There are so many different container conversions that have been built over the years that it is easy to get sidetracked and forget to look at the basics. As with any conversion, good planning is essential and if you are able to work out exactly what you want and draw some upsort of plan that is good place to start. Here are some important points to bear in mind when drawing up your plan:-
- No matter how large your conversion is eventually going to be it is important to remember the basic sizes of shipping container – either the 20ft or 40ft lengths are the most commonly used.
- Remember that sides can be cut out of containers so that they can be combined on site to give more width – though always in 8ft increases.
- Shipping Containers can also be stacked on top of one another to give additional height though it is important to line up the iso blocks on the cornersfor strength. 20ft containers should therefore sit only on 20ft containers – don’t think you can add a 40ft on one level with two 20fts on top for example and still keep integral strength.
- If you are considering having heating or air conditioning do think about having the container lined and insulated
- Windows can be double glazed and you should always consider having metal shutters for security. The average sized window is 3ftx3ft.
- Whilst second hand shipping containers provide a greener solution if you are considering a multi-container conversion it could be as well to go for new/once used containers so that the floor levels can match up as the containers will all have been built to the same specification.
- Single container conversions can be divided into sections. A lot of office conversions for example consist of 50% office and 50% storage space.
- Additional doors can be put into the container. The most common is a personnel door but double container doors and even complete side access doors are possibilities.
- Electricity can be supplied not only by the traditional method of connecting to the National Grid but by alternative sources such as solar panels, wind turbines etc.
- Plumbing can be added from simple sinks to disabled lavatories but remember to consider where the pipes need to go in relation to your site.
You do not need to provide any more than a basic sketch or layout of your conversion – although wonderful to receive a CAD drawing a basic plan is often sufficient to get things started. Inevitably shipping container conversionsevolve as the planning process is discussed and developed. A reputable company should always give you a quotation and will be quite happy to break down the different costings so that you can choose and develop your conversions as you progress.