The idea of building a shipping container home from recycled container vans or simply one single shipping container is a very exciting one. You can not only contribute to recycling these often discarded units that are littering the global landscape, but you can also reap some benefits if you know what you’re doing.
3 Basic Facts You Should Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home
There are 3 very important things you need to know before you roll up your sleeves and start building.
1. A one-trip container does not cost that much compared to one that has been used several times.
One of the things that draw people to shipping containers when building homes or home extensions is the idea of savings. This is especially in the case of re-purposed or recycled containers. However, it is important for you to know that you have some options when it comes to choosing the best re-purposed shipping containers for your project.
There are one-trip containers that are used only one time to transport cargo to a single location. Compared to other used containers which may have made multiple trips and carried a variety of cargo, the one-trip containers are most often in better condition. While they may cost a little more than those used several times, this choice for residential building is better.
You will save on repairs, construction time and overall building costs either directly or indirectly.
The rule of thumb when purchasing container vans still stands though: never purchase a container unless you have seen them in their actual state. The horror stories of consumers receiving beat up container vans unlike what they thought they purchase are very real.
2. Work with a contractor when building your container home or project
While there is a lot of information making the rounds online about tiny homes and container buildings that appear to be comparable to traditional building projects, things are not as they sometimes seem.
A lot of work goes into building even a tiny infrastructure that is made out of a shipping container. Fortunately, there is a growing number of contractors who have experience in building living spaces from containers.
Do not think that you’ll save money by not hiring a reputable contractor to help you do the work. Even if you’re a savvy DIYer, there’s a lot to be considered when building with cargo containers that are not conventional methods.
A building contractor will not only give you the assurance that your structure is built to fulfill your safety and comfort requirements, but working with professionals will also assure that your structure will comply with local building regulations. In addition, contractors will be able to give you professional direction on choosing the most ideal materials to use in building your space.
Always keep mind that there is a lot more to building an alternative home of this sort than simply stacking shipping containers on top of each other.
3. The cost of building a shipping container home can be just about the same as traditional building costs.
This is the part where working with a contractor will make more sense. Just think: When was the last time you built a home out of a shipping container?
Depending on the square footage you want your space to be and what features you need in your home, you still need to factor in all costs just like you would with a conventional construction project. Some costs may even be higher due to the alternative labor requirements and other unconventional building methods sometimes required.
This isn’t to say that you can’t save money. Many people downsize and create a smaller living space which saves money. Plus, some people are more experienced at building than others and can avoid high labor costs. The cost analysis can be quite subjective, depending on your abilities, what you want to accomplish, your budget and how much professional help you need to do the job.
One major thing that makes shipping container homes appealing for some aspiring home owners is the fact that, in some instances, a container system can be modified elsewhere and then delivered to where you need it installed. There are many issues to consider when building a shipping container home, so it pays to do your research before you launch this type of exciting home project.