Shipping container home?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by B DIRT, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. B DIRT

    B DIRT Long timer

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    Hey guys the wifey and I are debating on building a new home and we are intriqued with the shipping container homes. I have spent some time searching the internet to only come up with little information about these homes. So far I've found the containers to be a very cost effective alternative to standard building materials and are much stronger and durable. Basically the containers are almost boom proof and last forever. Like I said I've found very little information about these homes and I'm wondering if any of you know or have known anyone thats built or builds these homes? I would like to have a big hand in building our container home but would like to gather as much info as possible before deciding if its the way we want to go. I'm looking for ideas, dos and donts and just basic knowledge on these homes, Thanks for the help guys!
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  2. Jhon

    Jhon .

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  3. Dravintoad

    Dravintoad Toadthumpin

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    I've seen designs, but never seen one(in person)actually built, or for that matter, lived in.

    What's the location of the home gonna be?

    Yes, the structure is there and you can stack em up, but making it into a home that you would feel comfortable in is where you start running into problems and start spending the money.

    Insulation, finishes, electrical, plumbing, windows, doors, egress, interior walls (if any). Plus once you start cutting holes for windows and whatnot, you begin to lose all that great structural integrity that you started with.

    There is alot of preliminary planning that goes into making one of these work and I know of no great precedence for it as well.
    The size and intended use will be of the greatest determining factors as to how resonable this is for you and your wife. You must go into it knowing that you are trying to make a container(s) a home and understand that it is what it is.

    All that said, go for it. If I knew you were close, I would give you a hand with the design as I have always wanted to do something like this. I had a buddy that did a design project like this back in Arch school and the potential for something like this is great.

    :lurk
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  4. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    Why do I get the feeling that people get interested in these things because they think it's a less expensive option when the reality is the exact opposite. :patch
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  5. Dravintoad

    Dravintoad Toadthumpin

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    If you were just to live in one like a bum, it would be cheap, but you are right, the problem is thats not how it works.

    The people that want to take these and make it a luxury home are in for a surprise as to what it costs to do something like that.
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  6. Uglyprimate

    Uglyprimate UglyPirate

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    The reality is that they're just not that big.

    I've been around hundreds that are used as on the jobsite offices. Real cramped, real quick.

    Add in the necessary plumbing, cooling and insulation and you now live in a small van.

    For pennies on the dollar, just buy an RV.
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  7. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    I think you'd be better off buying one of those pre-fab'd homes and just having it assembled on site.
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  8. Dravintoad

    Dravintoad Toadthumpin

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    Certainly cheaper, but without the cool factor.

    Half the reason for a container home is so you can brag that you built a home from containers right? :D
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  9. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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  10. bradatlarge

    bradatlarge Insha'Allah

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    cool!

    but, your HOA will not like it

    :ban
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  11. Wallybob

    Wallybob History Geek

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    My Brother-in-law down at Auburn University was part of an architecture group that made 4 or 5 shipping container homes. The idea was that it would be cheaper and more durable that FEMA trailers. I don't know exactly, but do a web search with Auburn, shipping container, and housing.
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  12. B DIRT

    B DIRT Long timer

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    Thanks for the links and opinions guys, like I said I'm just gathering info for a final decision. No we're not looking for a luxury home but just something different than everyone else. I want to do alot of the building myself or as much as I can do myself, we also live in south central pa
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  13. 6uldv8

    6uldv8 Been here awhile

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    Not sure if they're still in business or not but years ago I shot sporting clays all the time in LaFayette,Alabama at a place called "Rockfence Station". Clubhouse was a collection of railroad cars arranged in a large rectangle with a roof built over the whole deal. Very cool place! Large den/living area in the middle with bathrooms and bedrooms around the perimeter in the boxcars. You might "google" them up and make a visit.....it's something to see.
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  14. El Hombre

    El Hombre Banned

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    There was a thread floating around about dome homes and all the problems with getting loans, insurance, and selling them. Your container is just gonna be worse. Build something that 80% of the population will like, it's just a lot easier in the long run.

    But I can see you wanting to be different and all.
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  15. Mr. Jetmoto

    Mr. Jetmoto Banned

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    Wow, I had no idea. the one on the bottom is stunning. Not so sure how fun it would be in oregon though :lol3. You'd be squeegieing that floor non-stop for 9 months out of the year.
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  16. Captain Beardylocks

    Captain Beardylocks travelling beardo

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    I think they're super cool, and if it's the house you want to have, then go for it.
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  17. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I've looked and looked and looked at some sort of housing/workshop solution that was genuinely portable so as we moved around the country we could dismantle and move the house/workshop.

    Alas, I've never really seen or come up with a design that totally worked. Most of the time the costs to disassemble, transport, and reassemble makes them unattractive.

    As UP said, you might look into RV's and possibly expand your search to park model trailers. Where we are at in Texas there is something like 500 RV parks; if that holds true in the parts of Texas that you are interested in then that might give you some possibilities.

    If you run across something, definitely post it here.
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  18. stubmw

    stubmw some what aloof

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    Very common here in Texas to see them used as storage sheds, but no one actually living in them. If they were that cheap to make even remotely livable, would see people living in them. What you do see is people living in steel buildings. They are relatively easy to erect and inexpensive. The second picture in this thread appears to me to just be a steel building erected around those containers. Never seen that much glass though, as I am sure that adds to the cost. If one wants to find an inexpensive and practical way to do something just ask how a Texan would do it :D :D .
    #18
  19. NomadRip

    NomadRip Always a n00b

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  20. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    That's Adam Kalkin's 12 Container House. He has a working arrangement with Butler Buildings for his designs. Friends of mine who are a bit closer to the steel building business than I am commented that Butler was high quality, but not cheap.

    Kalkin's site is here: http://www.architectureandhygiene.com/
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