Storage Container Supplier

Container Stop provides storage containers that can be customized and delivered anywhere in the United States. We want to be your one-stop-shop for the creation, purchase, rental, and delivery of shipping container and storage container solutions.

Let’s create the shipping and storage container of your dreams. We can install doors and windows, electricity, shelves — you name it.

Get in touch with us today, and we’ll start a discussion about your perfect container home and the best methods to insulate it.

How Much Does A Shipping Container Cost?

What’s the Cost for a Shipping Container?

There’s an extraordinary amount of variety and flexibility when it comes to shipping and storage containers. That’s why more and more people are turning to Container Stop for their storage and shipping solutions. But how much does a shipping container cost? Shipping container pricing can vary, with costs anywhere from the hundreds to the thousands.

That wide range of prices is a feature, not a bug. It reinforces the fact that there is a variety of available shipping containers to buy or rent. Furthermore, the potential for customization means that prices can fluctuate. Finally, delivery costs can also vary depending on factors such as distance and how difficult it is to unload the container at the location.

Bottom line: The price of a shipping container ultimately depends on what you need, when you need it, and where it’s going. There are many factors that must be considered when deciding on a shipping container: size, condition, customization, and whether you’re looking to rent or buy.

Shipping Containers: California and Beyond

Container Stop provides new and used shipping containers for all of California, plus Arizona, Nevada — and anywhere else in the United States. Looking to buy something new? We can help. Hoping to rent something used? We can help with that, too. Long story short: Whatever your shipping container needs, we have the perfect solution for you.

Our most frequently requested shipping containers come in the following lengths:

  • 10 foot
  • 20 foot
  • 40 foot

However — and we can’t stress this enough — we can create custom shipping container lengths. Whether you need something 5 feet long or 45 feet long, we can create it. If you need a certain length, we’ll deliver that certain length.

Standard shipping container height is 8 feet, but we also offer what’s called a high cube shipping container; that one is 9.5 feet tall. Standard width is 8 feet. Remember, though: These, too, are just starting points since we can customize our containers to fit your exact needs and specifications — not to mention your budget.

As we mentioned above, the cost of a shipping container can vary greatly, but we think it’s important and a good idea to let potential customers know that these aren’t ugly, stifling hot, steel boxes. They can be customized!

Contact Container Stop to get the full details on shipping container costs and to start a discussion about how we can best partner with you. We want to supply all your shipping container needs. In order for us to give you a better idea of what our shipping containers cost, please do contact us.

Even better: Fill out our handy online form to request a quote so that you can provide more robust details about your shipping plans. We can usually get back to you within a day or two. We promise to be armed with all the information you need to make an informed and educated decision about what will work best for you.

Customizable Shipping Containers

Shipping containers, such as those available from Container Stop, may have once seemed out of reach for the average consumer. No more! We want you to think of us as your shipping container home. We provide shipping container solutions for a number of different customer types: homeowners, farms, big businesses, small businesses, retail businesses, offices, and more.

You may be wondering: How will I get the shipping container to my location? Answer: We’ll bring it to you. We want to make this process so simple and easy that you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of us before as your shipping solution. (See our FAQs for additional info.)

Peace of mind in and of itself is worth a fortune. But you don’t need to spend a fortune. Container Stop provides affordable mobile storage solutions. That’s why more and more people are realizing every day that we are the best at what we do. Let us help you get to where you need to be — at a price that makes you happy.

It’s what we do. And it’s why we say: Our box, your dream.

How To Build A Shipping Container Home

Building A Shipping Container Home

Readers of the Container Stop Blog may have noticed an uptick in the number of stories detailing how fantastic it would be to live in a refurbished and refashioned shipping container.

In addition to the ways in which a shipping container can be utilized to, well, ship things (and store things!), an increasing number of forward-thinkers are turning shipping containers into modern, comfy living spaces.

How do they do it — and, more importantly, why do they do it?

There are a lot of reasons why somebody might decide to turn a shipping container into a livable space, including:

  • Affordability
  • Expandability
  • Creative/design inspiration and challenge
  • Waterproof
  • Floodproof
  • Fireproof
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easily relocatable

Those are just a few of the reasons why people look to convert shipping containers into living spaces. We’ll be writing a lot more about this topic in the weeks and months ahead; there are so many fun and interesting angles to cover!

For example, did you know that the city of Wilmington, North Carolina, has an entire section of town dedicated to shipping containers that have been converted into living and working spaces?

Yep! It’s called the Cargo District. Rightly touted as “a collection of start-ups, social enterprises, art, innovation, professionals, coworking, retail shops, pop-ups, and dreamers,” the District represents one of the latest and greatest uses — or re-uses — of shipping containers into something altogether new and wonderful.

Ready To Build A Shipping Container Home?

But let’s say you’re interested in building a shipping container home of your own. If that’s the case, may we suggest you partner with the shipping container experts at Container Stop? Shipping containers are fully customizable, and we offer the best advice and workmanship to help build the container of your dreams.

In fact, we can customize your shipping container to include (among other things and depending on local building codes and regulations):

  • Doors and windows of all shapes and sizes
  • Skylights
  • Electrical systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Vents

Building a tiny home (or a roomy one!) out of a shipping container is something that can — and should — be done alongside the experts at Container Stop. Our welders and tradespeople are world-class — the best in the business.

When the work is done, your container will appear to be a full-sized, built house from the inside — with comfy and surprisingly spacious living rooms and other living areas, glass walls, sliding glass doors, and plenty of square feet of living space. These are real homes in good shape — and they tend to stay that way. With proper insulation, you can be cool in the summer and cozy and warm in the winter.

There is also the pleasure of knowing that it’s not just a shipping container home — it’s a recycled shipping container home!

History of Shipping Container Homes

According to The New York Times, shipping container homes have sprung up all around the world since at least the early 1990s. People have built them in the United States, the United Kingdom, South America, Africa, Australia, and South Korea.

“Building with shipping containers isn’t exactly new,” the Times writes, “but until recently it hasn’t been exactly mainstream either … Containers are loved by the hip and the practical, artisans and DIY-ers, engineers and construction foremen, as they are both sustainable and affordable. And used 20- or 40-foot containers can be obtained for as little as several hundred dollars apiece, so it’s not surprising that some industry professionals consider them the future of homebuilding.”

If you already know what your home plans will be like, and you’re a longtime professional like those mentioned in that New York Times quote above (an engineer, a construction foreman, etc.), then perhaps you might be able to build a shipping container home of your own.

Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll need to make it happen. (Partially compiled using the helpful info at BuildingContainerHomes.com.

Building A House Out Of A Shipping Container: What You’ll Need

  1. A plan (designs)
  2. Shipping containers (call Container Stop!)
  3. Engineers (for foundational work, connections, and reinforcements)
  4. Plumbers
  5. Electricians
  6. Welders

Think you can handle all that? If not, then call Container Stop. You have a dream — we can make it a reality.

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