Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers - Off-Grid

Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers

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Cargotecture — i.e., the practice of building homes using shipping containers — has an appeal to minimalist homeowners who value sustainability as well as debt-free living. The nearly-indestructible steel structures are eco-friendly since they create a second lease of life for used containers and are also recyclable. They’re also rather easy to find and transportable – i.e., they’re purposively built to be moved worldwide!

When it comes to housing, shipping containers are incredibly customizable — offering a wide range of layouts, sizes, and endless architectural possibilities. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find anything from a tiny off-grid shipping cube in a remote location, a mobile working space, to a high-end mansion in a bustling urban area.

However the biggest benefit is probably being able to live mortgage-free – which for many people translates to decades of lifetime recouped from the onerous task of repayment that could take a large percentage of a working income for perhaps 20 years.

And since nothing is as inspiring as getting a chance to hear from people who actually build shipping container homes, Mat and Danielle from Exploring Alternatives did just that. They visited a Toronto shipping container yard run by Storstac, which is a company that sells and builds shipping container structures.

Below are some of the takeaways from their interaction with Anthony Ruggiero from Storstac:

• Shipping containers come in different standard sizes—but you can request custom length to meet your architectural needs.

• The material of shipping containers is known as COR-TEN steel – a special steel that is highly resistant to elements and harsh conditions. It needs to be – to survive exposure to ocean spray! They are designed to last for 10 to 20 years of shipping use with little-to-no degradation. This means that you get a sturdy and durable house to last a lifetime.

• You have the option to either buy new or used shipping containers. New ones have only been used once and are best for living spaces while used ones have been in service for at least a decade – and you have no idea what was shipped in them.

• Rapid deployment. A container conversion can be created off-site and then delivered to its final destination complete – so rather than a build that might take many months, once the concrete pad is put down, the container can be dropped and the utilities hooked up and you are done!

Although shipping containers have a ton of advantages, they’re not without blemish. For example, some neighbors may not appreciate their aesthetics – and working with steel (cutting, welding) is not as simple for many DIYers as woodwork. There’s also the issue of building code challenges regarding the use of nontraditional materials (so check your local codes first).

Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers
Building Amazing Homes & Mobile Spaces Using Shipping Containers – Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRwGRvMhQT8

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What REALLY Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Hint: It's A Bit Crazy...)

Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:

shipping container video

There's a general belief that if you bury a shipping container you can create an awesome root cellar / storm shelter / survival bunker.

But is a shipping container strong enough to handle the pressure?

Watch the video to see what happens:

What Really Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Click To Watch Video)