It may seem a straightforward process to build a shipping container home. But in reality, you need to consider various factors to ensure that your home is sustainable and well-built. Whether you want a spacious large square footage unit or a multi-story home, a shipping container can fulfill your needs efficiently.
Shipping container homes have increased in popularity recently due to their affordability and durability. They’re also a great option for individuals conscious about saving the environment. Due to the convenient size and shape of containers, they are well-suited to be used as a living space. To expand the size of your home, you can always stack other containers together and make more room.
Building a shipping container home can be complex, so you need to know the right way to do it. Let’s uncover some useful tips to help you build the perfect shipping container home.
Check the Container Before Buying
Inspecting the container is a must before buying it. If you are buying the container from overseas, ask for the complete description, pictures, and even videos. But when looking for a storage container to buy from a local retailer, it is better to go and check it out on-ground. It will help you ensure that container does not have dents, rust, or structural issues.
While buying a new shipping container can be expensive, it’s a beneficial investment since you can save on repair costs and maintenance. Since this is going to be the base of your new home, pay close attention to its structural condition before buying.
Decide the Design
A proper plan will help you and the contractor stick to the goals. Find an experienced architect to design your home. It is one of the crucial parts of the planning phase, so you need to look for an individual with similar work experience.
Discussing design ideas with your contractor beforehand is essential because you need to consider factors like insulation, airflow, and exterior cladding. Also, you need to insulate the walls and roof, so deciding the design and getting it approved in advance is a must.
Know About the Regulations
Different countries or states have different rules regarding the construction of shipping container home. Learn the rules of your region for compliance purposes. Apply for relevant permits and inform the authorities before starting the building process.
Some cities do not support the construction of shipping container homes, while others have different restrictions. To avoid any legal trouble, you must check the state and local building codes.
Knowing the permit rules is necessary because it can impact your design choices, deed restrictions, and overall shipping home container project. You should also learn about the state, federal, and county level regulations. After all, you do not want any legal trouble after investing thousands of dollars in the project.
Consult the Experts
Look for someone with relevant experience and expertise who can make the construction procedure smooth and understands your requirements. Rather than consulting individual contractors for each task, look for a firm that can provide you with an all-around service.
However, if you want to reduce the project cost by hiring separate contractors and directly supervising the work, you can manage the expenses such as plumbing, insulation, and welding separately. Saving money will come at the cost of your time so if you want hands-on experience and can manage your work alongside this project, go for it.
Prioritize Your Safety
If you are planning to buy a used shipping container, it may contain chemicals and other products used to keep shipping goods safe. From mold to old paint and flooring, you may have to hire deep cleaning services to ensure your safety.
You need to understand that shipping containers are originally manufactured for lifetime use at sea. Heavy pesticides are used on the wood flooring to prevent rodents and rats from damaging the flooring. So, along with the chemicals, the presence of pesticides can be a safety concern for you.
Therefore, to prioritize your safety, you need to invest in a chemical-free shipping container. You can also take measures on your own such as insulation on the shipping container interior can keep you safe from off-gassing due to harmful chemical paints.
Maintain Structural Integrity
One mistake people make is cutting the shipping container to have an extra window or door. It can damage the structure of the container, which can affect its durability.
Cutting your container will require more work, increasing your expenses. Therefore, keep its original shape to maintain its durability and save cost. Containers come in different sizes and shapes, so opt for one that meets your specific needs rather than making modifications. The normal containers are eight feet high, but high cube containers have extra height.
Although the high cube containers are not cheap, extra height can be beneficial in building a new home. It can provide you with extra space for storage.
Set a Proper Budget
The bigger a container is, the more expenses will go toward insulating, finishing, and welding. Proper planning and budgeting can help you bear unexpected costs.
A good understanding of the electrical and plumbing lines is crucial. Hire a competent contractor who can do the job professionally, even if it costs extra.
Your budget depends on the construction styles you choose for your home’s exterior or interior. Also, the size of your shipping container can increase your expenses. The larger your home is going to be, the more work it will require, so while setting your budget, you need to consider these factors.
Building a perfect shipping home is not an overnight process. In some ways, it is more complex than constructing a regular home, so you must pay attention to different factors. Everything matters, from finding the right contractor to inspecting the container and following compliance requirements.
Knowing about the permit rules is a must because it will help you to decide as per government regulations. You also have to prioritize your safety and take the right measures to ensure that the shipping container is safe from harmful chemicals or pesticides.
Hopefully, this article will help you understand the different aspects of building a shipping container home.