Container Home Texas

7 Top Designs for Luxury Shipping Container Homes

More and more people are building homes out of shipping containers these days. This exciting new construction is creative, unique and affordable. Used shipping containers are easy to buy and there price ranges around $2,000 to $4,500 per container. Shipping container home design look sleek and modern. However, some people think they look utilitarian and too industrial. They can be very off-putting to some people, depending on their taste. Architects and design firms are doing amazing things with shipping container home design, though. There are many eye-catching and breath-taking homes out there created from these materials. When complete, some don’t even appear to be shipping container homes at all.

Read on to learn about a few luxury shipping container homes from around the world. You will be amazed. Anyone would love a chance to live in one of these unique homes, regardless of their architectural tastes.

Seven Luxury Shipping Container Homes

These seven homes are incredible. In the construction of some, it’s obvious and clear where and how the shipping containers have been used. In others, it is a bit more mysterious. 

Either way, these buildings are exciting, different and one-of-a-kind. They are unforgettable and are very special to the people who call each of them home.

PV14

This home is located in the Old Lake Highlands neighborhood of Dallas. The owners reached out to M Gooden Design to help them create their dream home. One of them is an architect so it is no surprise that they decided to go for this very different design. It was completed in 2014 and was M Gooden Design’s first shipping container project. This home is about 3,700 square feet of space broken into a number of rooms including three bedrooms, three and a half baths, a den, and an entertainment area.

The home also includes a two-car garage and storage area, and a large roof deck with a panoramic view. Designers tried to elevate the living areas as much as possible to improve the view and to shield the family from the street traffic below. This house is spacious and beautiful and really stands out in the neighborhood.

James Whitaker Studio Space

Although this building was designed to be a studio space for architect James Whitaker, however, it could easily be converted into a home. The use of shipping containers in this construction is bold and different.

Whitaker was inspired by the way that crystals grow when conceptualizing this structure, and that is visible in the finished design. Broad windows on the ends of each of the nine shipping containers are used inorder to invite lots of natural light and make the interior seem very open and airy. 

Papuashivili Home

Georgian architect Dachi Papuashvili designed this concept which uses only two perpendicular shipping containers to create a striking structure. The two containers cross each other to provide an elevated home that would fit right in with the surrounding forest. Although this design looks somewhat like a Christian cross, the designer says that was not intentional. Rather, he designed it this way for function rather than form. Four stories would include an entryway on the first floor, a bathroom on the second, and living and storage space above. Decks are present on both the first and fourth floors. The designer’s choice of wood siding and wood interior covers the harsh metal exterior usually visible in shipping container designs.

Manifesto House

This home in Chile takes luxury shipping container homes to a whole new level. It was designed by architects James & Mau and is made of just three used maritime shipping containers. It is two levels and is just 1700 square feet, but it seems much larger both inside and out. The architects chose to raise this design off the ground to allow for a broad open living area on the bottom level. It is covered with sustainable wood and recycled pallets that can open and close to help cool or protect the home depending on different weather conditions.

Perhaps most impressive, both the interior and the exterior use up to 85% recycled, reused and eco-friendly materials, making this a home built with sustainability in mind.

Casa Incubo

This Costa Rican home designed by architect Maria Jose Trejos is very large for a home made of shipping containers. Clocking in at 4,305 square feet, this design uses shipping containers for exterior walls that are arranged around a central open area. The open area allows for excellent airflow and the entrance of lots of natural light. The shipping containers contain the bedrooms and other interior rooms.

Because shipping container designed homes can get quite warm in the tropical heat, bamboo screens and overhangs help to keep the space cool.

Flying Box Villa

This home was built to make the best use of space in a very small lot, and the architects surely succeeded. It was designed and created in France and looks quite different from the other homes in the neighborhood. it was built rapidly and was completed in only three months. There are three floors. The first floor includes a covered area for parking as well as a sewing studio and a laundry room.

The second and third floors include the main living spaces including bedrooms, a large open living room, and a kitchen. Most impressive is the open, landscaped terrace that runs the length of the building on the third floor. There is only 1300 square feet of indoor living space, but it is placed so perfectly that the residents have plenty of room.

WFH House

The WFH home is located in China but it is quite similar to the Flying Box Villa above. Although it is not elevated, it has the same sloping roof that creates wide-open spaces for living even where shipping containers are not being used in the design. 

This home is slightly larger though and is almost 2,000 square feet inside. The designers incorporated Nordic design principles in the creation of this one by using sustainable materials, open, flexible spaces, and lots of light. It is clean, sleek and geometrically inspired and is a wonderful four-bedroom home for the family that lives in it.

Happy Building

These luxury shipping container homes are amazing and inspiring. Hopefully, they have given you a lot to think about. In this realm, the possibilities are truly endless! 

If you are seeking shipping containers for your new home in Texas, please contact us today. We have the right shipping containers and services for you. 

Should You Buy Steel Containers for Sale? The Benefits of Reusing Containers

Steel shipping containers have many creative uses beyond storing and transporting products and materials. You’ll find modified shipping containers used for everything from pop-up bars to vendor kiosks and unique homes. 

Are they worth the investment? Can you really reuse steel shipping containers in a way that benefits your budget, your business, or your personal taste? If going green is part of your business plan or lifestyle, steel containers for sale are an excellent way to do that. Here are some of the benefits of buying and reusing bulk shipping containers.

Durability Means They Can Go the Distance

If you use steel containers to transport your products or materials, you’ll get plenty of distance from the containers you buy. Steel containers are built to last. They can also withstand the strain of hauling things over land, sea, or by air. 

As long as your containers are structurally sound, shipping container haulers can carry your containers back and forth for many years. When a container is no longer travel-worthy, use it for storage at your business facility. The life of a shipping container goes beyond its serviceable years. 

They’re Better For the Environment 

You can build a brick and mortar warehouse to store your products or raw materials. Or, you could purchase steel storage containers and leave a smaller carbon footprint. 

Using steel containers for storage reduces the need to produce cement or bricks for a storage facility. Plus, reusing a steel container that is no longer in service helps reduce the need for additional steel production. Reduce, reuse, and recycle applies when choosing steel containers as your primary source for shipping and storage. 

Create a Hospitable Environment

Steel container homes aren’t just a fad—they’re affordable, versatile, and can become a hospitable environment for an addition to your home or as your office space. 

You’re not limited to merely stacking or arranging steel boxes to create a few rooms that you can call your office space. Steel containers can create a room for your office inside a warehouse without the need for modifying the warehouse itself. Modifying a steel container is affordable and often takes less time than renovating a space. 

If you’re looking for a creative, long-lasting, and eco-friendly way to add a room or functional workspace to your home, using steel storage containers could be your answer. Paint your steel container to change the look and feel. Add doors, windows, and insulation to create a room that works year-round!

Create the Right Environment with Steel Containers For Sale!

Steel containers for sale can help you create the right environment for your office or home addition. They are an ideal solution for your green home or business, no matter if you need a shipping solution or an eco-friendly way to store products and materials. 

EMS is your answer for shipping containers in the United States! We can help you find and modify new and used shipping containers to fit your needs. Contact us to get started!

How to Build a Shipping Container Tiny Home: Your Complete Guide

Deciding to build a tiny home is a huge decision, one that will be a lot easier when you use an already existing structure. That’s why so many people have used shipping containers as the basis for their new tiny homes rather than starting from scratch.

If you’ve ever entertained the idea of buying a shipping container for your next building project, from a tiny home to an eco-friendly office building, then this guide is for you. Here’s everything you need to know about how to build a shipping container home or office.

Zoning Requirements: Match Your Dreams to Reality

The minimalism movement claims it can lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle. It also helps reduce your footprint on the world if you’re not contributing to consumer culture. When these are your goals, a shipping container home can help you on your way, much faster than starting from bare bones.

Before you get started with any plans, check zoning to make sure the property you’re going to build on can legally accept a tiny home. Some areas, like lakefront properties, require a certain amount of square footage to meet regulations.

Planning for Your Dream (Tiny) House

Once you have the green light and all the permits you need, decide where to put your container on the property. You can ask the company you buy from to load it in reverse. This will make unloading onto the property much easier. You can also rent a crane for proper placement of the container. 

Determine where the doors and windows will be. Some companies even offer container modifications prior to delivery, making the process go even smoother than you expected. Besides doors and windows, there are plenty of other design aspects to consider for your tiny home.

Lofts are popular for tiny homes, but most shipping containers are only 8-8.5′ high, so you’d need to buy two and create a double-decker tiny home. You can also put a couple containers end to end and weld them together to make a longer home if you don’t think one will have enough space. There are plenty of creative container home designs out there, and some you can even buy online.

If eco-friendly is what you’re trying to achieve, consider a living roof. There is maintenance and upkeep that goes along with this style of roof, but it’s also a greener option (no pun intended) and can help insulate your home better than traditional roofing styles.

Get Started: How to Build a Shipping Container Home

First, you’ll need to lay the foundation. You can use cement blocks or pre-cast piers for the foundation so that you maintain airflow underneath the container. You don’t want the floor to rust away because of wet conditions.

Cut holes for windows and doors if you didn’t have the container modifications done ahead of delivery. Then scrub the floors and treat them with epoxy to cover any pesticides or chemicals they may have used to keep shipments safe. Install a subfloor with plywood over the epoxy.

Then install any walls you plan to add, using the ridges in the walls and ceiling to build the framing. Next, install the windows and doors. Now is also the time to add the roof, whether you go for a live roof or more traditional style.

Hiring Help from the Professionals

If you’re hiring out the roof project, keep in mind a top deck or patio for the container home, when discussing the job with professionals. You’ll also want to hire help to work on the plumbing, electricity, and other internal projects like insulation and drywall, unless you have the experience to do it yourself.

For a green tiny house, look into green insulation options like cellulose from old newspapers that makes up blown-in insulation, or old recycled denim. These choices can help you feel good about your new home.

Green power options can also be part of your tiny home project, from solar power to geothermal heating. Make sure all these options are part of your building project so that your home can be a place you’re proud of.

Finishing Touches

The final step to building your new container home is the interior decor. This involves choosing paint colors or wallpaper, if you go that route. You’ll also want to build or buy furniture that converts for multiple purposes. Like a table that folds into a larger one, a Murphy bed, and a patio or porch that folds up and back into the house.

You also need plenty of storage when you have a smaller space. Drawers underneath benches or beds can help in both bedrooms and kitchen/dining spaces. If you’re lucky enough to find pieces that fit your needs, you’ll save a lot of money.

You may need to have the woodwork custom built to fit your space and your style. Hiring a carpenter who shares your vision for a minimalist lifestyle and environmentally conservative footprint means that your furniture will also need to have these values. Ask him or her what options they have for green building.

Downsizing for Simplicity

A simpler lifestyle and simpler mentality can free you up in so many ways. Your budget may allow you to afford your dream property if you use cheaper building materials like shipping containers. Then you’ll get the best of both worlds, a gorgeous view and a peaceful place to rest your head.

With these steps for how to build a shipping container home, the only thing you need now is the actual container. Contact us to request a quote and get started on your new home today.

Tricks of the Trade: How to Buy Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

If you want to build a minimalist home or expand your business, you may be looking for shipping containers for sale in Houston.

Whatever your reason for needing a shipping container, it’s easier than you think to buy one. We put together this simple guide to show you how you can purchase one for yourself or your business.

Keep reading to learn more about the steps you need to take before purchasing one or more shipping containers in Texas.

1. Know What You Need

The first thing you need to do is decide what you need in a shipping container. This will be determined by what you’re planning on using your container for.

If you’re using it for shipping goods, for example, you’ll need a different container compared to someone planning on using it as a backyard storage solution.

There are two main considerations to be made:

Size

There are several sizes of shipping containers available. Let’s take a quick look at the most common options you can choose from.

  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 20′ L x 8′ W x 8′ H
  • 40′ L x 8′ W x 8.5′ H

Whereas nearly all shipping containers are eight feet wide, you can find lengths of 8′, 10′, 24′, 30′, 45′, 48′, and 53′. However, these make up a fraction of the containers available.

Grade

Once you know how big you need your shipping container, it’s time to decide on what condition you need it in. Shipping containers come in four grades so you can pick the right one for your purpose.

New

Also known as one-trippers, these are containers that are made in a factory (typically overseas) and sent directly to your nearest port.These are ideal for businesses looking to ship products around the world as they will last the longest compared to other grades.

Certified

If you’re looking to save some money while buying for your business, consider getting certified or cargo-worthy containers. These are used shipping containers that can still be used in overseas shipping lines. However, because these won’t last quite as long as a new container, you may find yourself replacing them sooner than you’d like.

Wind and Water Tight

Once a shipping container is no longer able to be used for overseas shipping, it becomes listed as wind and watertight. That means they don’t have any large holes in the sides but often have some rust and dents from years of use. Many people looking to use shipping containers to build storage or living spaces choose this grade because they’re less expensive but still provide excellent protection against the weather.

As-Is

The lowest grade of shipping containers is those that have obvious problems that prevent them from being completely waterproof. They may have extensive rust, holes in the metal, or doors that don’t seal properly.For some people, this isn’t a problem when they’re being used as a storage shed or for those that have the tools and skills to fix any problems they run into.

2. Find Shipping Containers for Sale in Houston

Once you know what you’re looking for in a shipping container, it’s easy to find a company that will provide one for you. We offer shipping containers for sale and can also help with modifications if you’re going to use it for anything but shipping. That way, it’ll start serving its purpose as soon as it arrives on your property.

3. Prepare Your Site

Once you’ve done all of that, you’ll want to make sure your site is ready. This is particularly important if your container is going to be a permanent structure somewhere so you don’t have to worry about moving it later. The largest sizes of containers can only be moved with an industrial crane whereas smaller containers can be moved with a heavy-duty forklift.

Determine Location

First, you need to know exactly where you want your container to go. The area should be level and larger than the size of the container so the shipping company can maneuver it into place. You’ll also want to make sure the truck can safely and easily get to the location you want your container. It would be a shame for your container to arrive only to find out it can’t be immediately placed where you want it.

Know Where You Want the Doors

Make sure you also think about where the doors should face. Shipping containers have one set of large doors that are only at one end. Most often, the containers are loaded so that these doors are facing the front of the truck.

Keep this in mind as you prepare your site so you can determine how the truck will get your container to the site. In some cases, you can request the container to be loaded in the opposite direction to easily get it where you want it. If you’re not planning on using the shipping container’s doors for anything and will be modifying it with your own doors, you may not need to worry about this aspect of preparation.

Maintain Airflow

If your shipping container is going to be sitting for any length of time, you need to make sure it has airflow to the bottom of the container. Otherwise, the floor may rust out over time because of moisture.This can be as easy as placing cement or wooden blocks where the container is going to be set. You can also get special casters that attach to the bottom of your container.

4. Arrange for Delivery

The final step once your site is ready is to make arrangements for delivery. The size of the container and future location for it may determine which option you use.

Flatbed and tilt trailers can be used for any size shipping container. However, if you need a larger container manipulated into place and don’t have equipment on hand, you’ll want a truck with a crane.

Ready to Buy Your Shipping Container?

Now you know the four steps needed to buy shipping containers in Houston. As you can see, it’s as simple as figuring out what you need, giving us a call, and having it shipped to your home.

Contact us today, so we can help find the perfect shipping container for you.

How Much is a Shipping Container – Budget Planning Tips for Containers

In times past shipping containers were only just that–containers used to transport goods and materials across long distances on both land and sea. While shipping containers are still one of the very best options for the shipment and storage of goods, they are being used in an increasing number of different ways.

Have you heard about the fairly recent trend of turning storage containers into super cool, ultra-modern, eco-friendly container homes? What about using containers for your office to make a lasting impression on clients and prospects alike? Whether you’re a shipping company looking for a more secure way to transport goods or just someone looking to get into the shipping container building trend, you will need to clearly understand how shipping containers are priced.

So, in this article, we’ll go over some of the factors to consider when buying a shipping container.

Factors Affecting Shipping Container Costs

So how much is a shipping container to purchase? Well, as with most things, it depends! A number of factors go into the price of purchasing a shipping container.  This is why what you’ll actually be using the container(s) for is significant. Depending on its intended use, you’ll want to consider the following factors which will affect the final price:

  • Container condition
  • Size and style of the shipping container
  • Modifications needed to fit its final intended use
  • If you’ll be needing your shipping container(s) transported to you

How The Container Condition Affects Its Cost

The eventual use of your shipping container is going to play a major part in what you will end up prioritizing. Planning this out will help you to know whether you should value cost over condition or condition over cost. If you’ll be purchasing containers to build a container home or office, you’ll likely want to buy an unused container. New shipping containers will be weatherproof, free of superficial damages, and structurally sound.

Though buying new will be the highest-priced option, it is the best one to ensure structural safety. Whether you’re wanting to build a container home, office, or mobile food truck, this is the most worry-free option. Since new containers can be properly modified to fit all structural and building requirements.

Still, if your container isn’t going to be inhabited or heavily modified, buying a used container can be a great way to save money while not compromising on your needs. This is where it’s important to know how used shipping containers get graded. Multiple factors go into placing a condition grade on a used container. 

Grade A used containers are going to be the highest-priced used option. They’ll be ones that are wind and watertight, have minimal superficial damage and have no structural compromises. These containers are great for storing or shipping expensive or fragile goods, such as sports cars, jewelry or electronics. 

If you’ll be storing hardier goods or materials, you can go with a cheaper used container option. Grade B and C condition storage containers may not always be certified for shipping. Still, they make great options for storing things such as building materials, hand tools, heavy equipment, recreational vehicles, and more.

How Much is a Shipping Container? Size Matters

Not only do you have several options to choose from when it comes to the condition of shipping containers, but you also have many options when it comes to its size. This is another reason why it’s important to consider what exactly you’ll be using the container(s) for–you’ll want to know how much space you need.

Shipping containers commonly come in three standard lengths–10 feet, 20 feet, and 40 feet. Standard shipping container dimensions are 8 feet wide by 8.5 feet high. If you need greater height, you are able to purchase the 9.5 foot high containers. These are called high-cube containers, and will usually be slightly more expensive than the standard option.

If you’re planning on opening up a shipping container food truck or want a storage container shed on your property, you’ll probably not need the 40 feet option. However, this longer option, though, is excellent for a variety of secure shipping and storage needs, as well as for converting into homes and offices.

Modifications Mean a Modified Price

Especially if you’ll be converting your storage containers into a home, office, food truck, or business inventory space, you’ll likely need to add modifications.

Building a container home or office means you’ll have to make modifications to install necessities such as windows, electrical and plumbing, and insulation.

If you’re looking to bring your shipping container food truck to life, you’ll need to make some critical container modifications, such as installing proper ventilation. The specific modifications your project will need is an extremely important factor to take into account before purchasing your shipping containers.

Additional Cost Considerations

There are a couple of considerations outside of the container itself that will also affect its price. Are you local, or located further away from where you’re planning on buying your container(s) from? Will you be picking these up yourself or needing them delivered? If you’ll be picking your container up yourself, you’ll likely need to rent a truck.

Make sure to factor these costs in as well. If you don’t, you may find that the cost of shipping and delivery is greater than the cost of the purchase!

Tell Us What You Want So We Can Tell You the Price

Do you have an idea and think shipping containers would be the best fit to bring that idea to life? Even if you don’t know all of the potential modification details needed to bring your idea to life, we are here to help.

Get in touch with our experienced container professionals today or request a quote and expect a quick reply to whatever your container questions may be.

5 Crucial Things to Consider when Buying Shipping Containers

A shipping container is essentially a metal structure that is shipped across stormy seas, stacked one on top of another and often exposed to the extreme weather conditions of the open ocean. For this reason, it’s understandable that many think that most containers are the same and just buying any will do. 

While others may picture these as only being massive metal arks that aren’t very versatile for other needs outside of shipping large quantities of goods.

This article will try to clear up some of those misconceptions. We’ll discuss some of the different options that you should consider when purchasing bulk containers .  That way you’ll be equipped to choose the right containers for your needs. 

1. The Condition of the Shipping Container

As mentioned above, shipping containers are often exposed to the elements of the open ocean. This means sometimes, even for weeks on end, they’re getting sprayed by salty ocean water that can accelerate the rusting process. Still, others may have suffered damage during the process of shipping or even while in port.

While the option of buying used shipping containers may be an extremely cost-effective, the price will usually reflect the condition the containers are in. This is why it’s important to inspect the containers yourself before buying. 

Shipping containers get sold at different grades relative to their wear and tear. These grades take into account such factors as: 

  • Age
  • Whether or not they are wind and watertight
  • Scratches and dents
  • Rust damage–whether superficial or structural

Of course, when inspecting the condition the containers are in, you’ll want to consider what you’ll be storing in these containers or otherwise using them for.

2. What You’ll be Storing or Transporting in the Containers

The condition of the container you buy will also depend on the value and fragility of what you’ll be storing inside of it. Will you be storing or shipping things such as furniture, books, electronics, expensive vehicles, or other valuables? If so, then a new or Grade A condition container would be the best option.

These types of containers are going to be weatherproof, vermin-proof, rust-free, and won’t have any structural damage whatsoever. They’ll also be clean and either newly painted or repainted so as to last and keep your valuables in as pristine a condition as possible.

What about if you’ll be storing goods of lesser value or concern? These may be things such as tools, building materials, work equipment, and recreational vehicles. If this is the case, you could very well save some money and go with either a Grade B or Grade C condition used shipping container.

A Grade B container is going to be one that’s also weatherproof but may contain some superficial damage, such as rust and dents. 

A Grade C container is one you’d consider only for goods that can be partially exposed to the weather with little problem. It may include certain building materials and recreational or agricultural equipment. These containers won’t be weatherproof and may contain a certain level of flaking rust, which could limit structural integrity.

Beyond simply being used for storage, there are many other uses for shipping containers that will affect which options you go with.

3. What Purpose You’ll be Buying Shipping Containers For

How much you value long-term structural reliability or the cosmetic condition of your shipping container is going to largely depend on what it’s going to be used for.

Just some of the cool options shipping containers are popularly used for are:

If you’ll be using bulk containers solely as storage space and won’t be hauling them around for shipping purposes, neither will you be having business meetings inside of them, or use them as living space, then cosmetic appeal isn’t going to be a top priority.

In this case, a used container with just some superficial rust and denting may be an excellent, affordable option. 

However, if you’ll be turning your containers into a super cool, ultra-modern home, office, or restaurant, both structural integrity and aesthetics are going to be incredibly important. 

This is especially true if you’ll be making many modifications to the containers, such as cutting away parts of the walls for windows and appliances. Since these containers will no longer be just for storing goods, but will actually contain people, safety will be a top priority. In that case, you’ll want these containers to be dent and rust-free, especially in the critical areas that provide structural strength. 

4. What are the Local Building and Zoning Codes and Regulations?

While there are a great many advantages to using shipping containers as buildings, one potential disadvantage is that it can be difficult to gain permission in some areas to do so.

Not only does each state have its own codes and regulations, but each municipality does as well. Before making a major purchase on shipping containers to modify into a habitable building, make sure to address this items. 

  • The foundation it will sit on
  • The material used for insulation and how much is used
  • Proper electrical and plumbing
  • Structural integrity

Some municipalities don’t allow shipping containers to be used for habitable buildings at all. Others limit their use, such as not allowing them to be stacked on top of one another if intended for people to live in them. 

As an example of factors to consider, check out this reference relating to the codes of ordinances for the city of Houston.

5. Experience of the Contractor Who Will Be Working on Your Containers

Say you’ve decided to do a build with shipping containers. You’ve made your plans, picked out your location, and researched the effectual codes and regulations. After actually buying shipping containers, the next step would be choosing who will make the modifications needed to complete your build.

Building with bulk containers is still a relatively new trend. This being so, finding a contractor who is not just experienced, but experienced at working with shipping containers can be a challenge.

You’ll not only want someone who’s done some work on them before, but who can see the process through from design to completion.

Ask questions like:

  • Have you installed heating and HVAC systems for shipping container buildings?
  • Have you cut out and installed windows in shipping containers?
  • Have you insulated containers before?
  • Can you show me examples of your previous work?

Since this is such a specific niche, it’s well worth the time and money to find the right contractor for the modifications needed to turn your building idea into a reality.

Ask the Right Questions to Get the Right Containers for the Right Purpose

Do you think buying shipping containers would be your best option for your transportation, storage, or building needs? Be sure to take the above considerations in mind before purchasing shipping containers for any use.

Do you have container-related questions that weren’t covered above? Are you ready to purchase one or multiple containers for your needs? Then, get in touch with us today! So, we can help you through the entire process of choosing, buying, modifying, and transporting your shipping containers.  

The Pros and Cons of Building a Shipping Container House

The average cost for newly constructed homes is $385,200. Many people are turning to alternative building materials such as shipping containers to ease the cost of new construction. 

They are so popular that even hotels like the Flophouze Hotel in Round Top, Texas are constructed entirely from shipping containers. These prefabricated boxes may be the perfect solution to creating your dream home. 

If you are considering building a shipping container house here in Houston, there are a few pros and cons you should consider first. Keep reading so you can make an informed decision. 

Pro: Speedy Construction 

Building with shipping containers is much faster than traditional construction methods. Smaller homes can reach complete fabrication within three weeks in offsite fabrication. Larger homes can be completed in a few months.  

Many of the small details and modifications can be done at the production site before the containers ever reach their final destination. 

Shipping containers are also much friendlier to the DIYer. However, it is smart to consult with a design firm or an engineer before embarking on your container home. 

Pro: Cost Effective 

Building with shipping containers can save you money when compared to traditional shipping methods. One man used two containers to create a rustic cabin that is completely off the grid for $35,000. 

Depending on the quality of the container and its location, a container can cost anywhere from $1,400 to $4,500 and sometimes more. You may be able to find one for cheaper, but you’ll want to make sure you can actually build with it. 

Con: Not Quite Eco-Friendly 

The general theory is that if you use old refurbished shipping containers, you are doing the environment a favor. However, these containers typically have wear and damage making them unsafe for new home construction. 

If you do decide to use refurbished construction you need to ensure the structural integrity of your home. 

New shipping containers offer you the freedom and structural integrity to create any building you can dream up. 

Harmful Chemicals 

Used shipping containers may have held toxic chemicals or other materials. They have also been treated to prevent corrosion during transit. 

Remember, containers are made of steel and spend most of their time near and on the ocean. Saltwater and metal is a recipe for corrosion and rust. 

Make sure you inspect your refurbished container to confirm that it has been adequately treated to be safe for use in home construction. You will also want to check for rust as this will compromise the structural integrity. 

The Eco-Friendly Part 

If you decide to use a refurbished container the most significant impact you will have is with the use of steel. The average 40-foot container has more than 8,000 pounds of steel. 

You are also reducing your use of other traditional building materials such as wood and masonry. 

Pro: Mobility 

Whatever your reason, maybe you don’t want the home to stay at its original location permanently. With traditional construction, you don’t have the option of moving your building. 

Containers can have your completed building moved to a new location as many times as necessary. 

Pro: Creative Freedom 

Shipping containers come in a variety of different sizes which gives you the freedom to create a home as large or as small as you wish. You can combine multiple containers to create a larger space. 

You can create large windows to open the space up and bring in a lot of natural light. Or you can install large glass doors that you can open up and bring the outdoors in. 

Using shipping containers lets you express your personal style. With the rules of traditional construction and architecture out the window, you are free to create. 

For the most freedom, try to stick with high cube containers, they are 9’6″ tall. This will make it easier to add insulation and still have room for a ceiling fan. 

If you aren’t worried about this, you could use a standard height container; they are 8’6″ tall. 

Cons: Permits and Codes 

Container homes are still relatively new in many municipalities. Because of this, many permits and building codes are not designed to work with them. 

Do your research to ensure you are legally able to build a container home. Then you need to make sure your home complies with all current zoning and construction regulations. 

Here in Houston, the best place to start is with the Building Code Enforcement office. If you do not comply with planning regulations, you may find yourself having to take the home down even if construction is complete. 

Pro: Toughness and Durability

Containers get manufactured with durability in mind. Their original purpose is to survive many months and thousands of miles out on an ocean tanker exposed to the elements. 

They often far surpass the minimum specs for new homes when it comes to strength and durability. 

To retain this strength, you need to be careful about how much steel you cut away. If you plan to make significant cutaways for doors, windows, and room openings, then you need to install reinforcements. Additional steel beams can carry the load. 

Construct Your Shipping Container House

If you are ready to start building your shipping container house here in Houston, Texas, we can help you get started. We have a large inventory of both new and used containers. 

We can help you create the container building of your dreams. This could be a home, office, or any other structure you need to have built quickly.  

Contact us today and let us help you create the shipping containers you need to build your dream shipping container home. 

40 Foot Container: 8 Ways to Use a 40 FT Storage Container for Business

1.83 billion metric tons of goods were carried in shipping containers in 2017. But there’s more you can do with shipping containers than just cart goods around the globe. 

In fact, you can use a 40-foot container for business or personal purposes as well. In most cases, you just need to make a few conversions to make a 40-foot shipping container into exactly what you need.

If you’re wondering how you can use portable storage containers in your business, keep reading. We’re sharing with you five ways to use 40 ft shipping containers. 

1. Transform a 40-Foot Container Into an Office

40 feet is a lot of space. If your business is expanding, you may not want to invest time and money into finding and leasing new space. If you have the land, it’s easy to place a 40-foot shipping container on that land and you have the perfect space for a container office. All you need to do is minor modifications to ensure the container is ready for an employee to move in.

2. Turn It Into a Bistro or Restaurant

While food trucks are all the rage, it’s much harder and more expensive to set up a food truck business. Most cities have strict regulations regarding where and when a food truck can park. And it’s not uncommon for a food truck to break down. When that happens, there’s no business. 

But with a 40 ft shipping container, you have the perfect structure to build a bistro, coffee shop or restaurant. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about high rent increases, since you will own your building outright.

Check out our shipping container gallery for all the amazing structures that we can build for our customers. 

3. Indoor Gardens

Traditionally farmers grow their fruits and vegetables outside in the ground. Unfortunately, doing so leaves them vulnerable to animals, bugs, vandals, and bad weather.  But when you convert a 40-foot shipping container, you eliminate all of those issues. Best of all, by adding more than one shipping container together, you can build an indoor garden to the exact size and specifications you need.That means fresh produce year-round that you can deliver to your customers. 

4. Extra Storage

Extra space is at a premium these days. And getting extra space usually costs you a lot. But shipping containers give you the extra space you need at a fraction of the cost. You won’t have to rent storage space on a monthly basis, which saves a lot of time and money. And you can place your shipping container wherever you need it. That eliminates driving to a storage facility that may not be conveniently located near your office. 

Having extra storage is especially great if you have a seasonal or holiday-based business where there are times during the year when you need more space for your products. And, during the rest of the year, you can use the space however you need to. 

5. Bathrooms

Most women will tell you that there never seems to be enough bathrooms, especially when they’re at an event. No one wants to spend their time waiting in line for the bathroom which is why shipping containers are so great. Instead, you can build your own additional bathrooms. This is perfect because shipping containers are pretty easy to move around.

That means if you own a business where traveling to events is common, you’ll always have extra bathrooms to supply. This is also a business in itself since bathrooms made from shipping containers are much nicer to look at than the usual port-a-potties seen at most events.

6. Swimming Pools

While owning a pool is a dream for many, the reality of owning a pool isn’t always so cost-effective. But since you can make a pool or sauna from shipping containers, it’s now easier than ever. There’s no need to dig a giant hole in the yard, instead, a pool business can simply place a shipping container on the property. Shipping containers make the perfect swimming pool because it’s customizable.

You can easily convert a few shipping containers to make your customer’s pools as long and as deep as they want. 

7. Emergency Shelters

The number of natural disasters is on the rise. And according to NASA, global warming is making those disasters far more destructive than in the past. 

Emergency shelters are now becoming a necessity. And building them out of shipping containers is a great idea because they’re already built to withstand extreme weather conditions. 

Whether shelters are needed to house the homeless after a storm or to place in a backyard for increased peace-of-mind, there’s a definite market for more emergency shelters. 

8. Extra Lab Space

Sometimes businesses need a safe space where they can perform experiments. Shipping containers are safer to perform experiments in because they’re not made from flammable materials.

Also, if something does go awry, the problem is usually contained within the shipping container itself. This allows a safer space and you can modify it by adding as many shipping containers as you need. 

Features to Consider When Modifying Storage Containers

Portable storage containers are great because they provide you with a basic structure that you can use for practically anything. And they’re much cheaper than investing in new construction.

All you need to do is add a few features to personalize the space such as:

  • External and internal paint
  • Personnel door
  • Windows
  • Internal electrics, heating/cooling, and lighting 
  • Security and lock boxes
  • Shelving
  • Exhaust fans

Shipping containers can be placed side-by-side or even on top of one another. They’re an affordable way to create new buildings without using additional raw materials. 

Take some time to learn some basic information on how to shop for shipping containers. That way, you’ll eliminate errors and end up with exactly what you need.

Why Building With Shipping Containers Makes Good Business Sense

There are many reasons why 40-foot shipping containers make sense when you need something built. Here are a few of our favorite reasons:

  • Unique style
  • Faster to build
  • Eco-friendly
  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Durable and tough

Also, it’s easier when it comes to building structures made from shipping containers. They can be built at the factory and then easily shipped to wherever you want it.

That eliminates problems and expenses usually associated with building in remote places. 

Contact Us

Whether you’re already in business and need the extra space a 40-foot container offers or you’re looking to get into a new business niche, we can help. We have shipping containers to suit every need.

And we’ll even do modifications. Ready to get started? Click here to contact us

Shipping Container Primer : Shipping Containers for Sale Near Houston

If you are looking for shipping containers in Houston, then you are in luck! The Port of Houston climbed into the top five list of ports in the United States. It handled 2.46 million containers in 2017. 

What this means for you is that there are plenty of container options for you to choose from. To help you get started, we are going to give you an overview of your options and what you should look for in your next container.  

New Containers 

New containers are going to be your most expensive option. The advantage of them is that they are in the best condition. 

To get started, think about what you plan to ship and the regulations of the country it is going to. Remember that freight carriers charge by weight and volume. You also need to think about your company’s growth. It can be smart to buy a container bigger than what you need right now. 

If you want to build with your container, then instead of cargo, you need to think about usable interior space as a room. 

Used Containers 

Operating revenue for Port Houston is $366 million. This is up 10% from the previous year. To continue this growth, a four-year project to deepen and widen the channel is in place. 

What does this have to do with you buying containers? Well, the more shipments that can come through the port, the more options you will have for used containers. As the port grows, so does the container industry. Buying a used container can save you a lot of money. The trick is to balance quality with cost. You will find used containers that are quite cheap, but these containers may not be in good or usable condition.

You need to make sure your container complies with either shipping regulations or building codes.  If you plan to ship your cargo via ocean freight, then Houston is a great place to look for your container. The port ranks number one in the country for waterborne tonnage at 173 million short tons

What Is Your Intended Use?

If you plan to use your container for shipping, you need to make sure you buy the right container for your cargo. The amount of general cargo that comes through Port Houston is around 3.5 million. This cargo typically comes in standard sized containers. 

Styles of Containers 

When it comes to shopping for your container, you have a couple of different options when it comes to style. 

Standard, Hard Top, and Open Top 

These are the containers that everyone thinks of when they think of ocean freight. They are metal boxes that are 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. At one end you will find a set of doors. 

Hard top containers have a roof that is designed to be removed. This way your cargo can get dropped in from the top. 

An open top container is accessible on the top with a tarpaulin roof. Unlike the hard top 

These containers work great for shipping dry goods. Anything in boxes, bags, or on pallets can go in these containers. 

Ventilated or Insulated? 

Some containers offer ventilation or insulation. They look exactly like regular containers, except they provide increased or reduced air circulation. 

Ventilated containers have openings at the top and bottom to encourage the flow of air. Insulated containers have a layer of Polyurethane foam on the walls. This will help regulate the temperature inside. 

Reefer 

If you need more than just insulation, then you will want to look at reefers. These containers have refrigeration thanks to a powerful compressor built into the container. These containers are a must if you need your cargo to stay frozen or is temperature sensitive.

Flat and Platform 

Think of these containers as a very large pallet. They are what you need for large or over-sized cargo. They are a flat platform with no walls or ceiling. 

Do You Need Modifications?

Do you need your container modified for a specific purpose? Ask if your container dealer can help you with this. Modifications are typically a discussion when you want to turn your shipping container into a building material. This means you need to add windows, doors, and electrical. 

Some companies have limited skill in this area. They will offer you a handful of pre-designed options. These companies may not have what you need though. 

Look for a company that can work with you. You need a team that can be as creative as you when it comes to the shipping container of your dreams. 

Do You Need Delivery?

Ask if the company you plan to buy your shipping container from will deliver it. Otherwise, you will have an added expense of moving your container. One catch to this is if they will ship it anywhere you want. Texas and Houston are huge geographic regions. Many container companies will either only move your container at the port terminal or in a minimal radius from it. 

Shop for Shipping Containers in Houston

When it comes to buying shipping containers in Houston, think about your budget and intended use. That way you can narrow down whether you need a new or used container. 

If you intend to use your container for shipping, you need to decide which style of container will work best for your cargo. If you are struggling to choose, we can help you sort through your needs and the available containers at our Houston Depot. 

Contact us today and we can help you find the perfect shipping container for your needs. 

Shipping Container Depot Houston Texas

Thinking Outside the Box: Your Complete Guide to Buying Freight Containers

Why would you want to buy freight containers?

There is a multitude of reasons. The most obvious starts with wanting to ship cargo somewhere else. Other reasons are more creative. As an example, the University of Wales is developing a ‘box village’ that will be made entirely from freight containers.

That is part of the beauty of buying a container. Yes, it is a metal box, but you can do a lot with a metal box that is weatherproof. In fact, you could say that the use of a freight container is only limited by your imagination. You can find other ideas here.

No matter what you intend to do with your freight container you will need to make sure you read this complete guide BEFORE you buy.

Freight Containers – the Basics

Perhaps you have seen freight containers stacked near a port, pulled by a lorry, on a building site or even in someone’s backyard. So you already know what they look like. Did you know though, that not all freight containers are the same?

Dimensions

Freight containers are normally 10, 20, 30 or 40ft long. The standard height is 8 or 8.5 ft. A standard 40ft container can hold 40,000 pounds in weight.

There is standardization in the shape of ocean-going freight containers. This is rectangular. An alternative to the standard dimensions is the high cube. This is better suited to certain types of cargo.

It is also worth noting that the container can be open or closed, ventilated or insulated, and even refrigerated. The key determining factor is, of course, the cargo.

Material

No prizes for already knowing that freight containers are made from metal. Bonus point for knowing they are made from steel. However, the real prize is that they are made from a special type of steel designed to last longer outdoors.

This steel is called COR-TEN. When you see a freight container looking rusted you may think that the metal is just like any other metal that corrodes outdoors.

However, this is part of what makes this steel alloy so special. It forms a rust-like outer layer that then serves to protect the rest of the metal from corrosion. 

Lifespan 

In general, a standard freight container has a lifespan of 10 years. After which it is sold onto the used market.

A second-hand container has another 10 years or so of use. Of course, it depends partly on how it is used and whether it is maintained in any way.

There is such a thing as a single trip container which means they are only used once and then sold on. These containers could be used for 20 to 25 years.

How Much Do Freight Containers Cost?

New freight containers tend to have a more standardized price range and vary between $3000 and $5000 or sometimes more. It is possible to have containers built for you to special dimensions and specifications but obviously, that comes with  higher price tags.

Used containers can be as cheap as $1000 or cost upwards of a few thousand dollars. The key to remember with freight containers is that it is a buyers market. There is no shortage of containers. The limited life-span of using a container commercially means that there is always a steady supply to the second-hand market. However, like any used product, you need to do your due diligence before purchase. 

Where Can I Buy a Used Container?

The first thing to know when buying a container is that it is much better to buy locally. This will save you a small fortune in transportation costs. It is unlikely you will be able to buy internationally because the shipping cost will be too expensive. That said don’t discount the possibility of free transportation if you are buying locally. Always ask and always negotiate.

EMS is an excellent place to start your search. You can browse the website or get in touch with further questions. An alternative idea is to search for used containers on local online websites. 

Of course, one of the best ways is to call ahead and make an appointment at a shipping depot like EMS where you can see many containers on a single visit. 

Buying Second Hand – Top Tips

Although containers are extremely robust they are certainly not indestructible. You will need to physically inspect the containers. Follow these tips to make sure you get a good buy.

1. Outside

Check for dents and any scrapes in the exterior walls. It’s also important to check if the walls are intact or bent out of shape. You will expect trust but make sure it is not severe and with weak spots. 

2. Interior

Get inside and have a good look. Allow your eyes to adjust to the light or even better take a torch with you.

Check for weak spots. Look for holes and dents. Look for gouges any signs of leaks. Note if there are any unusual smells. There will always be odors so just make sure you are happy with how the container smells.

3. Roof

Make sure you inspect the roof. In particular, check the corners for damage as this is where the container is most likely knocked and hit when moving. 

Once again you are looking for holes and severe scrapes and general signs of wear and damage.

4. Doors

Make sure the doors open and close as they should. Avoid containers with ceased doors and with damaged seals. 

Freight Containers – Where Will Yours Go?

Buying freight containers is not as difficult as it may seem at first. Now that you are armed with this guide you can continue to gather more information when you are ready to make a smart purchase.

If you have questions please contact us here.