Modifying a Shipping Container into a Tiny House
Jul 2019

Modifying a Shipping Container into a Tiny House

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Shipping containers are now being used to create versatile living spaces for the modern generation. The tiny house trend has helped many to create their own property and to design a space that is uniquely their own. But how do you go about creating a tiny house? Many start with a shipping container. In this latest post, we’ll explore the process of modifying a shipping container and turning it into a tiny house.

Start with Design

The design of your tiny house should be the first step in the container modification process. Consider how many rooms you’d like in the house and the location of key elements such as doors and windows. When reviewing window options, consider the value of natural light. Light can help make the space seem larger and so you might be better choosing larger window designs. Another element to consider is how the design elements interact with the space. For example, your kitchen should be designed according to the opening of fridge and oven doors. How much space is available to open appliances and is there a clear footpath to the other rooms?

Next, Call an Engineer

An engineer will be a key person involved in the building of your tiny house. Make sure you speak with a qualified engineer before you make any design and building decisions. This is particularly important if the design of the container involves moving load-bearing walls or adding structural elements that can impact the safety of the property. Make sure all drawings are signed off on by a qualified engineer and that you discuss your design plans before moving forward.

Now You Can Finalize the Design

The design can then be finalized once you know clearly what’s going to work and what isn’t. During the final phase of the design process, review additional elements such as insulation and flooring. And consider your day-to-day lifestyle in the home. For example, how will you remove waste from the property and how will you bring electricity into each room in the home? Consulting an expert such as Sigma Container Corporation is the best way to begin.

Prepare the Land

Now that the design is completed, you can begin to choose and prepare the land ready for the delivery of the container. When building the foundation for the home, consider whether the container will be elevated from the ground. Make sure you consider the use of concrete strips and slabs in order to provide structural support to the home for the years ahead.

Choosing and Buying the Container

Now you can begin to shop for the right container for your tiny home. During this process, ensure you consult with our team at Sigma Container Corporation directly. We can help you to select the right container at the right price. When reviewing the marketplace, you will be able to find new and used containers and so if you’re choosing a used model, make sure you view the container directly and have a clear understanding on its past use.

Receiving the Container

You’re now ready to receive the container and begin modifications. During the receiving stage, you’re going to have to rent a crane or find construction equipment that can help you move the container into place. You might also simply ask that the container company organizes the delivery process for you. During the receiving process, you should consider how the container will be attached to the foundation. For those who have bought a used container, it’s important to wash the container now before you begin adding home elements to the space.

Connecting Containers

Often, the building of a tiny home requires the use of two or more containers in order to create the ideal space. If you’re using two or more containers, make sure that you take on the connection process at this stage. This could involve the use of clamps or bolts to make a secure connection.

Cutting the Openings

Now we come to the part of the process where we make the design changes—cutting the openings for the doors and windows. We strongly recommend that you work with professionals during this process. Make sure you work with a company that has experience working with containers and in modifying them for home designs.

Removing the Flooring

The flooring within the majority of shipping containers is treated with harsh chemicals in order to provide working safety. Before using the home, make sure you remove the existing flooring and build a subfloor to the space. This will help provide a safe and healthy environment for your tiny home.

Framing and Adding Insulation

Add framing to the container next, and then begin covering the interior walls of the home. The insulation process can take some time, so begin the insulation work now. If you live in a cooler climate, make sure you use insulation designed for your region. Some homeowners place the insulation on the outside of the home to increase the living space inside.

Integrating Electric Systems

The electrical systems in the container are the next most important element to add. Make sure you get help from a qualified electrician and that you consider the power needs for the entire home. For example, is there enough power to keep the lights on in several rooms at once? Do you have an emergency power plan if there’s a blackout?

Begin Decorating

Now you can start to make the home yours with a few decorative touches. Make sure you consider the paint you require for the home and that you’re able to match the paint within each of the rooms. You might wish to speak with a decorator at this point about how to use paint in smaller spaces to achieve the look of a larger home. During the decorating process, consider how the decor will blend with both interior and exterior elements.

Our trusted team at Sigma Container Corporation is here to help you streamline the process of moving into your new tiny home. To learn more about how to turn a container into a tiny property, call us today directly.