Convert a shipping container into a studio apartment  

Shipping containers are valuable structures that you can use for any place and for any purpose, not to mention that they are a good example of architectural recycling. In terms of home building material, transportation boxes are environmentally-friendly and fairly inexpensive. They are certainly stronger than traditional wood frames being mould proof, termite proof and fire proof. While this does not mean that they are perfect, you can manage to do a lot with them. For instance, you can transform a transportation box into a living space, such as a studio apartment. If you plant to undertake this project, then you need to find shipping containers for sale and learn what you should do.

Dimensions and costs

There is a range of different sizes for transportation boxes, but the most popular choices for shipping container homes are the following ones: 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall; 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall. These two alone are more than suitable for a tiny house or in our case a studio apartment. In terms of costs, you should expect to find cargos between $1,400 and $2,800. However, you will find that there is a growing number of manufacturers that design prefabricated shipping containers for houses that are a lot more expensive.

House plans

The good news is that shipping container homes house plans are relatively small in size. They are realized in virtually not time and the plans are designed so as to last. The house plans represent storage containers that are designed to hold up to 57,000 pounds or more. It is needless to mention that there is a great amount of preparation that goes into planning the project, the actual construction phase and tunning the transportation box into a liveable space. The house plans broadly includes details like foundation, cutting the frames for the doors and windows, insulating, adding a roof, installing utilities and, last but not least, flooring.

The foundation

For the foundation you will have to choose between traditional concrete block, a crawl space and a basement. Your decision will largely depend on the overall home plans and the design, the soil type. You will also have to take into consideration factors like the climate, type of bedrock, the presence of radon and the cost of the cargo. The most efficient foundation, and the cheapest one, is the concrete block. The container is generally faceted to the corners and embedded with steel enforcements.

Floors and utilities

Shipping container homes are usually furnished with plywood floors. The first step in obtaining a studio apartment is refinishing the floors. If you go for laminate plywood floors, it is enough to sand and add a couple of coats of varathane. You can also replace the existing floor or cover the existing one with industrial epoxy or polyurethane paint. Plumbing will be restricted to one or two locations. Gas can go to the water heater, a vented fireplace and the kitchen. The wire will go behind the dry wall and below the flooring.

Installing the roof

The main advantage of the shipping container home is that it already has roof and walls. Nonetheless, if the tank was initially designed for storage purposes, the roof may not be the ideal solution because water may build up and serious corrosion will result. Installing a conventional roof will take you only a couple of hours and all you need are metal straps, clamps and welding. A conventional roof ensures better water run-off and provides additional shade for the doors and windows.