Building a Container Home
Building container homes is a new trend in sustainable home design. Shipping containers can be used to create rooms by stacking them on top of each other or arranging them side-by-side. Although constructing container homes is a very fulfilling adventure, it does require a significant amount of knowledge, preparation and effort. That is why we have put together some of the most vital information you need to build a container home successfully.
How the Container Looks Within and Outside
Never buy any container without inspecting it thoroughly first. Today, it is quite easy to buy containers online and make contact with many companies that have containers for sale. But don’t take their word for it. The pictures you see online may not necessarily be the picture of the one that will be delivered to you. Ensure that you go over to the place where the containers are kept and check them out yourself. Check out the material the container is made of (usually it is either aluminum alloy or steel). You should also look out for rust, dents, and other defects. Some minor dents are permissible but any container with a major defect should not be accepted.
Local Building Regulations
Various cities and communities have different rules for the construction of container homes. Although most containers have a similar physical structure, the rules on what you can build into it or around it are not the same everywhere. You need to consult the local building department in your county and ask for the rules concerning installation, plumbing, wiring, fire, climate, and any other regulations that will affect how you build your container home. Single container homes do not require much documentation, but for larger homes, you will need to obtain a building permit from the local council. Do all the necessary research to know all the legal conditions related to your building and find out what the insurance requirements are from your broker.
The Variety of Containers Available
One of the major errors that people commit when building container homes is buying the wrong type of container. There are regular height containers and high cube containers which are taller than 8 feet. Unfortunately, many people would have started building their container home before they realize that there are high cube containers. These high cube containers are usually above 9 feet tall. The additional height helps you to insulate the ceiling of the container without restricting the head room. The high cube containers will give you a ceiling height of about 8 feet or more after insulation.
The Difference Between New and Old Containers
Two kinds of containers are available for sale, new and old containers. The new containers have only been used once. After arriving at their destination, they have not been used to carry any other cargo. On the other hand, old containers are usually at least 10 years old and they are usually sold when they are no longer useful for shipping services. If you want to build a durable container home, you should use a new container. Although they cost more than used ones, they don’t have dents and any form of damage. In some cases, they come ready to use with windows and interior designs. However, if you can’t afford to purchase a new container, you can buy a used one. When buying a used container, find out what it was used to carry and how long it has been in use.
Contractors That Can Handle All Aspects of Building
Few building contractors can build a container home without any major hitch. Some people have hired different contractors to handle the three major stages of building the home: acquiring the container, repairing it and building the interior. But almost all home container owners who responded to surveys online have said that it is best to hire one contractor for the entire process. This is because building container homes is a relatively new type of project and you should not trust your money and resources into the hands of a novice. Getting a single contractor to install your contain home will also save you a substantial amount of money.
How to Insulate the Container
If you live in a cold climate, you must learn how to keep your container insulated. Due to the difference in temperature between the external air and the internal air during the cold winter months, condensation takes place on the metallic wall of the container. This is quite dangerous because the moisture can cause the growth of mold, fungi and other micro-organisms. This will pollute the air within the container. The condensation may also cause the container to rust quickly. Similarly, in the hot summer months, a poorly insulated container will become extremely hot. The kind of insulation you use depends on your climate. If you live a cold region, you will need a lot of insulation to keep your container warm, especially if there is plenty of rainfall where you live. But those living in a hot climate will need minimal insulation and will even need to focus more on how to keep the container home cool.
The Types of Floors You Can Use
Knowing the types of floors available to you can help you to choose one that will be attractive, durable and easy to maintain. The most common options you have are: carpet tiles, bamboo, varnished wood, vinyl, linoleum tiles, and plywood. Bamboo has been gaining a lot of popularity because it is environmentally friendly. Bamboo floors come in various colors and styles to fit your unique taste. However, if you find it difficult to quickly decide on the type of floor you should use and you want to have something you can remove quickly and replace, you should use carpet tiles. They protect the floor of your container and have a good feeling when you step on them. They are also easy to clean and replace when damaged.
How to Minimize the Amount of Steel Cut From the Container
Shipping containers are extremely strong and up to 7 containers could be stacked on a single container. Their strength makes them a perfect choice for quick home construction. However, cutting a high amount of steel from the container reduces its strength. In fact, you will have to use steel beams to provide additional reinforcement. To attach these extra beams, you will have to weld them and this can be quite expensive. Although you can create openings for the door and windows, you should avoid cutting out a whole wall from your container.
Container homes can be built fast for a relatively small amount of cash. If you can bare these important facts in mind, you will be able to construct your new shipping container home without incurring unnecessary expenses.
Browse by state:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia