Shipping container homes have reached a new level of popularity in recent years. The large steel boxes, which are designed to weather long distances on rough seas, make strong and versatile building modules for residential dwellings. Their popularity lies in their strength, their affordability and their status as a renewable, recyclable and eco-friendly material. They also allow for much faster construction times than traditional building techniques.
Shipping container homes range from small, single-level dwellings that use a small number of containers, to expansive homes using multiple containers with two or more levels. If you're planning to build a shipping container home, it's a little trickier than a smaller, single-story structure. Here are two professionals you'll need to engage with to help create a striking and sturdy home.
1. A structural engineer
Structural engineers specialise in creating strong support structures for buildings. Your shipping containers will form the basis for your home's structure. However, when you're working with multiple containers on multiple levels, you'll need a structural engineer to make sure that the configuration is cohesive and safe.
While shipping containers are inherently strong and self-supporting, these qualities can be compromised somewhat when portions of the steel are removed to create openings for doors and windows. Your structural engineer can identify where and how much extra support is required. Cantilevering the containers also presents a situation where you'll need a structural engineer to ensure the cantilevered container is structurally sound.
2. A steel fabricator
Although you may need help from other contractors once your shipping container is in place, a steel fabricator will be the initial and most vital contributor to the construction. Steel fabricators create all manner of steel components for the construction industry, and they're also experts in working with steel on-site.
Your steel fabricator will be the one to slice out sections of steel for windows, doors and ventilation using specialised tools. They will also manufacture and install any steel reinforcements needed to mitigate the compromised strength of your containers once pieces are removed. Steel fabricators will also tie the individual containers together using appropriate welding techniques.
With the help of your structural engineer and steel fabricator, your shipping container home will be strong, safe and ready for the next step in the building process. Once this step is complete, you can begin to transform the steel skeleton into a comfortable, modern and beautiful home.