Does anyone know anything about renovating shipping containers as living spaces?

fuzzybabybunny

Moderator<br>Digital & Video Cameras
Moderator
Jan 2, 2006
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Just wondering if anyone here is in the industry :)

Feel free to PM me. I'm highly interested in the opportunities!

Specifically, the costs and challenges?
 
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arrfep

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2006
2,318
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Too mundane. Use schoolbuses or large airplanes.

You are clearly unaware of FuzzyBabyBunny's M.O., which involves asking a narrow slice of the internet (ATOT) advice on an outlandish-yet-adventurous-sounding idea via a vaguely-worded, cryptic post, instead of consulting broader sources (e.g. Googling it), because writing a post shows he's considering doing this thing which he will never actually do and it makes him look exxxtreme.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&q=shipping+container+homes&oq=shipping+container+homes
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
20,368
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I would caution you about this. I know its one of the 'hot new' things in architecture but there are some downsides:

1. Insulation. Good luck controlling heat gain/loss without a fair bit of (expensive) spray foam insulation

2. Toxins. Many containers have been treated with various harmful chemicals to resist rust and rodent infestation

2b Encapsulation. Basically you use an epoxy to completely encapsulate toxic areas. The downside it that it complicates any type of addition or modification to the structure that would deal with encapsulated areas. So basically any time you want to touch the walls you worry about disturbing the encapsulated materials

3. Rust. The removal of the toxins results in the removal of the layers protecting the steel from rust. You either need to reapply more human dwelling friendly coatings (which can get expensive) or deal with rust (Some people selling containers will do this for you though. Be very careful what you buy!)

4. Configuration and dimensions. Containers are quite narrow. I believe the standard is 8.5'x40x8.5 or 9.5x40x9.5 or thereabouts. 8.5 or even 9.5 is pretty darn narrow for a room. You can put them side by side but thats going to complicate your roofing scheme and construction

5. Zoning. Be prepared for a lot of meetings and inspections if the area has not previously allowed a shipping container to be used as a dwelling before

6. Depending on location it may be cheaper to construct a similarly sized house out of traditional materials

7. Craftmanship. In my experience it is much easier and cheaper to find someone who can modify or help modify traditional structures. Some container mfgs will do basic stuff like window, doors, holes for plumbing etc but that can be pricey and the cost of changing something down the road is likely going to be much higher than in a traditional house
 
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brigden

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2002
8,702
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You are clearly unaware of FuzzyBabyBunny's M.O., which involves asking a narrow slice of the internet (ATOT) advice on an outlandish-yet-adventurous-sounding idea via a vaguely-worded, cryptic post, instead of consulting broader sources (e.g. Googling it), because writing a post shows he's considering doing this thing which he will never actually do and it makes him look exxxtreme.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&q=shipping+container+homes&oq=shipping+container+homes

This. His post is the digital equivalent of listening to someone you barely tolerate at work exclaim, without provocation, "So, I'm thinking about going to Africa..."
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,410
7,592
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besides shipping containers thou i would take a look at Ideabox
http://www.ideabox.us/

I like that. Ever since I saw the Tumbleweed houses, I've been enchanted with the idea of a micro house.

I'd setup a shipping container for my own use, but I wouldn't want to make any kind of business out of it.
 

phucheneh

Diamond Member
Jun 30, 2012
7,306
5
0
You are clearly unaware of FuzzyBabyBunny's M.O., which involves asking a narrow slice of the internet (ATOT) advice on an outlandish-yet-adventurous-sounding idea via a vaguely-worded, cryptic post, instead of consulting broader sources (e.g. Googling it), because writing a post shows he's considering doing this thing which he will never actually do and it makes him look exxxtreme.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&q=shipping+container+homes&oq=shipping+container+homes

Vaguely aware.

I was being less sarcastic that it may have seemed. IMO, if you're gonna make a living space out of something else, make it something where people will go 'hey, that's neat!'

Shipping containers sounds like an idea for helping a third-world country. Only it would probably be both better and less costly to simply send them the steel and some tools.

Or I guess you could fill the containers with items used in making and/or furnishing said house. Its the Ikea house-in-a-box!
 

iGas

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2009
6,240
1
0
The shipping containers are quite inexpensive to purchase, however you will need local government and engineering department/s to passed/approved it which can be a long and expensive process. In the end it may or may not save you any money over traditional building materials.
 

1sikbITCH

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
4,194
574
126
I would really like to bury a few of these linked together and live underground in some rural type environment. A few solar panels on the ground looks a lot better than these monsters even gussied up.

If you had plumbing, power, a well, and septic tank I think you could live pretty well and be able to enjoy the land on your rooftop. The wife isn't quite that adventurous unfortunately.
 

iGas

Diamond Member
Feb 7, 2009
6,240
1
0
I would really like to bury a few of these linked together and live underground in some rural type environment. A few solar panels on the ground looks a lot better than these monsters even gussied up.

If you had plumbing, power, a well, and septic tank I think you could live pretty well and be able to enjoy the land on your rooftop. The wife isn't quite that adventurous unfortunately.
Underground living is a novel idea that have been tried many times in the past, however you have moisture and condensation that leads to molds to deal with. In the end it will cost you more to live due to the high cost of ventilation or failed structure. Moisture even posed a problem even for adobe homes in desert areas.
 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
30,772
13
81
This. His post is the digital equivalent of listening to someone you barely tolerate at work exclaim, without provocation, "So, I'm thinking about going to Africa..."

Shush.... The old people of ATOT see these things.... The others do not.
 

coldmeat

Diamond Member
Jul 10, 2007
9,214
78
91
You are clearly unaware of FuzzyBabyBunny's M.O., which involves asking a narrow slice of the internet (ATOT) advice on an outlandish-yet-adventurous-sounding idea via a vaguely-worded, cryptic post, instead of consulting broader sources (e.g. Googling it), because writing a post shows he's considering doing this thing which he will never actually do and it makes him look exxxtreme.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&q=shipping+container+homes&oq=shipping+container+homes

Damn, that's spot on.
 

1sikbITCH

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
4,194
574
126
Underground living is a novel idea that have been tried many times in the past, however you have moisture and condensation that leads to molds to deal with. In the end it will cost you more to live due to the high cost of ventilation or failed structure. Moisture even posed a problem even for adobe homes in desert areas.

Dude right now somewhere there is a woman who has never been fucked before being pinned to the table and getting that cherry popped for the very first time.

Probably not by you since you would have just given up!

Not by me either though :(
 

zanejohnson

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2002
7,054
17
81
what do you mean?

it's a shipping container.. it neads, heat, and internet access to be the basic living space that any atoter needs..
 

OBLAMA2009

Diamond Member
Apr 17, 2008
6,574
3
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i was just thinking about this the other day. i was renting a storage unit to store records and they give you the legal crap, "you cannot LIVE or run a business from the storage unit....", which made me wonder what would even temp someone to consider living in one. anyway i check out the storage unit facilities and its climate controlled, clean, secure, well lit, tall ceilings etc...you literally COULD live quit comfortably in one as long as you had access to plumbing and it would only cost $250 a month for a 10x20 unit. seriously if you can run storage at that price im sure you could run micro apartments that size, even if you had to charge twice that ($500). it would be a godsend for lots of people in an expensive city like san francisco. (yeah i know someone already invented "microapartments in sf but but those are still going to be $1500 a month, i mean design something really cut down just to make it cheap)
 

zanejohnson

Diamond Member
Nov 29, 2002
7,054
17
81
i was just thinking about this the other day. i was renting a storage unit to store records and they give you the legal crap, "you cannot LIVE or run a business from the storage unit....", which made me wonder what would even temp someone to consider living in one. anyway i check out the storage unit facilities and its climate controlled, clean, secure, well lit, tall ceilings etc...you literally COULD live quit comfortably in one as long as you had access to plumbing and it would only cost $250 a month for a 10x20 unit. seriously if you can run storage at that price im sure you could run micro apartments that size, even if you had to charge twice that ($500). it would be a godsend for lots of people in an expensive city like san francisco. (yeah i know someone already invented "microapartments in sf but but those are still going to be $1500 a month, i mean design something really cut down just to make it cheap)


perfection.


yep it's about to be a new reality.. very very soon, read about tent cities popping up in california!
 

jupiter57

Diamond Member
Nov 18, 2001
4,600
3
71
what do you mean?

it's a shipping container.. it neads, heat, and internet access to be the basic living space that any atoter needs..

QFT
Actually the PERFECT ATOTer abode....

Just like a Basement, no windows, fap paradise!
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
48,414
5,270
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I have a buddy who has looked seriously at it...it definitely has its pros and cons. It's a cool idea and in theory it can be cheap, but once you get it outfitted for human living (insulation, doors, etc.), add in services (ex. if you want off-grid - well water, septic, solar, 4G MiFi, etc.), and buy/lease land...well, it adds up.

A lot of times it makes more sense to simply buy an RV, even a used one...it has built-in hookups for water, power, sewer, etc., an engine so it's easy to relocate, a bedroom & bathroom, etc. Another alternative is a "fifth wheel", which is a towable, non-engine version of an RV...usually quite a bit cheaper (due to not being a truck) and more spacious:

http://www.forestriverinc.com/ConventionalFifthWheels/

You can get RV towing services when you need to relocate, so you don't have to keep a truck around to pull it where you want, and there are plenty of camping grounds and snowbird spots where you can stay for pretty reasonable rates. Then you're not stuck in one place like you would be with a shipping container, paying taxes on the land, etc.

If I had my way, I'd just live in an extended stay hotel...freedom to relocate, only a little more than the cost of an apartment, maid service, etc. :awe:
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,459
854
126
You are clearly unaware of FuzzyBabyBunny's M.O., which involves asking a narrow slice of the internet (ATOT) advice on an outlandish-yet-adventurous-sounding idea via a vaguely-worded, cryptic post, instead of consulting broader sources (e.g. Googling it), because writing a post shows he's considering doing this thing which he will never actually do and it makes him look exxxtreme.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=d&q=shipping+container+homes&oq=shipping+container+homes

:thumbsup: I would just add: And never post in that thread again.