Refurbishing shipping containers into homes is a novel idea that is increasing in popularity. You can build a home out of one or more modified shipping containers. If you're considering this option, the following are important factors to bear in mind to make the process hassle-free and ensure you end up with a home worth your investment.
1. See before you buy
In this era when the Internet is teeming with shipping containers for sale, it may be tempting to complete a purchase simply at the word of a vendor. However, shipping containers displayed online may be very different from what ends up being delivered, so ensure you actually see yours before paying for it/them.
Find out what material it is made from – Corten steel is ideal since it is strong and corrosion-resistant – and ensure it's the right size for your application. Find out whether there are any inconsistencies that will need fixing (especially if buying used containers).
2. Take care of legal and insurance
Every country/city/region has its legislation about building different types of homes, so it's important to read up about what the regulations say about your would-be home. This applies to regulations on fire protection, climate and installation among others. Larger houses may require building permits from relevant authorities. In addition, find out from your insurer whether their protection plans cover container homes.
3. Buying new vs. used
New or one-way-trip containers are those which have been in cargo ships once: from the manufacturer to the supplier. While more expensive, they are more durable and ideal for home construction, since they have never carried cargo and sustained subsequent damage. In addition, some suppliers offer custom-made new containers, which means you don't have to incur additional modification costs – you can get it as you want it.
Used shipping containers are sold after 10-15 years of cargo shipping, depending on specific suppliers, and are ideal if you cannot afford new ones. If you choose these, find out what it was used for in its shipping lifetime, including ocean routes and length of journeys. Remember to factor in your costs all its present flaws and any refurbishment needed. Sprucing might include fixing dents, spraying, painting, sealing holes and/or replacing floors among others.
4. Use an experienced contractor
The idea of container homes is still new, so it's important to make sure your contractor has the right experience; don't be their guinea pig. In addition, look for contractors that can do everything to take away the headache of tracking multiple service providers.
Consider the area you intend to build you house and its climate. The contractor can double-ventilate your roof and add panels to exterior walls to curb summer heat. If living in a windy area, they should take care of sound-proofing. Use the best quality of waterproof paint to ensure your container is protected from the elements. You can add solar panels to provide heated water and electricity, cutting your energy bills.
For more information on shipping containers for sale to start your project, contact container suppliers, such as All Vic Containers.