Shipping containers are incredibly versatile. They are not only a vital aspect of international transportation but also great for other purposes. Since they are giant steel boxes constructed from durable material with hinged doors and weather-resistant finishing, they can, with modifications, be transformed for all sorts of needs, even homes. Of course, it helps that shipping containers are incredibly cheap, making it easy to turn them into shipping container houses in NC.
Modified Shipping Containers
Mobile offices, first aid stations, bathrooms, and classrooms are all common modifications for shipping containers, but they’re not the only ones. Increasingly, containers are being transformed into homes. The largest-sized containers are about the size of a mobile home, so the idea isn’t as odd as it may seem. Shipping containers can also be welded together to make larger homes and buildings. Since shipping containers are durable and resistant to weather conditions, they can create affordable housing in areas severely lacking such infrastructure. While modifying steel containers is relatively easy, it’s still a process with steps, just like any other construction job.
Purchasing a Container
While construction is underway, or even before, the actual containers need to be purchased. After transporting cargo, shipping containers are often left at destinations because it’s usually cheaper to leave them than ship them back from whence they came. Generally, ports and major shipping companies are likely to have some lying around, and it is even possible to find them through online auctions and listing sites. It might take some digging, but the containers are available for purchase in all price ranges and conditions.
While pre-modified homes can be purchased, when it comes to handling the modification process, experts need to be consulted. In addition, to maintain the integrity of the shipping container structure, you should hire an engineer to ensure everything is done correctly.
The various modifications that cut into the walls of the container (i.e., adding windows and doors) should be handled by experts under the supervision of an architectural engineer or someone similarly qualified. Having an engineer review the container’s structural integrity is essential, especially if containers are to be stacked (in the case of creating larger houses). Safety, comfort, and building codes also need to be incorporated, and architects and engineers are trained to make sure everything is safe.
These modifications are pretty apparent. Locations for windows and doors and access for various utilities need to be built into the container, along with the necessary HVAC support and equipment. The contractors will handle all that and knowing how to properly layout a smaller home will ensure enough room for everything needed to make a safe and secure place.
Design software tools are also incredibly helpful for this process. Such programs offer sketches and designs to help with the modification process. Architects who specialize in such work are worth considering as well. As for the floor plan itself, consider looking at similar tiny home designs already done by designers. Pay attention to the details they add, especially storage.
One of the first steps of the process is to obtain the future site for the modified container home. Of course, proper drainage is a must. The location also needs to be graded appropriately to account for drainage, maintenance, and the usual issues that any building faces over long periods. Next, municipal services need to be installed, such as septic, water, and electricity. Some excavation may be necessary for all this – a step not required for mobile homes.
Placing the Container
Once the construction site is prepared, and the container has been transformed into a home, the two need to be brought together. Transporting the new home to the lot is easy enough since any truck designed to handle shipping containers or mobile homes can easily take care of that part of the process. To put the home in place, though, will require a crane since the site is excavated and set up for the permanent settling of the house. First, the home needs to be set on the foundation and then welded to secure the building properly. Next, the new home needs to be reinforced (if required), the utilities hooked up, and any external features installed, namely doors and windows. Once that’s all completed, it’s a house.
New Home Option
There are a lot of steps to modify a shipping container into a home, but the results are pretty straightforward. The new home will be durable and reliable, the same as any other house. While it might take time and effort, the same can be said for any home construction. While a shipping container home might not be everyone’s go-to solution for affordable and reliable housing, it is an option more people should consider. Shipping containers are durable, and an adequately maintained container will last many years.
Are you thinking about creating a shipping container house in NC? Carolina Containers can help. We sell a wide range of shipping containers, plus we do modifications. Contact us at 919-562-9187 and see what we can do for you.