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Shipping container dream home...


By CaptainShuddup   Follow   Tue, 4 Dec 2012, 7:53am   1,088 views   25 comments
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I keep seeing these articles popping up on CNN from time to time.
They seem to be the same type of people that thinks dumpster diving for dinner is a viable solution. Hell there's even been a few stories of people that made houses out of dumpsters. Let's not forget the Japanese 170 sqft living space with fold away full kitchen, hideaway beds, stow away couches, and moveable walls.
Personally I think I would go for the tree house fort ala Swiss Family Robinson's. What's your take on these dinky make shift, make do living arrangements? Personally I'd rather just rent and wait it out, economic times like these have got to be cyclic, this can't go on for ever. Though this one is getting a good run.

I wonder how many of these people will still like their virtual homes, when the market and economy improves? Will it still be their dream home then?

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  1. edvard2


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    1   8:39am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The best I've seen are from companies who will sell you a retired passenger jetliner as a house ( which is actually a cool idea)

  2. CaptainShuddup


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    2   8:44am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    I could go for something like this. But it would be impossible in South Florida, where you hit water 3 feet under ground.

    http://www.woohome.com/architecture/earth-houses

    How in the hell do you form something like that for pouring concrete?

  3. YesYNot


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    3   8:46am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Some designs that utilize the strengths of the containers (usually designed by architects that work with them) are pretty cool. For the most part, building with these is not cheaper than 2x4s or 2x6s. As soon as you put in windows, you have to weld in steel frames and headers. Plus, you have to frame them out for insulation anyway.

    When they stack these & have mini apts, they might save a lot, b/c they don't have to insulate the middle walls, but sound would travel like a fart in a steel bathtub. So, you probably have to insulate anyway.

    These and the mini houses on a trailer always fail when land costs are accounted for. If the house is too expensive, it is the land it is sitting on & not the house that is expensive.

  4. CaptainShuddup


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    4   8:50am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Plus no room is no wider than 7'8”, that's tiny I don't care how good your decorator is, or what color you paint the walls. Plus it will be narrower when you factor in the framing and drywall.

  5. YesYNot


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    5   9:20am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The room width limitation is not really true.
    For example:
    http://www.quik-build.com/quikHouse/QH_basicDesign_image.htm

  6. edvard2


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    6   9:26am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The thing about these steel containers is that once done, you'd have what would basically amount of an indestructible house. They were designed to be stacked, shipped, and trucked all over the place. Try and do that with a house: You'd never get the thing off the ground before it crumbled away. If you can teach yourself how to weld ( It took me about 3 months) then you could save a lot of construction costs. I would simply weld the whole thing together. Possibly get a few of them and chop through the walls, allowing for more room. Scrap steel is also a lot cheaper than new stock, so if you found a good yard, that too would save a lot of dough. Only bad thing would be you'd have to stay on top of the paint. Otherwise your house will rust.

  7. bob2356


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    7   9:37am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    edvard2 says

    They were designed to be stacked, shipped, and trucked all over the place. Try and do that with a house: You'd never get the thing off the ground before it crumbled away

    A lot of house movers would be very surprised to learn that. I just moved a house this year. The movers picked it up, cut it in half, shipped it down the road, and tied it back together. No crumbling at all.

  8. mmmarvel


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    8   9:39am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    And if you're lucky, you can end up with something like this

  9. CaptainShuddup


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    9   9:44am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

    That place is missing a tub on a pole.

  10. FunTime


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    10   10:01am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    I really appreciate the reuse of existing materials. Always making new objects, when structurally sound objects exist doesn't make sense.

    I also like modern architecture, so they usually look cool. Living in San Francisco gets you used to some space limitations and works well in an area where you can comfortably be outside year-round.

  11. CaptainShuddup


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    11   10:03am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    John Bailo says

    Why would you live in a stacked shipping container when you can buy a house for $20,000 ?

    LOL that's the gist of the failed logic I take from these people as well.

  12. unstoppable


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    12   10:04am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Building with containors is very tempting to those of us with metal fabrication skills. Another advantage is that you can do allot of the work on a containors house in a secure shop with a roof and all your tools at hand. This is a good solution for building some off the grid compound. Why haul all your crap to a remote job site that doesn't have power and the nearest hardware store is 50 miles away. Better to do 80% the work where you have resources then truck it to the boonies.

  13. leo707


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    13   10:08am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    I like the idea of a shipping container home, and looked into it a while back.

    It was also discussed in this thread:
    http://patrick.net/forum/?p=1214135

    leo707 says

    Also, the don't have to be tiny. You can link several containers together to make much larger houses.

    I looked into it a while back and decided that building one was not for me. Aside from the obvious issues of living in a metal box the primary issues that killed it for me was that they are not actually cheaper than a traditional structure and may indeed be more expensive, because...

    They are not designed to be lived in so the flooring is soaked in insecticide and the paints that coat and preserve them out at sea can be toxic to people. Just prepping the box and disposing of the hazardous materials could drive up the cost into the "normal" range and beyond.

    Then you still have to mitigate temperature and condensation issues with excellent insulation and ventilation.

  14. leo707


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    14   10:11am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  
  15. leo707


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    15   10:15am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    CaptainShuddup says

    I could go for something like this. But it would be impossible in South Florida, where you hit water 3 feet under ground.

    Yeah, those look pretty cool. You may also be interested in an Earthship, but Florida is probably not the place for those either.

  16. CaptainShuddup


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    16   11:32am Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    leo707 says

    Shotcrete:

    But of course...

  17. everything


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    17   12:18pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Concrete only lasts about 100 years, often less, see all that metal they are encapsulating the concrete around.. they call it reinforced, which is bs, it rusts and blows the concrete out, eventually collapsing.

    Still, you can find concrete structures built hundreds to thousands of years ago, they used to build them to last.

    Now, it's all just junk.

  18. epitaph


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    18   1:03pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Reinforced concrete hasn't even been used in buildings for 100 years yet...

  19. FunTime


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    19   1:25pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    everything says

    Still, you can find concrete structures built hundreds to thousands of years ago, they used to build them to last.

    The Pantheon!

    New structures are built with specific plans in mind, though, right? Sure you can overbuild anything, but what's the point? When you overbuild, what amount of sheltered space did you provide? The Pantheon has concrete several feet thick!

  20. CaptainShuddup


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    20   3:12pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    epitaph says

    Reinforced concrete hasn't even been used in buildings for 100 years yet...

    Edited to say: There aren't many codos or hotels left on the strip of beach that runs from Halandale down to South Beach that were built in the 50's and 60's.

    There aren't many condos or hotels built in the 50's or 60's left.
    Most of them have been Demolished and replaced with new buildings. The biggest reason for that is, because the salt air is hell on the rebar and the balconies rusted out expanding thus causing the concrete to explode. Those buildings were less than 50 years old and they demolished them built new modern designs with more glass and flowing curves. They would have just gutted a lot of those buildings and remodeled them, if they thought that the walls and floors were worth it.

    Sure they were dated but I remember working in those buildings they were like a bunker fortress the lobby and ground floor. The walls on those levels were like 3 feet thick. They looked like they would last for ever. But the balconies on most floors had long fissures running through them from the rebar rusting and bursting through the concrete. The upper floors, the Walls had long cracks that ran the length of the rooms, where the prefabbed slabs met. I had a customer try to blame me for a long crack in a bedroom wall. This wasn't drywall the walls were prefabbed concrete slabs. The only way these walls could have cracked from stress that permeate through out the whole building. In fact I noticed it before I ever moved the first piece of furniture. I didn't mention it, because she lived there, it had to be common knowledge how could she not know about it? I was laying carpet not finishing walls.

    If all I knew about those buildings was, what I saw from the ground level. I would imagine those buildings were going to last for several centuries. But because I knew what the floors and walls looked like from putting tile or outdoor turf on the balconies.(Which is against code now)
    Some of those places would have collapsed in about another decade, two tops.

  21. epitaph


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    21   6:52pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Any building that the contractor cut corners on will fall apart much faster. This applies to all construction techniques including reinforced concrete. Look at the TWA terminal at JFK for an example of reinforced concrete done right. Right next to the ocean too.

  22. Mark D


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    22   6:54pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    They seem to be the same type of people that thinks dumpster diving for dinner is a viable solution

    so what? you don't think you are better than them do you?

  23. epitaph


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    23   7:13pm Tue 4 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Sorry if that sounded ignorant, I understand that they probably meant for that building to last much longer than it did.

  24. CaptainShuddup


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    24   6:32am Wed 5 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Mark D says

    CaptainShuddup says

    They seem to be the same type of people that thinks dumpster diving for dinner is a viable solution

    so what? you don't think you are better than them do you?

    Do I think I'm better than those hipster trendy dofuses, that could easily afforded a meal in the trendiest restaurant. But chose to dumpster dive for food, only for eleven minutes of fame on Youtube or inside edition or their own video on how clever they are cutting corners by dumpster diving. All of which only drew attention to the Grocery store management and the sheer waste of food that was going on, so they, do a better job now of destroying the waste food and locking the compactor so nobody can retrieve it.
    Yes I'm ten times better than those self serving fuck sticks. Now real people that really don't have any other alternative options have to do with out their only means of food.

    I'm better than those ass bags on my worst day.

  25. CaptainShuddup


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    25   7:16am Wed 5 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    epitaph says

    Any building that the contractor cut corners on will fall apart much faster. This applies to all construction techniques including reinforced concrete.

    Ah I meant to say there aren't many original hotels and condos built in the 50's and 60's left on the Beach in South Florida, due to salt corrosion and erosion.

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