Previously considered a novelty or a niche undertaking, shipping container home construction has recently gained immense popularity all over the world. A quick search on Google, YouTube or Pinterest will present you with numerous results of homes that have been build using these steel containers as well as lots of related information.
Image by Tiger Containers Sydney
Now it’s not as surprising to stumble upon container homes out in the world with many Australians choosing cargo containers as their preferred home construction material. But why are they becoming so popular with home builders, shipping containers?
There’re five main reasons why people are choosing cargo containers for home construction. These are:
- Cost savings. Building with shipping containers offers home owners significant cost savings of between 30-50%.
- Eco-friendliness. Container construction is popular with environmentally conscious home buyers as it helps reduce emissions.
- Quick builds. It takes significantly less time to complete a shipping container build as most of the work can be done away from the site in a workshop.
- Availability of cargo containers. Sea containers are pretty much available everywhere in the world at affordable rates.
- Uniqueness. Compared to the traditional-style house, cargo container houses are very unique which makes them popular with home buyers looking for something different.
Will it last, your container home?
Being the most important asset for most people, the durability of a house is of critical importance to anyone who is looking to own a home. People need to be sure that the home they put so much of their finances into will not crumble to the ground months after they move in. Not to mention safety and comfort concerns for the family.
When it comes to durability, however, there’re fewer structures out there as durable as shipping containers. They are made of tough steel and are designed to bear the hash and rough conditions of sea and land transportation. For this reason, cargo container houses are very durable and will generally last just as long as homes built using traditional brick and mortar.
But even when their homes are not falling apart, home owners might want to renovate their houses to spruce things up or to add to the current amenities. Is this something that can be done with shipping container homes?
Container-home renovations: can they be done?
The short answer is “yes”. Just like regular homes, shipping container homes can be renovated to bring them up to scratch or to add to the features that have already been installed. However, similar to brick and mortar homes, regular maintenance is required to ensure that the home does not fall into complete disrepair which would make a renovation expensive, or even unfeasible.
In fact, depending on what you need, you might find shipping container renovations to be a lot easier and more cost effective as steel is pretty good at resisting wear and tear.
After your shipping container home is complete, you can easily make additional modifications to your home by adding other container units to the home or by adding other structures made with different materials to the house. Internally, overhauls will work similarly as they do when you’re carrying out regular home renos – just get the stuff you don’t want removed and get new items and decors installed in place of the old things.
You can have your walls redone, and even get a complete overhaul of the homes layout to suit your taste and preference. All you need are designers and contractors that specialise in shipping container buildings to ensure the best quality of workmanship.
Alternatively, if you’re handy, you can carry out the renovations yourself and save yourself some money if the reno work is not extensive or too technical.
Prevention is the best cure
For renovations that are necessitated by general negligence and disrepair, it would be a better idea to keep on top of your home’s deterioration instead of waiting until major works are required to return the house to its former glory.
Here are some tips for ensuring your shipping container home remains in good form for a long time without the need for major renovations:
- Start with high-quality containers.Your cargo container home will degrade quickly if the containers you used initially were of poor quality. For home construction, it is recommended that you use one-trip containers which are of higher quality and will generally last a mighty long time.
- Inspect regularly.Just like you would with a traditional-style house, it’s important that you carry out regular inspections on your shipping container home to catch any issues early before they get out of hand. Inspect each individual container regularly to find signs of corrosion and damage. Check the walls as well as the roofs.
- Fix issues promptly. In case you find any signs of degradation on your cargo containers, fix them as soon as possible to prevent them spreading or becoming worse. Retouch the paintwork regularly and fix even the slightest signs of rust when they appear. Similar to traditional homes, humidity is a potential issue, so make sure leaks inside the house are fixed quickly before they cause damage.
Although shipping container homes require minimal maintenance to keep them up to scratch, doing these three things will ensure that you don’t run into major issues down the road that would require major renovation works.