Home Reno Time? You Need Your Shed!

There’re several reasons why you’d want to renovate your home: you might want to do it to update its functionality by adding more space or undertaking major repairs, or you might be doing it in order to update its aesthetic. Either way, home renos give the home owner the opportunity to spruce up and improve their home.

There’s one downside to renovations however – where to keep all the stuff. That’s because when you’re carrying out construction work on your house, you’ll need somewhere safe to keep your household items where they won’t be damaged or interfere with the ongoing works.

If this is a problem you’re grappling with, then a shed might be exactly what the doctor ordered. An outdoor shed either on the backyard or upfront can be of tremendous use to anyone who’s undertaking a home renovation of any significant magnitude.

With a shed, you get a place to store all your furniture, appliances and personal effects safe from the elements leaving your house clear and ready to be worked on. And if you are the handy type, you could even set up the shed as a workshop and carry out some of the works needed for the repairs right there in your backyard.

Shipping container sheds save the day

But with all the work and money going into your home renovation, you might think that setting up a shed will only tear a larger hole in your pockets. But not really.

By constructing your outdoor shed using a shipping container, you can make significant cost savings and reduce the time it will take to put up the shed significantly. In other words, you can get a shed at a fraction of the cost and have it set up in no time at all.

Shipping containers have been in use for construction purposes for a couple of decades now. With a few modifications, you can easily turn a regular shipping container into pretty much anything you desire from sheds to complete family dwellings with all the comforts and amenities.

There’re several reasons why you’d want to build your shed for the home reno using a shipping container. Here are five key reasons why building a shed using a cargo container is a worthwhile idea.

  1. It’s affordable. When you’re carrying out renovation works for your house, the last thing you want to hear is talk about starting an entirely new project. With finances already overstretched, investing in a shed might seem counterintuitive. By using a shipping container to build your shed, construction costs can be kept low thus making the project viable.

Shipping containers are pretty cheap, especially if you go for second-hand units that have previously been owned. Since the container is already a complete structure in itself, you can even forego any modifications and just use it as it is – a readymade shed.

  • Quick build. For a shed whose main job is to support the renovation works taking place in your house, quick construction is especially key in order to get the project going without much delay. Luckily, building a container shed is a quick and straightforward process as the container merely needs a couple of modifications to get it ready.

If you do need to make modifications, you can have them done offsite in a workshop and the final unit delivered to your residence ready for immediate use; plug-and-play style.

  • Secure storage. The main job of shipping containers is protecting cargo from weather damage, theft and breakage. This makes the container an ideal choice for storing your valuable house items in the interim as you fix up your house.

When properly sealed, a shipping container will effectively keep your items secure from the weather, pests and vermin, and thieves. All this without the extra cost and inconvenience of having your items stored in a storage facility.

  • Various capacities/sizes. As you might know, shipping containers are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 10ft all the way to 40ft. This gives you options in terms of the size of shed you need for your project.

If you only require a small amount of space, then you can opt for a smaller container. If, however, you require more space, you can get the mega 40ft container and even add more containers if need be to make sure everything fits.

  • Easy reuse. If at the end of the project you feel that you don’t require an outdoor shed anymore, the shipping container is versatile and offers a range of options when it comes to conversions.

With a few inexpensive modifications, you can turn the container from a shed to a granny flat, a garage or home office to make it more suited to your current needs. And with the durability of a shipping container, you can expect the structure to last a mighty long time.

Suffice to say, a shipping container shed for your home renovations can be of extreme use. You can use it to store your stuff, do projects relating to the ongoing renovations, or use it as a getaway for those times it’s just too noisy in the house under construction.

They Look Strong, But Are They? Shipping Container Homes

One of the most common uses for shipping containers today – apart from transport and storage – is the shipping container home. In other words, homes that have been constructed primarily from new or used shipping containers.

It’s a growing trend that seems to be on the increase year after year, and one of the major reasons why so many Australians (and people across the globe) are choosing to build from shipping containers is the fact that it saves them money. Sometimes very big money on total construction costs.

Another is that shipping containers are made to last. Containers obviously look very strong, and so do the structures built from them, but just how strong is a shipping container home?

That’s what we’ll endeavour to find out in this post.

First, How Strong Are Shipping Containers Themselves?

Before getting into the strength of your average home built out of cargo containers, it’s worth taking a look at some facts regarding the strength of shipping containers.

To start with, every standard shipping container is made from solid steel that’s corrugated to give the panels even greater strength. Containers are primarily designed to withstand the rigours of being out at sea, loaded to the max with cargo. Shipping containers are so tough they can be stacked up to 8, sometimes even 9, containers high aboard container vessels.

Even the rails and framework that hold the panels together are comprised of gauge 7 tubular steel, which is about as strong as you can get.

Modern shipping containers are also designed to be highly resistant to corrosion, to withstand the salty conditions and weather out on the open ocean.

Cargo containers are constructed to resist strong winds, including hurricanes, as well as earthquakes, heavy snow and even mild tornadoes.

So I think we’ve established that the shipping containers themselves are very, very strong indeed, but does that mean a home made out of them has the same strength and capacity to hold up against the elements?

Shipping Container Homes – How Strong Are They?

The ultimate strength of a shipping container home really depends on a lot of different factors. Let’s quickly list a few:

  • The age and condition of the containers used in the build
  • Just how much the containers have been modified
  • Has the container’s structural integrity been interfered with in a major way?
  • How much of the home is made from containers and how much has been built with traditional methods?
  • Is there are lot of glass present in the final build?
  • The home’s overall design
  • And more…

Taking a look at the first point on the list. If you choose to build from brand new shipping containers, then these are likely to be a little stronger than even a used container in very good condition. Other used containers might be up to 10 years old and have seen better days. These are not going to be as structurally sound as a newer container, so it’s always best to build with either new shipping containers, or used containers with an “A” grading. You might get away with a B grade container, but definitely steer clear of C grade.

The gradings are the quality and condition of the used container, with A obviously being the best.

Another key point to take note of is just how much the containers actually get modified. The more the structure that gets sliced away, the weaker the shipping container will become.

There’s not really any getting around making modifications, but just keep in mind that the more you actually chop up a container, the more it loses its inherent strength and rigidity.

Even still, you’re essentially building much of your home out of solid steel, which is always going to be a lot tougher than plasterboard, no matter how many modifications you make to a container, or how you slice and dice the walls, floor and ceiling.

As shipping container modifications are made to transform these metal boxes into liveable spaces, certain areas of the build can be reinforced as necessary, just like is done with more traditional building methods.

Like anything else out there, the strength of your home overall will only be as strong as its weakest point, so if you built 80% of your house from shipping containers and 20% from timber to blend everything together, the weakest parts of the house will be that 20% that’s wood and not steel.

Some of the very strongest shipping container homes are those comprised of a single shipping container with just minimal modifications. Basically these homes retain the overall structure of the original container, and are therefore more resistant to the elements and general wear and tear.

Should You Build Your Home From Shipping Containers?

Absolutely.

No matter how you design your shipping container home, for the most part it’ll prove to be a more solid and long-lasting construction than more conventional house building methods and materials.

Along with container homes being super strong and durable, there are numerous other positives to building with shipping containers.

It was mentioned at the beginning of the post that people are using modified containers for all sorts of purposes because you save money when building with them. Buying containers isn’t expensive, so when the bulk of the construction is made up of containers, you slice tens of thousands of dollars off the build cost.

Something to consider when trying to decide whether to build out of containers or not is the environment and sustainability.

Multiple millions of disused cargo containers are sitting in ports around the world doing nothing. Many of these shipping containers eventually end up as rusted junk in landfill. You are far better off putting some of these containers to good use by recycling them for building projects.

You’ll be doing your part to help save the planet, as well as building a very unique and stable home.

Shipping container builds of all kinds are the way of the future, and building your home from new or used containers is well worth doing.

Shipping Container Homes -10 Things you Need To Know

At first glance, building a home using shipping containers seems straightforward: The containers are readily available and multiple units can be joined or stacked to create large multi-storey buildings – what else is there to it?

While not at the calibre of rocket science, building a house using shipping containers does require some thought and considerations for the best results to be achieved. There are a couple of things you need to know going into the project to ensure the finished home is beautiful, compliant, safe and durable.

It’s especially important that you know these 10 things If it’s the first time you’re undertaking a container-build project.

  1. Shipping container variations. All shipping containers are not the same. Some are larger than others while others feature designs that make them suitable for carrying a specific type of cargo. For home construction (and generally any other type of construction) dry cargo shipping containers are commonly used.

Dry cargo shipping containers are available in two main sizes i.e. 20ft and 40ft. There’s also a high-top variant that offers an extra foot in headroom. You’ll need to choose the best container size mix for your project.

  • Container quality matters. Buying used shipping containers helps keep your construction budget affordable. Ideally, you want to buy “one-trip” cargo containers for home construction purposes. These have only been used once, are in great condition, and will enhance your homes durability. If you’re going to buy containers that are much older than one-trip, make sure to be physically present to perform a visual inspection to avoid buying lemons.
  • Insulation is critical. Sea containers are steel structures, which makes them bad at keeping out heat or cold. It’s, therefore, critical to invest in proper insulation of all the container units in your home build to ensure comfortable temperatures are maintained within the house.
  • Building regulations in your locality. Although it’s completely legal to build using shipping containers, getting a building approval from your local council might be more involving than it normally is, since shipping container home builds are not as common. Your local authority will also need to ensure that the building will be up to standard before they give their stamp of approval.
  • Cutting diminishes structural rigidity. Cutting off chunks from a shipping container reduces the unit’s structural rigidity. It’s important that you avoid cutting up the container as much as possible; and when you do, make sure the cut areas are not important for the container’s structural strength.
  • It helps to work with experienced people. Building with shipping containers requires a unique set of skills. You’ll be better off working with a team of professionals who have experience working with shipping containers to avoid mistakes and inconveniences. Your architect, structural engineer and contractor should all have sufficient shipping container construction experience.
  • Plan for electrical and plumbing. Shipping container homes are, for the most part, fabricated in workshops, off-site. To avoid the inconvenience of having to undo the finishing or uninstall some fixtures, make sure to submit plans for the electrical and plumbing networks so that they are incorporated in the build.
  • Changing plans is expensive. Make sure you are satisfied with the design-plan before the project commences. Changing your mind about important design aspects could add a significant amount to your budget. Once containers are cut to fit a particular design, welding will be required or change of container units for the new design to work. So, make sure to go over the plans with a professional before signing off.
  • Treat for chemicals. Cargo containers are designed to be durable at sea. The wooden floor of most cargo containers is treated with heavy pesticides to keep away pests and rot. The container’s paint could also have chemical treatment to protect against seawater. It’s, therefore, important to ensure that the floor is replaced with a new one and the walls are covered with foam insulation to protect from chemical residues.
  • Plan for winds. Sea containers are blocky boxes – not exactly what you’d call aerodynamic. When built in a windy location, shipping container homes can generate noise when they’re hit by strong winds. While wind would never damage the robust metal box, it is a mild inconvenience to keep in mind when planning out your home. Perhaps consider situating your home in a location shaded from strong winds.

Keep these things in mind before you begin your shipping container home build and your project should complete on budget and with minimal inconveniences.

Lastly, although cost-effectiveness is part of the charm when it comes to shipping container home construction, spending a little more could save you money down the road while saving you the headache of having to fix issues that result from cut-corners.

Shipping Container Classrooms Are a Reality

If you’ve been keen, you might have probably noticed that shipping containers are being modified into all sorts of buildings, from elaborate homes to simple worksite offices. With their rapid adoption for construction and the immense benefits they offer, it was only a matter of time before these utilitarian metal boxes found their way into the education sector.

Education and container conversions just seem to go well together. From shipping container classrooms to workshops and laboratories, there’re a myriad ways the cargo container can be repurposed for educational use. And they have been all over Australia and globally.

Shipping containers can be used to create functional and comfortable classroom space for housing students during lessons. Depending on the need, cargo containers can be used to setup either permanent or temporary classrooms quickly and cost effectively.

Sturdy classrooms at a fraction of the cost

Building a classroom using traditional brick and mortar can be an expensive undertaking. As such, building new schools or increasing student capacity to existing schools can be hindered by limited budgets. By using shipping containers to construct classrooms and other supporting buildings, entire schools can be constructed at a significantly reduced cost as compared to building using traditional materials.

Once shipping containers are retired from shipping, they are made available to the general public to buy and use them as they wish. Finding high-quality second-hand shipping containers is therefore easy, and their prices are very affordable – which makes them a compelling alternative for any kind of construction project.

Additionally, sea container classrooms can be modified and outfitted off-site in a factory before being delivered for installation at the worksite. This makes the conversion works cost a lot less as most of the work can be done at a specialised facility without the need to move personnel and equipment to the worksite.

High-quality, fast construction

It would take you multiple weeks to complete a classroom if you were to put it up with traditional brick and mortar. And to save on time, some compromises might need to be made when constructing the classroom buildings. With storage containers, you can build quickly without having to compromise on the quality of the building.

On their own, shipping containers are already extremely robust and self-sufficient structures. No further work is, therefore, needed to create the classroom’s shell. It’s only slight modifications and additions that are needed to make the container a functional learning space.

The necessary modifications can be made offsite before final assembly is done onsite. This will help save a tremendous amount of time. By using cargo containers to build classrooms, construction time could be cut down to a few days – the amount of time it takes to assemble the modular units on location.

Long-lasting buildings

To be useful for their original use of transporting cargo, sea containers are made extremely tough and durable. This means that classrooms constructed using these containers can last just as long – if not longer – as those made with regular construction materials.

Worried about ongoing maintenance? You don’t need to be. Once installed, cargo container classrooms require minimum maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. They’ll withstand the elements, normal wear and tear, and student wear.

Classrooms you can move

Cargo containers are designed to be as easy and as convenient to move from one place to another as possible. You can easily move them on seas, on roads and even on rails without the need to make any additional modifications. And what’s more, transportation of container units is a relatively cheap undertaking since the infrastructure and equipment needed is readily available.

This makes container classrooms an ideal solution for situations where portability is needed such as providing schooling solutions to nomads and similar communities that are constantly on the move.

Additionally, for purposes such as aid work or disaster relief, fully built and outfitted shipping containers can be delivered to communities where they are needed ready to be used. And once their job is done, they can be shipped off to another location for similar use or to be repurposed for other purposes.

Off-grid studying made possible

It can be difficult to install infrastructure such as schools in fur-flung remote places. Cargo containers provide the perfect solution for providing quality off-the-grid schooling solutions.

Container units can be outfitted with all the necessary amenities including ablution blocks, indoor play spaces, commercial kitchens, dinning halls and recreational facilities to provide a complete and normal school experience to off-the-grid and remote communities.

No need to worry if the area you want to put up the classrooms lacks infrastructure or skilled manpower; all work can be done in an offsite facility and the units transported to the site ready for use.

In conclusion…

As you can see from all these benefits, shipping containers provide a cost and time-effective way of putting up classrooms that feel and function just like regular classrooms made of traditional brick and mortar.

In addition, storage container classrooms provide additional benefits in that they will last for long, can be moved easily, and are suitable for off-the-grid installation and use. What’s more, reusing shipping containers is great for the environment!

Need a shipping container conversion? Ask Tiger Containers

Legal Requirements For A Shipping Container Home In Australia

It’s a little unusual, living in the box that brought your stuff. Ok, maybe, quite unusual. But there is good reason why people in Australia and the world over have been choosing these utilitarian metal boxes to construct their homes.

For one, shipping containers offer significant cost savings when used for construction. They’re also eco-friendly, quick to put up and very durable. It’s these main reasons that have seen the shipping container rise in popularity to become one of the more popular alternatives to traditional building materials.

If you’re considering constructing your home using shipping containers, then you might be wondering if there are any legal obstacles to overcome before commencing the project. Well, just like any other type of construction, building with shipping containers will undergo the same scrutiny a regular construction project would in Australia – if not more.

We’ll briefly check out the legal specifics of shipping container home construction in Australia to give you an idea of what to expect.

Permits are a must

It’s important to note that you will need to have the necessary building permits and approvals before you commence your shipping container home build. While Australia has multiple territories, all with their own local laws, the umbrella laws that cover home construction make it perfectly legal to use shipping containers to build a house – you just need the nod from your local council.

In most localities, you’ll not be required to have a permit if you want to use a shipping container within your property for a short duration. After 30 days, however, you will need a permit to have such a structure on your property. And since your house will last for longer than a month, it’s suffice to say that a permit is mandatory.

The requirements for building approval

Like any other type of home, your shipping container home build has to meet certain requirements before it gains approval for construction. The following are the things that are taken into consideration before your home is approved for construction:

  1. Structural integrity. The house you are about to put up needs to be structurally sound for the safety of inhabitants as well as other people. You’ll, therefore, need to have an architect as well as an engineer draw up plans for a structurally sound building before construction can be approved.
  2. Habitability. Just like any other home, your shipping container home needs to have all the basics that make for a modern-day habitable dwelling. Plumbing and ventilation are a must and different jurisdictions will have their own little additions to the definition of a habitable dwelling.
  3. Zoning laws. Your shipping container home needs to be in adherence to the local zoning laws. If a particular area does not allow for the construction of residential buildings, then you’ll have trouble convincing your council to sign off on your project.

Some areas might prohibit the construction of multi-storey buildings while others might require houses to be built with specific materials such as fire proof materials for areas that experience bush fires. Whatever the laws of the land are, you will need to follow them.

  •  Aesthetics. Nobody wants eyesores in their neighbourhood. The main reason why there is a bit of hesitation when you’re building with shipping containers is that nobody wants an eyesore. Luckily, modern shipping container home designs are just as aesthetically pleasing as traditional-style homes. Your shipping container house will either need to blend in with the surrounding or be an outstanding architectural masterpiece if you want to be approved.

What about shipping container home extensions?

If you’re looking to add on to your existing home with a granny flat or a shed, instead of building a completely new building or replacing an older one, then the laws might be slightly relaxed.

In some areas, you can extend your home without getting much interference from your local council provided the new building is up to standard. You might not even need to do much to get approved if the extension is behind your house and not visible from the street.

For larger multi-storied extensions, however, you will often need to get the approval of your local council before you can begin construction.

Professional help makes things easier

To navigate through all the muddle of getting your shipping container home approved for construction, it would be a great idea to get professional help to guide you along. This can be in the form of an architect or a planning consultant.

You want the person helping you to be well versed with the local building codes and planning regulations. For this reason, it’s recommended that you enlist the services of a local architect or planning consultant; or at least someone who’s well educated on your area’s building legalities and stipulations.

Although shipping container homes don’t face major hurddles when it comes to council building approvals In Australia, it’s still something to keep in mind when you’re about to commence your project. The fact that container homes offer a 5-star energy rating also helps make them more appealing to the concerned authorities.

Talk to Tiger Containers for more information

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The time is upon us! The Age of Shipping Containers has arrived! Look at all the shipping container projects going on around the world and get inspired.

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Cargo containers have been around for a couple of decades now. Over this time, we have come to trust them to deliver our goods safely through rough oceans and harsh weather. It is this hardiness that has made them popular not just in the transportation sector, but in other sectors as well. Although primarily used for goods storage and transportation, shipping containers have of late been getting a completely new job; and they’re getting really good at it.

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