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Shipping container houses Options
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 20, 2009 6:00:26 AM
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I own a 40 foot shipping container for storage and all I can say is... "WHY?"

A used 40 foot shipping container costs ~$3000 here and you are a lot better off buying standard trusses and sheathing.

The other problem is the 8 foot width and lack of a tall ceiling.

The roof is thin steel so don't think it's a bunker either.

They are also difficult to insulate since the vapor barrier has to be on the inside. This means you either have to use Styrofoam or put a larger structure over them.

Building a house for 15K-20K is doable using standard materials.
You can also find used trailer houses pretty cheep.
#2 Posted : Monday, January 26, 2009 5:37:09 PM
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Posts: 134,494

On HGTV, I saw a show called, as I recall, "World's Most Extreme Homes".

One of the featured homes was built from steel shipping containers. The containers were easily stacked as they were designed to so. A covered stairway was added to the exterior.

I have considered doing something similar myself. However, you still need to build some sort of foundation depending on the region you are in. You still need to add walls to provide adequate insulation. You need to modify the container to add windows and doors. You will also, likely, need to add a peaked roof to shed snow and protect the steel which is subject to rust. You will be limited by the size of the container, usually 8 feet wide.

I thought it through and, without performing any formal calculations, decided that, given the expense and work required to modify the shipping containers, I would be better off building a simple conventional dwelling.


The Big Lebowski
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 03, 2009 6:32:06 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Here is a couple of links for  you that I have on my favorite lists. Also just check out google there are tons of links there for what you're thinking of


#4 Posted : Tuesday, February 03, 2009 6:32:06 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Anyone here playing around with using shipping containers to build homes?  I'm considering moving back to town (small town, no building codes), and am thinking of ways to build an inexpensive house ($15,000-20,000).  I purchased a CD from E-Bay on building with shipping containers but it wasn't exactly helpful with the hands-on info. 

I'd love to correspond with someone who has actually built a small house with shipping containers. 

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