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.

Container Home Texas

Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs for 2019

The shipping container home movement is on the rise—and for good reason. 

Shipping container housing is inexpensive to build, can be moved from place to place, and is environmentally-friendly. But those are only a few of the many benefits. And unlike most traditional homes, shipping container homes can be completely customized.  That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top 13 shipping container home designs, to help you get inspired.  

1. Stacked Home Design

Tiny homes are more popular now than they have ever been. If you’re ready to make the living adjustment to a much smaller space, you can create your own tiny home out of just one or two shipping container units.

Need more space then that? A stacked home is a great option for properties that don’t have a lot of square footage. You can build up instead of out. This is also a good style home if you live by something scenic, like a forest or an ocean, and want a good view. 

2. Modern Wood Cabin Design

Have you always dreamed of living in a cabin? By using shipping containers, you can build a modern cabin for a fraction of the cost. And don’t let the metal material of shipping containers get in the way of your inspiration. You can line the inside and outside with woodsy materials, like real wood or faux wood, to create a more traditional cabin feel. 

3. Simple Single Story Home Design

Despite the previous mentions on this list, your shipping container home doesn’t have to look different from the other houses in your neighborhood. You can simply create a modern, single story home for you and your family if that’s what you prefer. You could save a lot of money by using shipping containers as your base material. Not only that, you would be helping the environment by using 

4. Two-Story Modern Home Design 

Of course, if you want a bigger home, you can build a sleek, modern, two-story home with shipping containers, too. But let yourself get creative with the design. Maybe the second story hangs over the driveway. Maybe the second story doesn’t extend over the entire home. Maybe the second story functions more like a loft. You can even use shipping containers to build an attic space above your home if you want extra storage. 

5. Ranch-Style Home Design

The terms “ranch-style home” and “shipping containers” might not seem to mix, but you can build a 1280 square foot ranch-style home much cheaper when using shipping containers rather then traditional materials. All you need is two shipping containers. Set them 16 feet apart to form a large entryway and living space/dining area between them. The containers themselves house the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. And there’s still plenty of room left over for a kitchen. 

6. Castle Home Design

Okay, so this home isn’t really a castle, but it can resemble one. You can build a two-story, three-story, or even a massive four-story square with shipping containers, leaving an empty space on the inside, like a courtyard. You can even stack more shipping containers vertically at the corners to make towers. 

7. Vacation Home Design

A shipping container vacation home lets you enjoy your summer or winter break without emptying your bank account. You can make the vacation home small for a quiet getaway or connect several shipping containers together so the entire family can join you. 

Staying near the ocean? Fill in the walls with large windows. Want to include the outdoors? Turn the top of the shipping crates into spacious balconies where you can lay in the sun or stare at the stars all night. 

8. Split/Bridge Home Design

A split or bridge home consists of two units linked together with a bridge.

This bridge can be on the second story and “float” over an outdoor living space or a garden. You can also leave the “bridge” at ground level and fill it with large and beautiful windows. A split home gives you the option to create two separate living spaces that are joined together. This makes it a good choice for people who live with a grown child or an older parent. 

Everyone gets to live together and still keep their privacy. 

9. Guest House Design

Do you have a lot of guests staying with you? You can give them their own space, by building a guest house from shipping containers. You would only need a couple of shipping containers to make a small guest house. That means you won’t have to spend a lot of money for something that looks great and is functional. 

10. Work Studio Design

If you need extra space to create art, you can always use shipping containers to create a functional work studio. You can connect this to your home if you want, or you can make it a separate unit on your property. Forming a large, empty space is a fast and inexpensive job with containers. You can also add a sink, power outlets, tables, storage, and anything else you need. 

Get Inspired By the Top 10 Shipping Container Housing Designs Ideas

Are you interested in building your own shipping container living space? Use these top 10 styles as your inspiration and starting point. And let yourself get creative. There are next to no limits when you’re building with shipping containers. 

Not sure where to find the containers themselves?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our shipping container options! 

11 Tips to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Designing and living in your own shipping container home is a growing trend, and because of the many benefits these homes provide, the trend is here to stay

But building a shipping container home takes more work than buying a few containers and placing them next to each other. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn what you need to know before you start building. 

So let’s get started. 

1. See the Containers Before You Buy Them

Shipping containers have survived a lifetime of traveling back and forth across the open ocean. Because of this, the shipping containers you buy might have dents, structural problems, or a lot of rust. 

That’s why you should ALWAYS see the containers before you buy them. If the containers are on the other side of the world when you buy them, ask the seller for pictures of both the inside and the outside. 

If you don’t want to risk ending up with a damaged used shipping container, you can also buy one-trip containers. These are a bit more expensive than normal used shipping containers, but they will be in much better condition. 

2. Understand Your Building Code Restrictions

Every town has its own building restrictions when it comes to shipping container homes. Make sure you know and understand the codes in your area before you invest thousands of dollars into your design. 

Otherwise, you might have to change your design, which might mean you’ll have to spend more money or lose some of the money you already spent. 

3. Find a Contractor That Can Do It All

When you’re ready to start building your shipping container home, make sure you find a contractor that can do everything you need. If you don’t, you’ll have to find one contractor to place your containers, another contractor to modify your containers, and more contractors to do the interior work. 

Hiring one contractor that is experienced at building shipping container homes will save you both time and money. 

4. Don’t Forget to Insulate 

The walls of a shipping container aren’t like the walls of a traditional house. Without insulation, the inside of your shipping container home will be smoldering during the summer and freezing during the winter. 

So make sure you have a plan for insulation before you start building. 

There are several different insulation options you can choose from when designing your container home. Ask your contractor about things like blanket-style insulation, foam insulation, sheep wool, or a green roof. 

Because—don’t forget—you’ll need to insulate the roof as well as the walls. 

5. Keep Cutting to a Minimum 

Shipping containers are build out of solid steel, which makes them incredibly strong. The walls can easily be used as load-bearing walls for a second, third, or even fourth story. 

But the more you cut your shipping containers, the weaker they get. 

This means you’ll need to spend more money on some type of reinforcement. Be careful where you put windows and doors. 

6. Think About Any Potential Chemicals 

Remember, shipping containers had to survive a lifetime at sea. Because of this, many shipping containers are full of chemicals that can be harmful to live with. 

For example, the wood flooring of the container might have pesticides to keep rats away. The exterior paint on the container might also be full of chemicals to protect them from the ocean salt. 

Be prepared to rip out the flooring of your shipping containers and replace it with something new. You might also want to remove the harmful paint and repaint it with a safe alternative. 

If you don’t want to deal with any chemicals, you can also buy new shipping containers (although they’ll be more expensive). 

7. Know the Differences Between Container Types 

Not all shipping containers are the same size. 

Traditional shipping containers are only eight feet tall. But that doesn’t mean you have to live in a somewhat smashed house. You can find other shipping containers—like high cube containers—that are much taller. 

8. Plan Your Plumbing and Electrical in Advance 

You should plan where your plumbing and electrical pipes and wires will be before you start finishing the interior. If possible, ask your contractor to carve the appropriate holes in the right places so you don’t forget anything. 

Otherwise, you may have to rearrange your entire kitchen because you forgot to add plumbing for the dishwasher. 

9. Avoid Welding as Much as Possible 

Since shipping containers are made of metal, you have to weld separate containers together to keep them airtight and structurally stable. But welding is expensive. 

Do your best to design a home that requires as little welding as possible. This will help you save money that you can invest in other important design elements. 

10. Be Prepared for Wind 

Shipping crates are anything but aerodynamic. If you build your shipping container home in a windy area, be prepared for a lot of noise. 

To avoid this problem, you should consider putting your home behind some type of windbreak. If you don’t’ like the look of a windbreak, find a natural location that’s protected from the wind instead.  

11. Know When to Save and When to Spend 

One of the biggest draws of shipping container homes is their cheap price point. But finishing a shipping container home inside and out can get expensive. 

Know when to save and when to spend the extra dollar. Although shipping container homes are meant to be cheap, there are many times when spending that extra money to build-out the perfect container home is well worth it.  

What You Need to Know Before Building a Shipping Container Home

Before you start building a shipping container home, spend some time researching the building codes in your area and what type(s) of container you’ll need to buy. 

Remember, don’t buy anything without seeing it first. Otherwise, you could end up with something dented, damaged, and rusty. 

Not sure where to buy shipping containers?

Make sure you click here to take a look at some of our options! 

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.

Container Garage Modification by EMS

7 Step Guide to a Successful Shipping Container Garage Conversion

Looking to do add a garage onto your home but don’t want to drop a lot of cash? What if we told you there’s an affordable solution that can cost much less.  Shipping containers are a trendy, Eco-conscious way to add more room on to your home without breaking your budget. There are tons of things you can build with shipping containers, but we’re going to focus on one area of your home — the garage.

Building your dream garage doesn’t have to be difficult — or expensive. It’s easy when you follow our seven steps to creating an incredible shipping container garage.

1. Choose Your Container Size

Some of the largest cargo ships are built to hold up to 20 million containers. It’s safe to say your container choices are far more diverse than you think. The space you have available is going to affect the size of the container you’re going to get. You’ll have to consider the size and number of vehicles you want to store, too. Regarding size, standard containers are often 20 or 40 ft. Beyond that, you can find containers as big as 45 ft and as small as 10 ft.

Got a big SUV or roof racks on top of your car ? Look for a taller shipping container.

2. Choose Your Container Type

Container size is determined by the size of your lot and the number of vehicles you need to store. The type of container you get is more determined by your budget. Containers that are a little dinged and dented with a little rust will obviously be cheaper. If you’re not looking for a project or want a container that’s ready to go, try a one trip container. A one trip container was never part of a cargo operation. They’re in much better condition because they only made one trip — from China to the US.

3. Shipping Container Garage Style

Another thing to consider when building a storage container garage: what style are you going to build? Here’s where you can be as creative as your budget and space allow you to be!

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Got a compact car? One container might be enough for a neat and tidy one car garage.
  • Place two containers on each side and put a roof between them. You’ll have plenty of space to store multiple cars plus storage on the side.
  • Stack multiple containers like building blocks around your car storage space. You can create various workshops and storage from all of the containers.

Once you get started, you’ll realize how fun it is to build with shipping containers. Play around with your design until you get it exactly as you want it.

4. Prepare Your Land

Now that you know how you want your garage to look, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. You can’t just drop a few containers and call it a day; there’s a process you have to follow.

First, reach out to your local government to see if you need any permits to build a container garage. You don’t want your project derailed by paperwork.

Once you’ve got the all clear, you have to prep your land. Here’s how:

  • Measure and mark the area you want to use for your garage
  • Clear the area of any plants and debris
  • Lay a basic foundation, like a concrete slab or steel pipe footing foundation

Now you’re ready to bring in the containers and build your garage.

5. Container Garage Basics

Your foundation is laid, and you’re ready to place your containers. There are some basics to consider at this point of your build. First off, if you plan on parking your car in the container, it’s best to position it with the opening facing the driveway. If you’re using the containers for storage, consider pointing the openings towards your house so you can keep an eye on them. Second, if you chose a used container, you might have to do some upkeep. Painting, rust removal and prevention, taking care of dents and scrapes, etc. are all things to consider before you move in.

Containers are easy to build with and durable, so they won’t need much to get started. Just a little bit of work makes it all worth it.

6. Upgrade Your Shipping Container

Most home garages have basics build in that we don’t think about. With a shipping container, you have a bare canvas that you can make into whatever space you like.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Add insulation to your garage if you’re using your containers not just for your car but for storage too
  • Add electrical drops if you want to use the container as a work space
  • Consider air flow and add a few windows if you’re going to be doing projects inside the containers

These are basic upgrades that make a big difference. Think about how you’re using your space and what you need to be comfortable.

7. Beyond the Basics

You’ve got your container garage set up the way you want it. If you want to tinker even more, here are more ideas for ways to improve your dream garage:

  • Add security, like cameras or motion detectors, especially if you keep expensive equipment in your garage
  • A de-humidifier keeps dampness at bay and extends the life of your car and items in storage
  • Install shelving and a work bench to make it your ultimate work-space
  • Add windows to open up the space
  • Lay down flooring or a ramp to make getting in and out easier
  • Need more ventilation? Put in a fan
  • If you change oil, paint, or need a place for runoff to flow, put a drain in the floor

With the money you save by using a shipping container to build your garage, you’ll be able to afford a lot of great upgrades!

Build More with Shipping Containers

Creating the shipping container garage of your dreams is easier and more affordable than ever before. Once you build your garage, you’ll start wondering what else you can do with shipping containers!

We’ve got tons of different containers to choose from and can help with modifications, too. Check out all of your options and build your dream garage today!

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. 

Freight Shipping Container Modifications in Houston: Container Homes and More!

The port of Houston hit a new record for processed container volume last year. The port handled 2.7 million 20-foot equivalent units. That’s up 10% from the previous year. 

With this much volume, there are plenty of containers in the area that are available for purchase. Their affordability and durability make them an attractive option for multiple construction projects. 

If you are considering using freight shipping containers for a home building project on your property, you need to read this guide first. It may save you countless hours of frustration, time and money. 

Let’s get started talking about some local regulations affecting your container use. 

Where to Build Your Shipping Container Home 

Texas is known for being one of the friendliest states when it comes to building with shipping containers. They tend to have more relaxed regulations when it comes to construction and zoning in general. 

For even greater building freedom, stick to the suburban and rural areas. The closer you get to larger cities like Houston the more regulations will be in place. 

Keep in mind it isn’t just the city and state government regulations you have to contend with. Many neighborhoods have an HOA agreement that regulates what can and cannot be built in a particular neighborhood or community. 

Using Your Container for Storage 

Don’t assume that you can use a shipping container for storage or as a shed on your property. Just outside of Houston the DeerPark City Council members decided they didn’t want shipping containers used for permanent storage within city limits. 

If a business wants to use a container, they must obtain a Special Use Permit. Even after approval, there are many other rules you need to follow. For instance, you cannot stack one container on top of another. 

You must also build an 8-foot opaque privacy fence to block the public view. 

Hotel Made of Containers 

Shipping containers aren’t just for storage, homes, and mobile offices in the Houston area. About an hour and a half outside of Houston in Round Top they are welcoming in a shipping container hotel. This shouldn’t be a surprise since the city is known as a mecca for antique and green living enthusiasts. They approved a six container hotel located just minutes from downtown. There are even plans to expand the hotel with more containers in the future. If you are looking to build, this would be an attractive area with container friendly zoning and codes. 

Can You Build a Container Home in Houston?

The short answer is yes, you can. There is no law prohibiting you from using shipping containers to build your home. However, there are some restrictions that we will get into in the next section. There is also the opposition you may face from those who do not want a container home in their neighborhood. 

Container homes are being successfully built in and around Houston. For example, this colorful home located in one of the many transition neighborhoods uses 4 containers

Your Container Home Can’t Be Too Tiny

We’ve all seen the tiny home trend where people live in a microscopic floor plan. One shipping container is perfect for this sort of living. However, you won’t be doing it in Houston. 

There are minimum dwelling regulations that your home must comply with. For instance, you must have at least one habitable room that is 120 square feet. Then the other habitable rooms must have no less than 70 square feet. 

No habitable room in your home can be less than 7 feet wide in any horizontal direction. The exception here is the kitchen. There is also a minimum ceiling height. You need to keep this in mind as it may make the difference between you buying a standard height container or a high cube. 

The minimum ceiling height in Houston is 7 feet. A standard cube is 8’6″, and a high cube is 9’6″. Now, this may seem like a lot of room, but you need to factor in your HVAC system, electrical wiring, and insulation. By the time you are done the finished ceiling on the inside of your container could be a foot lower than the height of the container. Then you still need to think about if you plan to install a ceiling fan. So, as you can see, there is a lot to think about when designing a tiny home out of a shipping container. 

Not to worry, we have ton’s of experience modifying shipping containers to your exact specifications. So contact us today for an insightful discussion on how to proceed. 

Use a Certified Fabricator 

Make sure you work with a certified fabricator for the other prefabricated building components you will need. If you plan to cut away a large portion of the container, you will need to construct alternative load bearing structures from steel. 

If you buy your trusses and beams from a certified fabricator, then individual inspections are not required. A city inspector will check for certification numbers on the structural components during your construction. However, if you have these numbers already, you can make the whole build out go a lot smoother. 

Start Using Freight Shipping Containers

Whether you plan to use freight shipping containers for storage, an office, or your home, you need to check with the local and state regulations to ensure that your new structure is legal. You don’t want to invest time and money only to find out that your new building needs to be taken down. 

Start by deciding how you want to use your container. Then check to see if that use is allowed. If you plan to build a container home, make sure you follow all of the codes because inspectors will be checking that you are throughout your building process. 

Contact us today and let us help you design a modified shipping container that is perfect for your needs. 

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. 

7 Ideas for Converting Bulk Containers Into Awesome Buildings

Remember when you were a kid playing with Legos, creating all sorts of strange buildings that you may have hoped to live in one day? 

Great news for childhood you–since the trend of turning bulk containers into shipping container homes started a few years ago, your Lego inventions of your early years no longer need to be strictly left to the imagination. Neither is it only homes that these awesome building materials can be used for.

In this post we are going to cover several different possibilities for buildings made from shipping containers as well as some of the advantages that come with using these as building materials. 

1. Homes Built From Bulk Containers 

Let’s start with the buildings that really got the trend rolling–homes. Other than making your childhood self proud, what are some of the advantages that come from having a cargo container home? 

They’re tough as nails. Being stacked on top of one another and then bearing the weather of the open sea–sometimes for even a month, they have to built durably.

Being made from the world’s most recycled material, they’re incredibly eco-friendly (this is why we offer used cargo containers as well!).

They’re extremely affordable. With the average reported cost of building a new house in America right now nearing $300,000, a container home can easily save you more than half of that money, depending on modifications and specific needs.

They’re completely customizable, allowing you to, just like in your Lego-playing days, design and build the house of your dreams.

2. Offices 

Whether you have an established business or are an entrepreneur, you are no doubt always looking for ways to cut down on overhead. Likely, one of your biggest operating costs is the expense that comes with buying or leasing an office space.

Well, we already considered that using bulk containers as your building material can be incredibly cost-effective. But what are some of the other benefits associated with making these shipping containers a part of your business?

It inspires creativity. To be able to work in an office space that is itself built with creativity will inspire you and your employees’ own creativity.

People will remember you. Especially if your business is one that requires customers to visit your office, a bulk container office will help you to stand out as unique. Plus, working out of an eco-friendly office will attract more people. This will already give you a one-up on your competition. 

Container offices allow you to be incredibly flexible, no matter the type of business you run. Many businesses, such as pop-up stores and large construction teams, need to be able to move their shops and offices from site to site. This is why we offer such a variety of mobile container offices

3. Restaurants

Just like with a business needing an office, if you are planning to start running a restaurant, you need to stand out amidst the many options.  The same principles behind having a shipping container office come to play with having a restaurant built with shipping containers. 

For example, there is potential that shipping container’s will cut down on your start up and operating costs, helping your business turn a quicker profit. 

Also, you will quickly be able to catch people’s attention. If you can make people stop and take notice before they even take a single bite of your food, you’ve already taken a big leap towards restaurant branding success. 

4. Mobile Food Vendors

We’ve all seen shipping containers on the back of tractor-trailers being hauled to or from a shipping port, ready to make their next delivery. But what about at street food markets?

Being durable and portable, shipping containers are a perfect fit for mobile food stands and food trucks. Just ask street food powerhouse Copenhagen, Denmark. They’ve created an outdoor food market mecca, called Reffen. Their vendors’ building material of choice? You guessed it–shipping containers.

5. Pools 

What else can a sealed 8ft wide, 8.5 ft high (or deep), 20-40 ft long container be used for? 

Remove the top, fill it with water, and you have the hippest way to stay cool in the summer heat. With a bulk container pool, your house will instantly become the go-to hang out spot in the summertime.

What if you move? Well, unlike a poured concrete below ground pool, we are talking about a product that was built to be moved. It’s as easy as having the container pool picked up and brought to your new residence. 

With the summer of 2019 coming in hot (pun intended), why not check out this post for further details on if a shipping container pool might be the right fit for your family and friends?

6. Home Gyms

What else comes with the approach of summertime? The desire for that summer body.

We all want it, but paying $60-$150/month to have to travel to a local gym and get our sweat on in front of people may not be our thing. Or it could be that your house doesn’t have a basement, garage, space in general, or a place you could safely stack hundreds of pounds worth of gym equipment. 

This is where a hardy, open and spacious shipping container could be the perfect fit for your next home gym.  

And with just how affordable a used shipping container can be, it could easily be one of the cheaper parts of your home gym investment.

7. Home or Work Storage Sheds 

If you’re a tradesman or tradeswoman, homeowner, or simply someone who enjoys being handy, you may run into the same problem as someone who wants to build a home gym–a lack of space or safe place to store heavy, metal equipment. 

The benefits of considering a bulk container for use as a storage shed are immediately seen. Being spacious and open, you can store all sorts of tools and machinery, such as lawnmowers, plows, and other heavy-duty equipment in one.

Since they are durable and fireproof, you can store heavy, sharp, electrical, and gas-filled equipment with peace of mind, not worrying about fire or wear and tear.

Built of steel and capable of being locked tight, you can put your mind to ease knowing that potentially tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment is safe in your cargo container storage shed. 

Durable, Portable, Affordable, Eco-Friendly, and Super Cool…But Right for Me?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, store or restaurant owner, environmental advocate, or simply someone who wants a cooler, more hip way to live and work, make sure to seriously consider some of the shipping container ideas discussed above. 

Love the idea of building a shipping container home or office but need a little bit more information? Check out our blog for more inspiration in bringing your ideas to life!

If you have already decided that cargo containers might be the right fit for your needs, get in touch with us today? We can price out single or bulk quantities of new or used containers for you.