How Long Does A Shipping Container Conversion Take and How Much Does It Cost?

Due to the fact that shipping containers are so adaptable, we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of them being used for a whole range of applications. Many people choose to use a shipping container to store their belongings or move products around the world – as they were originally designed for.

Some people, however, have come up with more ingenious ways to use them as flexible options to enable facilities to be created with relative ease.

Converted or Modified Shipping Containers

A shipping container is essentially a structural metal box that can be modified to be used as a transportable enclosure for very specific purposes.  You can get shipping containers in a range of sizes – 10ft, 20ft, and 40ft in length, at standard height (2.6m externally) or as a ‘high cube’ (300mm higher than a standard container). In addition, you can get more than one type of original manufactured shipping container, which can include extra doors at the ‘blank end’ of the box or along one or both sides.  However, one dimension that does not change with containers is their standard width, which is 2.44m, or 8ft.

Converted shipping containers offer flexible solutions to many of the challenges that the world is currently throwing at us, such as:

  • They make use of used materials, reducing waste and therefore being an environmentally-friendly option
  • They give a great degree of flexibility in terms of design and application
  • They are relatively quick and inexpensive to convert, compared to other comparable solutions
  • They can be created off-site and literally ‘dropped’ (carefully positioned!) into place

What Needs to be Done in a Conversion and How Long Does It Take?

The work that needs to be done to convert a shipping container really depends on what you are planning on using it for. S Jones Containers’ team of designers can help you to create your ideal space – whatever you are hoping to use it for.

They will have computer aided design technology (CAD) to assist them and to show you what is possible in terms of design.

Some Conversion PurposesSome Modification types (combinations of)
pop-up café/bar multi-compartment
plant rooms, including;doors and windows, many options;
power generationacoustic control
switchgearthermal control
transformerair flow, forced air
pumpspositive air pressure
water treatmentair quality filtration, up to hepa quality
test rigfire retardancy (internal and/or external)
control equipment multiple voltage electrical systems
boilers (especially solid fuel)blast resistance (internal or external)
workshopspecialist coatings
laboratoryspecialist laboratory equipment
work accommodationblast release panels
exhibition standbunds
bird hidesmoke and chemical detection
ticket boothfire suppression
load testing
shipping compatibility with CSC re-certification

Once that your shipping container construction has been designed, the work can start.

All fixed work can be done off-site before it gets to you. It will be delivered almost ready to go, except for additions you need to add, from furniture to your own specialist equipment if you are using a converted container to house your own finished product, or having a third party install extra specialist equipment.

The time that is needed to manufacture your converted shipping container depends on the extent of the modification which can take hundreds of man-hours over a number of weeks and cost many tens of thousands of Pounds.

Before Delivery

It is important to be ready to receive your converted shipping container when it is finished. There are a few factors that you should consider beforehand, including:

  • Making sure that you have a solid foundation on the area where your shipping container is going to be placed. It should be hard and flat – concrete, concrete slabs or railway sleepers are good options.
  • Checking that there is enough access for the delivery vehicle to get to you from a main road, along accessible roads, and without obstructions, such as low hanging cables or branches
  • Ensuring that you have planning permission if it is needed (it is recommended that you check with your local authority as this can be a grey area)