You may have noticed by now that shipping containers have become a popular trend in sustainable design. More specially, shipping containers are being transformed into livable spaces, likes homes. Due to their convenient size for moving, durable design, and easily modified structure, containers make a unique and popular architectural choice.
While their popularity as personal homes and storage units is growing, there are several things you should consider before purchasing a shipping container. Let’s take a look.
- See the container before buying it.
This one seems obvious, but many times containers are bought sight unseen. While storage containers are sold at different grades depending on wear and tear, the condition of the container should still be reviewed before purchase. This is especially true if you want to us the container as a house. Check it out before you buy it.
- Check local rules and standards.
Every country has different zoning regulations and building codes, and those vary even more by state, county, and city. Before you decide to build a shipping container home, make sure sure you understand what you are allowed to do and what is required to make it a reality. Some of the key aspects you should look into include the type of foundation you need, the minimum square footage required, and energy efficiency, to name a few. Luckily, Texas is one of the best states to build in.
- Use a contractor that can do everything.
Because of the design of a storage container, modification requires some expertise beyond most typical contractors. For instance, modifying the exterior of a container requires a contractor who knows how to work with metal, like welding and fabrication. Finishing out the interior into a livable space requires a lot of knowledge and expertise as well. You’ll need to install insulation, sheetrock, lighting, and other key features that make it a home.
- Research different types of containers.
Not all containers are created equal. Some containers can be bought used with a lot of wear and tear – and the price is reflective of that. You can also buy a container brand new, but you will pay more. The good news is that, because containers are built so well in terms of durability, and are easy to modify, the condition doesn’t affect the overall result. What is important to note is the different sizes containers come in. You can purchase anywhere between 8 ft. containers to 45 ft. high cube containers. Pick the size that fits the design you want to achieve.
- Understand the structure of a shipping container.
While shipping containers are built incredibly simple and durably, modifying the containers can change the structure in some important ways. For instance, the long side walls of a container are load bearing walls. If you cut a window or door into them, then they need to be compensated. Structural integrity is very important in building, and working with a structure that will modified from its original intent makes it that much more vital in maintaining.
- Look into insulation.
Shipping containers are designed for just that: shipping. Outside of their basic structure, they don’t come ready made to be a livable space. When you begin modifying a container to be a home, you must consider the need for insulation. This will not only help to keep the unit climate controlled if desired, but to avoid condensation, especially in colder areas. It will also protect the interior from the elements.
- Understand all the costs.
Storage containers are popular, in part, because of their incredible affordability. When being used for homes, they come as a pre-built frame for building upon – saving both time and money. It is important to note, however, that those cost savings can dwindle quickly when modifications begin. You still may need to lay a foundation, install plumbing, weld containers together and so on. You will save money in the long run, but don’t be surprised if it is not quite as much as you expected. Research all the factors affecting the cost of building a shipping container home.
Are you ready to buy a shipping container and turn it into a house? Contact us today to choose the right container for the job – at the right price. We have many containers to choose from, at all different sizes and grades. Call us today to get started.