Shipping Container Home Installation: Everything You Need to Know

In today’s world where construction and concretization are intense, people are starting to return to their detached life. Those who want to escape to nature and freedom, who are overwhelmed by the many troubles brought by communal living, switch to the container house life. With their container home life, they do not harm the nature and reduce the cost of housing.

What Does Container House Mean?

Steel containers are used in land, sea, air and railway transportation. These containers can be sold for a specific use or surplus. The use of one or more of these containers by turning them into a living space is called a container house.

Considering the construction costs, the cost of the container house is more advantageous. Another advantage is that they are portable and reconfigurable. In addition, there are container house models that meet every need and design. You can create a single or double storey, or you can create an “L” shaped living space.

Container houses can offer the same opportunities as reinforced concrete or wooden houses. In fact, since they are made of steel, they offer an added advantage with their earthquake resistance and longevity.

Other advantages can be listed as follows;

-They are ecological.
-They do not harm the environment and nature.
-They are portable.
-Renewals are practical and easy.

Where is the Container House Built?

If you want to build a container house, you must have your own land. You can build it in the field, land and garden or have companies build it.

Before you build the house, you need to consider the zoning laws and regulations in your country. For example, if you are going to establish a living space in areas such as fields and gardens that are not open to development, you should consider the condition that your land should be zero to the road.

The US states of Texas, California, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon and Alaska are the settlements that host container homes. Texas, in particular, is known as the hub of portable container home owners.

Where to Build Container House?

Since container houses are ultimately living spaces, the place where they are deployed is also very important. Although you will use it at a certain time of the year, it is beneficial to place it on the ground in a solid and balanced way.

For example, in America, many families move away from city life and have container houses built in mountainous regions. First of all, they reinforce the ground and create a foundation above the ground, which is called “flooding”.

Whether you are going to stay for the whole year or for a certain period, you should first determine the ground and location issue. After setting the floor scale, you lay the foundation and place the container on it. You should also consider the environmental factors of your location such as wind, sun, slope.

Can a container house be built in the field?

For those who are farming and want to deal with the soil as a hobby, having a living space in the field provides great convenience. You can easily use it both as a warehouse and as a residence. However, certain conditions and considerations are sought for such houses to be built in the field.

First of all, it is important that the house you will build is within the boundaries of the settlement. For example, if you are building within the boundaries of a settlement with the status of a village, you do not need to obtain a zoning, building permit or permit. However, if you are within the borders of the municipality, you need to get permission from your municipality and prepare the required documents.

You can also build a container house with a trailer, which you can put on wheels where you can build a stationary container house for your field. You do not need any permits or licenses for this. However, you should know that in this case you will not be able to get electricity or water subscription.

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How to Install a Container House?

There is no standard construction process like container houses, reinforced concrete or wooden houses. The only similarity is that if you’re going to station it, you have to have a base built. After adjusting the ground strength and balance, the container/containers are placed with the help of a crane.

Before the container is installed, you need to prepare the house plan very well, and adjust its direction and balance very well. If you have a two-story container house plan with two containers, you need to consolidate the carrying capacity of the bottom one. Containers can be placed side by side or you can put them on top of each other as a duplex and make a double container house.

How to Move Container House?

The biggest advantage of shipping containers is that you can transport them wherever you want. Because they have hooks on each corner that will make it easier to carry on the upper side. You can attach chains to each hook and load them onto the truck or lorry via the crane. You can transport it anywhere you want by car. In the same way, you take it from the vehicle with a crane and place it on the ground you prepared beforehand.

Container houses with trailers, that is, movable, are even easier to transport. Since such living spaces are called wheeled container houses, you can take them anywhere you want with your vehicle.

What Are the Shipping Container Home Sizes?

Shipping containers do not have a standard size. They can be in different sizes depending on the condition of the load. When this is the case, the dimensions of the houses built from these vehicles also differ. In general, container house dimensions are as follows;

– A 10 ft container has a length of 2.83, a width of 2.34, and a height of 2.39 meters.
– The length of the 20 ft container is 5.89, the width is 2.34, and the height is 2.39 meters.
– The 40 ft container has a length of 12,031, a width of 2.34, and a height of 2.39 meters.
– The 45 ft container has a length of 13.50, a width of 2.34, and a height of 2.69 meters.

As you can see above, only the lengths of the containers change, the width and height are generally the same. You can create a 42 square meter container house by combining more than one container according to your needs and design. However, if you want to build a larger container house, you can choose 40 or 45 feet containers.

How to Build a Container House?

Shipping containers are made using steel and aluminum for the safe transport of loads. You need to make some modifications to turn these vehicles, which are completely steel casings, into living spaces.

First of all, you should not confuse shipping containers with other containers and prefabricated houses. In living areas to be built with second-hand shipping containers, you carry out your operations on the container you purchased.

First of all, you need to get the zoning permit and license of the place where you will deploy the container. You can learn the procedure from the municipality you are affiliated with.

You buy as many containers as you need and meet your design. Then you prepare or have it prepared a building plan that will shape your living space. There are many container house plans related to this. By examining them, you can come up with a container house design that will meet your needs.

Since the containers are closed safes, you must have the sections such as doors and windows open. Since cutting steel sections is very costly, it would be better to plan well and then cut it. In this way, you will avoid extra costs later on. Necessary cutting and additions are made according to the number of containers you will use and the house model.

Since the first request of those living in rural areas in America is the veranda, the veranda and its shading are also made in the design of the container house with a veranda.

The cutting and design processes of the containers are done after sitting on the ground. After the windows, doors and partitions are prepared, electricity, water and insulation processes are carried out. Finally, the living space is prepared with landscaping.

What Is Put Under The Container House?

It is important that the container is placed on a solid and flat surface for the healthy operation of the apparatus such as doors and windows in the container house. If you consider the environmental conditions, you should also consider that the container is higher than the ground.

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You can make a concrete floor under your single-container living spaces such as 10 ft., 20 ft., or you can lay pebbles and have it scaled with a mixer. You can also make concrete legs and sit on them. Another method is to bury six barrels halfway in the ground, solidify them with gravel and concrete, and then set the container down after leveling it.

It is not recommended to put wooden legs under the container house, except for the concrete and steel legs. The decay and deformation of the wood over time can destabilize the container.

How Container House Foundation Should Be?

It is important in many ways that the container house is placed on a completely flat ground. The foundation must be solid and flat in terms of aesthetics, appearance and functionality. Before placing the container on the ground, you should conduct a ground survey. Considering the natural conditions, you should place the container house on a solid foundation so that it does not slip and does not collapse over time.

Verandas are of great importance in houses built in nature. Therefore, the prepared foundation should be wider than the container. First of all, press and strengthen the ground. Then prepare the mold according to the circumference and fill it with small rocks, pebbles and stones. If possible, pressing the stones you have laid before pouring concrete will be your precaution against the possibility of collapse of the foundation. Pour concrete mortar on it, take the scale and let it dry. Thus, you will have a long-lasting and solid foundation.

How to Get Container House Permit?

If you are going to live in the USA or in another country, if you are going to build a container house, learn the necessary conditions from your municipality. Because every country and even cities have different zoning regulations. Even if you stay in the house you will build for a few days a year, you must apply for a license permit.

A zoning permit is required for water, electricity and natural gas subscriptions. After obtaining the building permit, you can apply for other subscriptions. If you are going to build your house in a mountainous region, then you will turn to installations such as solar energy and well water instead of water and electricity subscriptions.

Portable container homes with trailers do not require a license as they are not fixed. In this case, you may need to operate your vehicle in order to be able to move it in traffic. In this case, you can get the necessary information from the traffic branch in your region.

Read Also : How much does a Shipping Container Cost in 2022 ?

How to Build a Container House Toilet?

As in all residences, you need to prepare a place and a drain for the toilet in container houses. If you are going to place the container on the foundation, you lay a drain pipe from the foundation depending on where you will place the toilet bowl. You drill a hole in the bottom of the container and match it to the drain pipe. You put the toilet seat on the pipe.

Since the container houses are built far from the city centers, there is no sewerage system. Therefore, you need to dig a septic pit at a certain distance from the house. The pit you will dig should be a maximum of 5 meters deep. It should also be at least 15 meters away from water sources. You can lay the pipe on the slope between the pit and the house and set up the system. You can also connect the waste water drain to this pipe.

How Long Do Container Houses Last?

Since shipping containers are made of metal, they are more likely to corrode due to environmental factors. They can rust depending on environmental factors such as humidity, rain, snow. However, the use of purchased second-hand container houses may also differ in terms of durability.

Those that have been used in transportation for a very long time are more worn out and will have a shorter lifespan. In addition, cargoes such as chemical products affect the life of the containers.

Many shipping containers are now coated with alloys called anti-corrosion steel or corten steel. A shipping container covered with these alloys is durable for 15-25 years, depending on the climate and environmental factors of the place where it is installed.

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How Long Do Container Houses Live?

The life of a container house depends on its user and natural conditions. If you do the exterior coating of your house very well, if you take precautions against rust, the life of your house will be at least 25 years. Depending on usage, you can extend its life to over 30 years.

If you want to extend the life of your container house, you should periodically check the places where there is a possibility of rust. You can take the necessary precautions with rust protection and insulation materials.

The weakest part of the containers is the ceiling. If you are going to place a container on top of it, you must strengthen the ceiling. If you are not going to place a container on top, you must make the necessary modifications on the ceiling depending on the climatic conditions.

For example, if you have installed it in a mountainous region, you should have the roof made as a triangle roof against rain and snow events. If it is raining or snowing less heavily, you can make the flat roof slightly sloped.

How Many Kilos of Container House?

Shipping containers are large transport vehicles with tonnage. Since they are made of steel, their weight is over four tons. Accordingly, the size and number of containers you will use in the house you will set up as a living space will determine how many tons your house will weigh.

For example; A 20 ft shipping container has an empty weight of 2300 ( 5070 lbs ), a 40 ft shipping container has an empty weight of 3700 ( 8157 lbs ), a 45 ft curb weight is 4590 kilograms ( 5070 lbs ).

These figures show the empty weight of the containers. Steel constructions, furniture, beams added for reinforcement will increase the weight of the house.

What To Consider When Buying A Container House ?

The idea of ​​living freely in rural areas appeals to many people. Many people who want to be in touch with nature and away from the noise and hustle and bustle are stepping into the container house life.

Before you make the container house idea a reality, that is, before you buy it, you should ask yourself the question “Can I live a simple life in the countryside, away from the modern city life?” If you sincerely answer “yes” to this question, you can enter the container house for sale research.

When purchasing a container house, you should pay attention to the following points;

* Will you buy the shipping container first and design it yourself, or will you buy it from the factory or the container host? In both cases, you should examine the container you will buy very well. For example, look for answers to questions such as how many years it has been used in transportation, which loads were mainly transported, how is the rust situation.

* The cost of container houses is more or less certain. You should calculate the cost of installing a container house that will reflect your needs and dreams and do your research accordingly.

* Pay attention to whether the house has insulation. After all, you do not want to freeze in a steel structure in winter and burn in summer.

* Be sure to examine a container house you like online. Check all the details from electricity, plumbing to drain pipes.

How to Get Electricity Subscription for Container House?

If you are going to set up your house in mountainous and rural areas, you may have a shortage of electricity. If a power transmission line passes through a region close to your house, you can apply for a container house electricity subscription. For this, you need to have a zoning permit and a building permit. You get this from the municipality you are affiliated with. You apply to the electricity administration with these documents.

Container house residents, who have adopted the new generation lifestyle, prefer to produce their own energy with solar energy panels instead of electricity subscription. You can produce your own electricity by laying panels on your roof or on the side of your house.

Photo Credit : The Box Hop

How Much Are Container Homes?

Just as a reinforced concrete house does not have a standard price, the same is true for container houses. The size of the house, the materials used, the service life, etc. Factors such as can affect the price of the house. If you want to buy a second-hand shipping container and create your own living space;

20 ft container $600-$1500,
40 ft container $900-$2500,
45 ft container costs between $1200 and $3500 dollars.

To these prices, you need to add the costs of transportation, foundation preparation, cutting, modification, interior partition, exterior design.

A simple and single container house can cost an average of $5k. However, if you want a modern container house, the figure can go up to $500k.

For example, 1+1 container house models can vary between $10,000 – $35,000, and 2-storey container house models can vary between $100,000 – $175,000.

Shipping containers used in transportation can be turned into new generation living spaces. The fact that the construction and workmanship takes a short time, the cost is lower, and the freedom in many aspects make these houses attractive. Being portable is another advantage. For those that will be permanently established, a building permit must be obtained from the municipality.