Image courtesy of Wikimedia
See above - The second hand shipping container used on this getaway cottage shows obvious signs of wear and tear, yet was still selected for the project as it maintained its structural integrity.
If you’re thinking about sourcing used shipping containers for a building project, you have several ways to buy them, but also a few considerations in terms of the quality and what to look out for.
As a shipping container they have a work life of roughly 20 years, but as a modular building material their life can be extended indefinitely!
As with buying anything second hand, a used cargo container is not going to be spotless and shiny and you need to expect to find some signs of wear and tear.
Our best advice is to actually inspect, in person if possible, the cargo container that you are wanting to purchase.
If you cannot get to the location to visually inspect the container you are going to buy, you’ll want to see some decent photos which give you an idea of the condition of the container (inside and out), prior to purchasing.
Here's some other potential issues and questions to consider..
All of the above will influence the finished quality of your container conversion (assuming that is what you want the containers for).
Minor dents may not be an issue if you are going to be cladding your container inside and out, but if want exposed steel, either inside or out, then you my be better suited in spending the extra money on a new container, but getting the colour and qnd quality of finish that you require.
Quality and size will influence the price, and you will need to factor in any transportation required (see more below).
Ballpark figures for good quality used containers (although you can get them cheaper) are in the range of
High cube units are often preferred for building as they have an extra foot of height, allowing room to tuck services into the ceiling space. 20 foot high cube containers are less common, but 40’ HC or HQ units are readily available.
Depending on where you live, you may have to spend a decent sum of money to have your container transported to a warehouse to be modified, or direct to your work site. This amount is going to vary widely depending on how far the container needs to be transported.
Delivery /haulage/freight costs must be factored into your costings, and take into consideration the access to your site. Delivery trucks can come with side or rear cranes to life the container off the truck and onto your site, and different sized trucks will come at varying prices. The more remote and difficult to access your site is, the more you can expect to pay.
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