Container housing appeals to the do-it-yourself ethos that many folks interested in sustainable living have adopted because of the versatility shipping containers offer builders.
Thousands of cargo containers are abandoned each year as shipping companies find it more cost effective to purchase new containers than to haul empty ones back across the ocean. Because of the durability of these containers, which are built to withstand severe weather and being loaded and unloaded by crane from ships, they make ideal prefabricated shells for housing and other construction needs.
Like any type of building, there are a few tricks and secrets that can make building a home, cabin or office from cargo containers easier. Here are a few common container housing tips.
- Painting. To properly paint a shipping container, you’ll need to wash it down with a high-powered spray brush. Not only does this help eliminate mold and prep the container for painting, it also helps you discover any rust spots you may need to deal with. Once the container is ready, using a spray painter is the best option for painting the shipping container.
- Cutting windows. If you want to cut a space for a window in a shipping container, you need to make sure that the area is re-supported if it’s a large hole and you intend to stack another container on top or build a roof deck. In general, the weight of the cut out should be matched by the weight of additional support beams or poles.
- Getting wired. When designing your container home, it’s important to plan where you intend to place electrical outlets and switches. Prior to wiring your container home, you should be through with the frame out of the interior. When locating the fuse box, the kitchen is usually a good location for the fuse box, so long as you keep it away from the sink.
- The frame out. If you’re building a container home, chances are that you’ll want a frame out so you can put up a wall board. This allows you to insulate your container home and also run wiring out of sight.
- Insulation. Insulation can help keep your container home comfortable during hot and cold weather. To insulate, get your frame out up and then paste rolls of insulation to the wall of the container within the frame out. After you’re done insulating and doing all plumbing and wiring work, you can close up the frame out with a wall board.
Part of the fun and adventure of cargo container housing is figuring out how to best use the containers and other building supplies to create an attractive and functional living space. Cargo container homes owners take a great deal of pride in their ingenuity, and the fact that they are practicing sustainable living habits by making use of materials that would otherwise be wasted.