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Thread: convert 40 ft container to cabin?

  1. #1

    Default convert 40 ft container to cabin?

    Anyone here convert a 40 ft or other length shipping container to a cabin or house? If you did here's a bunch of questions.

    What did you use to insulate the interior?
    How did you ventilate the interior?
    Did you seal the insulation on the interior to prevent moisture penetration?
    How are the partition walls fastened to the container?
    Did you weld flat stock to the corrugated steel to hold bolts and framing lumber before framing in
    door or windows?
    What did you do to the floor for heat loss, condensation etc.
    How did you fir out the walls to finish the interior? Dry wall? OSB?
    re: Foundation/piers. How did you fasten the container to piers or foundation?
    I know the roof is almost bomb proof but did you put up trusses and a roof over all for looks, collecting water, shedding snow, etc.?

    There's lots of kits for sale on the internet, but less information for doing it yourself.

  2. #2

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    The roof will cave-in from snow load......... Yes, it cost me about $3,000.-- in lost value.

  3. #3
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    The roof will cave-in from snow load......... Yes, it cost me about $3,000.-- in lost value.

    Please Explain..........

    I have looked into these myself and, tho I believe it possible, the load rating is high for these things when they are stacked. Whitewater, check out this site:

    http://www.rcsgroup.carrier.com/

    It shows some interesting interiors.

    Ron

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Please Explain..........

    I have looked into these myself and, tho I believe it possible, the load rating is high for these things when they are stacked. Whitewater, check out this site:

    http://www.rcsgroup.carrier.com/

    It shows some interesting interiors.

    Ron
    Ron,,
    The load is carried on the corner posts, the tops are not that strong. I you were to make some sort of a roof for it I'm sure it would work fine.

    Also if I was going to make a cabin out of one I would get an old refrigerated van and it will already be insulated. My office down on the docks is made out of one of these, we are covered by a wharehouse so snow load is not an issue.

  5. #5

    Default container to cabin conversion

    Keep those ideas flowing guys.m Thanks for the link, Ron.
    Lots of good commercial ideas out there, but precious few details for the home builder.

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    Member bilbo's Avatar
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    get two 20' containers. put them 12' a part, parallel.
    truss the roof as one. enclose the two 12' ends.
    you get a 12' by 20' common room, with 8' by 20' on each side for bedroom, kitchen, storage, bath, etc.

  7. #7

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    What can I say, we have had total roof failures on "NEW" units. Last one I lost was up at Safari Lake, out of Trappers Creek. Cost me $3,000.-- in a sale. Enough snow will cave in the roof on a new unit, and pull in the side walls. NOTE: they stack on the corner posts. I have 5 in my yard......and every winter, I put a ladder to each one and shovel the snow off.






    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Please Explain..........

    I have looked into these myself and, tho I believe it possible, the load rating is high for these things when they are stacked. Whitewater, check out this site:

    http://www.rcsgroup.carrier.com/

    It shows some interesting interiors.

    Ron

  8. #8

    Default Using shipping containers in Hawaii

    About six months ago, I read a long article in the Honolulu newspaper about how people are using containers for housing in Hawaii. They have lots of cheap containers, since they import most of their goods, but don't export much. Also, they have a need for so-called affordable housing. So some innovators are trying to fill the need with the abundant containers.

    They don't have snow load problems, of course, but they do have to figure how to insulate against the heat. As I recall, sometimes they set up two like a "double-wide" trailer. Anyway, those people are actually doing it on a small, scale, and the finished structures look like small conventional houses. Maybe someone in Hawaii could brief you on what they're doing and how well it's working.

  9. #9
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    What can I say, we have had total roof failures on "NEW" units. Last one I lost was up at Safari Lake, out of Trappers Creek. Cost me $3,000.-- in a sale. Enough snow will cave in the roof on a new unit, and pull in the side walls. NOTE: they stack on the corner posts. I have 5 in my yard......and every winter, I put a ladder to each one and shovel the snow off.
    So if you had to roof one, what pitch would you use?

    Ron

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    So if you had to roof one, what pitch would you use?

    Ron


    I would use 6/12 or greater, but I CAN get up to 12 feet of snow per weekend.

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    There is a house in Wasilla that is made from 3 refers side by side. I believe it has a roof over them also. It didnt when I helped install the third container, but i remember hearing it was going to happen.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeaverDriver View Post

    Yep, thanks, it's one of the sites I ran into earlier. Unfortunately it doesn't have the answers to the questions in the original post.

    But it looks like if a guy used common sense it wouldn't be too hard to convert one or two into a fair cabin. Still wondering how much insulation and how to seal it, fir it out inside and run drains, vents, wiring and etc inside the partition walls.

    Good feedback guys, thanks and keep that information coming. I'm thinking for a dry cabin, deep piers with a flat steel plate on top on thick screw threaded stock, then weld or bolt the container to the piers should keep it on the piers and easy to re-level when needed.

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've thought about using containers for a cabin, what I'd do is get two 20 footers, well them together, and use them as a foundation/1st floor. You can use one for storage and sleep in the other one while building the cabin.

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    I was thinking a little differently. I was thinking about getting seven 40' containers and using 2 on the ground then bridge the other 5 between them to make a hangar. You would end up w/ 1600' of elevated living space w/ 7' decks on each side (or three sides w/ an 8th conex). Then about 2K feet of dry storage underneath.

    As for insulation I am very curious if you could tac weld standard steel building studs to the inside walls. Then it would be just the same as standard commercial construction to put up insulation and drywall.

  16. #16
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    In the end, it's far cheaper to stick frame with wood.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    In the end, it's far cheaper to stick frame with wood.
    +1, unless you have access to near free connex's and the ability to manipulate them...

  18. #18

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    you have to look on line for this product but they have a fake roof unit for the container units that look like a house set up with a roof unit that attachs to the top of the unit and makes the unit look like a home unit ..

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    i know they make a soy bean base insulation sprey you could have spray the container's wall with not sure orfits rading for temps or if it would work just an idea.

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    I know this is a old topic but I would be very intersted in how your project turned out I am doing the same thing with a 40' container in Tok I would like to contact you some time

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