Shipping containers are made of steel and are built to withstand all weather conditions, heavy stacking and ocean travel – the lifespan of a container can be up to 30 years. A standard shipping container measures 8ft in width by 8ft high and the length ranges from 20ft to 40ft – if you are looking for higher ceilings, a high cube container is 9ft 6 in height, however these are harder to find. There are many practical aspects of living in a shipping container – your home is fireproof and low maintenance – they are modular so you can stack 2 or 3 or more as needed – even better, smaller container homes can move with you.
The most important factors to consider when deciding to build a container home are as follows:
How to purchase the correct shipping container – check the condition of the container and what its previous use was and make sure it is watertight.
The importance of Planning & Building Regulations – requirements for planning permission will depend where you are in the UK and which Local Authority your property falls under – some areas such as National Parks, World Heritage Sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will require Planning Permission and may have some restricted permitted development rights for householders. If you buy land with the intention of placing a container to live in you may need planning permission as it could constitute a ‘change of use’ of that land. Generally, placing a container in the curtilage of your existing home such as the garden, will not require planning permission.
Once you have checked with your Local Authority, make sure the containers are fully compliant with Building Regulations.
Finding a contractor with previous experience – if you are making major changes to your container, it is a good idea to involve an architect or an engineer – the long vertical wall on the container is load bearing and will need reinforcement if being cut out for windows and doors.
Make sure the site you choose to build on is accessible for the delivery of the shipping containers or you will have to deal with expensive cranes to lift the container into place.
The main benefits of choosing to live in shipping container homes is they are exceptional value for money – they are environmentally friendly as it is a way of recycling unused shipping containers and saving on traditional building materials such as bricks and mortar, which do not need to be used – for every shipping container upcycled, we are saving 3500 kg of steel.
Another great advantage is the shipping container home can be built off site and delivered to your land ready to move in – they can be built in a relatively short time.
here is much more to a shipping container than a steel box with windows – they are a stylish, modern green alternative to traditional house building methods and this is reflected in their growing popularity.