While the premise of building and designing your new home from shipping containers can be at first exciting it wont take long until the task sinks in and you ask yourself – just where do I start?

As with any home building task it should be viewed as a project – a series of steps that you need to follow in the right sequence to deliver you the desired result. It’ll take some planning, you’ll need to estimate your costs and you’ll probably need some resources to help you with the build – looking to get started? Consider the following…
1/ Plan your home – Get a basic concept of how you want your home – how big will it be, how many containers will you need, consider windows, doors, costs for kitting out (floors, plumbing electrics etc) While it may sound obvious get this documented – get a plan constructed that you can then utilize and share with any resources that you bring into your project.

2/Find your shipping container – will you buy a used container – a new container or perhaps you’ll look for something that comes already partially kitted out – Weigh up the options and consider which suits you best.

3/ Think about how you’ll transport your container – you’ll need to consider two aspects to this
a) How will you ship it from the seller
b) How will you position it when it reaches your build site

You may well find that your seller will help you. But consider that you may need equipment/vehicles (in particular a crane to help you when it gets to your site). Consider the logistics of this (especially if your in a built up area) There may well be safety and other legislative regulations within your area that you’ll need to comply with – make sure you check these out well in advance. If the seller handles this element for you consider the cost of this and ensure you have it included in your budget.

4/ Clean it up! If you’ve purchased a used container – make sure you understand what state its in – what its carried and if it needs any preparation – in particular find out it has contained anything hazardous to humans – if it has you’ll need to get it cleaned and treated before it’s you can inhabit it – best to use an expert service for this – as its not a step to guess!

5/ Build your foundations. As with any home you’ll need to ensure that you have suitable foundations- check out this great video from containerhome.net which takes you through establishing foundations for your project.

6/ Cut to shape!!! – Inline with your plan cut out the basic windows, doors and fit equipment accordingly. Insulate the interior – fit plumbing and electrics. You may also wish to carry out some landscaping of the land to taste.

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