Shipping Containers – Real Life Experience
Apart from being kidnapped, left inside one, tied to a chair, possibly bleeding out, and waiting for the feds to search every one of the 1000 containers in the dockyard, has anyone bought one and used it for something at home?
I am trying to find the optimum way to manage storage of bikes and kayaks, maintenance area, gym area, with the minimum of cost and effort.
Current situation is a single garage rammed full of bikes, bike stand, as well as various $h!t from the house. Not enough room to swing a cat really when you want to work on a bike. Outside on the patio we have the gym equipment (significant amounts of) exposed to the British elements. I have rust proofing kit ready to go but would ideally have it inside the garage.
I am doing my usual Sunday morning Wattbike delay tactics by scrolling the internet for amazing solutions. Today I stumbled upon shipping containers and some great repurposing stories. Once I had come back down to earth after the thoughts of burying one in my garden as an underground man cave, I did wonder if having one just to store bikes and the other household crap might free up space for the garage to become the gym area. Next thought was the conversation with Mrs Johnjn2000 “I am not having that ugly lump of metal in my front garden, back garden, patio, or anywhere for that matter”
Anyone done anything interesting with one? Is it less expensive than other normal options like a shed? Please don’t just post links to amazing conversions on the internet as I have already done this and I now need to ground myself in reality and either move on or investigate further.
*waits for many links to amazing conversions on the internet*
Ta 🙂Posted 7 months ago
They are in high demand at the moment due to shipping issues so expensive. We have one to store tools in for our trail building group. Wet as an otters pocket due to condensation even with extra vents. They are also ugly.
Don’t forget to factor in delivery costs. In your situation I doubled my garage with a proper brick built extension.Posted 7 months ago
@stumpyjon So not only is there a cost to buying them I would need to insulate it as well to avoid the condensation issues, already sounding less interesting than the interweb made it soundPosted 7 months ago
A second on the expensive, a charity I know had to abandone purchase as within a few weeks they went from minor expense to major chunk of their funding!Posted 7 months ago
And you probably want some sort of roof over it for the long haul as they do rust eventually…
You might as well ask your neighbours as well as your wife… it’s a very industrial solution in a normal garden! The best ones are clad and roofed with decent windows and normal doors etc but I think it’s probably cheaper if you’re handy to build a decent stud work and cladding shed with a tin roof.
They are horrible to live with if not insulated or properly dehumidified…Posted 7 months ago
Well this idea went from amazing to crap very quickly 🙂Posted 7 months ago
John, yes, at best think of it as a secure box to build around. Might as well just build a big shed. Don’t forget where you position it will also affect cost of delivery alot.Posted 7 months ago
it as a secure box to build around
A secure box that isn’t even that secure.Posted 7 months ago
Buy a stack of these, knock up a quick wooden frame, EPDN sheet over as a waterproof roof layer and suddenly you have a nice big, dry storage/work space.
Friends use on for their landscape gardening business, took quite a bit of work to get it suitable, especially the roof. I think he covered it in tar eventually.Posted 7 months ago
We (well, family) have one in the wettest field known to man at the top of a hill with precipitation usually set to ‘horizontal’. Keep usual agricultural stuff inside – tools, mini tractor etc. and had precisely zero rust/damp issues. Maybe because it’s got the full compliment of pocket vents, I don’t know, but as I say dampness isn’t the issue it’s made out to be.
It’s been there for at least 2 years FWIW.Posted 7 months ago
They’re horrible. Cold, wet, rusty, ugly and not that secure. Plus, will you have to hire a crane to dangle it into position?
If you’ve got room for a shipping container then you’ve got room for a giant beast of a timber shed which will be much nicer.Posted 7 months ago
We rented one for a year during building work on our house. It was in one of those self storage places, £15 per week. Zero issues with damp which was just as well as we had half of our household belongings in there.Posted 7 months ago
All I can say is from experience ours rains condensation from the roof, maybe its because we put wet tools and plant in it, don’t have the option to dry it. Ours has vents plus some additional holes for ventilation, it doesn’t leak just massive condensation problems which if you think about it is obvious, it’s a metal box with zero insulation. Maybe if you can keep the air dry inside it us OK, I do wonder how they ship stuff in from China without it dissolving.Posted 7 months ago
I’d be looking to build a nice new workshop/gym with sips as per wca above.
Leave the existing garage as storage, but organise it better.
I do wonder how they ship stuff in from China without it dissolving.
Silica gel, lots of it!Posted 7 months ago
Our sailing club has a few next to the lake for storage of windsurfing kit. A couple of weeks ago (29 Dec) we went for a sail and were quite happy to get changed in the container rather than bother trudging the 30 metres to the heated changing room. So, not cold and damp at all.Posted 7 months ago
Plus, will you have to hire a crane to dangle it into position?
Only if you’re putting it somewhere with no access, the hi-ab it comes on the back of is more than capable of setting it down.
I do wonder how they ship stuff in from China without it dissolving.
Ships are draughty things, below decks have forced ventilation and above deck, well, that’s pretty obvious.
I bought a metal shed recently, it has condensation because it has no vents (yet). The makers were very keen to point out they are useless if too close to foliage (which emits moisture) or too sheltered.Posted 7 months ago
To start with – know the difference between a ‘shipping’ container – built to a screed of ISO standards, made from corten, coated in epoxy, intended to spend more of its time strapped to the deck of a ship getting sprayed with salty water – and a ‘storage’ container – a corrugated metal box for storing wheelbarrows and shovels on a building site. The latter is a strong enough metal box but its made of painted mild steel. While shipping container prices fluctuate due to international demand – going up when things are dicy and shippers stop producing new ones and start buying back the old ones – when prices are low shipping containers are a bargain considering what they’re made of, but when they’re high its important not to get shafted and pay shipping container money for an inferior storage box.
One of the bigger causes of dampness and eventual failure in containers is the moisture underneath rotting the the floorboards and the crossmembers underneoth and cheaper ‘storage’ containers are much more prone to this. A decent shipping container will have a solid, well sealed floor – historically a melange of unstainable hardwoods – a friend salvaged pieces of ebony from one- nowadays they’re thick phenolic faced plywood with well sealed seams. And they’ll have small vents at the bottom and top of the walls for a bit of airflow.
But they’re still cold and damp compared to a shed or garage, and they’re windowless and dark and they’re noisy – noisy to open and close and whatever you get up to in there is going to sound like someone clattering around inside a big metal box to your neighbours , and you could forego some of your gym equipments when you’ve got shipping containers doors to open and close.
I’ve got three. Keep them in a yard about 5 miles away from my house – too ugly to want me or my neighbours to look at when we open the curtains.
the hi-ab it comes on the back of is more than capable of setting it down.
and also isn’t cheap. One of the things that keeps the price of containers barely more than their weight in scrap most of the time is the high cost of their transport – 40ft containers only a £100 or so more than 20ft ones normally – they higher cost of moving them (on artics rather than rigid trucks) reduces the value of them to less than scrap usually.
So, not cold and damp at all.
For the purpose of getting changed – not cold compared to standing in the wind of rain. Even in my ventiated ones the ceilings are routinely covered in condensation. They’ll get as cold as the coldest nights in winter and they’ll get roasting hot in the sun and anything you keep in theres is going to get exposed to those extremes.Posted 7 months ago
Well thank you all. I have written this off as a crappy idea unless I can bury it in the garden, which I can’t. Will check the eBay link above as another option, cheers!Posted 7 months ago
So in summary they have their uses but not for what you want.Posted 7 months ago
Try something like garage kits Scotland.
Do kit building….Posted 7 months ago
You can’t apply for Australian citizenship unless you’ve got a container with a load of crap inside, raised on bricks with a whirlybird on top.
We stored our possessions in one for a year + 10 years ago in the sub-tropics with the odd 10-inch rain days and had no issues. Ten years later it’s still being used to store mowers, etc.Posted 7 months ago
We use one at work, and I think every outdoor centre I’ve ever worked for has at least one.
In the past the ones I’ve used had huge damp issues, particularly if there isn’t a second/ pitched roof added to keep dry out.
Our current one is very new really, and seems to be drier than all the others. It’s still damp regularly, but it’s also on a car park so well drained underneath and in full sun.Posted 7 months ago
If you want cheap maybe scour the small ads for a concrete sectional garage. You can normally score one for next to nothing. They aren’t the most pleasant things but fine for storage.Posted 1 month ago
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