How To Build A Shipping Container Home

Build an entirely new house or create a second home by building with shipping containers. Whether you want to live in it yourself or rent out, this guide will help you plan and design the best container home possible.

Determine if it is legal to build a container home in your area.

Check with the local authorities and real estate agents to see if it is even legal to build a container home. There may be small differences between what is acceptable in one area, versus another. For example, my town’s building code says that a container must be no less than 20 feet long, while other areas may have codes that say containers must all be at least 40 feet long or longer.

Check with your contractors, movers, architects and painters to ensure they are comfortable working with shipping containers before going ahead with your plans. These professionals can also provide valuable input on how best to approach certain aspects of the project. If you’re planning on using shipping containers as part of your home’s architecture (like I did), make sure that whoever is helping you build the house understands this concept fully so they know what needs doing right away and what can wait until later when additional funds become available after everyone has gotten paid their deposits!

If any of these people tell you something isn’t possible then listen closely because they might just save you some serious heartache down the road!

Find out which building codes apply to your area.

You will need to find out which building codes apply to your area. The building code is different in different areas and countries, so you’ll want to do a little research and look up the specifics for where you live. You can contact your local planning department for more information about building codes in your area, or check with a contractor who works in this field.

Select the type of container homes you want to build.

Before you start building, you need to decide which type of container home is best for your needs. If you are looking for a temporary solution, such as a guest house or studio apartment, then an open-top container will be perfect. If you want something more permanent and energy efficient, consider buying a corrugated steel box (AKA insulated containers) instead.

There are many different types of containers available on the market today: 20ft and 40ft shipping containers; 30ft dry freight boxes; 45ft dry freight boxes; reefer containers; refrigerated 40′ and 45′ x 102″ domestic refrigerated units (DRU); flat-bed trucks with flat-decked cargo bodies; crane-lifts with specialized equipment mounted on them or trailer mounted units that can be easily moved around by one person using hand trucks or dollies.

Most people who have never tried building their own home with these materials assume they’re too difficult to work with or that they won’t turn out well enough to live comfortably in but nothing could be further from the truth! Building your own container home doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars either if you don’t mind doing some research beforehand so let’s get started shall we.

Get your shipping container.

The first thing you will need to consider is whether you want to buy a used shipping container, or if you would prefer a new one.

  • Used shipping containers can be found on sites like eBay, craigslist and kijiji. You may also find used shipping containers at local home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes.
  • New shipping containers are usually purchased directly from the manufacturer in bulk shipments and are more expensive than buying a used container. However, they come with better quality control than used containers and often have warranties associated with them as well (however these warranties may be limited depending on where you purchase your new container).

If you decide that purchasing a new container is your best option then there are many types of manufacturers from which to choose.

Clean the shipping container.

Remove all dirt and rust from the shipping container. You will want to use a pressure washer, degreaser, wire brush, scraper, hand sander and drill fitted with wire brush if necessary. Be careful not to cut too deep as this will weaken the container and allow rain water in.

Cut the shipping container doors and windows.

Cutting the doors and windows is a lot of fun, but it’s also very important. Cut the door first by using a circular saw to cut along your lines. If you’re not comfortable cutting with a circular saw, use a jigsaw instead. If you’re even less comfortable with power tools than that (we don’t recommend this), there are also plenty of other ways to cut out your door: router, reciprocating saw, or chisel.

Use either the router method or reciprocating saw method for cutting out your window openings as well.

Install the doors and windows of your shipping container home.

  • Measure and mark the size of your door, window or opening.
  • Cut out the opening into your shipping container home with a reciprocating saw or saber saw, using appropriate safety equipment such as goggles and gloves to protect yourself from injury during this process.
  • Install any hardware needed for windows and doors mounted in their openings (such as locks).

Insulate your shipping container home.

Although you will be living in a metal box, it’s important to insulate your container home. This is because metal conducts heat and cold easily, so insulation is necessary for keeping the temperature regulated inside.

There are many different types of insulation available that can be installed either on the interior or exterior of your container:

  • Fiberglass Insulation – This type of insulation is made from glass fibers and usually comes in rolls with paper backing that can be cut with scissors (if you choose this option). It’s not expensive but it does have some drawbacks, including being flammable and less effective than other options.
  • Polyurethane Foam Insulation – Polyurethane foam comes in sheets that are easy to cut with a sharp utility knife and then fit together like puzzle pieces on top of each other until all seams are filled up. The best part about this type of insulation is how inexpensive it can be compared to other types such as blown-in fiberglass which costs substantially more per square foot! Plus it gives off very little dust unlike fiberglass panels which need an expensive vacuum system attached before being installed.

Install electrics – wiring lights, sockets and switches for your shipping container home.

The electrics are the most important part of your building so you need to be sure that all of the electrical work is done properly.

The first thing that you need to do is hire an electrician. They will be able to tell you how many outlets and light fittings are needed for each room. They will also run the power through ceiling rose boxes and install any smoke detectors that are required by law, such as those in bedrooms or bathrooms.

The electrician will then install a power point in each room where a computer monitor or TV set is going to go – as well as one on either side of any mirror where there will be hair-dryers plugged in!

They should also install a power board with enough circuits for what items you intend using in each room (e.g., one circuit for lighting fixtures, another for computers etc.). This can include additional circuits if needed but remember: don’t overload them.

You can start transforming one or more shipping containers into a new home using this guide today.

You can start transforming one or more shipping containers into a new home using this guide today!

You can build a container home in any size

You can build a container home in any location

You can build a container home for any purpose

You can build a container home for any budget

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