One of the most frequent questions we hear is about purchasing a shipping container, is for use as a tiny home or how to use multiple containers to build a larger home.
The popularity of container homes is surging throughout the world as a cheap, simple and relocatable building structure; in a world with rising financial costs and dwindling land resources shipping container homes can be a fantastic alternative form of housing or dwelling.
Built from corten steel and coming in different sizes and heights, containers are structurally very strong, sturdy and rugged; designed to withstand the ravages of long sea voyages, continually picked up and put down, plus stacked underneath or on top of other containers, they are built to endure.
If you want a cheap alternative form of housing or dwelling and want to use a shipping container as a base there are a few things to consider before rushing out to make your purchase.
- Do your homework and be sure of the sizes, types and differing uses of containers.
- Not all shipping containers are the same, containers are made by different manufacturers from around the world and even though they need to conform to international standards they can, and do, have differing qualities of steel, materials and workmanship. This can be an especially important aspect as it affects the longevity and quality of the structure.
- If it is a used shipping container what type of
past has it had?
- Has it had chemical’s or potentially dangerous or toxic materials stored inside?
- Structurally sound? Is the frame straight and true, warped or bent due to being dropped or mishandled?
- Is there rust? Naturally being steel there will be surface rust in places but check thoroughly, especially underneath the flooring if possible for serious rust problems.
- Do the doors open relatively easy and are the seals intact?
- Always, as a general rule, check the container personally and visually inspect it, buy from a reputable dealer and if still unsure ask someone knowledgeable to assist you.
Other important aspects to consider are site location, ground quality and delivery access, to ensure you get longevity out of your container and to stop issues with damp and moisture:
- Level and solid ground or use of a supporting framework
- Steel framing.
- A concrete pad with adequate and quality drainage.
- Railway sleepers.
- Have adequate drainage and ventilation underneath by raising the container.
- Install air vents.
- Make sure there is adequate site access not only for the shipping container but for the delivery truck and or crane to manoeuvre and ensure the ground the truck will traverse is solid.
The best option is to take a couple of photos of your intended site and show your reputable shipping container dealer who can then advise on any course of action that may be required.
The final point is council permission, planning and policies in regards to shipping containers and containers used for dwellings. Ensure before purchasing any shipping container that you have all the required permits and permissions from your local council.