Containers are an excellent choice for building because they are durable, watertight, and recyclable. However, you can make them even more useful and attractive to the eye with these shipping container modification ideas. These storage container projects range from simple to complex, but they’re all doable with the help of your family or friends and some essential tools.
Popular Shipping Container Modifications
When you’ve decided on your modifications, find shipping container customization companies or people to help you. Some home improvement stores may even offer shipping container modification services. Finding shipping container modification companies online is easy, but you should also check local listings.
If you are looking for easy, inexpensive ways to modify your shipping container, adding windows is an ideal choice. Windows can help with ventilation and allow you to enjoy the outdoors and let natural lighting in.
When building a shipping container home, it’s necessary to think about adding extra doors. While shipping container modifications make homes more open, you might need to create privacy or close off certain areas. Additionally, adding a sliding glass door is one way to bring in light and provide easy entrance and exit.
A new roof is one of the most effective modifications you can make to a shipping container. A quality roof will protect your containers from water, weather, and physical damage.
Steel container roofs come in many assorted styles and can be customized for any number of reasons. For example, they can be painted or covered in a material that matches your shipping container build.
Some builders altogether remove the roof of shipping containers and replace them with metal panels. This is a relatively easy modification to make, but it also has its drawbacks. Removing shipping container roofs eliminates overhead headroom and makes shipping containers into one-story structures.
There are two main types of container roofs: corrugated metal and composite steel panels. Corrugated metal allows more light inside, while composite steel panels are lighter, stronger, and more resistant to sun damage than traditional metals.
Composite shipping container roofs are typically more expensive than corrugated metal, but they are also of higher quality. So if you plan to live in your shipping container for decades or want something that will stand the test of time, composite shipping container roofs are the way to go.
If you are planning to place your container on a surface other than dirt, it’s best to consider modifying its foundation. Standard shipping containers come with a solid steel base, which is heavy and won’t prevent roots from growing into it. This makes it difficult—if not impossible—to place them directly onto lawns or gardens without providing an adequate barrier between them and your natural landscape.
One popular modification is creating a hollow space around each container and filling it with materials such as:
If you want to use your shipping containers as sheds, they will need a strong, appropriately sized foundation. Not only will this help with shipping container security, but it will also make shipping containers easier to move if you decide to relocate them in the future.
Read more: Choosing a Shipping Container Foundation
Shipping Container Flooring
Don’t forget about flooring! If you are using shipping containers as sheds or garden rooms, you will need to choose flooring appropriate for the location and any expected foot traffic.
Adding lights is an easy way to give a container a more finished look and transform it into a functional part of your yard.
Many companies make lighting systems specifically for shipping containers, but there is nothing wrong with installing some LED lights yourself. It’s not hard, but it does require safety precautions because electrical wiring can be dangerous if not handled properly.
If you decide to go at it alone, make sure you use GFCI protected outlets and purchase or build an outdoor-rated extension cord. Be mindful about where you put lights inside a container, too—bulbs can get hot and cause a fire if placed too close to walls or other objects in or around your container, so don’t forget about ventilation.
Add a Bathroom
Adding a bathroom is one of those container modifications that does not seem like it would be that complicated, but once you get into it, you realize many moving parts and decisions must be made.
For example, do you want your bathroom inside or outside? Do you want an indoor/outdoor shower? Do you want a stand-alone toilet and sink, or do you plan on using something like an outhouse?
The more complex your modification plan gets, the more time and money required from various contractors. In many cases, it is easier (and cheaper) to buy a prefabricated outdoor bathroom instead of trying to modify a shipping container yourself.
Adding a shipping container bathroom is an excellent option if you are looking to add some additional space to your property—if you have the budget and time to complete it. Unfortunately, it can be difficult or expensive for contractors to come out and build shipping container bathrooms, so many homeowners opt for prefabricated options instead.
Need a shipping container in Oklahoma?
No matter the shipping container modification you decide on, it all starts with a shipping container. Twisted S Containers sells 20 and 40-foot shipping containers in Oklahoma, with free delivery within 60 miles of our facility.
For more shipping container ideas, be sure to check out our blog.