Is It Possible to Turn Shipping Containers Into A Home?

With property prices still increasing around the country and pricing many out of the market, the trend of tiny houses is continuing to grow. Tiny houses represent a much more cost effective option, and the much smaller scale means that individuals can build their homes without the hefty knowledge required to build a new house from scratch. To make things even simpler, shipping containers are being increasingly used as a framework for tiny houses – the structural rigidity and large size mean they’re a great foundation for those looking to build a small home of their own. What exactly is required to build a home out of a shipping container, though? Read on to learn a bit more about what’s involved.

Turn Shipping Containers Into A HomeMaterials required to build a shipping container home

To start with, you’ll obviously need a shipping container. These can be bought new or second-hand, with second-hand options costing less than half that of a new container. Sizing is also important – ideally, you should look for a 40ft dry container as this size will provide you with a very spacious framework with which you can build up your home. Once you’ve secured a high-quality container, you can look into prepping the site and seeking out required permits from local government bodies. When choosing a site, it’s very important to make sure that any environmental issue – such as rough, rocky surfaces, or areas susceptible to flooding – are adequately managed. You will then need to seek out contractors to help install features like electricity, plumbing, windows, and floors. Costs of these services will obviously depend on the contractor themselves and materials used, as well as size of the home. With all this in mind, although shipping container homes can represent better value options than traditional homes, it’s important to note that shipping container homes will not exactly be cheap. If you’re after a well-kitted out home, your budget could start from as little as $30,000 to a whopping $300,000. Shipping container homes, like regular homes, contain all of the expensive things any domicile requires.

Something many do not consider: regulations

Something many might forget to consider before diving headfirst into shipping container home plans is the associated regulations. In Australia, rules can vary wildly depending on the area in which you live, so you’ll need to ask your local government body what the regulations in your area are. For most government bodies, the regulations for shipping containers are identical to that of regular buildings. This means you can’t just dump your shipping container onto your property – you’ll need to source all of the proper approvals, engineering, plans, and inspections that any regular residential building might require. After modifying the frame and installing things like doors and windows – which you will need to do – you run a risk of weakening the frame, and because of this, engineers are sometimes reluctant to issue structural certificates to shipping container homes, particularly if they’re second-hand.

Do research to find if shipping container homes are for you

Shipping container homes can be an excellent option for those who do their business research, and their sleek profile offers amazing flexibility in terms of land placement. If you’re serious about one of these small homes, make sure to first inquire with your local council and factor in all of the costs that a regular home build would demand. Then, if you’re happy with what you learn, it’s time to get cracking!

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