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Why Do I Want to Live in a Shipping Container ?

Prepper 101: How to Render a Shipping Container Liveable

Shipping containers are progressing into the mainstream as alternative home and office construction building materials.

And it’s been a long time coming. Through recession after recession, it appears as though the American Dream has been traded for overbearing country-wide debt and depression without any reprieve — other than our government bailing out the private holdings of the Federal Reserve Bank.

Instead of pondering what the world would have been like if JFK stopped the Fed in its tracks –let’s take a constructive look at why and how shipping containers have graduated from shanty town to urban utopia.

Why Do I Want to Live in a Shipping Container?

It isn’t as archaic as one might think. Modern shipping container buildings have come a long way since they were initially introduced to us as “Grapes of Wrath” style shanty town huts and German art installations in the early 1980’s.

Image by Manaadiar

Used shipping containers make for excellent building materials; modular, easily assembled, durable, and they can drastically cut down time and labour requirements for any building project.

With a little welding, shipping container buildings can be erected almost as simply as your son or daughter might snap together Lego pieces or manipulate objects in MineCraft.

Shipping container homes also need not betray their origins; just because a home is constructed with used shipping containers, it doesn’t have to look like it.

How Do I Buy a Shipping Container in the USA?

Shipping containers, whether used or only transported for a single haul, there are plenty of cheap conex for sale in Washington, DC and throughout the northern and southern United States.

Buying shipping containers at Portcontainersusa.com or other companies is easy. You can purchase one for as little as $1,400 – depending on the condition you require. For example, a car park or a tool shed need not be built with as many considerations as one purchased for home construction.

What’s Important to Consider When Purchasing a Shipping Container?

From a high-level overview, my two central concerns when buying a used shipping container are:

  • What was it used for in its past life?
  • How much rust does it have?

Ensure your used shipping container wasn’t previously used for toxic chemicals, hazardous nuclear waste fuel, or biological waste.

Investigate rust patches in-person, on-site. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Many companies will also restore the container of your choice for a cost as well; protecting it against further weather and moisture damage, and repairing the damages it’s already endured.

Why Use A Shipping Container For Your Home
Infographic from http://www.portcontainersusa.com/

How Do I Ready a Shipping Container to Live In?

While I certainly cannot fit the entire process of how to turn a used shipping container into a living space all within in one blog post, we can definitely look at some of the key ingredients you will need to turn a shipping container into an all-season building for your home or office.

However, before you begin – be sure to explore the process for gaining local approval for your design and work with your local authorities to avoid costly mistakes.

In order to properly insulate your shipping container space, I suggest using R13 fibreglass insulation for walls and R25 for the ceiling.

While repurposing various materials is definitely an economical draw for many aspiring container home builders, I suggest not skimping out on your floors, ceilings, and walls. I’ve seen some particleboard nightmares, and other materials used that actually have toxic chemicals built into them and over time it gets into lungs, food, countertops, bedding – everything.

OSB siding is great for your used shipping container living space; very few materials can compete with its durability for the buck.

What do you think I left out? Are you currently in the process of designing and constructing your own used shipping container living space? Tell us about it in the comments – and I wish you the very best of luck!

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    • Well this is interesting. Surely it will give a chance to human civilization to get away from concrete jungles.

      But i have a query: in places where temperatures are extreme, both cold and hot, metal structure for living is not a good idea, you need insulation for that.


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