Shipping Container House Construction From Start To Finish.

I came across a slideshow earlier today that shows how easy shipping container housing construction can be if its well thought out and the preparation is done properly in advance so wanted to share it with you.

marking out shipping container home marking out shipping container home

After all the planning is done the next important thing is marking out where the shipping containers are going to go but also to make sure all the levels are correct for the bases so that there are no problems later. As you can see here the outline has been set and height and length are being checked on the drop to make sure the containers will end up where they should do.

marking out shipping container home adding shipping container concrete base

Ground is then set with the bases which have been formed in concrete to allow the shipping containers to sit on top of them. Due to the robust design and nature of shipping containers they don’t need as much bracing and supports as you may suspect.

shipping container shipping container

Grounds all sorted next step is making sure the shipping containers are of good quality and no twisting or bad rusting or dents. There is another post on this blog regarding inspecting shipping containers so won’t discuss it in great detail.

cutting openings for shipping container home cutting openings for shipping container home

Any repairs that needed doing such as grinding out surface rust and cutting the openings that are needed are better off done at the depot where there is likely a team already on site that can do it quickly and cost affectively due to having the tools at hand and experience in dealing with shipping containers.

respray shipping container respray shipping container

Still on site another feature of a container depot is they often have refurbishments which means they also have spray booths big enough to take shipping containers. Spraying these giant beasts out in the open air isn’t advisable if you can help it to get a good finish. Here we see they have been sprayed on site and being prepared for loading and moving to their destination.

respray shipping container

shipping conainer home delivery

Construction of the prefabrication done and an assessment of the location and roads have made sure that the roads are not only accessible by heavy plant equipment but also trucks to deliver the shipping containers.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

Base shipping container is dropped into place and aligned with the concrete base. There may also be metal bars set of some description to help lock the shipping container to the concrete or to be welded later.

building shipping container homebuilding shipping container homebuilding shipping container home  building shipping container home

  Lifting equipment is expensive and advisable that you prep as much stuff for them as possible as an easy life for them if they are working per day or per hour basis is worthwhile as stuff that could have been done for them in advance may slow them down to the point an extra day is needed even if its minor work. Shipping container two is lifted into place and carefully aligned and put into position.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home building shipping container home

building shipping container home

Third shipping container needs complete turn to be the right way round to drop into position. Always worth trying to work out things like which way trucks need to be unloaded and if you do have limited space for things like turning that before they are loaded they are the “right way round!”. That is a something that can waste time if the plant has to move off site if you have limited space to turn the container round on a truck bed then drive all the way back. Not a problem in this case but have had more complex problems in the past on construction projects. Third shipping container is in place and now its starting to look more like a home.

building shipping container home building shipping container home

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

With the crane still on site try and get them to do as much as possible as your paying! In this case getting the roof trusses up onto the top of the shipping containers will save the builders hours of lifting manually by being able to stack the trusses up on the roof with one single lift bringing them all up.

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

installing shipping container home roof installing shipping container home roof

With the crane getting things up early means that the workers can lay out and get the trusses up in quick time. Surprising how fast you can do it all with the right equipment. Prefabricating the trusses off site is also worthwhile as they need to be made all identical and with this size not something your likely to knock up in your back garden.

welding shipping container

Once the trusses are in place and the shipping container fixed you can add hangers to help secure them as you can see here in the central area.

welding shipping container welding shipping container

Welding all the corners to fix the shipping container in position is the next job and whilst the welder gets on with that others can start fitting out the windows etc.

welding shipping container

Extra steel being added to the central area to create a new floor section.

welding shipping container welding shipping container

building shipping container house

All the welding done its starting to take shape well as a home and you can start to get an idea of how everything is going to look when finished.

building shipping container house installing shipping container roof

installing shipping container roof installing shipping container roof

Time for the roof to go on and its a time consuming job but generally as long as you get the other parts of the project level and in the right place it makes these jobs faster. Its why people will always complain if a base of a project is wrong because it creates a problem for every single job that follows after.

building shipping container house installing windows in shipping container

building shipping container house building shipping container house

shipping container house

The main construction finished its all down to the finishing work and glazing. Won’t be an overnight completion but now you can work under the roof allowing work in all weathers, all hours and a secure place to keep equipment while you finish the home.

Have to admit I am quite taken with the home, the design is simple and due to the majority of the measurements being fixed in the shipping container units themselves it does mean its less likely a construction project building a shipping container home is likely to have problems. All measurements are fixed dimensions and as long as you make sure the bases are right the rest of the construction will be pretty straight forward as you can see.

Source :-

Constructing Shipping Container Dormitory Blocks–Manila Philippines

Concrete base being constructed by local workers with steel uprights.Initial concrete bases and supports being built

concrete base for shipping container

Shipping containers arriving to site and being dropped onto the supports and into position.

Shipping containers being crane liftedShipping containers being crane lifted

shipping container being unhooked and locked into place

Now the containers are in place work starts on turning them into a dormitory first job cutting all those windows.


Next job is the internal framework of all the beds to be used in the dormitory as well as a few partitions going up for privacy.

steel bunk beds being made

Dormitory starts to take shape and the beds and walls become more recognisable as a workers home!

dormitory in shipping container being built

Dormitory takes shape and starts to look good

shipping container dorm complete with bunk bedsshipping container dorm complete with bunk beds262548_134422619978258_100002315624289_238821_2582629_n[1]communal washrooms being constructedshower room at dorm building

Outdoor sink areas made from concrete start to take shape.Outside sinks made from concrete being installedconcrete sinks being installed

Staircase now installed into position and its starting to look on the road to completion.

metal staircase outside shipping container dorm

Extra roof over the container complex helps reduce heat in the building.

shipping container dorm gets its second roof

Handrails are added not just as a feature but also to help the guard monitor people entering and leaving.

Metal handrailmetal hand rail

shipping container building from the road looks very professional

Looking at the building from the road it gives a very professional finish to the property as it no doubt improves the look of the neighbourhood due to the amount of work gone into the design.


House Building From Shipping Containers

There are many locations throughout the world that house building from shipping containers is not only viable but financially beneficial. The main reasoning behind this is primarily for those looking to do house building themselves. The shipping container as a building block is not only robust but is built above housing code expectations for a building. They may initially seem a small building block until you start cutting and adapting them something that those with even limited skill and knowledge around the construction site would be able to manage. In reality a competent DIY person could just as easily complete house building from shipping containers as a local building contractor.

Initially the project will seem daunting but that is another advantage you have with the shipping container as its already a completed unit. Your cutting away rather than trying to work out how do I build a second floor? how do I build a roof structure? In reality your actually going to be removing sections for doorways and the awkward bits such as insulation you can even get specialists in to help you.

The concept of house building with shipping containers has grown hugely throughout the current fuel and housing crisis. Some talk about it being green but I am not green in the way where I wake up and ride a bicycle to go to work and lets face it the green movement hasn’t grown that fast since 2008! In reality people are looking to save money on construction, others are looking to be able to build a sustainable home that is also minimalistic which also means reduced bills for electric,water and gas. If anything the shipping container homes are part of a price conscience revolution over anything else.

But what about all the negative stuff out there about shipping container homes? Look at them and how many are opinion only? to be honest I haven’t come across anyone so far that says its a bad idea that has even visited a shipping container home never mind constructed or lived in one. Everyone I know with a shipping container home loves them and on top of the reasons above you have the added benefit of being able to build modular and as your budget allows. How many other houses can be constructed that way?

If its not catching on with some people its probably more likely they lack the vision or the desire to own one rather than even looking at the benefits. For me it has one huge benefit at least 40% cheaper than conventional construction. Don’t know what that means to you but in the UK that’s 10 years of slave mortgage payments I will never make.

Shipping container alterations to an office / building

Con global container alterations

I added this video from Con global to show how seriously many people are starting to take the container conversion business. Currently im in the Philippines and getting good containers can be difficult. But soon enough we will be purchasing some and begin to show you how to convert one from a box to a home. It wont be easy as access to where they will become home is difficult at best. They will be needing cut into sections to get to the land. But either way this also shows if your serious about containers and maybe starting a business. YouTube could also be a good sales tool.