Do you wish to build a sleek, safe, and contemporary home with classic looks, for a fraction of the cost of building a conventional residential structure? Have you ever considered re-purposing shipping containers to build your dream home?
Do you dare to be different?
Well it’s good to know that there are many intending homeowners that are seriously considering going this route; re-purposing containers into small but beautiful structures.
This concept has been winning converts worldwide.
From small but elegant homes, to schools, clinics, offices, and workshops, the idea of re-cycling material that’ll otherwise be classified as industrial cast-offs (junk), and turning such . . . with some creativity of course . . . into sustainable living spaces, has become a really clever idea and a wonderful concept that nearly everyone responds to in a very positive way.
Because many people like you and I are finding it more of a challenge sourcing for funds to erect a structure the traditional way; hardly surprising given today’s economic conditions, building with what we all know as shipping containers helps save on construction costs.
Why Would You Build Your Home with Shipping Containers?
• You have a REALLY narrow lot (plot) or a small plot of land
• You want to save on building construction costs
• You want to find ways to reduce home maintenance costs
• You want to build for a fraction of the cost of traditional buildings
• You want to build within a very short period (they are quick and easy to install)
Container Homes – What You Need to Know
1. Purchasing the RIGHT shipping container
It’s very important to choose the right containers for your building project IF you want to ensure there are no dents, holes, rusty sections; general wear and tear.
If you can, it’s often best to choose a ‘one-trip’ container.
These are practically new in that they’ve been used to ship cargo once. Unlike most that’s been used to ship cargo to and from one continent to another, for a good number of years.
Brand new unused ones can also be purchased directly from shipping container factories. This way, you can take the guesswork out of buying the right container.
2. Building and planning regulations
Depending on where you reside and intend to erect your container home, you will require building permission and/or council consent. If you are building with, for instance, one lone 20ft container, you may not require such, but if you are building a larger home with two or more containers, stacking them if you desire a two or three storey building, you will need building permission.
Find out from your council about the application process during your planning stage, before you commence building. Do as much research as is possible on this before the start of the project, because getting the best results is all about preparation.
3. Finding the right ‘builder’
It is not wise to go it alone; no self-build with this, UNLESS you are a professional with shipping container building expertise. This kind of building task is best approached with professional drawing services (architectural), and competent structural engineering.
It is definitely worth your while if you can work with a builder who has experience with erecting container structures. He/she must also understand container interior and exterior finishing.
Building with steel containers can be challenging; even the stress is almost similar to what you go through with traditional construction. But, your building costs are certainly less.
4. How to keep the heat of a scorching sun from its roof
You have to consider this at the planning stage. If and when the sun shines down on the top of the containers, because it is made from steel, the household will be burning up inside. And the air-conditioning will be virtually useless. Think double-ventilating, and insulation.
Best Way to Go About Building Container Homes
Before embarking on your mission, it’s a good idea if you research, research, and research! Building with shipping containers may seem a breeze; like building and stacking Lego blocks in a creative form, but it’s not. You have to think of its ‘engineering’ as well.
Secondly, building with steel structures is certainly a bit more complicated than what you’ll learn from a You Tube video tutorial.
However, if you’ve spent too much of your time searching online for useful information on building your home or other structure with cargo containers, it’s time to try a different approach to your research.
To save you research time and get all your questions answered ‘under-one-umbrella’, you may wish to check out the ‘CONSTRUCTURE GUIDE’. This guide will provide you all the information you’ll ever need.
“The Constructure Guide is the only source that has been expanded to include a comprehensive section on the engineering and building code questions that have been raised so often over the years”
Think of it this way. If you are considering building your dream home with modular units of steel boxes, you want to approach it from an educated perspective so as to avoid unforeseen construction problems, traps, and pitfalls.
The guide is written in layman’s terms so it’s easy to follow, especially with its helpful illustrations and photos that will guide you through the design concept, the engineering aspect, and the building construction.