​See what R72k can do to an old shipping container! | homify
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​See what R72k can do to an old shipping container!

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
by ชัยภูมิบ้านตู้คอนเทนเนอร์
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Today on homify 360°, we have a “sweet” treat for you. But before we get to that, let’s first catch up on the phenomena of container homes that seem to be taking the architectural world by storm. 

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, container homes are old and used shipping containers being “reborn” into house structures. Seeing as they’re flood- and fire-proof, they make pretty decent choices in terms of homes. 

Ranging in length from 6 to 9 metres, shipping containers are usually not used for longer than 15 years – that is, as cargo containers. But that doesn’t mean that after 15 years, these beauties need to retire, for they can still be used for other functions for much longer!

Let’s see how one project with a R72,295.00 budget helped an old container get reborn into something else – and it’s not a home…

A bright new look

Before we look at a step-by-step guide on how a rusty old container became a… well, that’s still a secret for now, let’s first see how this semi-completed container looks after getting a handful of amendments done – including a splash of new paint. 

Now, let’s start at the beginning…

A rusty old container

Obviously an old container that’s done with its cargo-carrying life can’t be used as is for a new home. It first needs to undergo a few changes to make it more safe, comfortable, practical and, of course, stylish!

“People-proofing” the structure

Apart from receiving a few cut-outs in its outer shell (for doors, windows and air-conditioning purposes), the old container also undergoes the necessary welding, coating and a range of other important actions.

Remember that shipping containers have monocoque bodies. The corrugation panels (roof, sides, and back), floor, front doors, frame, and rails form an integrated structural skin. Yes, they are strong and made to carry loads far in excess of what is required for typical home construction. However, modifying them (such as cutting holes) causes the structure to weaken.

Insulation added

To make the interior surfaces more appropriate for human usage, the insides of the container are insulated to ensure that as little heat as possible goes to waste. 

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The flooring and windows

Of course the goal is not just to give the container a new look, but a new purpose – that means its old steel floor surfaces will have to be replaced (or covered up) by more comfortable and practical options, according to client specifications. 

Here we can see how not only the flooring surface has changed, but how glazing gets added to the container in the form of windows and sliding glass doors.

A new colour

As you may know, the owners of this container structure opted for a bright yellow colour to be splashed all over the façade.

What could it be used for?

The brand new container

Call it a tuck shop or call it a candy store, the fact remains that this container fulfils a very different (perhaps even a ‘better’) purpose than before! 

Here we get to see how the finishing touches (i.e. more colours, lighting, a neat little overhang) were added to make it more visually appealing – and to lure customers, obviously.

The insides

Who can believe that these same interiors (albeit with a very different look) used to transport tonnes and tonnes of cargo overseas for years and years? 

Now for a container that did not become a tuck shop, see: The Container Home with a Twist.

What are your thoughts on old containers being reborn into something new?
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