Five Most Important Steps of Shipping Container Homes Construction
Shipping containers can be transformed into utilitarian living spaces and even multistory homes. Large shipping containers can be converted into portable homes, fully equipped with a kitchenette, dinette and bathroom including a shower and toilet. Recycling shipping containers is environment friendly and constructing a house is a financially sound move. However, the whole process is a challenge in itself and you must get everything right. Here are the five most important steps of shipping container construction.
One of the quintessential requisites is insulation. Shipping containers are made of steel. While steel is strong and durable, it can resist weather extremes and can also be easily maintained with minimal upkeep, the material is not insulated by itself. Just as normal houses must be insulated to limit the dependence on artificial heating and cooling, shipping containers homes must also be thoroughly insulated to make the space inside comfortable.
Shipping containers must be insulated on all sides. The four walls including the doors and windows, the top and the bottom must be insulated. Regular houses have the advantage of being built on ground. Soil or ground is naturally insulated. While it is technically not insulated, geothermal energy or the naturally available heat of the earth keep the floors relatively unresponsive to fluctuating atmospheric temperatures.
Shipping containers can be insulated using spray foam or panels. Spray foam creates a vapor barrier. This serves as the insulation and can also keep moisture out. You do not want moisture to seep into a shipping container and then facilitate the growth of mold. Panel insulation is also a practical solution. The type insulation should also be influenced by the climate in a region. Panel insulation works better in dry and moderate climates. Extreme cold warrants spray foam insulation.
Every type of construction requires a permit from the local planning department. You will need a zoning permit for shipping container construction. You should have the permit even before you bring in the shipping container and start construction.
A zoning permit is not hard to get if you have the plan and are certain of everything you need. There may be some places where zoning permits are not granted for shipping container construction. You should check out the local building codes and other laws relevant to the project. You do not want a scenario wherein you have made an investment and then your entire project is rendered illegal.
Create a Thorough Plan
You should plan the entire construction. Every step should be on paper. If you are hiring an architect or appointing an interior decorator, get their blueprints on paper and include them in the larger plan. The plan should be comprehensive. Nothing should be left to chance. The design should be sustainable. You must take into account all the features you want. Have a viable design with all essentials and figure out the precise dimensions. You should not shop for various fittings before you have accurately calculated the spaces you can allot to different installations. Your plan should include budget, the design, project timeline and zoning.
Choose a Pragmatic Budget
Your budget should be pragmatic. Forget affordability when you ascertain the imperative costs. Do not have a stringent budget dictated by affordability if it is going to compromise on any of the essential components of shipping container construction. There are unavoidable costs and optional expenses. The latter has enough room for discretion. The former has no room for any discretion but for the relevant choices.
You will need to pay for the zoning permits. The shipping containers will cost a sum. There are different types of containers that you must compare and choose one that is most viable. Insulation, doors and windows, living space, kitchenette and dinette, foldable bed and table, sink and chairs, the bathroom with shower and toilet, the tanks and generators are some of the essential features. You will also need to pay for flooring and roofing, paint and finish.
You will need some room to breathe so always have a bit of flexibility when you are getting close to the last penny. It is best to have a scope of at least twenty percent increase in your actual expense vis-à-vis the calculated budget. This will enable you to make the right choices every time there is an option.
Prevention and Treatment of Rust
All materials suffer wear and tear. While durable materials such as steel will not fall apart at the slightest of internal or external threats, they do need some special treatment to prevent corrosion and other issues. Just as wood can decay or get infested with termites and concrete can crack or crumble, steel will corrode. There will be rust in parts where the finish and paint have come undone or have been subjected to weathering.
You can choose anti-corrosive paints and finishes. You can choose rust treatment for its prevention. The objective is to conceal or protect all bare metal. Coatings can get corroded and may peel off in due course of time. Protecting the bare metal will allow you to recoat or repaint and your shipping container home will be good to go for many more years.