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12 Tips You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Posted on March 24, 2020 by Garrett Crocker
Blue Shipping Container

Thinking of changing your lifestyle and embracing tiny home living? A shipping container home can be a unique and sustainable housing option. We’ve compiled 12 tips you need to know before building a shipping container home.

There are many benefits to building a shipping container home, but there are some important things you will need to know before you get started.

Shipping Container Tips

Tip #1: Know what type of container you want.

There are a variety of shipping container types, so determine ahead of time which types are best for your particular use. These may include standard, refrigerated, or high cube. Find one contractor who is familiar with each.

Tip #2: Read up on local rules.

Know what permits you need. Find out what county and city regulations there are regarding building codes, building materials, load-bearing, and bracing requirements, traditional construction processes versus container homes, etc. Avoid building the home or even buying a shipping container before you’re well-versed in these things.

Tip #3: Know their structure.

The structural integrity of your container is important, so make sure to read up on where load-bearing walls are, for example. (Sometimes, walls are both load-bearing.)

Tip #4: Know your budget.

Setting your budget ahead of time will save you the headache of overspending — which only tends to get worse once you’ve started building. When you’re ready to shop, think of your budget, and think of the long term.

Tip #5: Pick insulation wisely.

Research how to best insulate the shipping container so you can stay comfortable all year long in your new living space. Foam insulation? Fiberglass? These are important questions. Feel free to ask for advice from other folks who have moved into shipping container homes.

Tip #6: Plan for plumbing.

Knowing ahead of time where the plumbing will go is an important part of the building process.

Tip #7: Stick to the design.

Just like any construction project, changing the design of a home during construction could be costly. Commit to your final design before the building begins. Long walls, windows, and doors, eco-friendly, etc. — whatever your design goals, try to stick to them.

Tip #8: Look before you buy.

Look at the shipping containers before you buy them. You will need to ensure they don’t have structural issues, rust, or other dents.

Tip #9: Plan for electrical.

Plan where your electrical wiring will go before you start finishing the interior. Carving appropriate holes ahead of time will help determine how you arrange the inside later on.

Tip #10: Plan for weather elements.

Thunderstorms and winds can be hard on your shipping container home, so plan by painting accordingly and putting the container in an area that is shielded from the wind.

Tip #11:  Know if container living is right for you.

It’s essential to know if this type of home is right for you. Not everyone wants to live in a small space, so determine well ahead of time if you can thrive in this type of environment or not.

Tip #12: Ask for help if needed.

Designers, engineers, and other building professionals can make the building process a lot easier. Choosing experienced contractors can minimize stress and save you money.

Shipping container homes offer all the convenience of modern living in a reduced footprint. The first step is selecting the right shipping container. Contact our team at Container Stop to talk about your container project.

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We’ve built cabins, garden sheds, and tack rooms with our containers. Have an idea for your shipping container? Let us know!

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