Shipping containers serve an important role in the global economy. They’re big and strong enough to convey cargo consistently, yet small and light enough to be moved by cranes and forklifts. Over the years, though, a problem arose: an oversupply of used containers. Innovative architects spotted an eco-friendly opportunity where others saw a challenge. Designers have been reusing containers into a variety of structures since the mid-2000s. Some constructions are basic, such as a single compact shipping container furnished for living quarters, while others are more sophisticated, combining numerous containers with other structural elements. Are you thinking about living in a shipping container home? Here are some important considerations when building a shipping container home.
What is a shipping container home?
We’ve all seen shipping containers at one point, whether they’re layered on top of one another in ports, riding on the backs of trucks, and even repurposed as businesses. Container homes, on the other hand, are shipping containers that have been transformed into living quarters. A lot of the time, owners combine multiple containers to create large modular dwelling masterpieces. Shipping container homes give owners more flexibility and creativity over how their homes appear without breaking the bank.
Considerations when building a shipping container home
Shipping containers are unique as building materials go. As such, they have their own confounding issues as well as fascinating advantages. This article addresses key things you need to know before you construct a container home.
Not all containers are equal
When considering building a shipping container home, one of the first things to keep in mind is that these containers are not all created equal. Shipping containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common types used for buildings are high cube, standard, and refrigerated. You must also decide on the condition of the shipping container that will be most appropriate for your circumstance. Shipping containers are available to be purchased as new, used, and one trip containers.
Research local planning laws and building regulations
Shipping container architecture is still relatively new, so the most important thing before starting construction is to research your local laws and regulations. You need to ensure two things: First, that your container building will fit on the land, and second, that it will meet existing building codes and zoning restrictions. Building codes set standards for what structures must have to receive an occupancy permit. Zoning regulations, meanwhile, dictate where a home can be built.
Don’t change your design during construction
One of the most common reasons that all types of homes take longer to build and cost more than projected is that the design changes during construction. The planning stage is the best time to make changes to your design. It’s critical to commit to your final design before you start building. When working with shipping containers, keep in mind that once you remove a wall from the container, it’s gone. Replacing the wall after you’ve cut it out is extremely costly and time-consuming. Before you commit to your design, make sure you do as much research as possible and, ideally, visit numerous container homes.
Choose your insulation carefully
When creating a shipping container home, the insulation material should not only insulate your building but also act as a vapour barrier to keep moisture out. As a result, spray foam insulation is the most preferred choice of insulation for shipping container homes. Spray foam insulation is not only lighter than insulation panels, but it also works as a vapour barrier when installed properly. Spray foam insulation has only one disadvantage: it is more expensive than other types of insulation.
Finding contractors can be difficult
People use contractors because they don’t have either the time or the skills to construct the building themselves. This applies to traditional buildings as well as shipping container homes. Since shipping container homes are still relatively new to the mainstream, the number of contractors who specialise in this type of construction is still somewhat limited.