Top Tips for Constructing a Container Living Space

Over the years, shipping containers have become much more versatile than simply being used to transport cargo. More people are looking at shipping containers for sale with the intention of creating living spaces, making it a growing trend in Australia. Nonetheless, using shipping containers as your building's structure is not a matter of only buying them and modifying them at whim. There are a number of things that you would need to bear in mind to ensure that your construction will be viable. Moreover, knowing how best to go about this process will also decrease the risk of you running into pitfalls when the project is underway. So what are a couple of the top tips for constructing a container living space? 

Check the grade of secondhand shipping containers

When it comes to container construction, people gravitate toward secondhand containers, as they are much more economical. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the container you are buying will be structurally sound for your needs. You should note that secondhand shipping containers come in different grades, which are based on their overall condition. The classification of the container would also dictate how much work would have to go into restoring the vessel before it can be used for a living space, so this could end up inflating your costs. Some of the grades you could consider for secondhand shipping containers include: 

  1. Grade A: Best quality of secondhand containers. Typically means the container is rust free and has all its seals intact. 
  2. Grade B: The quality of these containers is average. Some rust and other surface damages may be present but can be eliminated through buffing and priming. These vessels tend to be older than their grade A counterparts. 
  3. Grade C: These shipping containers have acquired much more damage and will typically not be watertight. They also tend to have a fair amount of rust and dents. Grade C containers would require restoring before being used as living spaces. 

Refrain from over-modifying the shipping container

Once you have decided on a shipping container, you may have grand designs planned for it. Nonetheless, take note that shipping containers are built to withstand a vertical load, as this is what makes them easier to stack. When you start to cut away at the walls to create large windows and entryways, you could end up compromising the load-bearing abilities of the container. It is best to refrain from cutting away too much from the container. Additionally, ensure that any windows, doors, and subsequent modifications are further reinforced to keep the container's structural integrity intact.