Why Build with Shipping Containers?

Shipping container architecture continues to be a growing phenomenon. From homes,  offices, restaurants, event displays and more, shipping containers can be repurposed into any type of structure. If you’re considering building with shipping containers, you need to know the fundamentals, advantages, and disadvantages to decide if a container structure is the right choice for you.

Shipping Container 101

The metal shipping container was developed about 65 years ago. Containers come in various sizes, but the most popular sizes are:

  • 20 footer – dimensions are 20’ x 8’ x 8’, which equals 160 square feet
  • 40 footer – dimensions are 40’ x 8’ x 8’, which equals 320 square feet (There are also high cube versions of these sizes that are 9 feet tall)

If you’re researching container structures, you’ve probably seen photos of the mass amounts of containers sitting on docks and ports around the world. This surplus of sea containers is due to the large amounts of time, labor costs and fuel needed to ship an empty one back to its origin. Melting the containers down to steel is also not typically considered as it requires a large amount of energy, around 8000 kW, while the repurposing of a container uses about 5% of that.

grey container house

Pros and Cons of Building with Shipping Containers

There are a variety of reasons why architects and builders want to utilize containers for their projects, but it may not be the right fit for every job. Here are the main pros of building with shipping containers.

Strength & Durability – A container’s purpose is to carry heavy loads through any environment and remain intact with its goods undamaged and dry inside. Its purpose as a building is similar. It’s designed to last and to fully protect its occupants better than traditional builds. They are also earthquake and hurricane proof.

The containers are made from 14 gauge steel and have the built-in support to handle many layers stacked on them as well as the ability to handle being hoisted. A stand-alone container can handle 100 miles per hour winds. When securely anchored, it can withstand winds up to 175 miles per hour.

Speed – Container buildings can be built much faster than traditional ones. Site prep work can occur at the same time as the containers are being modified at a facility, which can cut months off of a new build.

Affordability – A container build is often said to be way less expensive than a traditional build. This is true in some cases, but containers that are heavily modified can end up costing just as much or even more. The cost is extremely dependent on your plan and building needs. This being said, you’re investing a structure that will hold up against any element and be around for years to come without much maintenance.

Creative Freedom – Containers can be stacked vertically and put together horizontally to create a variety of floor plans. The interior is a blank canvas that can be designed any way you feel. Using containers also allows for future expansion and add-ons of more containers.

The cons…. While there are not many, here are a few things you need to be aware of.

Permits and codes – Since container buildings are still relatively new to many municipalities, the proper research will need to be done to make sure you can legally build a container home or commercial building. Check with your local building code enforcement office before committing to a project.

Not 100% eco-friendly – In most cases, to safely build a new structure, old containers are not used. Many of these containers that are sitting decommissioned at ports have damage and wear from years of use. To ensure the structural integrity of your build, we search out the highest quality containers we can find in the area.

This brings us to a final point, modifying shipping containers is NOT easy. While there are hundreds of examples of DIY container homes online, we strongly suggest working with an experienced builder. As long as you are working with a knowledgeable container builder, you won’t face the headaches that come from safety and code issues. (Watch one of our container homes being built in Wisconsin on HGTV’s Container Homes show, now streaming on Hulu!)

Ready to Build?

Building a new structure using shipping containers may not be everyone’s dream, but if it is yours, we can help. From residential to commercial buildings, we’ll work with you to create a unique, long-lasting structure quickly. Contact us today and tell us about your project to get a free quote!

Proudly Serving Our Veterans

Veterans Village Tiny Homes Project

Early in 2018, we had the privilege to help our veterans by delivering the first of eleven Tiny Home units to Veteran’s Village in Las Vegas Nevada. On February 14th the grand opening and ribbon cutting commenced with keynote speaker and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and other dignitaries.

Instant Housing Solution

Housing for homeless veterans is badly needed. Construction of typical homes is costly and time consuming. Funding  problems force many homeless vets to fend for themselves. Shipping containers deliver a fast, affordable and comfortable solution to stick construction and makes great ecological and economic sense. We’re pleased to help make that happen.

Comfortable, Secure Tiny Homes

Project details showing site layout and tiny home unit floor plans.

The first unit is a 320 square foot model made from an unused 40′ steel shipping container. By tiny home standards, this is quite spacious. Other units in this project will consist of more compact 20′ units with room for sleeping, bath and small kitchen area.

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Addressing a Nationwide Crisis

This project is part of a national plan to address the Veteran’s Housing Crisis. The project is a model for the future. According to Veterans Village founder Dr Arnold Stalk PhD,  this fast and environmentally friendly building option creates an affordable housing solution to meet the housing needs of veterans. It also provides support for veterans to transition back into civilian life. We are proud to help bring this project to life.

How You Care Help

Funding is badly needed, so project costs are being provided by your generous donations. Veteran’s Village utilizes “in-kind” donations that directly benefit veterans. This includes money as well as food and clothing. Learn more about how you can donate to the Veterans Village project.

About the Veteran’s Village Project

References:
Veterans Village website – http://veteransvillagelasvegas.org/instant-built-house/

 

sea container press box

MODern Press Box Project

MODS Delivers Winning Press Box Project

sea container press box Last summer we had a wonderful opportunity to help the Columbus School District create a modern and sturdy press box for the Cardinals high school football team. In what almost amounts to a winning season all by itself, Columbus High School now has an all-star press box to call future games.

High School Football Coach Scott Hilber came to MODS because their existing press box was dangerous and ready to collapse. The MODS design team assembled and quickly created a design to fit the school’s needs.

Custom Press Box Solution:

steel press box In the end, MODS was able to provide a stunning structure that all of Columbus can be proud of. The finished project is visually pleasing with beautiful colors matching the theme of Columbus High School.

From start to finish, the project took just a week, allowing the Cardinals to show off their new facility just in time for kick off! Go Cardinals!

Construction Overview:

sea container press boxThe Press Box is not just pretty, it’s strong. The project consist of two 8′ x 8′ x 40′ sea containers in a stacked configuration. The base container required a “patch” extension to match the height of the existing grand stand bleachers.

The base of the new press box includes secure storage behind a 14 gauge steel wall. These steel side walls are 2mm thick which is strong enough to stop a speeding bullet. The only way inside would be with a oxygen cutting torch. The top section has security glass to prevent potential vandalism or break ins.

Topping It Off:

shipping container press boxThe red hand rail and upper level steps add the finishing touch and afford the user a safe place for TV cameras and media photographers to catch the action from a birds eye view. Custom electrical and audio is wired securely within the hardened structure. Final paint and roof treatment delivers years of maintenance free use.

Call MODS for your next project:

If MODS International can do this with an ordinary press box renovation, imagine what they can do for your next custom construction project. Contact Us for a FREE Quote

 

Tiny Home Sleeping Solutions

Living in a cozy tiny home requires a minimalist approach to life. Since most the time spent in your tiny space will be sleeping, a good bed made for small spaces is essential. Conventional beds and headboards are not very practical when every square inch is at a premium. Limited space means that a stiff square mattress is harder to move in and position. Futons make a great sleeping option and can double as sitting space during the day.

Practical Bed Mattress, with a Forever Warranty

For the bedroom, you can opt for an air mattress or an inexpensive portable bed. The first thing that comes to mind when you say “inexpensive” is cheap and very uncomfortable. There are however some great mattress solutions to help you get the best night’s sleep possible.

DreamCloud Luxury Hybrid Mattresses builds a multi-layer foam system that requires no box spring. For a limited time get $200 off DreamCloud mattresses.

Nectar Sleep Mattresses has one of the best new sleep systems we’ve discovered and the perfect fit for tiny home living. The system rolls up into an easy to carry bag making move in and setup a snap. Nectar offers a 365 Night Sleep Trial to give you ample time to decide if it’s right for you. Besides being a great mattress, with a forever warranty no less, they have one funny TV commercial. Watch below.

https://youtu.be/CH1TUzl7XR4

 Learn me more about NECTAR mattress

Futon Options:

Futons are a great way to maximize your living space while being able to sleep more occupants. The perfect sleep option for tiny home living.

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modular home

Tiny Homes on Amazon

Yes, you’ve heard right, we now offer tiny homes on the Amazon marketplace. To be realistic, it’s not like shipping a TV set or a toaster. Some planning is involved and these units require site preparation. They should be placed on either a full slab, a frost wall or sonotube foundation. There is one connection on the bottom for the sewer (we’ll show you where it needs to be located) and one simple plug and play side connection for water and electric. You can add internet too. These basic living units are fully furnished.

Current MODS Tiny Home units available on Amazon:

  • 40 Foot Tiny Home – 320 square feet – check online price
  • 20 Foot Tiny Home – 160 square feet – check online price

More Tiny Home Information:

Contact us with any questions you may have about our tiny homes, larger custom homes, restaurants, shops or portable trade show displays. MODS units can also be used for military bases, man camps, equipment storage, data-centers, you name it, we can build it.

We Started a Trend:

MODS was the first to offer shipping container based tiny homes on Amazon. Now others have joined the trend. Here is the current Amazon tiny home lineup.