shipping container

Image by: Kenneth Dellaquila

Shipping containers, once considered a glib eyesore that fill shipping yards around the globe, are quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought after building resources. Today, people no longer see rusting away waste – they see golden potential for low-cost building supplies which can also take a bite out of this generation’s carbon footprint.

And there aren’t many companies benefitting from this change of perspective other than ship yards themselves. Major manufacturers want to keep building products for larger homes, energy companies want to keep selling more energy to heat or cool larger homes, and the rest of the world’s businesses want to sell you things to place inside larger homes.

Let’s face it, shipping containers are the under-dog – so we thought we’d take a moment to inspire you and show you the potential and we hope that you can take it from there.

Here are some of the ways which anyone can repurpose a used port container, pure and simple. Do your part. Resist cutting down more trees because a container can do a lot more than you think.

It’s the same argument for adoption; why start from scratch when there are so many used shipping containers begging to be plucked from their lots. Not to mention a few billion trees around the world begging to remain where they are – firmly rooted as the diminishing lung of our planet.

5 Creative Ways to Use a Shipping Container

  1. Family Home

Obviously this was the first on our list – all available shelters and used shipping containers make excellent building materials. Just a small piece of advice; choose the materials you want to repurpose carefully. Shipping containers have past lives that may include harmful toxins being splashed around on rough seas, and most wood used inside them (or for warehouse palettes, another popular recyclable) contain pesticides to kill common pests and termites.

  1. Office

Today, everyone is in limbo wondering if the market will stay put or slide in either direction. People simply do not know if it’s time to grow and/or upgrade or not, so many homes and businesses are turning to new or used shipping containers and shelters for additions. Shipping container shelters used as offices can be built on-site or prefabricate to include everything – even the desks. You’ll have to supply the work and the coffee though.

  1. Car Port

Whether you’re protecting your vehicular assets from salt, sun, or sleet, shipping container shelter car ports are ideal no matter your geography. They can be built to any dimension, so feel free to build in that work bench and tool area, too.

  1. Dream Home Additions

The low cost of entry when it comes to acquiring a new or used shipping container makes them very attractive. So much in fact that people are inventing ways to use them around the house.

Some great “dream home” additions using shipping container shelters include:

  • Outdoor wraparound deck
  • Private hot tub enclosed area (open roof)
  • Standalone workshop
  1. Cabin in the Woods

Cabins are also a primary use for shipping containers these days as more and more users test the mettle of their metal. Most projects I encounter are for cabin with emphasis on “if this trial run goes well…” – and most do.

At the end of the day, custom containers can be great for all sorts of home and business functions from refrigeration to storage, so let your needs dictate your solution. You have more choices with new or used shipping container shelters.

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