9 Things to Consider Before Building Shipping Container Homes

Building shipping container homes look simple, but any homeowner will tell you that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Your preparation – from research to budgeting to design – will make the most significant difference in your ability to build the home of your dreams on time and “on budget.

What do shipping container enthusiasts wish they knew before they built their first home? We share things you need to know before you build – so read on.

1. Always Check out the Shipping Container Before Buying

Try before you buy” is a pretty common piece of consumer advice. It is particularly important when you buy shipping containers.

One of the most common regrets mentioned by shipping container homeowners is their failure to look at the containers before buying them.

When you buy shipping containers, you choose between three types: brand new containers, one-trip containers, and used containers.

New containers have never seen an ocean liner. But they are popular because you can build them according to your specs. For example, you can ask for a container that hasn’t been chemically treated.

One-trip containers are almost like-new but come with a slightly higher price tag.

At the same time, containers used and abused on boats are likely to come beaten and battered. You can’t plan for dents you don’t see, so it’s essential to at least see pictures of the containers before purchasing them.

Standard vs. High Cube Containers

Height is another common mistake made by customers who try to source containers on their own.

The standard shipping container is 8 feet, 6-inches tall. High cube containers are 9 feet, 6-inches tall. You typically want the high cube containers, which give you a much needed extra head-space. The high cube containers leave you with an eight-foot ceiling even after installation, which adds comfort and space to your home.

2. Ask About Houston Building Regulations

As with any building project, you will most likely need a permit before you get to break ground on a shipping container house in Houston. Shipping container building codes differ by city and even within zones of each city. Talk to your local planning permission office to learn about what kind of permits you need. Remember, it’s better to ask than pay unnecessary fines. 

3. Learn About Structural Integrity

Shipping containers are a robust base building material. After all, their design allows them to be filled, stacked, and shipped endlessly. However, shipping containers still deal with structural integrity issues and understanding how they work is critical for planning your home.

Consider how much steel you need to cut from your shipping container. As you remove material, you remove strength. You inevitably make the structure less sound. In which case you will need to reinforce it with extra steal beams, to make it habitable. How much is too much? Windows and doors won’t dramatically impact the steel’s performance, but removing an entire wall requires extensive consideration.

4. Minimize Welding When Possible

Working with steel containers involves some amount of welding, but if you can, try to minimize the amount of welding you need during the design phase. Welding is going to ratchet up the cost of your home and tack on more time to your building phase. Skip welding except in the necessary places, to ensure you stick to your budget and timelines. 

5. Think About Insulation

As with any home, your insulation should reflect the climate that you live in. An excellent local contractor can make the right recommendations.

The primary challenge you face in insulating your shipping container is the depth of the walls. The steel provides the durability shipping containers need, but there’s not much in the way of thickness. That means you’ll need to build the walls out to install insulation.

The process is similar to installing insulation in a basement. You have two options: build the walls in and remove square footage or build out and alter the aesthetics of your exterior. The decision is yours to make, but you’ll need to make it early as it will impact your design.

6. Plan for Wind

Shipping containers can withstand harsh conditions thanks to the strength they have in numbers. At the same time, even an unsecured, standalone shipping container can withstand winds of 100 mph. However, their ability to withstand those winds doesn’t mean that you’re not going to hear them.

Planning for wind is particularly crucial for Texas shipping container homes. Thanks to the state’s mostly flat geography.

In addition to planning for your container home’s wind rating, you also need to think about ways to block the wind (and the noise). Including these in your initial design plans will help save you time and headache later.

7. Plan for Rain

The State of Texas is famous for its thunderstorms and hurricanes – which can bring incredible amounts of rain in an instance, followed by flooding. 

When you plan your exterior, prepare for rain, particularly with your paint choices. Houston Shipping Containers would need a robust type of paint to withstand heavy rainfall. Ideally, you should choose a marine-grade direct-to-metal paint (DTM) for the job. Both Valspar and Sherwin Williams offer suitable products.

8. Understand That Aggravation Is Part of the Process

Many like the idea of building shipping container homes because it looks and sounds more relaxed than traditional construction.

However, the aggravation you’ll experience with a traditional home build can follow you into your shipping container building plans as well. So be aware of this before you start building. It’s important to recognize this early on, so, you are emotionally prepared to overcome the challenges which will come later. 

9. Choose Experts When Possible

Get in touch with expert designers, structural engineers, and professional drawing services from the beginning, particularly if you want a custom container home.

As strange as it sounds, choosing experienced contractors will save you money in the long run, even if their services cost more up front.

Building Shipping Container Homes Starts With the Container

Building shipping container homes is an exciting challenge for contractors and homeowners alike. As with traditional construction, getting prepared before you break ground will save you time and money throughout your build.

Everything you do, starts with selecting the right shipping container(s) first. To learn more about finding the perfect container blocks for your home, contact our container professionals.

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. 

Shipping Container Modification Services in Texas

Earlier this year, it was announced that a Fort Worth building project would use shipping containers to create a 34 unit apartment complex. While this is a very prominent and familiar shipping container modification, it is far from being your only option. 

Keep reading to learn how modified shipping containers are getting used for a variety of projects. 

Modified Shipping Container Uses 

Shipping container modifications go far beyond the traditional uses of a shipping container, storage unit, or construction site office. You can turn your shipping container into almost anything. Here is just a short list. 

  • Mobile Offices 
  • Workstations 
  • Kitchen/food service 
  • Portable power and communications 
  • Housing 
  • Water treatment enclosure 
  • Exhibit Unit 
  • Generator and pump enclosure 
  • Military applications 
  • Vendor kiosk 
  • Pop up bar 
  • Electrical control room 

Here in Dallas, pop up eatery locations have developed a cult following. A shipping container is the perfect kitchen solution. We can help you craft the ideal portable eatery. 

Another popular trend is pop up retail shops. These temporary retail locations let you turn your retail store into a portable shop. 

Then there is The Portal exhibit that is located at the NorthPark Center. Amid the bustling walkways is what looks like your standard ocean freight shipping container. Step inside, though, and you enter a portal to another part of the world. A 2D projector screen connects you with portal users across the globe, including Los Angeles, Stockholm, and New Delhi. 

Possible Modifications 

Each of these uses requires careful planning and forethought to ensure that each container is appropriately modified to best suit its end-use. When it comes to the modifications you can make, they’re almost limitless. 

  • Built-in furniture 
  • Electrical 
  • HVAC 
  • Interior finishes 
  • Overhead lighting 
  • Pass-through windows 
  • Restrooms 
  • Roll-up doors 
  • Shelving 
  • Windows and guards 

What to Look for in a Modification Service 

With how popular container modification is here in Texas, you will find that there are several services available to you. To find the right one for your needs, you need to consider a few factors. 

Quality

What is the quality of their craftsmanship? Do they adhere to the highest of standards to ensure that your container will comply with all relevant codes? 

Fast Turnaround 

When it comes to your modifications, you need a company that can deliver on time. If your modification service can’t meet your deadline, then you risk losing money on your investment. 

Experience 

You may find that some services can offer lower rates, but then you are limited to the modifications they can perform. Look for a service that can work with you to customize your modification plan. You need a service that values your ideas and works with you to create the modified shipping container of your dreams. 

Plan Your Shipping Container Modification

Are you ready to start your shipping container modification? Maybe you want to have a pop-up bar, retail, or food shop in downtown Dallas or Houston. Or perhaps you’re hoping to create an interactive art installation that can travel all over the great state of Texas. 

Our experienced team can craft a shipping container to fit your specifications while also ensuring your container complies with all codes. 

Request a quote today for your shipping container modification needs. 

Shipping Container Pop-up Bars : Your Complete Guide

The pop-up bar seems to have taken the world by storm since they first entered the scene a few years ago. From simple seasonal pop-ups to bars based on horror movies, there’s something to fit every niche.

Because of their low cost, ease of transport, and potential for modification, using recycled shipping containers is a popular choice for many pop-up entrepreneurs. But what goes into running one of these trendy little businesses? Building and running shipping container pop-up bars can’t be more complicated than just showing up in an old shipping container with a couple of beer kegs, right?

Well, while it’s not quite that simple, getting a pop-up bar going is still easier than you might think.

Your Complete Guide to Shipping Container Pop-Up Bars

Pop-up businesses have been around for several years now, and have proven effective because they’re quick and easy to set up relative to a conventional business. They have a low initial investment and low overhead because of their versatility.

And it’s that last point that makes pop-ups so appealing. Their versatility makes it possible to engage customers with exciting experiences that they wouldn’t find normally. So often, a quality pop-up will rely on having a specific idea in mind.

What Makes a Good Idea for a Pop-Up?

Really, the sky’s the limit on what you could do, and with the fairly low cost to get a pop-up going, almost any idea could be profitable. However, there are a few ways that you could hedge your bets.

Often times they open up to capitalize on large events, like the pop-ups that accompany San Diego Comic-Con every year. They move in, usually selling limited runs of exclusive merchandise, and then pack up when the event is over. Or they offer novelty experiences, including themed drinking and dining options.

Capitalizing on seasonal events is another safe bet. Traditional Christmas markets have been popular for centuries and were really the first pop-up enterprises.

Or just finding a niche interest to theme your bar around like movies, superheroes, or video games will reliably guarantee a certain level of interest – provided you’re in the right area.

Where Should I Put My Pop-Up?

Novelty is often what gets people interested in a pop-up. But all the unique charm in the world won’t help if no one can find your bar. So the location is at least as important as finding a niche.

Most pop-ups don’t invest heavily in advertising to help keep costs down. Instead, they rely on word-of-mouth and social media to get their names out there.

And in order to capitalize on that, you need to be seen first. Exactly where differs with every city of course. If you’re lucky, you might know about an up-and-coming neighborhood where rent for a small piece of land is still relatively cheap.

But usually, all but the most densely-developed neighborhoods will have a couple plots of underutilized land. It’s just a matter of doing your legwork and finding the sweet spot between rent prices and foot traffic.

Building a Pop-Up

Having come up with an idea and picked out a location, it’s time to get down to the real work of your enterprise.

Since building pop-up bars out of shipping containers isn’t a new concept, you’re in luck. You can easily research other successful ventures to pinpoint what design qualities they all have in common.

Where were the entrances, what size container did they use, how did they set aside inventory space? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, so if you’ve seen it done successfully elsewhere, there’s no reason not to borrow a few proven ideas.

Then there’s the work of actually modifying your container into a bar. Finding a contractor with experience in metalworking is probably harder than just finding a roofer, so you’ll want to vet the people you take on to work on the project.

Alternatively, you can buy a container from a retailer with the means and experience to modify your container for you. Then it’s just a matter of installing the bar theme and inventory. 

Your Only Limit is Your Imagination

The beauty of shipping container pop-up bars is that you’re basically given a blank canvas.

They’re popular with the public because they frequently appeal to niche markets. Building a full-scale Pokemon-themed bar would be a risky investment, but it’s a great idea for a small, limited-time engagement.

And the choices afforded to you don’t have to stop there. If running a bar isn’t your passion, you can easily adapt the pop-up business model to suit almost any other business endeavor. Check out our list of innovative pop-up business ideas to get inspiration for your first pop-up enterprise. 

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.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: WHAT SIZE SHIPPING CONTAINER DO YOU NEED?

Shipping and storage containers come in all shapes and sizes for different uses and implementations.

For businesses, shipping containers can be used for their original purpose of shipping merchandise. And, they can be used for extra storage as either a solid part of your logistics mechanism or a short stop-gap until a warehouse is available.

However, depending on your needs, you’ll have to pick the right-sized shipping container in order to prevent wasting money on useless space or not having enough room to ship your merchandise all in one go.

Wondering how big is a shipping container needs to be? Keep on reading to learn all about the different sizes available on the market and what they’re most suitable for.

How Big Is a Shipping Container?

There are three main sizes available on the market. From 10-foot storage containers up to humongous 40-foot ones, each comes with their own special perks.

10-Foot Containers

These are the entry-level sized containers. 

Considered to be quite economic in size, these containers tend to be large enough for most residential buyers’ needs or for small businesses.

If you’re looking for extra storage space with a minimalist design, then a 10-foot container can work beautifully for you.

It can be used as a great portable storage solution, where you can put all excessive (but important) equipment out of sight.

However, you’ll have to keep an eye out for clutter or ill-used space, because every single foot counts here.

Moreover, if you’re planning on shipping a minimal amount of merchandise or you’re just starting, sticking with the 10-foot container can be cost-effective for your business. As it were, it keeps getting more expensive as we go bigger.

20-Foot Containers

This container size is the comfortable middle for many businesses. It follows the ideal of not-too-big and not-too-small for most companies’ needs. 

Same as the 10-foot storage containers, the sky is the limit in terms of usage. Whether you have storage in mind or straightforward shipping, a 20-foot container can be quite versatile.

A great way of using a 20-foot container is for the storage or shipment of vehicles. It can hold most residential vehicles as well as pickup trucks with no issues regarding space.

There are so many innovative business ideas for small shipping containers that can add immense value to your company.

40-Foot Containers

These containers are big enough to be looked at as portable storage warehouses, temporary office spaces or even school classrooms.

They are among the largest options available on the market. In addition to the tremendous amount of space for shipping huge equipment, they can be customized according to your preferred specifications.

For example, they can be set up to be full-side open units, which are perfect for materials and products that are fragile or sensitive in nature.They can be set up to be climate-controlled and refrigerated.

Ready to Get Your Container Game On?

Now you know all about how big a shipping container needs to be to suit your business. For even more details check out this article which outlines buying containers for sale in Houston.

Want even more information? Check out our resources section for the latest container tips and advice.

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.

10 Innovative Business Ideas for Small Shipping Containers

Over 30 million small businesses currently operate in the United States. That means there’s around one business to every 11 people in the country!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that starting one is easy. In reality, that’s far from the truth. It takes time, money and effort, as well as a fair dose of courage. Finding the perfect place to set up shop can be a particular challenge. Business premises are rarely cheap, and choosing the wrong location can stifle opportunities from the get-go.

Funnily enough, a solution to the problem is being found in an unlikely source: Shipping containers.

That’s right, those giant metal boxes used to transport cargo overseas are now hosting businesses of all varieties, all over the country. They’re cheap, eco-friendly, durable, and portable! But what kind of businesses are best suited to them?

Keep reading to discover 10 innovative business ideas for small shipping containers.

1. Cafés, Bars And/Or Restaurants

Shipping container bars, cafes, and restaurants are all the rage these days.

Go to almost every major city and you’ll find these trendy spaces popping up all over the place. They hold a particular appeal to certain crowds. Expect a youthful, trendy, hipster clientele to frequent them. Shipping containers provide a blank canvas in terms of style. You can decorate and customize them according to needs for a distinctive aesthetic. That makes them ideal for iconic branding.  

2. Gift Shops

How about using your shipping container as a cute and unique gift shop?

Indeed, increasing numbers of business owners are opting to set up their retail stores in this way. They simply provide a far cheaper means of displaying items in thriving metropolitan areas. Do you make awesome, handmade arts and crafts goods? Containers provide a great space in which to showcase all the amazing gifts you have on sale.

3. Gallery Space

Aspiring artists have a challenge on their hands.

Getting their name and work out there is key to establishing a recognizable brand and reputation in the industry.

Displaying work in a gallery can make a big difference. Unfortunately, new artists can struggle to find space in traditional galleries. It’s a fiercely competitive industry, meaning there are far more artists than galleries available. Enter shipping containers! They can make an ideal alternative. It’s easy to convert a container into a gallery, and they’d be perfect for displaying someone’s art.   

4. Yoga Studio

We don’t need to tell you how popular yoga has become in recent years.

More people than ever before are taking to their mats to contort their bodies in inexplicable ways! And many of them attend classes specifically for that purpose. Yoga teachers could very easily use shipping containers to create a unique yoga studio. Typical yoga spaces are expensive to hire; they’re also increasingly generic. It’s always important to stand out from the competition. Holding classes in a container may be just the start a new yoga teacher needs.

5. Book Store

There’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned book store!

Many people prefer to browse the aisles than scroll the online catalog. Shipping containers provide a novel, modern twist to a traditional shop. Why not try setting up a pop-up book store? Open up the doors and shed some light on the books you have for sale. It’s bound to draw a crowd of literature lovers.

6. Office Space

Office space is ludicrously expensive these days.

For instance, in Houston, the average annual cost of renting office space per employee is $5,668. Can you afford that level of expense? If the answer’s no, then setting up your office in shipping containers can be a worthy and less expensive solution to consider.

Similarly, it may be more in line with your brand as well. The office your business inhabits says something about your company and target audience. A trendy shipping container may speak to your audience more than a shiny top floor of a corporate building.

7. Workshop

Good with your hands?

Then think about setting your workshop up in a shipping container. It wouldn’t take much to convert one into the ideal workshop. With a few workbenches set up and your equipment installed, you’re good to go!

The durable and secure nature of the container would be conducive to the work too. Everything will be kept safely inside when you aren’t there.

8. Bicycle Mechanic

A plush, fancy store is unlikely to tick the right boxes for a mechanic. A hardened steel structure is more likely to fit the bill. It definitely fits the stereotype better!

Just as they make great workshops, shipping containers would be ideally suited to a bicycle mechanic too. The size would match up to the demands of the job; the traditionally Spartan nature of containers would suit the oil and grime that often comes with the territory. 

9. Storage Facilities

Shipping containers are literally designed to store things!

Items of all shapes and sizes find themselves stowed away inside these structures. They’re solid, durable, weatherproof metal boxes that safely protect the contents inside. Why not leverage their core functionality for your own storage business? You could buy a number of them, install safe-boxes inside, and voila!

10. IT Repair Service

New businesses don’t always need anything fancy at the outset. A basic space to set up shop and operate from is all that matters. A small shipping computer is perfect if you are an IT person setting up shop. Remember, they can be kitted out exactly as you need them. Desks, internet, and storage space can be easily arranged.

Final Thoughts on Businesses in Small Shipping Containers

There you have it: 10 innovative business ideas for small shipping containers.

Millions of businesses operate around the country already. However, it would be wrong to assume that it’s an easy process. In reality, the decision to start a business should never be taken lightly. One wrong decision can jeopardize the potential for success. One particularly important component is deciding the premises. Thankfully, as we’ve seen, shipping containers can provide a practical, novel, and modern solution.

Almost any business can benefit from setting up shop in a shipping container!

Interested in buying a shipping container for your new venture? 

Contact us today to see how we can help!