Do's and Dont's When Designing Your Shipping Container Home

Container homes have risen in popularity over recent years due to their convenience and simplicity. They are one of the most memorable architectural evolutions of recent years. But designing a shipping container home is not as straightforward as stacking two blocks on top of each other and calling it a home.

There are many design do’s and dont’s to think about when it comes to container homes. This article will look at a few of the main points to consider when creating a container home.

DO Consider Your Container Choice Carefully

One of the first things to be aware of when you start to think about constructing a shipping container home is that not all shipping containers are the same. There are many types of shipping containers available, with the most common types used for buildings being a high cube, standard, or refrigerated. Research a container’s structural integrity to know exactly what you would be working with and its construction abilities.

DON’T Cut Or Modify Too Much

Cutting steel out of your containers costs both time and money. So by maintaining as much of the shipping container’s structural integrity as possible will save on costs and time. Cutting steel from your container requires that you pay someone to remove steel from your containers and also for the opening to be reinforced with a steel beam. So it is recommended to keep modification and cutting to a minimum when designing your shipping container home.

DO Research On Your Local Planning Laws & Building Regulations

When it comes to architecture, including container homes, there are sets of local rules and regulations. A container might be a generic product, but climate, fire regulations etc. are not the same. So whether building a shipping container home or a traditional building, it is always necessary to know local laws and regulations.

It is especially important when designing a shipping container home since not all localities have addressed these issues before so always start your project by researching your area. Once your container home is planned, but before construction has begun, be sure to go to the local planning office to ensure all is well to begin construction. The only occasion you don’t need planning permissions is when you are outside of zoning laws. It is still recommended to speak with the local planning office to confirm you are completely outside the zoning limits.

DON’T Change Your Design Once In The Construction Phase

One of the main reasons why a home takes longer to build and cost more than expected is because the design gets altered while it is being constructed. Any and all changes to your design should ideally be made during the planning stage. It is important to fully commit to your final design before the construction phase begins.

Remember that if you remove a wall from a shipping container it is then permanently gone. It is incredibly expensive and time-consuming to replace a wall once it has been cut out, do as much research as possible and ideally, visit several shipping container homes before committing to your design. This will help to give a sense of the space in your shipping container home.

Do Consider Your Insulation Options Carefully

Proper insulation and high-quality glazing are essential to ensure that a comfortable living temperature is achieved inside your shipping container home. When constructing a container home, not only does your insulation material need to insulate your home but it should also create a vapour barrier to prevent moisture from entering your containers. For this reason, the most popular and wise choice of insulation for shipping container homes is spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation is thinner than insulation panels and if applied correctly it also acts as a vapour barrier.

Generally, the interior walls and the exterior base of the container is sprayed with insulation. These two layers combined then offer more than enough insulation for your container home. Spray foam insulation is more expensive than most other types of insulation though, so if your budget is tight, you can still choose other insulation options of which there are many.

Designing a shipping container home is a fun adventure. But it is one that comes with a lot of considerations as well, so we hope this article will help you to feel more prepared to create a well-designed and a well thought out shipping container home!

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