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How to Add Cladding to a Storage Unit

  • Care & Maintenance
7th October 2020

There are many reasons why people choose to purchase shipping containers. No matter whether the container is new or second-hand, they’re ideally suited as a structure for storage space, or to convert for an alternative use, such as a pop-up bar, modular classroom, or even a lithium battery storage facility.

Ultimately, shipping containers are built for a purpose – to ship goods around the world – so aesthetics are not at the forefront of its design. Containers are made from strong corrugated steel, which gives them an industrial-style appearance. They can be repainted for a fresh look, but one way that people opt to disguise the industrial appearance of a container is to use wooden cladding.

What is shipping container cladding?

Shipping container cladding is a layer of material that is added to the external walls of the container unit. Shipping containers of any size can be cladded in a range of materials, such as wood or brick slips.

Why do shipping containers need cladding?

The main use case for shipping container cladding is for improving the overall appearance. When you are using a steel box for something other than transporting cargo – like creating a building, for example – you might not always want a corrugated metal exterior finish, and this is where cladding comes in.

Cladding is also great for covering any bumps or scuffs on the exterior of a used container and can also help to protect your container, reducing the risk of rust or damage.

There are many materials that can be used for cladding a container, including timber, brick slips, and brushed steel.

In regards to insulation, the metal construction of a storage container unit means that it can get hot in the summer and cold in the winter. If people are going to be spending any time inside the container, insulation is an important modification which can be provided using cladding.

Types of Cladding

In essence, the type of cladding you use is down to personal preference. Most people who clad their shipping containers will use timber. Timber cladding offers a more natural look and helps it to blend naturally into the garden, or make it attractive to potential customers or visitors. There is usually a range of different varieties of wood to choose from, helping your converted unit fit in well with its natural surroundings and match other buildings.

Other cladding ideas include brick slip cladding, which is thin strips of brick added to the exterior of the container which give the appearance of a brick and mortar building. Another option is brushed steel to give it a more modern look.

How are containers cladded?

Cladding a shipping container is easily done with the correct tools and materials. The process of cladding a shipping container would normally involve attaching wooden batons horizontally to the outside of the unit in order to level out the container’s corrugations.

This enables the cladding to then be added vertically, being attached to the wooden batons in sections all of the way around the unit. This process would, of course, change slightly depending on the type of cladding that you are using.

It’s important to make sure that the cladding won’t affect the structural integrity of your container, especially if it’s a used unit. If you nail through the container walls, you must also ensure an adequate seal is used around where the nail has entered to make sure the unit remains watertight. If you are unsure of how to clad your container, please get in touch with a contractor or speak to our team who can advise on the best way to tackle the job.

How much does a cladded shipping container cost?

The price of cladding will usually vary depending on various factors. It goes without saying that the material you are cladding the container with will impact the price, as well as the size of your unit and if you’re having any other modifications made.

Uses for cladded shipping containers

There are numerous uses for a cladded container as it offers benefits both aesthetically and functionally, but some popular uses include outdoor storage units, classrooms, and pop-up catering or retail units.

Sometimes storage units will be placed in view of the public, such as in a car park. Cladding is a good way to make the unit more aesthetically pleasing. The material used for cladding can be matched with the surrounding buildings to help it blend seamlessly without looking like an eyesore. Wooden cladding can even be wood stained to a colour of choice. Likewise, if the unit is going to be placed somewhere like a nature reserve then a cladded container is a great way to disguise the appearance of a container.

Similarly, those looking for a pop-up space with a rustic theme, such as a farm shop or outdoor activity kiosk, may want to opt for wooden cladding to tie the theme into the unit’s surroundings.

If you’re looking for a container for hire or purchase, please get in touch with our experienced sales team who can advise you on the best container for your needs and if we can assist with any container modifications needed.

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