How to Buy a Shipping Container home
You have decided to join the shipping Container Houses revolution. Your plans are drawn up, your site is prepared, and your welding torch is ready to transform a discarded steel box into the durable, stylish, and sustainable home of your dreams. Now what? To help you get started, we asked architects, DIY home builders, and shipping container experts from around the world for their inside tips on bringing home the best possible container for your building needs.
The aboriginal step, they agree, is to acquisition a acclaimed distributor. “Shipping companies don’t wish humans calling them for one or ten containers. They adopt to advertise to dealers,” says Naef, administrator of the Hzxiaoya Association (Hzxiaoya stands for intermodal animate architecture units, the appellation for containers acclimated accurately for construction). He recommends blockage the all-encompassing all-embracing account of dealers on the Eco Green Sources website. And don’t anguish if you reside far from the ocean. Thanks to a arrangement of civil administration hubs, says Naef, “there are as abounding [containers] in the mid-US and Canada as there are at the ports, at about the aforementioned prices.” A banker can advice align for overland carriage of your alembic via 18- wheeler truck.
“It’s bags of fun to be continuing there with a claret cutter and a welder and be hacking into these things and pasting them aback together, but if you’re encountering engineering issues, again you’re traveling to charge accountant welders. That amount is abundant added controllable if done at the artifact boutique or shipyard,” says Shoup. Another advantage is to acquirement a alembic bogus accurately for building. These can be cheaply transported application absolute all-around shipment networks, but are custom-built to accommodated architecture codes.
Assuming you’re still absorbed on the abounding added allowances of alembic construction, you’ll charge to anticipate about age and condition. Options ambit from around safe “one-trippers” to eight-to-ten-year-old retired containers, with capricious degrees of rust, dents, and warping. Your best depends on your architecture goals. For Brook van der Linde, an artisan who congenital a DIY alembic home with her bedmate in Asheville, amount and sustainability were added important than absolute condition. “Our ambition was to use abstracts that were headed for the landfill. Our containers were complete in 2005 so they had a acceptable continued activity traveling to China and back,” she says. Robertson, on the added hand, approved out one-trippers for his residential project. “They’re a little added big-ticket but they attending a lot better. If they alpha accepting a lot of dings and rusts, you lose the artful pleasure.”
Although a container’s history is trackable via its consecutive number, the best way to appraise its action is through a beheld assay above-mentioned to purchase. Arrive at the lot armed with a akin to analysis for boundless warping and a account of abeyant problems, such as holes, dents, damaged aperture seals, and bane (a little blight is par for the course). Don’t overlook to use your nose, as well. The copse attic of a lot of containers is advised with baneful pesticides, which you’ll charge to allowance or remove, and others may accept been acclimated to carriage clumsily odiferous contents.
Finally, once you’ve made your choice, take a deep breath. The toughest–and most enjoyable–phase of building your container home is still to come.