Building a House Out of Shipping Container in Columbus

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Building a home can be very expensive, depending on which materials we use. If we strive for owning a place to achieve most of the privacy and stop paying rent, buying an already built household is in most of the cases more expensive than building a new one. The most efficient way is to make a living place out of the shipping containers, which is for quite a while a special trend in architecture.

Buying a Container

You were probably thinking about buying one before even making a plan for the home. If we are not building it for some kind of exhibition, the main reason is the smallest cost. Homes like this can be built faster than the regular one. The usual price is around $15,000, but it can go down to $10,000 if we are using just one of them and have some construction skills. All in all, it is half the price of the regular build type or less.

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Even if our goal is to save money we shouldn’t save on its quality. It would be best if it was one time used. The cost is around $3000 to $5000 depending on its size and quality features and it can be much more. The seller should be licensed and trustworthy. There are many suppliers since this type of house movement has taken its swing by the time, and nowadays represent a modern living.

Making a Plan

First what we should do is making a plan, considering that the container comes in modular sizes. There are plenty of varieties for this type of homes like bungalow, one-story house, atrium house. When we set how much space we need, and if we want an open plan for the kitchen, living room and dining room or arrange separate areas, we can proceed on buying one or few shipping containers.

Even if it might seem logical that we don’t have many options in architectural designing, there are limitless options, because we can cut any side of the container and stack them like a puzzle. It is possible to make a gallery overviewing a downstairs space or even a luxurious double-height ceiling.

Hiring an Engineer

When we come to the stage of the actual building we must hire an engineer. Even if the shipping container has its frame and construction, by making cuts for doors, windows or stairs, we are changing its firmness and every home must have a building permit. In order to get it a civil engineer should make a static calculation. If we are building a home with one or two floors, there would be a lot of beam reinforcements. To save money in the future, it would be smart to invest in solar panels. Since this type of house has usually small square footage, they can use only sun energy for heating, cooling and the rest of electrical needs.

Building Foundations

As for any home, first what we start building is a foundation. There are three options when it comes to making it for a shipping container home. First one is concrete piers. It’s the simplest and cheapest one. If this household is going to be your permanent home and not just an occasional holiday house, we recommend quality and duration over saving some buck. The second option, more expensive and more solid, is Slab on Grade foundation. This type of foundation is suitable for not just firm and flat ground. It is adequate for softer soils also.

The last and most expensive type of foundation is a pile foundation. It is used for very weak ground soil. The money should never be saved on foundation since the building stability depends on it. If we want to make the cheapest house, but also to obtain good quality, we should choose a flat and firm lot.

Making Doors and Windows

After reinforcements of the shipping container it’s easy to make wholes for door and windows since the construction firmness doesn’t lie in its walls but the frame. There are no boundaries for the design, and the walls are easy to cut. If we have experience with cutting we can use almost any tool, like a grinder, cutting torch, and even a jigsaw. The best way for cutting would be plasma cutter since working with it is neat and clean. If we don’t have cutting skills, we should definitely hire a professional, since the job only takes a couple of hours and would be inexpensive.

After cutting, placing doors and windows would be like in the regular house. First, we need to make frames in which will put the window or door of the right size. Installation is very easy. It can be a DIY project or could hire a professional if we don’t want to get busy with carpentry. Read more on this website.

Making Floors

Another important thing is making floors. It might seem irrelevant and easy, but we should have in mind that containers have been treated with chemicals and pesticides against insects when they were transported oversees. If we buy one that wasn’t used, we won’t have chemical trouble, but they are also more expensive. Not to worry much, this is fixable. We should remove its floor or encapsulate it with epoxy and create a subfloor. It will cost money, but in the end, we will keep a peaceful mind.

In floors, as well as in walls, can be put thermal isolation. If we are not living in an area where exists only one season, and its summer. To protect our selves from a cold night and wintery breeze, it best to use glass wool. It is expensive but has the best quality of isolation characteristics. It has the highest fire resistance, so much that can be used for fire stopping. In case we are building a holiday home and want to do it most reasonably, but cheaply way, we can choose styrofoam. All in all, there are ways to build a shipping container house to suit anyone’s pocket.