5 Creative Uses Of A Shipping Container

Creative Shipping Container Ideas

We’ve written all about the good reasons to score a shipping container. We’ve examined the many ways in which a shipping container can be converted into a living space. We’ve talked at length about people just like you who have turned shipping containers into super excellent, creative spaces. But what are some other creative uses of a shipping container?

Container Stop not only has the tools and the inventory to get you started right away, but we also have some stories to tell!

Remind us to tell you about the time we built a rooftop bar on a customer’s shipping container …

We’ve been in business for a while now, and one thing continually surprises us about our customers: They are a creative bunch! They — and we! — can convert shipping containers into much more than just steel boxes with doors and windows.

So, with our customers in mind — both past, repeat, and potential future customers — we thought we’d write a short blog post about some of the more enterprising — not to mention surprising! — uses of shipping containers.

So, without further adieu, here are …

5 Totally Cool and Creative Uses For A Shipping Container

  1. A shed! OK — so maybe this one doesn’t sound all that cool and creative at first glance. But hear us out. People buy shipping containers to create something useful and wonderful. Considering that a shed is useful, and a shipping container — waterproof, roomy, rugged — makes for a wonderful, sturdy, impenetrable shed, then this is the perfect marriage of form and function. Shipping containers are a great way to set up a space for gardening equipment, swimming pool supplies, or garage tools.
  2. Vacation home! Now we’re talking. Creative types can locate a shipping container on a beautiful piece of property with stunning views for use as a vacation retreat. Rent it out as a hotel or Airbnb or, if the spirit moves ya, turn it into a permanent shipping container home. Every day will seem like a vacation.
  3. Student Housing. The perfect solution for crowded, expensive cities searching for ways to provide accommodations for students. Young people have enough to worry about: enormous student debt, the cost of textbooks and food, etc. Buying up a bunch of unused shipping containers and then converting them into housing for students is a great way to help out the future leaders of America. Recycled shipping containers make great homes and office spaces at a fraction of the cost of regular student housing constructions.
  4. Retail Space. Another wonderful way to re-use old shipping containers and revitalize entire areas of a city. Imagine pop-up shops filled with all sorts of items for sale packed into an otherwise unused city block. Talk about urban renewal! In fact, in many parts of the world, shipping containers are reimagined as art studios and workshops, food cart pods, schools, hospitals, saunas, indoor gardens — even portable toilets in crowded city centers. If you have space and a dream, you can transform humdrum sections of a city into something new and vibrant and vital.
  5. Playgrounds! This requires a great deal of creativity — not to mention ingenuity. In underserved parts of our nation and the world — and, sadly, there are a lot of underserved parts of the world — shipping containers are being refashioned into safe and fun playgrounds for neighborhood children of all ages.

What do you imagine a shipping container can be? Let a shipping container bridge the gap between your container dreams and your container reality!

Questions? We’re ready to help. Contact Container Stop today. Better yet: Request a quote!

Advantages of Building with Shipping Containers

Why Build with Shipping Containers?

There are many advantages to building with shipping containers. Although originally conceived for reasons much different than housing or business space, shipping containers are nevertheless easy to work with and to reconfigure into something new.

This is true in no small part to their ingenious modularity, which allows for creative combinations of just about any size and shape (or layout).

You can see some splendid examples of these combinations all around the world in places such as Container City, which includes the fun, eclectic Trinity Buoy Wharf in London. You can also see it in New York, including a Hamptons abode made from six shipping containers.

In fact, shipping containers are being recycled into home and business spaces on every continent. And one of the reasons why it’s advantageous to build with shipping containers is because of the properties inherent in their original design.

Malcom McLean and the Invention of Shipping Containers

American entrepreneur and transport businessman Malcom McLean invented the intermodal shipping container. It’s no exaggeration to say that McLean’s idea for containerization changed the world.

Prior to the invention of intermodal containers, shippers had to deal with and handle individual pieces of cargo — a truly inefficient method which had nonetheless been standard operating procedure for centuries. McLean knew instinctively that shipping would be more efficient if the cargo were loaded in bulk — i.e., in specially designed shipping containers — rather than one piece at a time. 

He was right. Containerization lowered the cost of shipping by a factor of a hundred. It also cut transit times, improved the reliability and timeliness of deliveries, and reduced theft.

In short, McLean’s invention was a masterstroke that instantly made old shipping methods obsolete. The efficiencies built into the process lowered prices down the line — all the way to the consumer.

“Nearly every imported consumer good imaginable owes its lower price to the container revolution,” writes PBS.

A New Use For Old Containers

McLean probably never imagined that shipping containers would be retrofitted and recycled into shipping container houses and offices, but human ingenuity knows no bounds.

There are pros and cons to every building process. You can’t really go wrong with building a home or office with traditional construction methods and building materials. Chances are extremely high that your home was built using these methods, adhering to tried-and-true building codes and, perhaps, a homes designer who was more interested in quantity over quality in order to meet demand.

But consider another possibility: A cost-effective, environmentally friendly shipping container home that’s truly unique, rugged as the day is long, and designed with your comfort and style in mind.

Which leads us back to our original question: What are the advantages of building with shipping containers? Let’s take a quick look at why and how shipping containers can be used for a variety of purposes above and beyond that of their original brilliant design.

4 Advantages of Buildings Made with Shipping Containers (in alphabetical order)

  • Availability. Some sources estimate that hundreds of millions of shipping containers sit empty and unused around the world. This is one of the reasons why they’re so economical to build with, too!
  • Customizable. If you can dream it, Container Stop can turn it into a reality. We can add doors, windows, skylights, electrical and plumbing systems, air conditioning, and more.
  • Durability. Shipping containers are built to last and to survive multiple trips across swelling seas. Think of how many shipping containers can be stacked atop one another and then consider how strong the container itself must be in order to bear that load repeatedly. This is why shipping container homes remain standing even during the most intense natural events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes. A shipping container can withstand winds up to 175 miles per hour — i.e., a Category 5 hurricane.
  • Eco-friendly. Recycling and repurposing shipping containers into homes or offices is a good way to help the environment. A typical 40-foot container can weigh more than 7,500 pounds when empty. Turning it into a home or office means there’s no need to forge thousands of pounds of steel. They can also be customized to add solar power and windows that let in natural light. Finally, there’s no need to use other types of material, such as cement, when constructing a shipping container dwelling.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with Container Stop today!

How to Heat and Cool a Shipping Container Home

Heating and Cooling a Container Home

Container Stop has so many ways to personalize shipping container homes that it’s difficult if not impossible to describe them all in one blog post.

Actually, scrap that. It actually is impossible to describe them all in one post. That’s because we’re always thinking of new ways to customize shipping containers in order to transform them into something comfortable and spectacular.

It’s also because of our customers. Not long after seeing a shipping container home firsthand, they soon acquire a crystal clear understanding of the possibilities. Since there are very few limitations to the ways and methods in which a container can be customized, customers can let their imaginations run wild.

Thus, we get some of our best ideas from clients!

So Many Options

And that’s really why it’s not possible to describe each and every way to customize a shipping container home. It’s impossible because of all the possibilities!

Consider, for example, the following: How to heat and cool a shipping container home. There are lots of great ways to keep your shipping container home cool in hot climates and to get some cozy warm air inside even in super cold climates.

It’s true that these containers were once just steel boxes shipping items across vast oceans. It’s also true, however, that they can be turned into comfy abodes with portable air conditioners, where the air flows smooth and cool and the energy efficiency is better than most homes. 

Heating and Cooling A Shipping Container Home

There are a lot of different ways to add heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) amenities to your shipping container home. This could be traditional electricity, sure; but it could also be propane tanks, solar panels, or the addition of insulation.

Containers can also be designed so as to allow a lot of natural light and air inside, thus easing the burden of heating, cooling and ventilating.

As we wrote in “Are Container Homes Eco-Friendly Homes?”:

Another overlooked aspect of building shipping container houses is that they can easily be arranged to take advantage of natural light to make the living space warm and inviting — or cool and inviting. In fact, managing heat and cool spaces inside a tiny house is easily accomplished.

Basically, if it can be used to heat, cool, or ventilate a traditional home, it can be used to HVAC a shipping container home, too!

Container Stop

Get in touch with Container Stop today so that we can get started on a plan of action that gets you the climate you want no matter the climate you’re in. We ship anywhere, and we’re ready to serve you.

How To Convert A Shipping Container Into A Granny Flat

Turn a Shipping Container into a ‘Granny Flat’

So-called “granny flats” — or, as they’re usually called in most municipalities, an accessory dwelling unit — are a hot ticket item in today’s competitive housing market. As more and more families look to consolidate their living spaces while saving money, it’s likely that we’ll see more and more homes with ADUs entering the market.

Shipping containers make excellent ADUs. If you’re wondering how to convert a shipping container into a granny flat, then be sure to read on!

Shipping Container ‘Granny Flats’

Looking for a way to add additional living space to your home or property? A shipping container converted to a granny flat is one of the ways to do this.

Granny flats are designed for one or two people and are usually located on the grounds of an already existing home. They generally have a modern and industrial style, and they are spacious enough for someone looking to live comfortably in a smaller space.

Step No. 1: Get approval.

If you’re starting an infrastructure project, you will need to understand what city rules and regulations exist. Granny flats will definitely require getting the proper permits from city officials. 

It’s important to note that this will have to happen before you begin construction, as there could be zoning requirements that need to be met and understood before the process begins.

The last thing you want to do is go through the time and expense of creating a granny flat, then realize that it’s illegal to have it there.

Make sure you do your research on what documents are required before you start. 

Step No. 2: Add a base.

When you have an existing shipping container that you want to turn into a granny flat, construction will be very minimal. There will be a level base that your shipping container needs to rest on, but this could be something as simple as basic decking materials.

Having the right base also allows you to remove the container later should you decide to move or relocate it.

Step No. 3: Design it!

Now comes the fun part.

Once the granny flat is in place on a secure base, you will be able to add your personal touches to it, including new windows, doors, insulation, and more. You can also paint the interior or exterior and start designing it so it can fit your unique style and design preferences.

Rustic? Industrial chic? Open plan living? Whatever you — or granny — prefer!

Container Stop

Shipping containers that have been transformed into tiny homes, granny flats, and more are an affordable way to live comfortably on a property that you own. While these custom builds are often used as homes, they are also commonly used to make a house expandable — as another bedroom or living space to create extra room while utilizing and sometimes combining the existing facilities from the main home.

Of course, maybe the shipping container doesn’t need everything a tiny home has. If a parent or grandparent just needs their own bedroom or living space, they can still use the facilities in the main home.

Interested in learning about how a cost-effective granny flat could work for you? Contact our team at Container Stop today to stay in touch with our news about the world of shipping container homes.

How Much Will It Cost To DIY A Shipping Container House?

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Shipping Container Home?

Wondering how much it will cost to DIY a shipping container house? This is a good question! After all, there’s a lot to think about. Doing it yourself — or DIYing it — will save money on the hiring of professionals. But could that decision cost you in the end?

A pro may be able to get deals on materials. They might not take as long as a DIY job. A professional also understands the permitting process and may be able to slice right through whatever red tape stands between you and your dream container home.

Alas, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s dig into this topic of building a house out of a shipping container starting right at the beginning.

Building A Shipping Container Home

A shipping container that is transformed into a comfortable home is a great sustainable housing option. If you are thinking about adjusting your lifestyle to tiny home living, you may be considering how a shipping container house could work for you and what it will cost.

Even if you are comfortable with building things, taking on a DIY shipping container project can be difficult. You might save a little money by foregoing the professionals, but that decision could cost you in the end.

Here are three reasons why.

1. Local rules

Every county and city has its own set of rules and standards. So, when it comes to investing in your living situation, you will need to know exactly what permits are required.

The designing and building permitting process from county to county or city to city can vary, and it can get confusing for someone who is unfamiliar with the process.

Working with a professional shipping container company means you can have their professional team working on the permits and proper paperwork. You won’t have to lift a finger and you will have confidence knowing that everything is done and properly filed.

That way, when your tiny house (or not so tiny, depending on your tastes, budget, desired living space, etc.) is designed and they’ve started building, you’ll know you’ve adhered to local building codes.

That’s for starters. You’ll also know that when you have additional home designs in mind — adding a laundry room, solar panels, an eco-friendly shower, a concrete foundation, an expanded living area — that they will be designed and built on a solid home construction foundation.

2. Savings on materials

Professional contractors have access to material deals that most other people don’t. A lot of their savings derives from their ability to buy things in bulk. That means that you could end up getting discounts on products that you normally wouldn’t have access to.

When you’re working on a DIY project, you’re likely to only buy materials as-needed. Without being able to buy in bulk, your ability to save will be limited.

3. Quality you can trust

Whether it’s welding, plumbing, adding insulation, or installing windows, quality construction is important to maintaining the structure’s integrity.

If you want your shipping container to last a long time and you want to minimize the risk of damage down the road, working with a trained shipping container contractor is valuable and necessary.

Whether you are looking for a shipping container that will serve as a guest home or you plan on living in the structure full time, construction and quality matter.

Contact Container Stop today for the best and most up-to-date information on getting your shipping container project started.

Can You Live In A Shipping Container?

Living In a Shipping Container Home

Can you live in a shipping container? What things do you need to think about when considering this particular living arrangement?

There are generally two overarching concerns before one decides to make the move into shipping container living: the personal and the legal.

The personal: What does one need in a living space in order to be happy?

The legal: Are there appropriate zoning and housing laws — plus the infrastructure — to make your shipping container home habitable for the long term?

Let’s take these concerns one at a time.

Living In A Shipping Container: The Personal

Living in a shipping container represents a sacrifice — but one that’s borne from a sense of adventure.

The first thing that one must consider is whether or not inhabiting limited space is an attractive lifestyle choice. Plus, there is the fact that many shipping container homes are located away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Are you prepared for the possibility that you may not appreciate isolated living as much as you thought you would? 

Of course, more and more cities are allowing for the design and construction of shipping container communities. If you happen to live in one of these cities, then you won’t have to worry so much about that sense of isolation. You will, however, have something new to deal with: crowds! (Along with a small living space.)

Lifestyle

What else? There is a certain style of living that is best complemented by shipping container homes: individual and minimalist. This is why so many people are drawn to the simplicity of downsizing into a shipping container home.

Make no mistake: One can craft a lifestyle of one’s choice when living in a shipping container. But it is nevertheless true that most of the things one takes for granted in modern living may have to be downsized in a container home.

As we’ve examined elsewhere in the Container Stop blog, there are several things in addition to the small space that may be considered cons of shipping container living. (Naturally, we think the pros outweigh the cons, but it’s important to have all the information so that you can make an informed decision on whether shipping container life is for you.)

Shipping Container Home Cons

  • You’ll need insulation. Depending on your location, without adequate insulation, your shipping container may become unsuitably hot in the summer and unbearably cold in the winter.
  • It can get noisy. Containers amplify sounds, so you may want to soundproof the container.
  • The potential for high set-up costs. To make them livable, you’ll have to add the basics yourself — electricity, plumbing, windows, sliding glass doors — not to mention any so-called luxuries, such as carpeting and furniture. Container Stop can help with many of the basics. Get in touch today!
  • Health hazards. Containers can be of uncertain origin. To avoid potential hazardous materials, such as lead, remember to partner with reputable companies like Container Stop.

Living In A Shipping Container: The Legal

This is another topic we’ve covered on the Container Stop blog. What are some of the legalities that one must consider when looking at a shipping container house?

As we wrote in our “Can I Put A Shipping Container On My Land?” blog post, “Although we like to think that our properties are ours to do as we please, there are local, state, and federal regulations that we all must adhere to. Beyond that, there are often neighborhood regulations, as well as homeowners associations (HOA) that all have a say in whether or not you can have a shipping container home on your property.”

We recommend doing a little research into the local laws and regulations regarding container homes in your area. If possible, hire an attorney to help you sort through the thicket of property zoning rules, building codes and permits, property inspections, and more.

Modifications

You’ll also want to pay close attention to laws regarding shipping container modifications. You want to make your home as comfortable as possible for yourself. But in order to do so, you’ll need to know what your local authorities require. The last thing you want to deal with is having to redo something because a building inspection determined you haven’t stayed up to code.

Educate yourself as well on the deed restrictions to your property. No sense in constructing a super fantastic container home on a permanent foundation in a place where it’s not allowed. Once your home is built, you want to live there, not fight for its existence!

Finally, you’ll need permits for electrical work, plumbing work, and other construction add-ons.

Container Stop

All of this may sound daunting. Don’t let it get you down!

Lots of people have discovered the joy of eco-friendly alternative living spaces. Maybe even some of your friends and family have moved into a tiny home or had someone like Container Stop build container homes for them!

In fact, many people have constructed custom homes and vacation residences out of shipping containers. So if you’re not sure if full-time, tiny-house real estate living is for you, consider a part-time residence instead!

And be sure to contact Container Stop with any questions. Our service area continues to grow, and we look forward to expanding our operations into your neck of the woods.

Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Homes

Shipping Container Home Advantages and Disadvantages

If you’ve spent any amount of time perusing the Container Stop blog — and we hope you have! — you’ve no doubt noticed our enthusiasm for shipping container homes.

That enthusiasm for the shipping container business was there from the get-go. It’s one of the reasons we got into this line of work in the first place. We saw right away what a unique opportunity shipping container homes presented both in terms of eco-friendly housing and creative possibilities.

Still, like all things (even the best things), there are pros and cons of shipping container homes. 

With that in mind, we thought we should write a blog post discussing the advantages and disadvantages of building and living in a shipping container home.

Naturally, we think the pros (positives and advantages) far outweigh the cons (negatives, disadvantages).

Furthermore, we think the work we do at Container Stop and the friendly, expert, thoughtful way in which we go about our business is a solid plus in the pros column.

But don’t take our word for it. (Actually, do take our word for it — but also take our customers’ words!)

Fabulous service, good box, perfect delivery. We recommend Garett and his team. They delivered a good quality box — on time and with courtesy!

— Mills Geological

Whenever I need a container or someone I know needs a container the first thought in my mind will always be Container Stop!

— Eric Adams

Shipping Container Home Pros

  • Affordable
  • Expandable
  • Quick and easy to build
  • Waterproof. You won’t have roof leaks — or any kind of leaks. Remember, these rugged and sturdy containers are meant to weather the massive swells and storms of deep-sea travel.
  • Safety and Security. Lock that bad boy up when you’re away. Let someone try to get inside!
  • Floodproof
  • Fireproof
  • Pest Proof. (Unless termites evolve to start chomping on steel.)
  • Eco-friendly. Your carbon footprint will be reduced by a significant amount if you choose to inhabit a shipping container home.
  • Relocatable
  • Customizable. They’re ideal for housing, office space, and commercial spaces. But since our focus here is on shipping container homes, the fact that their customizable means we can add any number of doors and windows and skylights. Just ask!

Shipping Container Home Cons

  • Size. It’s small. Limited storage space — unless, of course, you’re using it only to store things.
  • You’ll need to insulate it thoroughly. Otherwise, summers are too hot and winters are too cold — and both of those scenarios will make your container uninhabitable.
  • It can be rather noisy. The container amplifies sounds, so you’ll need to do a fair bit of soundproofing.
  • The containers themselves come bare-bones. You’ll have to add all the luxuries and amenities, such as electricity, plumbing, windows, doors, etc.
  • Some containers are of uncertain origin and are, therefore, often coated with lead or unknown materials. This is one of many reasons to stick with a reputable company like Container Stop for your shipping container needs.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask! We’re here to help.

Contact Container Stop today. Or request a quote!

Are Container Homes Eco-Friendly Homes?

Shipping Container Homes Eco Friendly

What are the environmentally-friendly aspects of a shipping container home? There are quite a few — from the use of fewer materials and resources in their construction to the fact that they’re incredibly long-lasting.

There’s also the fact that shipping containers can be relocated quickly to places where people are in desperate need of housing. For example, after natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.

That positive facet of container home living may not appear on most lists of eco-friendly housing. It should, though, due to the efficiencies built into the process of locating containers. That is to say, the handling systems and the infrastructure — cranes, ships, trains, etc. — in place to move them from one place to another with speed and efficiency.

Even better, areas that are prone to natural disasters can prep for them beforehand by using containers to house residents.

“The units are capable of meeting or exceeding hurricane codes in Miami-Dade and seismic codes, like in California,” says David Cross of SG Blocks.

According to The Spruce, the building materials used in container homes “are also resistant to many of the problems that plague traditional wood-frame homes: fire, mold, leaks, and wood-boring insects.”

“Certainly termites and other varmints aren’t interested in steel,” Cross says.

What Makes Container Homes Eco-Friendly?

Another environmentally friendly — or at least efficient — aspect of container home living is that these homes can be built in locations that are traditionally unsuitable for housing. For example, container homes can be embedded on steep hillsides of propped up with support beams on extreme slopes where the land is not used (or can’t be used) for other purposes.

There’s also the fact that reusing something — e.g., a recycled shipping container — rather than building something new is also inherently enviro-friendly.

Plus, consider that a storage container can be retrofitted into a tiny home without the need to harvest timber that might typically be necessary to build something from scratch.

“Shipping containers are left abandoned every year,” writes Sara Barnes at MyModernMet.com. “By using them for a dwelling, you’re repurposing steel and giving it a new life. In addition, your recycling cuts down on other materials like concrete or bricks.”

Affordability, Arrangeability

The folks at Sundog Structures, who make container homes, bring up a good point, too. Container homes are affordable, which means more money left over for other things.

“By saving money on property fees and construction, you can invest more money into making your home comfortable, eco-friendly, and technologically-advanced,” they write. “You’ll have more money to spend on ‘green’ appliances, which will allow you to live a more environmentally-friendly life, without breaking the bank.”

Another overlooked aspect of building shipping container houses is that they can easily be arranged to take advantage of natural light to make the living space warm and inviting — or cool and inviting. In fact, managing heat and cool spaces inside a tiny house is easily accomplished. 

Finally, as fully modular units on a plot of land, these green buildings make the best and most efficient use of the available square feet. Interior finishes can be just about anything, too!

Finally, container homeowners can also utilize tried-and-true measures to make their container home even more eco-friendly. For example, residents can install rainwater collectors, build compost heaps and grow their own veggies.

Container Stop

As we’ve written elsewhere on the Container Stop blog, “the tried-and-true methods of energy and resource conservation work just as well — sometimes better! — in a container home.”

Container homeowners can also add:

  • Solar panels
  • Low-flush toilets and showerheads
  • Ceiling fans
  • Tankless water heaters
  • LEDs
  • Insulation

And because of a container home’s smaller footprint, many of these eco-friendly practices can potentially have a bigger impact.

Make sure to consult your local building codes to see where you can get started on your own dream shipping container home.

Please browse the Container Stop website for more great ideas about container home living. 

And as always, if you have questions, get in touch!

How Many Cars Fit In A Shipping Container?

How Many Cars Can I Fit in a Shipping Container?

How many cars fit in a shipping container? That sounds like something you’d see in an article titled, “10 Things You Need To Know But Never Thought To Ask”!

Obviously, the number of cars that can fit in a shipping container depends on the size of the container, the size of the cars, and the type of vehicles. But we can make some educated guesses to figure it out.

Shall we?

Shipping Container Dimensions

If you look through the Container Stop FAQs, you’ll notice the following questions: What length do shipping containers come in? Other dimensions?

Our answer: The most frequently requested sizes are 10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet, although we’re able to customize them so they’re as short as 5 feet or as long as 45 feet.

Just tell us what you need, and we’ll get to work.

While the lengths can be customized, all our containers are 8 feet wide. They’re available in two heights: standard 8.5 feet or a high-cube 9.5 feet.

Since we’re discussing shipping container dimensions, we thought we’d mention that the width and height of our containers cannot be altered. So please keep that in mind when considering your own trailer.

Of course, when trying to determine how many cars will fit in a shipping container, height is only of slight importance. After all, we’re not going to try and stack cars atop one another, are we?

(Quick side note: It’s possible — indeed it’s mandatory when cost-effective shippers are seeking efficiencies and are looking to maximize the use of space — to arrange vehicles in a shipping container with one end elevated. You can see what that looks like here.)

Shipping Containers and Cars

Keeping the shipping container dimensions above in mind, we can get an idea of the number of vehicles that can fit inside a shipping container.

A 20-foot container can accommodate two standard-sized vehicles placed end to end. A 40-foot container can fit about four standard-sized vehicles inside.

If we add a few wrinkles, we can say that a 40-foot container can hold five or six small cars. A container can probably accommodate three big cars or SUV-style vehicles.

But remember: YMMV! (Your mileage may vary!)

Happy shipping!

Contact Container Stop with any questions.

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

What You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

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.