Shipping containers

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by ceilinghobo, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. ceilinghobo

    ceilinghobo Guest

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    Has anyone ever considered purchasing a few shipping containers and arranging them so you have a garden in the center or courtyard and or attaching them together with tunnels... Wouldn't you need a blow torch to cut an extra door? Could you use the chunk you removed as the door with some hinges if you did it right?
     
  2. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

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    I've seen containers spaced apart, parallel to each other,
    Usually about 25 to 30 feet apart,
    And a set of trusses and roof used between them to make a covered, but open work area on job sites before.

    A local guy works on tractors, and he has that arrangment for his outdoor work, and the containers make for very secure storage.

    In the winter, a third was often place across one of the open ends, or a back wall was constructed to keep the weather out.

    Some containers can be had with side doors already in them so you shouldn't need to cut into them.

    'Four Square' container arrangment would give you an approximate 50'x50' 'courtyard' for garden or what ever.

    That would also allow all doors to swing freely if you needed to get large objects into any one of them.
     

  3. Washkeeton

    Washkeeton Well-Known Member

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    How about burrying 3 or 4 of them in a U shape and building on to the front. Using the containers as accessable storage and walls to the interior of an underground house. Covering the roofing and walls with rubber over plastic should suffice in keeping the place dried in. Just a thought.
     
  4. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Sea tanks? Might make an excellent tornado shelter. How much are they?
     
  5. gds

    gds Well-Known Member

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    Excellent ideas, keep us posted on how all that goes.
     
  6. kbscobravert

    kbscobravert New Member

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    I work/live the Afghanistan area of operations. We use tons of shipping containers/connex's for everything out here from storage units and housing to offices and latrine units to bunkers. They are ultra modifiable and you are only limited to your imagination and ingenuity. Hell I am sitting in a 20' right now that is my office. The doors have been taken off and a wall with a regular 30" door put in. The interior walls have been studded with 1"x1" and use a 1/4" compressed dense board for wall covering.

    I consider them to be the best thing since sliced bread and I use them throughout theatre for bunkers around our living and work areas. My experience has been that if you plan on putting any sort of weight on top of them besides another connex you need to reinforce the inside to support the weight. My bunkers have a 2' minimum thickness of dirt on top and without the support beams and columns would cave in a 20' connex in a few months.

    I have planned on buying a few (2-4) 20' connex's when I get home and burying them into the ground, welding them together, creating doorways from one to the other and compartmentalizing them for storage, living, and common area space to sustain short term living. I have even considered creating an indoor latrine tied to a septic system. Going over plans in my head I would ultimately like to coat the container in a bed liner type material to seal it from moisture. I have plans on excavating into a hill to set them and then recover with earthen material completely except for the entrance and would love to have the entrance disguised as a small hunting shack.

    With connex's, an assortment of 2x4, 8x8 and 1x1 a few cheap premade doors, some pvc pipe, romex, outlets and boxes, basic hardware and some sort of rented excavation equipment the options are endless. The hardest part will be setting them in place as it would require a crane of some sort to lower them into place.
     
  7. 10101

    10101 Guest

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    Good plan, however if you bury the containers they will require substainal bracing to support the weight of soil. containers have all there strenghth in the corners which is why they can be stacked 5 high on ships.

    just something to consider:cool:
     
  8. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

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  9. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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    Would they make good root cellars buried?
     
  10. RedRocker

    RedRocker Active Member

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  11. Derek

    Derek Member

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    Another issue that could arise is rust if you put them underground, A bunch of thick coats of paint and clear coat? Maybe some thick tar or rubberized coating? Make sure if using more than 1 they are water tight! I saw on Mythbusters they buried one and the Steal one held up pretty well, but there are ones with Wood parts inside that failed very quickly! Make sure you really inspect what you buy before you buy! Best of luck and I want to see pictures!
     
  12. Halfpint

    Halfpint Member

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    I have just started the plans on a underground shelter. I’m planning on tiring to use a shipping container. After reading some I have a great deal on concern of cave in. Has anyone else do this and if so how did you deal with the sides and top. I understand about air, drainage and double exits. The unit will be used for storage and a hid spot. The site is not the problem, but reinforcement of the side and top is. I have considered a culvert but even those I have found anything on sealing the end. I would like a full 360 underground. Like all that I know I’m on a budget and factory built is out of the question. Thanks for any help.
     
  13. backlash

    backlash Well-Known Member

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    Around here used shipping containers cost around $2500 to $3500.
    Depending on how far they have to go to deliver.
    My neighbor has one for a horse barn.
    Cut a big hole in the side left the top connected and bent it up to use as a roof over the corral.
    His cost was around $4000 but he bought an almost new shipping container.
    Craigslist usually has them.
     
  14. markp

    markp Newbie

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    my brother installed two welded together and installed them underground not a weekend warrior project we are veteran underground contractors .that bring said they work great total out of pocket cost was $13000 not including our labor or equip. we had what we needed. this is aprox. one third of what my " root cellar" cost going through normal const. channels with this having more sq footage . one plus is if you have your ducks in a row they can go in over a 4 day weekend his has been in over 3 years with plumb bobs at six points with no deflection noted . they were basically used as a shell for the other const mats. enjoy the forum glad to finally contribute somthing that is in my wheelhouse .mark
     
  15. Camoevo

    Camoevo Member

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    would you happen to have any photos o your stuff? I also would like to do that.
     
  16. markp

    markp Newbie

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    I dont have any pictures maybe my sisterinlaw has some my brother and i were more concerened with getting it covered up;) we had it in and covered up in four days with 3 to 5 men .i will run a time line with what we did hope that helps . day one started my nephew welding the containers together my brother and i started digging for the containers . warning when excavting any thing over 5' deep it should be shored or sloped back CAVEINS KILL that being said we went 12' deep we then installed 4" leach line and then daylighted it out we then laid down 6" of 1" rock over the hole base . after welding containers together but before welding doors shut you install your cribbing 4' up on the wall we used aluminum trench shoring the whole length 40' after this weld doors shut we then welded in two 12" vent pipes then coated it with two coats of *****mastic pipe coating we then set the container on the rock and then covered it with 2 sheets of 6 mill poly we then poured a set of concrete pads every 10' we then set a 12" sdr35 pvc pipe in each pad concrete was 5 sack then finished day tieing steel for columns end day 1 14hrs . day 2 poured 40 yrds 2 sack slurry up 1/2 way on walls be sure to use excavtor to hold down container or it will float "voice of experence" spent rest of day setting steel in columns . day 3 poured rest of slurry another 47 yds then finished tieing steel and bond beam for roof we then welded four 3/4 " bolts on all corners and then ran #6 stranded past the slab for a sacrifical anode "redundant rust protection" last min decension we then poured the slab end of day 3 14 hour. day 4 covered slab lightly with dirt and let concrete cure next project was to cut door in with plasma cutter i wont go into detail about that make sure that you are ventelating the container DO NOT USE A OXY/ACTEL torch you will blow yourself into next week once inside with resperator/ fansblowing and a confined space blower hooked to your 12" vent pipe remove your shoreing from from 1st container then cut four slots aprox.2' wide evenly spaced be careful plasma cutters will cut thru your shores 1200 apeice . then take four pieces of 4" scd 40 steel pipe and weld them good set your 6 plumb bobs and take several mesurments up/down across end to end record these then cut out the center walls rechecking your mesurments as you go at this point once the walls are out you have a lot of grinding/painting to do depending on how nice you want it . you can use a round duct fan in your inlet pipe for fresh air. hope this helps mark
     
  17. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

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    Awesome build. I take it the footings you describe are for concrete columns outside of the containers? I'd thought of sea wall or even H-pile, but this seems nice, and the installation a bit less intrusive. You could drive 14 ft. (to good base in my area), but erecting and operating the pile driver would be a nightmare in logistics in back country, not to mention VERY noisy. Did you pour any cans for break testing? Bury any TC for cure temping? Did you form for any part of the pour, or just up to the dirt sides?
     
  18. markp

    markp Newbie

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    yes the slurry was poured dry against the native earth on the wall of the excavation to cut down on water infiltration against the container also you have less sideload also thats why i t took so many yds slurry the 12" sdr 35 pvc was used because we were afraid that if we used sonotube that the slurry would soften and collpase them before we could get the rebar in and get the collumns poured steel was 12" centers across top both ways and bond beams were tied to steel on collumns and outside edge of container as slurry started to set we hand stacked it for a form for the concrete roof we didnt pour any cylinders it was a mix we use a lot for structures we pour and from a supplier we are one of the larger acc. i didnt mention last night roof was 10" thick we only put enough dirt over to camo it from prying eyes and then it was left to cure then it was compacted and graded he has since poured a basket ball court over the top to help with a 15 deg temp swing from winter to summer that solved it . hope that clarify's things mark
     
  19. Derek

    Derek Member

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    Looks forward to seeing pictures from someones venture! I can actually considering doing an AutoCAD underground shipping container home thing?
    If anyone is looking for cool pictures or ideas I found a lot of the on Google Images. Would anyone want to see a AutoCAD underground shipping container home thing????

    Best wishes!

    Derek
     
  20. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

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    You mean a plug-in with the conex as a solid object predefined? Sounds interesting. Perhaps only really usefull when considering numbers and numbers of objects though.