Here’s a tidbit about shipping containers (for tiny mobile home or fixed home).

20 feet shipping container weighs on average 4,850# empty.
40 feet shipping container weighs on average 8,223# empty.

So light–wow! Who knew?!

2016-05-10 16.30.06

Shipping container facts/basics:

-Shipping container frames/outer rails (the four corner posts) are made of heavy gauge steel that is specifically forged to sustain the stacking of multiple shipping containers, one atop another, weight upwards of hundreds of thousands pounds, bearing down. That’s a strong structure.

-Corrugated steel is used to line the container walls; but it can be removed in huge sections. If you’re building with multiple containers or stacking containers and you are planning to remove some or much of the corrugated steel walls, you should reinforce the top rails, as they are not as strong as the four vertical posts at the edges. I suggest checking with manufacturers and companies that convert shipping containers into other things to determine best practice for reinforcing the steel frame when removing some corrugated steel. If only converting one small container into a tiny house and removing some corrugated steel, you likely need less reinforcement. Many people add interior framing for extra support. (This is what I am planning to do with mine).

-Shipping containers are designed to move freight overseas on ships and cross-country along the railroad system and by truck. A container is specifically designed within DOT width/height specs for safe road travel. A container is designed to be nearly impervious to the elements, being water-tight, and is coated with primer/industrial enamel that protects the steel against rust/rot far, far longer than traditional exterior housing paint–in order to withstand effects of constant exposure to salt water and weather.

-Shipping containers, both used and new, are abundantly available nationwide in all major cities, inland and port side and are available in many smaller cities as well. They can be found in sales lots where they are stacked, 2-3-4-5-6 high in many industrial areas all over the place. They are very affordable and come in multiple colors. There are several well-established manufacturers in Asia and they are continually building new containers and shipping them (usually loaded with freight) overseas for use in the United States and around the world. Sizes/dimensions are universal. Standard sizes are mostly 10 feet, 20 feet, 40 feet, 45 feet, and 53 feet in length. Heights include high cube 9′ 6″ and standard 8′ 6″ height and 8′ 6″ exterior width. Prices range used/new from $800 up to $4500 each, depending upon size and condition. Average cost: $2200/$3500 each for 20 feet or 40 feet, new/used, depending on condition.

-There are many companies nationwide that specialize in shipping container alterations and conversions: removing walls and/or cargo doors and welding in windows and additional doors. Shipping containers come in variations: (1) open end with cargo doors, both ends open with cargo doors, and also long side openings with cargo doors.

Here is what you possess with a shipping container (and a little creativity):

-A strong, framed box–no need for drawing up/paying for a framing blue print for house build. Your box is built, ready to convert into a home.
-Durable floor frame with container width, perpendicular c-channel beams every 12 inches, running the length of the container, supporting a wood-clad floor 5/8 inches up to 1 inch thick (wooden subfloor).
-corrugated steel walls and steel ceiling/roof.

Tiny shipping container home….

Think of it as “not building” a tiny house from scratch. Your structure, framing, exterior sheathing/siding is already built/installed. You essentially are beginning your tiny house process with a dried-in shell or box when you begin with a shipping container.

A shipping container is a free standing vessel/extremely durable structure that needs only to be converted into a cozy living space.

Do you like the modern, simplistic, open, industrial look?
I suggest…..Google shipping container homes and be amazed and inspired, or simply enlightened and entertained.  🙂