With the high cost of Australian real estate, it’s no surprise that Aussies have started to focus on cheaper options, and a good example is shipping container homes. These incredibly strong containers are also environmentally friendly, because you are repurposing them instead of leaving them to rust away. If you are considering purchasing a container to create your own tiny home, it’s not something that you should tackle without doing your homework first. So to help you get up to speed with shipping container homes, here are five tips that should help you to make a success of your new venture.
1. Contact your local council planning department
Just recently there was an article in the news about someone who had built a tiny home, but there was a mix-up with the builder and planning permission wasn’t obtained. At the moment, the owners of this tiny house cannot live in their new home, not until this problem is rectified. As you can imagine, the owners are devastated, so it’s imperative that you contact your local planning department and secure planning permission for your container home. Don’t leave it to your builder, because assuming that they will do this for you, created the problem above.
2. Purchase the right type of shipping container
The biggest mistake made by the uninitiated is to buy just a regular shipping container. This isn’t a problem in itself, but there are taller containers available, giving you much more height inside your container home. It’s something that most people don’t realise, and can make a big difference to the comfort and design of shipping container homes. Regular shipping containers are 2.59m in height, whilst the taller containers are 2.89m in height, giving you an additional 30cm in height. In a tiny home, an additional 30cm in height can make a whole world of difference!
3. Select the right type of windows
The type of shipping container windows you install in your new home are another option that can have a big impact on the comfort and practicality of your tiny home. Since a container home can be moved, it’s best if you avoid windows designed for houses, and investigate windows designed for RVs, dongas and shipping container homes. These windows can be made of either acrylic or polycarbonate and are lightweight, flexible and resistant to breakage. They are perfect for these types of homes.
4. Don’t lower the integrity of the steel container
This is such a common problem and happens when you cut too much steel out of the container. One of the reasons why shipping containers are used for tiny homes is because they are made from steel and are incredibly strong. Cutting too many holes in them for windows and doors, can mean that you need to add more steel in the form of steel beams to rectify its integrity. So don’t remove entire walls, not unless you want to pay more money for steel beams!
5. Select a contractor with experience in building shipping container homes
If you want to try converting your shipping container to a tiny home, that’s your prerogative, but it might not go as well as you expect. A much better strategy is to hire a contractor with experience in converting containers into tiny homes, because this will result in a quality home that’s built to Australian Standards.