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Building Amazing Homes and Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers

Mat and Danielle from Exploring Alternatives spent a day at the Storstac Inc. shipping container yard in Toronto, Canada to learn the ins and outs of building with new and used shipping containers.


While building with shipping containers is not necessarily cheaper than conventional building, it does have advantages because containers are modular, mobile, durable, and they have a unique, modern look.

They can be do it yourself friendly if you’ve worked with steel before, or if you find a company to take care of the steel work for you so that you can focus on framing and finishing it from the inside.

Building Homes & Mobile Spaces w/ Shipping Containers

Here are 3 of their key takeaways:


  1. Size
    Shipping containers come in standard 20 foot and 40 foot lengths, but there are other custom lengths, including: 10′, 45′, 48′, 53′.
  2. New or Used
    Almost all shipping containers are made in China, and can be bought used (after they’ve been used for 10-20 years), or new, which means they’ve one been used once.Since there are no shipping manifests for used containers to show what was transported in them over the course of their lifetime (it could be anything from clothing to nuclear waste), it’s better to build with a new shipping container that’s only been used once.
  3. Material
    They’re made with COR-TEN steel, which is a weathering steel that can withstand harsh weather conditions and elements like salt water.  The rust on weathering steel actually creates a protective patina, whereas rust on mild steel would actually weaken the metal.

 

Image © Storstac Inc.

VIDEO: Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers

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Danielle Chabassol
Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.




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