Shipping container homes have gone from a niche idea to a mainstream option for building custom homes. Ingenuitive designers have taken the humble shipping container and imparted their imagination overtop, resulting in some truly spectacular dwellings that are custom modified to include everything they want and need. Take a look at these homes to get a sense of how cool a shipping container home can look, and how practical their construction really can be.
These homes are beautiful representations of what can be achieved with vision, know-how and hard work. If you’re inspired to follow in the footsteps of shipping container home pioneers, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Create the Master Plan
This is the fun part, when you can let your ideas run wild. What exactly do you want in your shipping container home? How many stories should it be? What should the aesthetic be from curb view? How spacious do you want the interior sections to be? How hot and cold are your seasons? This will partially dictate how you build. It’s good to have an insulating layer overtop of your building if your winters are harsh. Buildings that fail to trap heat inside by structural means have much higher heating bills and are far more prone to feeling like an ice locker the moment climate control goes on the fritz.
- Find Out What the By-Laws Are
It’s better to figure out municipal rules and regulations before investing time, money and elbow grease into your shipping container home project. You may want to hire a lawyer so you can be confident in your understanding of your city’s by-laws. It could save you many thousands of dollars down the road.
- Develop an Expense Tracking System
Building your own home is no small undertaking. In addition to the cost of the shipping containers themselves, you’ll also need to hire contractors, buy additional materials to construct the interior and exterior of the home, purchase installation and have money set aside for unexpected expenses along the way. Financial tracking software makes planning and managing project expenses much easier. You’ll know whether or not you’re in line with your budget and have greater insight into how your project is progressing.
- Hire Reliable Contractors
Rome was not built in a day, nor was any shipping container home. It’s best to hire contractors to assist with specialized construction tasks (such as plumbing and welding) who have prior experience in building shipping container homes. Since shipping container homes are becoming more and more mainstream, you won’t have to search too long before hitting upon a contracting company with expertise in the area and demonstrable work examples.
- Assess the Containers
It’s good practice to buy all your shipping containers from the same provider. This way, there will be consistency in sizing, materials used and welding properties. You won’t have to coordinate between many suppliers in getting your containers to your property, and you may even strike a deal for buying in bulk.
- Plan the Plumbing
Plumbing can only be done once during a home’s construction, so it’s essential it be done right. Otherwise, to revamp plumbing derails budgets and holds up building timelines. You can always repaint, but you can’t re-plumb.
- Opt For the Simplest Plan
Shipping containers are great, versatile blocks, but the most successful home designs take advantage of their simplicity. Try not to design a wild home with structural anomalies jutting out left, right and centre. Straightforward construction is your best bet. Make the fewest cuts to your shipping containers as possible. This will help them retain their structural integrity and lessen your building time and costs.
- Stack Correctly
Shipping containers can be stacked high and wide on cargo ships, only if taking advantage of their strong points. Shipping containers are strongest when stacked corner to corner, post to post.
- Lock and Weld Correctly
To ensure your home stands the test of time, endures storms and doesn’t fall apart when wild parties ensue, make sure all bonds and connections are absolutely solid. Hire a contractor for the welding components if you’re not specialized in it, and lock your containers together with twist-locks.
- Budget Wisely
Allocate adequate funds to construction elements that really matter, such as plumbing and the containers themselves. Paint is cheap and you can always touch it up, but the components of your home that make up its fundamental strength should be spared no expense. This will help you rest easier at night, knowing your home isn’t just a pile of Jenga blocks but is a well-reinforced fortress.
Building your own shipping container home? Good luck to you! With the right planning, building materials and experts for assistance you’re well on your way to a completely customized dream home. Take a look at shipping container homes done right for inspiration, and start putting together the blueprint for your masterpiece.
Looking to rent or buy a shipping container? Secure Container Solutions have the best price guaranteed. Call us at (647) 560-2745 or visit our contact page here.