Can I use shipping container as walls for building
Last Post 13 May 2022 08:19 PM by CleanBuilding1975. 27 Replies.
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danfredUser is Offline
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01 Jun 2013 05:24 PM
I am going to build a machinery storage building, 70 ft by 120ft or close to that. I was thinking pole barn, style, but now I am wondering if I can use 2 containers stacked on top of each other for the side walls? Start with 40, 40, 40, 20. put 20, 40, 40, 40 on top of those. Stagger the joints and anchor it to the ground and each other, seal between and we have a wall. yes I know we are at 140 ft now. I could use more room anyway. Has anyone tried this? What would you use to seal between? and what is the best way to anchor them. At this point all I have is an idea and questions. I would put trusses or a steel roof over them and build end walls as any pole barn. Thanks for any help.
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01 Jun 2013 05:41 PM
Posted By danfred on 01 Jun 2013 05:24 PM
I am going to build a machinery storage building, 70 ft by 120ft or close to that. I was thinking pole barn, style, but now I am wondering if I can use 2 containers stacked on top of each other for the side walls? Start with 40, 40, 40, 20. put 20, 40, 40, 40 on top of those. Stagger the joints and anchor it to the ground and each other, seal between and we have a wall. yes I know we are at 140 ft now. I could use more room anyway. Has anyone tried this? What would you use to seal between? and what is the best way to anchor them. At this point all I have is an idea and questions. I would put trusses or a steel roof over them and build end walls as any pole barn. Thanks for any help.



danfred,
yes it can be done,
you can immbed welding plates in the concrete slab then weld the containers to the slab, then stack and weld the entire container wall together,
cost for bot walls would be about $60,000.
the picture below while no exactly what you are talking about, but still demonstrates creative thinking
Chris Kavala
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jonrUser is Offline
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02 Jun 2013 11:01 AM
Unheated storage is where I have seen shipping containers used effectively. You can use them for living space, but IMO, that's an artistic choice, not a very practical one.
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02 Jun 2013 04:11 PM
Ya Unheated would be the best use. They fit close enough together to weld or would you need to plate at the seam?
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03 Jun 2013 03:00 PM
Posted By danfred on 02 Jun 2013 04:11 PM
Ya Unheated would be the best use. They fit close enough together to weld or would you need to plate at the seam?



You may need to add some small welding plates, but not continuous
Chris Kavala
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danfredUser is Offline
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04 Jun 2013 08:48 AM
If you do not weld continually, how do you seal between them?
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04 Jun 2013 09:12 AM
Posted By danfred on 04 Jun 2013 08:48 AM
If you do not weld continually, how do you seal between them?



Danfred,
I certainly would not be welding it, you probably would have over 1000 feet of welds,
I would use a commercial grade flexible sealant like Tremco
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04 Jun 2013 09:12 PM
Container Hotel in Haiti..........
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danfredUser is Offline
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04 Jun 2013 09:47 PM
thanks, i figured a sealant and bolting them made more sense.. Working out cost now.
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06 Apr 2015 08:03 AM
Yes it's a great idea though, In general it is a good thing to recycle materials that otherwise have no further use for their intended purpose, and this is true here. As for whether one can make a comfortable house out of these metal boxes, the biggest question is: insulation...it is essential, but there are many ways to insulate these containers, so this is not a big concern. Another concern that many people would have is whether a metal box would have adverse health effects because of EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies) generation or propagation. Some people are sensitive to these while others are not.
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06 Apr 2015 09:21 AM
A metal box would block all the external EMF - so healthier (if EMF sensitivity actually exists). But in most cases, the greenest use for an old shipping container is for it to be melted down and made into a new one.
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07 Apr 2015 12:22 AM
Yes you can build with shipping containers but should you? I have done it before and would not reccommend it. A pole building is what you want.
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07 Apr 2015 09:20 AM
They can be quick, secure, airtight and movable. But probably not inexpensive on a $/sq ft basis.
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07 Jul 2017 07:36 AM
Yes sure
DilettanteUser is Offline
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12 Jul 2017 04:11 PM
Some of this may depend on the grade of container.

Just looking at local Chicago prices (yours may vary), 12x40' and 4x20' (the 20's are actually more expensive), you're looking at (before tax and delivery):

Wind&WaterTight: $27,000
CWO (Cargo Worthy) NextOffStack (Random Colors): $31,000
CWO Red/Brown/Magenta or CWO Blue (They make some effort to get color-matching containers.): $36,000
Refurbished (Beige): $75,000
One-Trip: $84,000

Note: I have not included the option for 40' "High Cube" (9'6") containers as you normally don't see 20' containers in high-cube format.
However, there IS an option for 45' High Cubes if you just want to eschew the 20's. This would leave you with a 135' long building with roughly 20' high walls.
WWT*12: $36,000
CWO (Reds): $44,000


The One-Trip and Refurbs are pretty much good to go off the truck. They have a few dents and dings. C'est la vie. They're shipping containers.
The CWOs are likely to need some touch-up painting if you weren't planning to paint them anyhow. These will be a bit more beat up.
The WWTs are usually the most beat up. And they'll generally require at least a pressure wash and some rust cleanup and a repaint.



Just for price comparison, a pole barn kit from Menards will run you about $41,000 before tax, etc.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/60x126PoleBarn

One side-benefit of going with containers, would be that you'd likely realize additional storage space over a standard pole barn. As you'd have four 8' (or 9'6") high "tunnels" where smaller equipment could be stowed.
Additionally, depending on the vendor, some of them do mods on the containers for additional fees (like adding doors, roll-up doors, vents, etc).

The site I'm using for pricing is: https://westerncontainersales.com
It's not the only place out there. So shop around.

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12 Jul 2017 04:56 PM
Posted By Dilettante on 12 Jul 2017 04:11 PM
Some of this may depend on the grade of container.

Just looking at local Chicago prices (yours may vary), 12x40' and 4x20' (the 20's are actually more expensive), you're looking at (before tax and delivery):

Wind&WaterTight: $27,000
CWO (Cargo Worthy) NextOffStack (Random Colors): $31,000
CWO Red/Brown/Magenta or CWO Blue (They make some effort to get color-matching containers.): $36,000
Refurbished (Beige): $75,000
One-Trip: $84,000

Note: I have not included the option for 40' "High Cube" (9'6") containers as you normally don't see 20' containers in high-cube format.
However, there IS an option for 45' High Cubes if you just want to eschew the 20's. This would leave you with a 135' long building with roughly 20' high walls.
WWT*12: $36,000
CWO (Reds): $44,000


The One-Trip and Refurbs are pretty much good to go off the truck. They have a few dents and dings. C'est la vie. They're shipping containers.
The CWOs are likely to need some touch-up painting if you weren't planning to paint them anyhow. These will be a bit more beat up.
The WWTs are usually the most beat up. And they'll generally require at least a pressure wash and some rust cleanup and a repaint.



Just for price comparison, a pole barn kit from Menards will run you about $41,000 before tax, etc.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/60x126PoleBarn

One side-benefit of going with containers, would be that you'd likely realize additional storage space over a standard pole barn. As you'd have four 8' (or 9'6") high "tunnels" where smaller equipment could be stowed.
Additionally, depending on the vendor, some of them do mods on the containers for additional fees (like adding doors, roll-up doors, vents, etc).

The site I'm using for pricing is: https://westerncontainersales.com
It's not the only place out there. So shop around.



not sure where you are getting those prices from
I recently bought a 20ft container for my church to use as storage , used but water tight .... $2,250.00 delivered and set on ground
Chris Kavala
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1-877-321-SIPS
arkie6User is Offline
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12 Jul 2017 11:36 PM
Yeah, those container prices quoted are ridiculous. Those prices are approximately 10x higher than my local area including delivery.
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13 Jul 2017 04:02 AM
Posted By cmkavala on 12 Jul 2017 04:56 PM
Posted By Dilettante on 12 Jul 2017 04:11 PM
Some of this may depend on the grade of container.

Just looking at local Chicago prices (yours may vary), 12x40' and 4x20' (the 20's are actually more expensive), you're looking at (before tax and delivery):

Wind&WaterTight: $27,000
CWO (Cargo Worthy) NextOffStack (Random Colors): $31,000
CWO Red/Brown/Magenta or CWO Blue (They make some effort to get color-matching containers.): $36,000
Refurbished (Beige): $75,000
One-Trip: $84,000

Note: I have not included the option for 40' "High Cube" (9'6") containers as you normally don't see 20' containers in high-cube format.
However, there IS an option for 45' High Cubes if you just want to eschew the 20's. This would leave you with a 135' long building with roughly 20' high walls.
WWT*12: $36,000
CWO (Reds): $44,000


The One-Trip and Refurbs are pretty much good to go off the truck. They have a few dents and dings. C'est la vie. They're shipping containers.
The CWOs are likely to need some touch-up painting if you weren't planning to paint them anyhow. These will be a bit more beat up.
The WWTs are usually the most beat up. And they'll generally require at least a pressure wash and some rust cleanup and a repaint.



Just for price comparison, a pole barn kit from Menards will run you about $41,000 before tax, etc.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/60x126PoleBarn

One side-benefit of going with containers, would be that you'd likely realize additional storage space over a standard pole barn. As you'd have four 8' (or 9'6") high "tunnels" where smaller equipment could be stowed.
Additionally, depending on the vendor, some of them do mods on the containers for additional fees (like adding doors, roll-up doors, vents, etc).

The site I'm using for pricing is: https://westerncontainersales.com
It's not the only place out there. So shop around.



not sure where you are getting those prices from
I recently bought a 20ft container for my church to use as storage , used but water tight .... $2,250.00 delivered and set on ground

See above, I already put the info into the original post.

And I wasn't quoting a single 8x20 price.  I was quoting for what he was planning.  Two "walls" 2 courses high of 3x40 + 1x20.  That's 12x40 + 4x20 total or 12x45.
What I DID fail to include was the possibility of volume discounts for buying 12-16 containers simultaneously.

Also, a lot of it depends on grading.

A standard 20' WWT container from these guys runs $1790.  If you just want a water tight container, this is essentially what you'd have bought.
A random CWO 20' runs $2090
A color-matching (red/brown/magenta or blue) CWO 20' runs $2390
A refurb 20' costs $3590
A One-Trip 20' costs $3890 (these are essentially brand new containers).


40's run
WWT: $1590
CWO Random: $1890
CWO Color-match: $2190
Refurb: $4990
One-Trip: $5690

So, as I said, if you're sticking with CWO and under, it's actually CHEAPER to stick with all 40's than mix 40's and 20's.

40' High Cubes:

WWT: $2990
CWO Random: $1990
CWO Color-match: $2290
Refurb: $5290
One-Trip: $5990


45' High Cubes

WWT: $2990
CWO (Red/Brown/Magenta): $3590

Mostly I just rounded up to the next-nearest $1000 increment as partial coverage for tax/delivery.




Posted By arkie6 on 12 Jul 2017 11:36 PM
Yeah, those container prices quoted are ridiculous. Those prices are approximately 10x higher than my local area including delivery.

See above.  Those prices aren't ridiculous for 12-16 containers total, which is what was quoted by the OP as needed. 

I also DID say

Look at my breakdown of individual prices for containers (rather than my original project quote).  Now if you're going to tell me that you're getting 40' - 45' shipping containers for $150-500 (SHIPPED) a pop, I wanna know where you live.  Because I'll be down there to put an order in for a couple dozen of them within 24 hours.
DilettanteUser is Offline
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13 Jul 2017 04:14 AM
Also one thing I neglected to mention.
Offsetting seams actually isn't "ideal" due to how a container supports it's weight (in the corners).
The roof itself is only really meant to:
A) Keep the weather out
B) Support up to a 200kg load over an area of 300x600mm (~2 square feet)

This video gives some guidelines for stacking unmodified containers.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ContainerHomeInfo/Tutorial-13.mp4

Note that I said UN-modified.
With structural engineering added in, these "rules" no longer apply.
cmkavalaUser is Offline
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13 Jul 2017 11:43 AM
Posted By Dilettante on 13 Jul 2017 04:02 AM
Posted By cmkavala on 12 Jul 2017 04:56 PM
Posted By Dilettante on 12 Jul 2017 04:11 PM
Some of this may depend on the grade of container.

Just looking at local Chicago prices (yours may vary), 12x40' and 4x20' (the 20's are actually more expensive), you're looking at (before tax and delivery):

Wind&WaterTight: $27,000
CWO (Cargo Worthy) NextOffStack (Random Colors): $31,000
CWO Red/Brown/Magenta or CWO Blue (They make some effort to get color-matching containers.): $36,000
Refurbished (Beige): $75,000
One-Trip: $84,000

Note: I have not included the option for 40' "High Cube" (9'6") containers as you normally don't see 20' containers in high-cube format.
However, there IS an option for 45' High Cubes if you just want to eschew the 20's. This would leave you with a 135' long building with roughly 20' high walls.
WWT*12: $36,000
CWO (Reds): $44,000


The One-Trip and Refurbs are pretty much good to go off the truck. They have a few dents and dings. C'est la vie. They're shipping containers.
The CWOs are likely to need some touch-up painting if you weren't planning to paint them anyhow. These will be a bit more beat up.
The WWTs are usually the most beat up. And they'll generally require at least a pressure wash and some rust cleanup and a repaint.



Just for price comparison, a pole barn kit from Menards will run you about $41,000 before tax, etc.
Link: http://tinyurl.com/60x126PoleBarn

One side-benefit of going with containers, would be that you'd likely realize additional storage space over a standard pole barn. As you'd have four 8' (or 9'6") high "tunnels" where smaller equipment could be stowed.
Additionally, depending on the vendor, some of them do mods on the containers for additional fees (like adding doors, roll-up doors, vents, etc).

The site I'm using for pricing is: https://westerncontainersales.com
It's not the only place out there. So shop around.



not sure where you are getting those prices from
I recently bought a 20ft container for my church to use as storage , used but water tight .... $2,250.00 delivered and set on ground

See above, I already put the info into the original post.

And I wasn't quoting a single 8x20 price.  I was quoting for what he was planning.  Two "walls" 2 courses high of 3x40 + 1x20.  That's 12x40 + 4x20 total or 12x45.
What I DID fail to include was the possibility of volume discounts for buying 12-16 containers simultaneously.

Also, a lot of it depends on grading.

A standard 20' WWT container from these guys runs $1790.  If you just want a water tight container, this is essentially what you'd have bought.
A random CWO 20' runs $2090
A color-matching (red/brown/magenta or blue) CWO 20' runs $2390
A refurb 20' costs $3590
A One-Trip 20' costs $3890 (these are essentially brand new containers).


40's run
WWT: $1590
CWO Random: $1890
CWO Color-match: $2190
Refurb: $4990
One-Trip: $5690

So, as I said, if you're sticking with CWO and under, it's actually CHEAPER to stick with all 40's than mix 40's and 20's.

40' High Cubes:

WWT: $2990
CWO Random: $1990
CWO Color-match: $2290
Refurb: $5290
One-Trip: $5990


45' High Cubes

WWT: $2990
CWO (Red/Brown/Magenta): $3590

Mostly I just rounded up to the next-nearest $1000 increment as partial coverage for tax/delivery.




Posted By arkie6 on 12 Jul 2017 11:36 PM
Yeah, those container prices quoted are ridiculous. Those prices are approximately 10x higher than my local area including delivery.

See above.  Those prices aren't ridiculous for 12-16 containers total, which is what was quoted by the OP as needed. 

I also DID say

Look at my breakdown of individual prices for containers (rather than my original project quote).  Now if you're going to tell me that you're getting 40' - 45' shipping containers for $150-500 (SHIPPED) a pop, I wanna know where you live.  Because I'll be down there to put an order in for a couple dozen of them within 24 hours.



I just did it took me two minutes to find this in Chicago, For Sale:
New & Used Portable Storage Cargo Containers
10' Standard Container -- New Only: $2600
20' Standard Container -- Used: $1450, New: $2800
20' High Cube Container --
New Only: $2950
40' Standard Container -- Used: $1550, New: $4350
40' High Cube Container -- Used: $1650,
New: $4550 45' High Cube Container -- Used Only: $1700
53' High Cube Container (8'6" wide) -- Used Only: $2200
Contact Information: MCS Moveable Container Storage John Cirrintano 708-738-3638 Director of Leasing and Sales
Chris Kavala
[email protected]
1-877-321-SIPS
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