Shipping Container for Bug Out cabin build

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by ochit, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    Container delivered, got a 40 foot as of now shoring up non-conventional methods for a build out.

    It will end up being a Small walk in closet then 1 bedroom next a shower bathroom now the living area last up front the kitchen in that order. I had years ago seen a Swedish design where nothing touched the floor all cabinets were off the floor spartan and functional. The idea came to me about a fold up couch w/ adjustable back as to flatten to make into a single bed. I intend to document the project since it will be a long term as I do not have too much time to devote but as it progresses I will post incrementally.
    Alf60, Zimmy, GOG and 6 others like this.
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have living containers on a barge, one with six bunks, a shower and head, the other is a galley and rec container. I also have an office container that is quite comfortable and very functional. These containers are heavy welded aluminum and not the typical steel shipping containers because the shipping containers tend to only last a few years in a marine environment. I would highlhy recommend sandblasting and a really good quality under-coat then a top quality paint job oh, and don't forget to install sacrificial anondes and water-proof the flooring.
  3. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    @ochit, what type of foundation will it sit on?
    sec_monkey likes this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Unless it was a. Freezer Conex, insulation and ventalation are going to be an issue... Make sure you address BOTH issues...
  5. I have no experience with marine/aquatic environments. But I am familiar with corten steel, aren't shipping containers made of it? J.D.'s world headquarters facade is built of it, fifty years old now. It self-limits the depth of corrosion. I have seen what happens to aluminum and AL-alloys when exposed to road salt during Iowa winters, doesn't hold up. Sand blast and paint steel is good. Blasting will give steel a "tooth" for paint to adhere. Aluminum abrades RAPIDLY during abrasive blasting. Can be done if very gentile, maybe soda blast. Best part of painting, YOU get to choose type of paint, colour, and patterns. Good luck. Waiting to hear (see) how it turns out.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

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  7. Because shippers don't like to ship air, empty containers build up in destination ports. After the earthquake in Haiti I thought an effective way to house people there would be to use modified containers, but I never heard of anyone using that idea. If they were anchored securely they would be almost earthquake and hurricane proof.
  8. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    this one has a wood deck floor I think I will layer a 3/4 inch tongue and groove decking with a moisture barrier for some extra floor insulation.
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  9. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I think, but do not know, that most containers are flat floored, probably with checker plate, but (emphasis) I do NOT know that. I DO know that the ones we had at the range for clay storage had plywood down on top of the original flooring. If you do go with T&G, make double dern sure that you leave a means for expansion and contraction, both from temp and humidity. Wood is not overly fond of tight restraints.
  10. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    I have 24- 18x18x3 concrete pads every 10 foot If I'm going to pour a slab eventually I will not waste it for that.
    If I move I will build a wrap around deck with a cover for the whole thing, I was considering adding a 20 foot to extend the living room and kitchen then I could add in a fire place.
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  11. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    I was also considering using body putty and fill the scrapes and minor butt joint cracks and lay down some wood look vinyl with wood look most minor imperfections are not noticeable.
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  12. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    You could always cover the outside with conventional siding, masonite or aluminum to protect the main body of the container from weather. You could also add roof trusses and put a pitched roof on top. No one would ever know it was a shipping container. Those things have so many possibilities.
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  13. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Kool beans, Keep us posted on the progress!
  14. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    BTPost, your reply reminded me of something. We could have bought a "reefer" unit here, when shopping for our container. But, we felt we did not need a 40' container, as it was only to serve as temporary housing for us. However, we did want the walls and ceiling insulated very well.

    18051534_1293904400707772_1123802308_n. 18052869_1293904394041106_940909931_n. 18136250_1299773646787514_692484723_n.

    We had a base welded to the wall of the container to mount a split air-con (left side of image). But, we have yet to feel the need to install one. Even during the hottest of days, the container stays remarkably cool inside. (For those who may not know where we live, I'm talking extremely hot, Cambodian days.)

    After it was delivered to the farm, we had steel trusses and a roof installed on top of the container. The roof serves to keep the direct sun off, and as another rain catchment surface. Currently, we have a single 1000 Liters IBC tote to store the water from this roof. During rainy season, this collection surface could fill quite a few totes! The total roof area is 7 meters (~23') by 3.5 meters (~11.5').
    2017-05-21 13.55.28r.

    My apologies, as I was unable to immediately find images of the rainwater harvesting install.
    2017-05-30 14.26.43.

    Had I to do this all over again, even though it were to only serve as temporary housing, I would definitely go with a 40' high cube container, over a 20 foot standard height.

    EDIT: Oh, in case anyone is curious.
    Container cost, materials, fabrication, paint, & delivery - $3250.00 USD
    Roof cost, materials, delivery, fabrication, & paint - $310.00 USD
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
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  15. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    Very nice job Asia-off-grid looks fantastic, I will probably build one side a conventional wall to contain electrical conduit and plumbing (mixing valves) I am building in a few disability features I don't have any but in case it will just make it simple if I need to sell it later as I have a few thoughts on doing a couple of these.
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  16. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    IIRC think I saw a report telling anyone doing one of these that they must replace the flooring?

    Something about chemicals used in the flooring are toxic and were put there to control pest?
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  17. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I've read the same information, somewhere. We just had the floor of our container covered with several coats of sealant. I suppose another idea, may be to install flooring on top of the existing wood?
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  18. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    Seem to recall that with some of the chemicals used... best to replace... vapor and seepage can be very dangerous?
  19. Zimmy

    Zimmy Wait, I'm not ready!

    I’ve seen these as tool cribs at factories around the country.

    The only common failure point I have seen is the roof rusting through. Once pinholes propagate all over it can be a challenge to reseal and require annual recoating with roof sealer.

    If you don’t build a roof over the unit I strongly suggest spraying or mopping on some rubberized coating that can expand and contract with the metal. I bet Rhinoliner would work too
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    For the floor this would be an excellent opportunity to set up a solar water/liquid heating/cooling system . pipe the floor with appropriate tubing and use concrete to fill in a new floor over the wood .
    Out side put a water heating solar panel on the roof along with photovoltaic panels for the house energy.
    And one more set of piping laid out in the ground for earth temperatures . Some have put it deep under the house and others have put it in an area that will get watered like a lawn during summer months acting as an evaporative cooler .
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