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Flamin'Panda

Shipping Container Homes

Whilst still living on the boat and dreaming of being land based, I started thinking about a recycled house... the ultimate, to my mind is the shipping container(s). Throughout the world they are used for many purposes. No longer are they considered a third world alternative, but are now a viable proposition.

I wont paste lots of links, just google shipping container homes to see what fantastic designs are out there.

Has anyone else here had experience of this, or have ideas or thoughts.

Of course we have to get this past the planning, but have a fantastic architect who manages to somehow get his quirky designs approved.
mousjoos

A friend of mine lives on a narrow boat; his neighbour lives in a container facing the canal & covered at the back with earth, so from that side it looks like a big lump

Very cosy in Winter, by all accounts & cheap to run

Nice idea I think
Flamin'Panda

Any problems with corrosion on the back end of the container with the earth?

Our thoughts now are to put a patio on the roof(s), of course welded railings etc... The views would be spectacular. What's on the top of his container?
Nick

Mine (not a home) was very prone to condensation. Make sure your architect prepares for that.
mousjoos

As far as I know, it has a membrane to prevent direct contact; as for condensation, I have no idea...it's almost certainly a bit "low tech" knowing what he's like

I've only ever seen photos
Flamin'Panda

Good point, thank you... All and any info is gratefully received... One day we will have a house on our land, let's see if it's a container... Till then we will continue to live in our rented stone shack... this has more condensation than anything I have ever known, I go outside in the rain to get dry! Mad
Flamin'Panda

A friend of mine lives on a narrow boat; his neighbour lives in a container facing the canal & covered at the back with earth, so from that side it looks like a big lump

Very cosy in Winter, by all accounts & cheap to run

Nice idea I think


Mousjoos, next time you are passing by your friend's narrow boat, should you happen to notice anything interesting about his neighbour's container I would love to know. Smile
mousjoos

Good point, thank you... All and any info is gratefully received... One day we will have a house on our land, let's see if it's a container... Till then we will continue to live in our rented stone shack... this has more condensation than anything I have ever known, I go outside in the rain to get dry! Mad


but I'm sure the views & the cheap wine make it all worth while
Flamin'Panda

Ah yes, the views and the cheap plonk! I forget how fortunate I am... It's still blooming damp though Mad Mistress Rose

You can get containers that have cladding and I would assume insulation between the cladding and the wall. The one I have seen seemed quite good. Funny I was having a sort of dream about a shipping container house early this morning-no idea why, as it isn't something I would ever really consider. Flamin'Panda

Yup, internal cladding/insulation, thus allowing for any kind of wall coating.

I was (in one of my previous lives) a construction project manager, and never got as excited about a house as I am about the container home... but I have yet to start dreaming about them! Confused
Flamin'Panda

http://inhabitat.com/six-oaks-is-a-modern-yet-rustic-shipping-container-home-in-california/

This is what we are aiming for, what do you think? Very Happy

http://containerhomebooks.com/
Piggyphile

Interesting and a bit modern for my tastes but if you like modern then great.
My worries would be condensation as has already been said and longevity of the exterior, will it deteriorate in 20 or 30 years?
Will heat warp it and rain rust it? It would certainly be a great project and fun to design.
Flamin'Panda

Nope the heat wont warp it. But yes, lots to think about regarding the condensation. Designs don't have to be modern, there are some great ideas out there that are more traditional. It's just to my mind a fantastic use of something that is lying around, that has already used its carbon footprint, and is a challenge. As with any steel (boats for example), a good chipping hammer, wire brush and paint are the all that is needed to maintain. And to be honest, as long as they last 40 years... I will either be pushing up the daisies or too senile to care! Razz gz

I know Emyr has been considering this...you could pm him as he has been a bit too busy to lurk here Nick

They're fairly robust, they spend their lives on the ocean. Flamin'Panda

They're fairly robust, they spend their lives on the ocean.

A bit like us, and like us, most of them are ragged around the edges! But there are a few years in us yet... Twisted Evil
Flamin'Panda

I know Emyr has been considering this...you could pm him as he has been a bit too busy to lurk here

Thanks for that, I will... Very Happy

Just PM'd him..... hope I don't interrupt what ever he is busy with.
RichardW

On the insulation front, I would use external wall insulation. That way you are not loosing valuable interior space.

You could even put it on an insulated slab.
Nick

But then you don't have nice walls to decorate. I'd be tempted to just add another container, assuming space is no issue. They're dirt cheap (as buildings go). Flamin'Panda

space is no issue, and yes, the cost issue is high up there in my thoughts... RichardW

But then you don't have nice walls to decorate.

You can still board the insides but instead of loosing 200mm or more you can board direct onto the container. Loosing 400mm from the 8 foot width leaves you with a room about 2m wide. Thats tight for more types of room.

External insulation will also stop any thermal bridges & increase thermal mass. Plus will also give you an external waterproof skin so the metal of the container is protected from further deterioration. You will get a more pleasing to the eye external finish.
vegplot

Go for it. I bought a new one as a workshop. Can't beat the value. dpack

i recon with 2 and a digger you could build a decent low profile house ,semi buried in a hill for instance, for under 15k with clever choice of sundries and fittings

useful things
Flamin'Panda

Yup, you probably could. We have serious rainfall here... Using earth as a thermal mass just wouldn't work, it would wash away. Our land is quite elevated, it is another tick as far as containers are concerned, they don't blow away.... But still in the initial thinking stage, so all suggestions really appreciated. Currently Mr flaminPanda is designing a heat exchanger.... at least it keeps him happy and out of trouble! Smile

Our first thought when we bought the land was to put up a pretty bog standard small bungalow... however, we are rapidly going over to the container idea...
bobs

these look very good http://www.homedit.com/22-most-beautiful-houses-made-from-shipping-containers/ dpack

if rain and wind are the main problems insulate inside perhaps would be better ,the outside is built for typhoons Laughing Hairyloon

Currently Mr flaminPanda is designing a heat exchanger...
Have I told you my idea about turning an old freezer into an air source heat pump?
Flamin'Panda

No, do tell.... Flamin'Panda

these look very good http://www.homedit.com/22-most-beautiful-houses-made-from-shipping-containers/

Yup, we are taking inspiration from a lot of stuff like this. We have views over montains, fields and the ocean. It really is very exciting what can be done at such low cost to not just us, but the environment as well... Very Happy
Lloyd

The outside could be first prepped and sprayed with the same stuff they used on the Forth road bridge which is now not scheduled to be painted for the next 40 years. A polymerised coating which bonds into the metal, is breathable yet waterproof. IIRC it also has insulating properties as it contains tiny ceramic spheres.
Then just add insulation to exterior and possibly interior. Might need a more modern and forward thinking architect though.
Hairyloon

No, do tell....
A freezer is a heat pump: it pumps heat out of the box.
The idea is to rip the workings out of a freezer, put the cold end outside and the hot end inside...

I've got as far as ripping the workings out; the difficulty now is that it is a rigid steel pipe which is entirely the wrong shape and I have not yet decided how to bend it to another shape without it kinking. Confused
Flamin'Panda

We did have a fridge in our rented stone shack, it was the worst fridge in the world, but a wonderful dehumidifier... It's a dead fridge now as the door rusted away at the bottom and fell off! It now resides in the shed with the wood burning stove that never heated up, but belched smoke out everywhere, and the gas oven that also has a falling off door... oh what fun Rolling Eyes Flamin'Panda

Has anyone had any experience with solar light tubes? Question Hairyloon

Has anyone had any experience with solar light tubes? Question
If you mean sun-pipes, they are surprisingly good.
Flamin'Panda

Yup, sun pipes... At least someone knew what I meant! Have you had any experience with them? Hairyloon

Yup, sun pipes... At least someone knew what I meant! Have you had any experience with them?
We installed a couple in a house we were building and we were quite impressed. Then we realised that the mirrors still had a protective film on them that was cutting out some of the light...
vegplot

They were built into the corridors of Intec, the premises we recently moved out of and were very effective at lighting areas where natural light wasn't available. Getting people not to turn on the lights was problematic though - I was chastised by the building management for turning them off. Flamin'Panda

Yup, sun pipes... At least someone knew what I meant! Have you had any experience with them?
We installed a couple in a house we were building and we were quite impressed. Then we realised that the mirrors still had a protective film on them that was cutting out some of the light...

So, afterwards, did you need sunglasses?
Hairyloon

So, afterwards, did you need sunglasses?
No, this was in England.
oldish chris

This idea about living in a metal box sounds brill. Its a wonder than no-one has thought of it before:

Flamin'Panda

This idea about living in a metal box sounds brill. Its a wonder than no-one has thought of it before:



Lick of paint and it'll be fine... Twisted Evil
mousjoos

Has anyone had any experience with solar light tubes? Question

I've fitted a few made by Velux & they are excellent, IMO

Pipes can be rigid or flexi

I like them
Flamin'Panda

Has anyone had any experience with solar light tubes? Question

I've fitted a few made by Velux & they are excellent, IMO

Pipes can be rigid or flexi

I like them

I'll take a look at velux... thanks...
dpack

as good as a bulb and a lot cheaper more reliable to run

bottle version
dpack

might need a bit of thought re waterproofing ,sizes etc but a neat idea RichardW

If your going single story then do you really need a light tube? Velux or a skylight would be more suitable.

If going for multiple stories can you afford to loose the space in the upper levels to get the light to the lower ones?
Flamin'Panda

The light tube is for another project in another container at the end of the land.... The House containers will be fully LED lights... no need for clever free lighting ideas... Flamin'Panda

Mr Panda has just informed grandma panda of our intentions of living in a couple of old shipping containers! I didn't know that grandma pandas knew such language! Mistress Rose

The sort of things they get upset about. I know my father was a bit huruphy about the work we had to do on our first house, but then my mother reminded him of the work they had to do on the first place they lived, and that was just sharing part of a house owned by a friend. Flamin'Panda

Mr Panda is off to buy our first shipping container next week... sort of a trial run. This one is to be turned into a small house for us whilst we do the work on the land and think about building/creating the main house... For some strange reason I am getting quite excited about living in a shipping container. Very Happy Lloyd

Sounds like an exciting project. Are you able to post photo's?

How will this project dovetail with the plans to sail away for prolonged periods?
Flamin'Panda

Sounds like an exciting project. Are you able to post photo's?

How will this project dovetail with the plans to sail away for prolonged periods?

I dare say that as we go along we will take a pic or two and will try to post them. Having lived on the boat for years, we decided last year that we should go back to land lubbing and become as self sufficient as possible... Hopefully we will pop back over to the Caribbean for the winter this year (I am seriously missing the sun). So, one of the great things about the container idea is the security issue, it's a great big steel box... Over the summer we will clear the ground and hopefully get the raised beds in. Knock down the existing building. For the time being we will have to live on our boat, as our land is around the other side of the island, we do have a car, but can't get it back over to the island that our land/boat is on until may as that is when the first ferry is!! So, next week we will move back over to that island, live on our boat, hitch to our land daily, start the work, put the first container in etc... Lots to do, and I thought sailing could be hard work (says she who normally has a g&t in hand)... The one thing we had forgotten about was paper work... land lubbing has lots of it, and regulations, the need for solicitors etc... normally the only things we have to deal with are customs and immigration.

Our first container (the one we will use whilst we work out the main project) will be off grid, though we do have electric on site, and are considering going off grid for the whole thing, we'll see. Anyway, will keep you posted... Very Happy
Miss Anni Kist

First time on this site, and found what I was looking for.Isn't this just great, I really hope to see those photos. Shan

I have dealt with condensation in a good many self storage container applications. The best route has been 50 mm of spray on foam insulation. Beyond that it becomes an issue of diminishing returns. lorrayne

Just wondering how the container is shaping up ?
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