Having more space in your home is a dream for almost anyone but adding on to a home is expensive and unrealistic for most people. However, a new surge in repurposing shipping containers to be used for a garden room or shed is not only cost-effective but environmentally friendly.
Benefits of Shipping Container Gardens
- Shipping container rooms are completely customizable for your garden space- you can hire a welder and/or a contractor to add doors, windows, HVAC and electricity.
- Shipping containers are extremely safe and secure. They also offer protection from harsh weather and wildlife which makes them a perfect application for garden sheds.
- Shipping containers are more affordable and durable than any wood structure that you can build or buy. They are constructed of extremely durable, 14-gauge Corten steel which lasts many years without much maintenance. Corten steel is rust-resistant and lasts on average around 25 years.
- Shipping containers are portable and can be moved around without causing structural damage.
- Shipping containers are good for the environment if you buy a used one and recycle it. Purchasing a used container gives it a new life and prevents it from being used for scrap metal.
What to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Garden or Shed
Do you need planning permission or permits from your village?
Shipping containers are large, and some areas do not allow you to have them on your property. It is important to research what the regulations are in your area to see whether you are legally allowed to add a shipping container to your property. Keep in mind, since shipping containers (also known as conex boxes) are portable, in most cases you do not need a permit.
How much do shipping containers cost?
A new shipping container typically ranges between $3,000-$10,000 depending on the location, type, and size of container. Used shipping containers are more affordable and range from $1,800 – $3,500. Prices are certainly lower when the supply chain is not a problem as it has been since the pandemic started.
What sizes do shipping containers come in?
Most commonly, containers are around 10-feet, 20-feet, or 40-feet long, each at around 8 feet wide. The 40 ft. long container height varies between standard height (8 feet 6 inches) and “high cube” (9 feet 6 inches), which are often used to increase storage space or create better air circulation.
Do you have enough space for delivery?
The space needed for delivery will depend on who you are purchasing the container from. Container Sales Group, for example, uses a tilt body (roll-off truck), meaning the container slides off the back of the truck as it pulls forward. We can also deliver longer distances with a flatbed truck requiring customers to lift off containers at the time of arrival.
It is important to consider how much distance you will need to have at your property to confirm if you have enough room for delivery. Measuring ahead of time will help you decide on container size as well as ensure you have a smooth delivery.
Here is a general rule of thumb:
• 20 ft. containers need 50 ft. straight-line space
• 40 ft. containers need 150 ft. of straight-line space
• 16 ft. Height Clearance, and 12 ft. Width- No wires or trees
Do you have the right space for long-term usage?
Finally, determining where you are going to put the container is very important not only to the delivery space as mentioned above but for the long-term maintenance of your container. Your ground must be solid, level, and have a well-drained surface or asphalt, gravel, or even a concrete pad depending on your budget. Keep in mind that the ground needs to be level, especially for a 40 ft. container for the doors to open and close properly. Some people place railroad ties or wood blocks under each of the 4 corner posts of the container for additional support.