Need somewhere safe to store your car or possessions but have limited space? With its modular shape and corrosive resistant steel fabric, second hand shipping containers make excellent affordable garages. At the most basic level they provide a lockable metal box for any expensive equipment, like that classic car or ride on mower, or they can be modified to suit your requirements. Design-wise, your garage is only limited by your imagination.
Here are our top tips for building a long-lasting garage with a shipping container.
1. Choose the right container for your garage
Since your container is going to be the basic building block of your garage, you need to make sure you choose the right size and type of container. Shipping containers come in a variety of standard sizes such as 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, and there are also High Cube Containers which give you extra height. For car storage an IICL5 certified container is best as it signifies a higher resistance to weather conditions than one that is only cargo worthy.
Normally 20-foot containers are ideal for garages but it depends on the size of the area you have and your requirements. Some local bylaws don’t allow you to build garages beyond a particular size so this will also have a bearing on the size of the container that you choose.
You can go for a used shipping container or you can buy a new one. Both have their pros and cons; for example, a used container will be cheaper but it will have signs of wear and tear which might be ok if you’re going for the rustic look. A brand-new container will cost you more but it will last you longer, typically a new container will last for 20+ years. If you go for a used container just make sure rusting hasn’t set in and there are no cracks in the body.
2. Select the design and configuration for your garage
Now you need to decide if you want just one container or several for your project. Make sure that the position you have chosen for your container is easily accessible, especially if you’re planning on parking your vehicle inside, and consider the type of entrance way you need. Modifications such as a roller door could be a practical solution if you’re short on space.
3. Container garage foundations
Just like any serious construction, your container garage requires a proper foundation. If you already have a level and firm surface, such as concrete or asphalt then you’re halfway there. If you are going to park your car inside your garage a concrete slab foundation is preferable and if you want to use it as a workshop, you will need to provide extra support underneath heavy machinery.
4. Prepare your garage
One of the best parts about constructing a garage with durable shipping containers is the ability to modify them to your exact needs and specifications.
You can either prepare your shipping container garage remotely and then get it transported to the site, or you can get the container placed and fitted upon the foundation first and then give shape to your garage.
Container modifications can include, painting, insulation and flooring, Whirly Birds to circulate air flow, windows and entry-exit doors, workbench and shelving, improved security, electrical wiring and electricity connection, etc.