There are many common questions that people ask us as they begin to research the use of shipping containers. As with any new concept, there are also many misconceptions about shipping container conversion projects. Here are five that we hear most often:
1. It’s cheap and easy to build with containers.
Probably the most common misconception about construction using containers is that it’s extremely inexpensive and can easily be done by anyone. Unfortunately, this is not true. You cannot build a home for $2,000, but it is less expensive. The national average for home construction is currently $125 per square foot, while our typical cost for a finished unit ranges from $90-$110 per square foot. The actual construction is not a simple process either. The containers weren’t originally intended to be placed on their ends or to have the sides cut out of them. This takes a very high level of structural engineering and precision on our part. It’s not something someone should try on their own without guidance.
2. All containers are the same.
There are different sizes and heights of containers, but the majority of them are the standard length of either 20 or 40 feet. There are also less common lengths ranging from 8’ to 53’. The most common height is 8’6”, but 9’6” high cube containers are also readily available.
There are a lot of shipping containers available for purchase, but they are not all of the same quality. At MODS, we use only the highest quality containers with minimal usage for our structures. We buy from a reputable dealer and inspect the containers before purchasing. If you are considering purchasing one yourself for a project, make sure to take the time to inspect for damages and find out how many times the container was used for transport. Doing this will prevent potential structural issues down the road.
3. A shipping container home will turn into a hot metal oven in the sun.
When a container is fabricated and properly insulated, it is actually more energy efficient than a traditional structure. We hear quite often when people our touring our standard units that they are amazed how cool it is inside even in the summer heat.
4. The structure won’t pass a building inspection.
Ours MODS comply with the international building code. In addition, if your local municipal code requires a building inspection of wiring and plumbing inside of walls, we can assemble the structure on your site for full inspection during assembly.
5. The containers will start rusting over time.
Shipping containers are made from a non-corrosive steel called Corten steel. They are specifically designed to be able to withstand all natural elements they may face during their trip across the ocean. This makes them highly resilient to any damage from wind, humidity, and water.