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7 Tips for Turning a Shipping Container Into an Office Space

The idea of turning a shipping container into an office is a great one for many reasons. There can be a lot of competition for first-floor office space, especially in certain areas. 

Turn a shipping container into an office space

It could be that your business owns property but may not have a lot of money for office space, you need temporary space to complete a project but don’t want to lock in a long-term investment, or you don’t want to divide your team between several office sites. 

More creative solutions may be needed to fix these problems. Some companies embrace remote working or redesign their existing office space, but others have considered using steel shipping containers to create relatively cheap office space. Here are 7 great tips for turning a shipping container into the right office space for your needs:

1. Preparation is key

Steel containers can be a challenge to turn into the perfect office, so you must plan ahead. Before moving forward with any of the steps listed here, you should have a clear plan for all of the items listed below (and whatever else may pop up). 

The container will stay put, and the time it will take to complete all the research is well worth it. You must plan for the unexpected since something can and often will go wrong. Suppose weather conditions cause delays. You may need to replace an incompetent or unavailable contractor. Prices may change between the planning and execution stages. Have a plan to start under budget and allow for delays.

2. Do you prefer pre-modified or built from scratch?

Shipping containers can be pre-modified for office use; all that’s needed is installation, furniture (which you might already have), and perhaps wiring. That is a good option if you need the office urgently and have the resources. 

You can, however, use a steel shipping container to build a fully functional office from scratch. Although you’ll face challenges, you’ll be able to get what you want without spending as much money. Place what you want where you want, and only the limits are what you can afford, local laws and codes, and what is available.

Of course, you can also buy a steel container that has been modified and then customize it if the general design and layout are suitable to you, but you need a few more things. This way, you can have the best of both worlds. 

Always be cautious and plan out what you want to do ahead of time, ensuring the container won’t be damaged or compromised. When working with pre-made containers, don’t forget to select the right tools and furniture. Often, the best solutions are discovered afterward.

3. Laws and codes local to the region

Generally, you can’t just build a building of your choice and call it a day. In addition to legal compliance, the safety and health of yourself and your employees must consider local regulations, laws, and codes. 

There is always a risk associated with construction, and poorly constructed buildings (including those made from shipping containers) can have serious consequences. Regulations are designed to help prevent such events from occurring.

Steel shipping containers can serve as the basis for an office if done properly, although some things need to be considered, as with any building. It may be best to consult a professional before you begin to ensure that you will not run into legal problems. 

Since codes vary from area to area, it is important to make sure you are on the right track. Design professionals should be aware of what is allowed when designing the office. You should be careful of managing or doing anything yourself.

4. Used or new

Converted container offices are perfect for all budget types because they come in all sizes, new and used. This is why converting shipping containers into offices can be a great idea for startups. 

Choosing a smaller container first allows you to move up to larger, newer ones later. Container offices are essentially flexible.

However, your container must meet ISO Standards International (Organization for Standardization). The purpose of this is to ensure your office container is safe, of high quality, and will perform well once converted.

5. Installation of plumbing and electrical systems

Shipping containers are essentially empty boxes. For it to be a convenient and comfortable office space, toilets, plug sockets, and other items are needed. While converting a shipping container into an office can be a complex process, once is it finished you have your own office, customized according to your plan. 

We recommend hiring a professional for this task. For example, if you drill through the wrong wall, you can’t easily fix it as you can with a brick-and-mortar building. Furthermore, you should insulate your container to keep yourself, your team, and any valuables warm and dry.

6. Mobility and accessibility

The original containers may or may not have doors and openings, but this is hardly practical. Instead, we recommend installing one or two standard doors on the container. 

There is also the option to raise the container with a few steps to get to it, while some containers might also have ramps, depending on how permanent they are. 

A disabled individual should also be accommodated in your office, and accessibility regulations should be followed. Local professionals should be consulted to clarify what is necessary. A little common sense, along with this, will help you have the right plan.

7. Installing windows

You don’t just let in more natural light by installing a window; you also create a better working environment.  An individual large window requires less effort than several smaller ones. 

Also, you might want to consider sliding patio doors, which offer a lot of light and insulation and don’t waste valuable space like a swing-open door. If you’re going to provide shade in the summer, attaching an awning can be a good idea.

Here are some quick tips to make the most of your space:

  • Don’t wait until the day of your move to rearrange furniture – plan ahead
  • Choose office items that are appropriate for the size of your container – too small will seem cluttered, while too much will make you and your team feel crowded.
  • You may want to consider hiring an interior and exterior design company that specializes in container conversions; they will design your new space to be as functional and pleasing to work in as possible

Work with a container conversion company

Creating an office out of a shipping container is a challenge. The best way to ensure a job is done right is to hire professionals. Furthermore, conversion specialists are quicker than builders and provide temporary and permanent office solutions.

For more information about storage container rental, contact Secure Container Solutions at 647-560-2745 or contact us here.

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