The Many Benefits of Using Shipping Containers to Build Homes

If you’re just about to build your own home, or perhaps you would like to have a new one that’s more to your creative and unique tastes, you may want to consider using shipping containers as your main building material. People now consider alternative uses for shipping containers, including building homes from them, after learning of the many benefits of doing so. Here are some of them. Read More

Container Home Texas

4 Shipping Container House Plans that Just Work

Shipping Container Houses are like the modern version of the Sears mail-order house. From 1908 through 1940, you could choose from 370 different models. Sears would then ship you everything needed to build your home. 

Today people are taking a more custom approach to this pre-fab method, by using shipping containers. With creative shipping container house plans, you can create a living space that perfectly fits your needs. 

Keep reading for four floor-plan ideas you can use for your new container house, in the Houston or Dallas Texas region. 

1. Keep It Simple 

If simplicity is your goal or you’re on a tight budget, then keep your home smaller. One or two containers are enough to create a small living space. 

If you choose only to use one container, you’ll want to maximize space by creating convertible use areas. For instance, create a bed that folds away during the day. 

If you want to double your space and create separate living areas, then use two containers next to each other. You could create a single level by putting them next to each other. Or you could create a two-story unit by placing one on top of the other. 

Removing the floor/ceiling between the two containers allows you to create high ceilings and a loft area. This increases the overall spaciousness inside of the container home. 

2. Embrace Large Windows 

If you plan to build your shipping container home somewhere with a great view, such as out out in the vast Texas hill country. Consider adding floor to ceiling windows. This will enable you to enjoy all that gorgeous scenery from the comfort of your home. 

It also removes the closed-in feeling that can happen when building with containers. By having large windows, you trick the eye into thinking the living space is much larger than it actually is. 

3. Modular Mobility 

One thing that is common when building with containers is a rectangular, boxy look to the home. You can combat this by arranging the containers slightly misaligned. Keep the containers parallel to each other, but shift them so that you have one overhanging the other. 

Doing this breaks up the home visually and gives it balance to make it more appealing. It also naturally creates patios and overhangs. Now you have outdoor living spaces or a covered entryway

4. Frame the Space with Containers 

For some, the width of the containers is too limiting. But this doesn’t have to stop you from using containers altogether. It just means you need to use them in conjunction with other building methods. 

A popular choice is to use them on either side of the main living area. Use two shipping containers that are parallel to each other, but have space between them. Each container provides private living areas. 

Then the space between gets closed in with walls and a ceiling to create the main living area of the home. 

Try These Shipping Container House Plans

If these ideas for your shipping container house plans have you itching to get started, then we can help. Your first step is to speak with an architect who can design your home in a structurally sound manner. 

We can help you get started sourcing the perfect containers for your project. Once you have your plans approved, we can modify and prepare your containers, so they’re ready for building upon delivery. 

Contact our team today and let us help you get started on your dream container home. 

Why Shipping Container Pop-up Bars are Here to Stay

You’ve heard all about the innovation and functionality behind shipping container homes. But what about the rising pop-up economy for small businesses? Shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars are all finding success with pop-up concepts.

Shipping containers offer comfort, convenience, and customization. This makes them the perfect vessel for launching a pop-up to serve creative cocktails.

Google search terms for local pop-up food and beverage establishments continue to see a healthy increase. This means now is the perfect time to break into the pop-up scene.  

Read on to learn why the pop-up bar concept is a smart business idea that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

They Appeal to the Experiential Marketing Craze 

So, what is a pop up and why is it such an appealing idea? Pop-ups feature a new concept for launching a small business. Pop-up bars can be permanent structures, or they can change locations.

Opening up in new places creates a sense of urgency for customers. As they want to have an opportunity to visit your bar before you pack up and move location. 

Some pop-ups only come up for the season, like summertime. While others do best with a holiday push. Owners often change the theme of their pop-up with each new opening to help target new audiences.  

This pop-up concept creates an ideal environment for offering entertaining experiences. 78% of Millennials prefer to spend money on experiences rather than tangible items. Customers value experiential marketing efforts and a pop-up restaurant or bar delivers this.

A pop-up bar offers a unique experience that is buzzworthy to its customers. Some bars tie into pop-culture trends or popular themes. This helps to attract different generations and boost business. 

They Set a Unique Mood

Popped up environments offer a different type of ambiance. It’s an installation where you can control all design aspects. This sets a special atmosphere that you can’t get in a brick and mortar space. 

Shipping containers are also easy to customize, both inside and out. You can enhance your bar’s brand with a colorful paint job and design characteristics.  

A pop-up bar also allows you to blend in with the surrounding area. Patrons get to be more in touch with nature and the outdoors. This is especially appealing during the spring and summer months in temperate regions like Houston or Dallas.

You can also enhance your pop-up bar with comfortable seating, string lighting, and an outdoor firepit. These features contribute to the unique environment you’re offering your customers. You can even expand your business by adding more containers to your bar. Check out this interesting story on the Texas Container Bar to learn more.  

Customers also have a more personalized hospitality experience in a pop-up bar.  They are right there with the bartenders or the bar owner. This encourages a more intimate and interactive vibe. 

They Offer a Cost-Effective Business Advantage

Getting into the business of pop-up bars and restaurants is a less expensive venture. Building a new bar or leasing a space takes serious capital. Retail space is becoming more expensive, so you’ll likely need a larger loan.

The cost of setting up a pop-up business is 80% less expensive than a physical location. You also have more flexibility when starting a pop-up bar. You have the option to buy a new or used shipping container

These also feature a much smaller footprint and cost less to run. You’ll likely need fewer employees to operate a pop-up bar.  

Opening a pop-up offers a way to garner unique partnership opportunities. This could be with a local liquor brand or an already existing bar or restaurant. 

Partnering up with an established bar means most of the business details are taken care of. All you need to do is set up a new location with proper permits.  

You can also attract new customers to your original bar or restaurant location. Send the pop-up off to other locations to spread the word of your bar or restaurant. This also attracts media attention and word will soon spread around the state or country.  

They Tie-In with a Creative Social Media Branding Strategy 

People love posting about innovative features in the food and beverage industry. The unique details and experience of a pop-up restaurant or bar are meant to be shared.  

This means your customers will be taking pictures of your pop-up bar. They will post about your bar and its creative cocktails in their social channels. Soon word will spread virally, and you’ll attract new followers and customers.  

Social media can also get used to announce your next pop-up launch. Doing this right will result in a line of people waiting to get into your pop-up bar. You can also work with social media influencers to further spread the word. 

They Let You Try out New Ideas 

What is a pop-up bar if not a smart way to try out new business ideas?  

It gives you an easy and effective way to test out your cocktail menu. You get to experiment with creative themed cocktails and make changes as you go. 

You’ll also get to try out different entertainment options. See how your patrons enjoy trivia, karaoke, and live music. Sell swag to see what branded bar products people prefer to buy. 

A pop-up is a great way to get feedback from customers. It offers a more intimate and personal setting for conducting market research. 

This way, you can find out what works then change it the next time you open shop. You’ll soon become a business expert in the successful launch of a bar. 

Pop-ups offer a great way to break into the competitive new bar scene. This is especially true in cities like Houston, where the competition is high. With success, you can go on to invest in other smart business ideas for shipping containers

Setting Your Pop-Up Bar up for Success 

A pop-up bar is a smart and creative way to break into Houston’s food and beverage industry. It offers a unique experience that will attract new customers and send a viral message.  

Why Shipping Container Modification Is the Future of Versatile Housing

Homeownership rates have increased to nearly 65% in the US. But even with ownership on the rise, buying a home has remained as expensive as ever. This is why shipping container homes are becoming an innovative solution to the struggles of home-ownership. 

Do you want to design your dream home but can’t afford the cost? Building with used shipping containers can save you money while guaranteeing the perfect space to live in. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of today’s shipping container housing trend. 

Seven Benefits of building Homes with Shipping Container

Most home projects that involve starting from the ground up can become complicated. However, shipping container construction offers many benefits that make the process easier. 

If you’ve been looking for alternative housing solutions in the Houston area, we’re here to guide you through the process. Here are seven major benefits to building with shipping containers. 

1. Customizable

A major plus to shipping container construction is that the sky is the limit in terms of customization. You can position them in various ways and reconstruct from the inside out until it feels like the perfect space.

Your local Houston-based, shipping container provider can offer their expertise in modifying containers to fit your unique design. You can even buy used shipping containers that have already been modified according to your needs. The team at Equipment Management Services is available to work with you as you dream up and design your perfect container home or office. 

2. Affordable

Buying a home will likely be one of the most expensive things you’ll ever invest in. But here’s why today’s shipping container buildings are rising in popularity–they are much easier on the wallet. 

Used shipping containers are readily available and quite inexpensive. Additionally, constructing a stylish shipping container home can cost you less than buying an upscale home off the market. 

3. Eco-Friendly

If the affordability and flexibility of shipping container construction isn’t enough to sell you, then consider the eco-friendly aspect of using containers to build your home. Instead of expending new resources in building a home, you’re reusing material. For today’s environmentally-conscious homeowners, this is a major plus to building and designing a new home. 

4. Safe and Durable

The safety of your home is always a top priority for any homeowner. For individuals living in busy urban areas like Dallas or Houston, you might have home safety on your mind a lot. 

Recently, steel has been tested for its durability and safety in construction. This is because it not only withstands wear-and-tear with ease, but it has a life expectancy of about 25 years. Shipping containers are built out of heavy-duty, 16-gauge steel that’s extremely hard to break into. 

What does this mean for you? It means you can trust that your shipping container home will remain safe and sturdy throughout the years. 

5. Weather and Rodent Resistant

The original goal for shipping containers is that they protect precious goods from shore to shore. With this in mind, you can trust that your shipping container home will be able to withstand both bad weather and troublesome rodents. They can handle all weather extremes, from icy Northern climates to hot Texas summers. 

6. Speedy Construction

A major bonus to constructing a home with shipping containers is that it’s a faster process than traditional home building. This is because the main frame of your home is already ready to go. 

A shipping container structure involves quick set-up, easy plumbing, and quick electrical work. They also have built-in foundations, which means you don’t have to spend time working on pre-installation. All you have to do is find storage containers for sale and start dreaming! 

7. Ideal Logistics

Shipping containers were originally designed to hold cargo and be easily transported from place to place. This means they’re ideal for moving around. 

Containers are easy to move via train, ship, truck, or airplane. Manufacturers design them with handling points so that they’re easy to move and stack.

Why is this important? Because it makes the process much simpler as you design your home and move containers around. 

Explore These Creative Shipping Container Ideas

Are you sold on building a container home but not sure where to begin? There’s no end to how you can design and reconstruct a shipping container to fit your exact needs. Here are some design ideas to help you out. 

Backyard Studio

If you have the space available, opting for a shipping container studio is a great way to transform your creative space. Shipping containers are easily modified to be open, airy, and perfect for those hours spent on creative projects. 

Breezy Pool House

Living in sunny Texas often means finding ingenious ways to cool down under some shade. A pool house made from a shipping container can be an easy way to boost your pool-side experience while making it more comfortable on sunny days.

Tiny Home

Today’s minimalist lifestyle trend means some homeowners are looking for innovative ways to live in small spaces. Shipping containers are the perfect solution for crafting a tiny home because they are completely customizable. 

Cozy Guest House

You might look at a shipping container and think it’s nothing more than a boring metal box, but think again! Many homeowners have transformed their shipping container spaces into sleek guest houses. 

Modern Office

You can easily convert a shipping container into an office space for your growing team. They can be stacked and customized to create a shipping container office that’s as spacious or compact as you want. There are a wide variety of shipping container designs out there to fit your business needs, whether you’re looking for a two-person work-space or a corporate office. 

Urban Housing With No Design Limits

Shipping container homes are on the rise because they offer many benefits and solutions to traditional housing issues. It’s simple to find these cargo containers for sale and they’re easily transported to you. Even for the most creative home designer, a shipping container can be modified and transformed into any level of luxurious, trendy, or cozy space. 

Are you ready to start building your shipping container dream home? Check out our tips and tricks to buying shipping containers for sale in Houston. And don’t worry–we also ship our containers to any US location. 

Deciding Between New and Used Shipping Containers in Texas

You may have seen an upsurge in homes built out of shipping containers. Shipping Container Homes can be as small as 1 container or as larger as 11 containers stacked together to create a 3 story home.

Did you know that shipping containers can also be used for a module office, in-law suite, extra storage, and so much more?

If you plan to use a shipping container for shipping or some other creative solution, step 1 is to determine if you need a new or used container.

Read on to learn the pros and cons of each and how to find the right used shipping containers for sale in the Houston area.

New and Used Shipping Containers for Sale in the Houston Area

Deciding between new and used shipping containers can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these pros and cons when deciding which type of container is right for you.

New Shipping Containers

We have listed the pros and cons of new shipping containers here.

PROS

Besides being bright and shiny, new containers have no risk of cross-contamination from the previous products it stored.

New containers are air and watertight and will pass all inspections associated with shipping on a container ship.

New containers will not be branded from previous use and will more than likely already come with forklift pockets. New containers are also easier/safer to modify and come with a longer manufacturer’s warranty. 

CONS

The biggest drawback of a new shipping container is the cost. Depending on how you are planning on using the container, it may not make financial sense to purchase a new container to store used or end of life equipment. 

Used Shipping Containers

If you are purchasing a used container consider having it inspected by a certified member of the Institute of International Container Lessors. They can independently determine the grade and quality of the container. 

PROS

The first benefits of used shipping containers is they are cheaper than new ones. If aesthetics are not an issue, used containers can be great for an on-site, mobile office or portable toilet facility.

There are three different grades of used shipping containers, A, B, C. Grade A is only slightly used and can still be considered watertight. B and C containers are used containers that have various grades of defects.

CONS

For used containers, there are three factors to consider. The first, and biggest is the risk of cross-contamination. Chances are you will have no idea what was in the used container before you purchased it. Therefore this is not the ideal choice for the storage of sensitive goods.

Second, used containers are not considered “seaworthy” because of the potential for air and water leaks at the seals. Finally, used containers do not last as long as new ones. 

The first step in purchasing a shipping container is to be clear about your needs. From there it is easy to determine if you need to purchase a new or used shipping container.

Do You Need Used or New Shipping Containers in the Greater Houston Area?

If you are looking for a new or used shipping container in the Houston area, contact us. We have a large selection of both new and used containers and our qualified team can help you find the perfect one for your needs.

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! 

The Inspirational Story of a Texas Container Bar

The city of Austin is a weird city and proud of this fact. The Texas metropolis even adopted the phrase “keep Austin weird” as a semi-official slogan to entice visitors from out of state. So it should not be much of a surprise that local businesses would try to play up the city’s unique vibe as much as possible.

Enter Container Bar, on Rainey Street, that’s built out of seven re-purposed shipping containers.

But why would you build a business out of shipping containers? Is it just a gimmick or is there more to it?

The Life and Story of Austin’s Container Bar

Admittedly, using shipping containers for construction is not new. That idea probably originated with the “micro-home” trend some years back. The idea was to build small, utilitarian, and easy-to-transport homes. With that criteria, using shipping containers was an obvious fit. Shipping containers are prefabricated, cost-effective, and easy to transport from one plot of land to another. So the first container buildings were very small homes built out of single container units. 

Their uniform size and shape let you treat them like Lego blocks during construction. You can arrange them to suit your needs. With so much flexibility, people started using shipping containers to piece together their own custom homes. From there, it was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to move the concept into the commercial space.

A few enterprising business people have already experimented with using containers for pop-up restaurants. These were usually small mobile kitchen or bars, more akin to a food truck than a brick and mortar establishment. But it wouldn’t be long until someone came along and expanded on this idea.

An Idea Born of Necessity

The Container Bar in Austin was the brainchild of Bridget Dunlap. A successful entrepreneur, Dunlap already owned several successful businesses in the city. But when she leased a plot of land near two of her existing venues, she had a mind to do something different.

Most of her previous ventures had been located in old homes that had been renovated into bars. However, around the time that she set to work on her new project, Dunlap recognized that the Rainey Street area was changing.

Dunlap’s first Austin-based bar and the first bar on Rainey Street had recently closed. It was shuttered and torn down to make way for a new, 250,000 square foot residential building. This seemed to be the herald of things to come, as the old bungalows that Dunlap and other local proprietors had been retrofitting into restaurants and venues were disappearing.

Luxury hotels and condos would take their places. And Dunlap recognized that she would need to plan ahead because Rainey Street would not stay the same forever.

A Bar Built to Move

Dunlap went into her new venture knowing that Rainey would only be a temporary home, with a permanent life elsewhere. Normally, having to pick up and move your entire establishment as part of a business plan would be a non-starter.

The decision to use shipping containers for the construction was not incidental. Nor was it just to cultivate an industrial-chic vibe. No, building with containers was essential to the bar’s future.

Ease of transport was a big selling point for people looking to build micro homes, and it would be that quality that allowed Dunlap to move forward with her plans. But even though the containers themselves are portable, Dunlap had her work cut out for her.

While shipping containers are themselves portable and durable, you need to account for all the material you are taking out during construction. Creating doorways, putting in plumbing, and especially multiple stories all need to be accounted for during the design phase.

So Dunlap sought the help of North Arrow Studio, in-order to ensure the container bar would be structurally sound while being fully mobile. Since, this bar would need to hold up to the rigors of being disassembled and moved to a new location in the future. 

All that hard work, however, would pay dividends when the finished product was settled on its first foundation.

The Opening of Container Bar

Unless you were part of the team planning and building the Container Bar, you probably would have had no idea what it would look like when it finally opened to the public.

You might expect a dingy industrial setting, maybe trying to cultivate a sense of danger and mystique. That would be the obvious direction to go. Which is probably when Dunlap opted not to go in that direction. Instead, she took advantage of the container’s compartmentalized nature to give patrons a variety of settings.

Rather than entirely renovating the interiors, Contain Bar uses a series of visual effects to give each area its own feel without entirely stripping away the containers’ utilitarian nature. There’s a winter scene, tiles and gradient patterns, dark wood cladding, gold leaf, and walls of repeating text, to name a few. These scenes are further enhanced with lighting and other visual effects to accentuate the vibe and ambiance. 

Built from seven containers over two stories, the 8,000 square foot space has a mix of indoor and outdoor areas with upstairs balconies and open courtyards.

Inside the structure, you will find multiple cubbyholes, where patrons can relax away from the main bar area. There are also several private rooms, and the mix of mood allows anyone to find a setting that suits them.

What Container Bar’s Success Means for the Future

The circumstances that brought about the Container Bar’s existence are not unique to Austin Texas. As urban areas grow, small enterprises find themselves pushed out to make way for new development.

Hence, more entrepreneurs are looking at shipping container construction. Faced with an unpredictable urban landscape, having the option to pack up and move out is an undeniable advantage.

Are you considering building with shipping containers for your new business concept? Check out some of our trendy container bar ideas. Whether as a permanent or a pop-up installation, they will always create a buzz.