Imagine you’re in need of some extra storage, a handy workshop space or even your hobbies, but you’re tight on budget. That’s where a shipping container shed comes into play! It’s not your everyday garden shed; but it’s robust, easily customizable, and a friend of the environment. Sounds cool, right?

But, before jumping in, there’s a bit to consider. Things like, what type and size of container you’ll need, the modifications required to turn a hulking metal box into an organized oasis, and the budget you’re working with.

Don’t worry, though, we’ve got you covered. This article is your all-in-one guide to shipping container sheds, breaking down their many benefits, the costs you’ll need to budget for, design suggestions, and answers to all your burning questions. So, sit back and let us guide you on this journey to your new shipping container shed. 

Shipping Container Shed The Ultimate Guide

What is a Shipping Container Shed?

Ever thought of having a cost-friendly, sturdy, and adaptable storage or workspace solution? If so, the idea of shipping container sheds might have crossed your mind. These unique structures are making huge waves globally, attracting both homeowners and businesses with their unlimited customization possibilities and cost-efficiency. So, what exactly is a shipping container shed, how does it stack up against other types of sheds, and how can you go about creating one for your needs? 

  • Definition: Simply put, a shipping container shed is a typical shipping container imaginatively repurposed and adapted into a shed or working space.
  • Comparison: Unlike traditional wooden or metal sheds, shipping container sheds are renowned for their solid build, longevity, and straightforward installation process.

Through this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the numerous advantages, creative design ideas, crucial cost factors, and constructive tips involved in shipping container sheds. By the time we round it up, you’re likely to join the swelling ranks of homeowners who are exploring this ingenious solution! 

“A shipping container shed unfolds as an affordable, highly adaptable, and versatile solution for storage or workspace demands, combining practicality, durability, and innovation.”

Types of Sheds and Best Options

When it comes to enhancing your home or business with more storage or workshop areas, you’ll come across an assortment of choices. These primarily consist of:

Shipping Container Sheds

Essentially, shipping container sheds are upcycled from standard shipping containers that usually come in sizes of 20 ft or 40 ft. These containers are built tough to withstand harsh sea conditions, which translates into a robust, long-lasting shed for you. Their modular design makes it super simple to transform them into pretty much anything you need. Plus, they offer an unrivaled level of flexibility that you simply don’t get with traditional structures. 

ProsCons
Damn durable and can handle any weatherTypically, a bit pricier than your average wood or metal shed
Super easy to customize and evolve with your needsOn the other hand, you might need some special tools or know-how to modify it
It’s green! You’re basically recycling old shipping containersYou’ll want to double-check nothing toxic was stored in it previously
Faster to install than traditional structuresYou’ll need to give it a thorough once-over for signs of damage if it’s been used before
A standout option for secure storage, thanks to its robust buildKeep in mind, you might need permissions and inspections based on local rules

Metal Sheds 

If you’re considering a metal shed, keep in mind these are usually made from aluminum or galvanized steel, making them tough and built to last. They might not have the same cozy vibe as wooden sheds, but they’re great in terms of standing up to the elements and annoying pests. 

The UpsideThe Downside
They can totally handle harsh weatherThey might rust if you don’t take care of them, despite being mainly rust-resistant
Insects and other pests won’t mess with themTheir industrial look might not jive with that idyllic garden or cool patio setup
No need to fuss over painting or stainingThey’re prone to dents and dings
They might be less of a hit on your wallet than wooden shedsThey’re not the best in providing natural insulation

Wooden Storage Sheds 

Wooden sheds certainly have that classic charm we all love. The customization options they offer are almost endless! But, remember, they need regular TLC to keep them safe from rot and little critters. 

ProsCons
Classic charmYou need to maintain it regularly
Endless customizationMight attract unwanted guests like pests and lead to decay
Common tools and skills are all you need to build theseBigger ones might need building permits
Able to complement the look of most housesNot the best bet for harsh weather

Best Options

When you’re looking at the different types of sheds, each one has its own advantages. But if you ask me, the shipping container shed wins by a landslide. Here’s why: 

  • They’re tough as nails: Shipping containers are designed to withstand the brutal conditions of sea travel. This means they’re incredibly durable and more than capable of holding up in your backyard.
  • It’s a blank canvas: Throw in some vibrant colored concrete flooring, a few roll-up doors, or perhaps a rooftop garden. With shipping containers, the design possibilities are virtually endless.
  • Eco-friendly: Working with shipping containers is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You’re giving these metal containers a second chance at life, rather than recycling them.
  • Quick and easy: Turning a shipping container into a usable space tends to be a lot quicker than building a shed from the ground up.
  • Movable: Unlike your typical backyard shed, you can take your shipping container shed with you if you move. It’s not tied down to one location.

To wrap up, the best type of shed really depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. But when you consider their incredible durability, flexibility in design, eco-friendly benefits, speed of installation, and portability, shipping container sheds are a seriously compelling option.

Benefits of Shipping Container Sheds

Have you ever thought about how cool it would be to have a shed made out of a shipping container? Yeah, it’s a thing now and it’s gaining a lot of attention! The great part about using a pre-made metal box is that it can eliminate a ton of the difficulties that come with building a traditional shed, plus it can save you a lot of time and money.

So, let’s talk about the sweet benefits of opting for a shipping container shed: 

  • Super durable: These containers are built to survive the tough ocean weather, so they are super tough. That means they can withstand harsh weather conditions and keep those annoying pests at bay.
  • Completely customizable: You can play around with the design and add windows, doors, partitions, and even insulation to suit your needs. Pretty cool, right?
  • Eco-friendly: By repurposing a shipping container, it prevents it from becoming another item in a landfill. So, you’d be doing your part for the environment too.
  • Kind on your wallet: Getting your hands on a used container can be pretty cheap, especially if you compare it to the price of traditional building materials.
  • Easy to construct: Since a shipping container is already a pre-made structure, it takes less time and fewer stages to convert it into a shed. So, you can quickly get to enjoy your new space.

Process of Owning a Shipping Container Shed

Thinking about owning a shipping container shed? That’s super cool! It’s quite the process, from picking container out the perfect to tweaking it to be just perfect for you.

We’ll walk you through all the steps, don’t worry!

Step 1: Selecting the Container

If you’re hunting for the perfect shipping container to convert into your next shed, the first thing you’ve got to tackle is size. They typically come in two standard lengths – 20 feet or 40 feet. The size that will best suit you hinges on your unique requirements, the space you have available, and naturally, your budget. 

Selecting the Container

Once you’ve got size figured out, the next step is to give the container a good once-over. Don’t forget, most of these babies have seen quite a bit of action as they crisscross the globe, so expect some wear and tear. Things like serious rust spots, big dents or anything that might mess with the container’s structure are definitely red flags. You’re looking for a tank here; something that’s not just sturdy but can stand up to the wind and rain too. 

Finally, try to visualize any modifications you might want to make down the line, like adding doors, windows or insulation. Some containers may be more amenable to these kinds of updates, so keep that in mind when you choose. It’s crucial to find a container that’s a fit not just for your immediate needs, but one that can evolve with you over time. 

Step 2: Permits and Regulation

There are certain permits and rules you need to follow, depending on where you live. This will involve a bit of leg work from your end, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? 

Start by getting in touch with your local council or other relevant starting point. They can give you the low-down on the needed planning permissions, zoning rules, and anything else that might affect your project, such as restrictions on the size or location of your shed. 

Really, you need to get this step sorted sooner rather than later. Failure to do so could land you in some hot water later on. In some cases, you may need a local surveyor to come and have a look at your site and provide their professional input. This may seem like a bit of an unnecessary step, but believe me, having all the proper legal foundations in place is just as important as having a good physical foundation for your shed.

Step 3: Preparing the Site

Okay, so you’re getting a shipping container shed and you need to get your site ready. First things first, you’re going to want to clear that area and make it as flat as possible. Trust me, this step is crucial for the structural integrity of your shed. Depending on the surroundings and type of your container, you might have to clear different amounts of space, but the goal is always the same – a nice and even surface. 

Next up, you’ve got to think about your foundation. Sure, you might automatically think “concrete pad,” but gravel is also an option. Here’s the deal – the foundation has to support your container shed and all your stuff inside it. So, make sure you consider how heavy your things are and how you’re going to use the shed when deciding on the foundation. 

Here’s a pro tip: put some thought into drainage around the site. Continuous exposure to water can speed up rust and corrosion in your awesome new shed. Plan the site with a slight tilt or add some channels to help steer rainwater and other water away. Trust me; a bit of extra prep now can save you from headaches later and your shipping container shed will thank you by lasting longer!

Step 4: Delivery and Placement

So you’ve got your site all prepped up—awesome! What next? Well, now it’s time to bring in the star of the show—your shipping container. Getting the behemoth safely till your doorstep is usually on your shed provider. Just make sure there’s enough room for the delivery truck to do its thing. 

These containers are super heavy—so no, your gym workouts won’t help here! You’ll need something like a crane to lift it up and place it just right. The placement has to be spot on for your shed to be level and your doors and windows to work without a hitch. 

This would be a good time to check if your local laws have any hang-ups about crane operations. They’ll need a clear path to, from and around your setup site without any hassle. Your shed provider might be able to give you some pointers on this. 

Once your container has touched down, do some recon—see if the container came out of the ride alright and if it’s where you wanted it to be. Safety’s the big watchword here—don’t even think about trying to shift or tweak the container yourself. 

Step 5: Modifying the Container

Alright, so you’ve got your shipping container in the perfect spot and you’re ready to whip it into a killer shed. Now it’s time to get creative with some handy modifications like adding doors, windows, and ventilation. Concentrate on what you really want from your shed. If you fancy a workspace flooded with natural light, include some windows in your design. Here are a few things to think about: 

  • Doors and Windows: Based on what you’ll be doing in the shed, you might fancy a traditional door, a roll-up door, or even a set of charming French doors. Remember, the size and placement of your windows can seriously level up on the natural light and fresh air inside.
  • Ventilation: This is super important, especially if you plan on spending serious time in the shed, or if you’re storing items that could be damaged by conditions like heat or humidity.
  • Insulation: If your dream is a cozy shed you can use all year round, insulation is key. It keeps the place warm in winter and cool in summer, and it also helps cut down on condensation. It’s a win-win-win.
  • Shelving and Storage: To make the most out of your interior space, why not add some freestanding or wall-mounted shelves? This gives you loads of extra storage without gobbling up floor space.

Step 6: Exterior Finishes

When it comes to the exterior finish of your container shed, it’s a game-changer for the overall look and lifespan of the shed. Let’s dive into how to handle this essential stage: 

  • Getting the surface ready: Your first job is to get your container spick and span before applying any finishes. Any trace of dirt, rust, or peeling paint can mess with the new finish. If your container’s looking a bit rough, think about using a pressure washer or even a sandblaster to get it super clean.
  • Painting: An awesome paint job doesn’t just protect against nasty things like corrosion – it also means you get to pick a cool color and style that totally fits your space. Always go for high-quality, weather-resistant paints.
  • Optional decorative finishes: Now’s your chance to give your shed some personal flair. Fancy covering it in wood or metal, painting a killer mural, or creating a leafy living wall with climbing plants? Go for it – make the container shed totally unique to you.

Just a quick tip – the secret to an amazing exterior finish all comes down to nailing the preparation and using top-grade materials. And hey, it might even be worth calling in a pro to guarantee a stunning, durable finish.


Step 7: Safety and Security

When it comes to converting a shipping container into a shed, it’s super important to think about safety and security. It’s not just about making sure your stuff is safe, but also ensuring that the shed itself doesn’t pose any risks to you or anyone else who might pop in. 

Good lighting is key, both inside and outside the shed. Apart from scaring away would-be thieves, it also means you can make your way to and around the container safely when it’s dark. Consider popping some motion-activated lights outside and bright, energy-saving LED lights inside. 

You’ll want to have lockable features on the doors and windows for added security too. You could go for traditional padlocks or splurge on more high-tech systems. Some folks even put in alarm systems for that extra layer of protection. 

It’s worth noting that no shed is really secure unless it’s well ventilated. Without it, your shed could turn into a sauna, getting humid, rusty, and decaying from the inside. That’s why it’s smart to set up proper ventilation systems, like vents or fans. This helps create a good atmosphere inside, keeps your things in good condition and adds years to your shed’s lifespan.

Wrapping up, focusing on the safety and security of your shipping container shed not only helps protect your stored goodies but also makes sure your shed remains sturdy and durable for years to come.

Shipping Container Shed Ideas (Design)

Looking into shipping container shed designs? Your options are pretty limitless. Essentially, you have to decide between using one or multiple containers. Single containers are cheaper and perfect for small spaces, while multiple containers offer loads of room and layout flexibility. Think like a stack of containers for a two-story shed! 

Don’t forget to include cutouts and windows for natural light and ventilation. You’ll want to eyeball their placement for maximum daylight. 

Roofing options come in three varieties: flat, sloped, or extended. Flat roofs are simple, but a sloped one can help water runoff. Want more outdoor hangout or storage space? Go for an extended roof. 

For finishing touches, go wild with paint, siding, and landscaping details that blend with your surroundings, or opt for bold artistic touches to stand out. Remember, your creativity is the limit here!

Backyard Shipping Container Shed Ideas

Imagine this – a chic, budget-friendly backyard storage solution that not only meets your needs, but also serves as a cool testament to your ingeniousness. Yes, we’re talking about a shipping container shed. It’s more than just a functional spot for storing your stuff, it’s a statement piece in your backyard that screams innovation.

Cost Considerations for Shipping Container Sheds

Ever thought about getting a shipping container shed? Could be a cool move. They’re pretty tough, and you can trick them out in some really dope ways. But it’s a good idea to get a handle on the expenses before you jump in. Here’s the rundown on the main costs: 

  • Size of the Container: Obviously, a bigger container is going to hit your wallet harder. The standard sizes are 20ft and 40ft. A 20ft container might set you back around $2000 to $4000, while a 40ft one could go upwards of $7000. It kinda depends on where you buy it and what condition it’s in.
  • Site Prep: Planning to plunk this baby down on a flat surface? Better figure out what it’s going to cost to clear and level the ground, not to mention putting in a foundation with a concrete pad or gravel base. Just getting a flat spot could be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 or even up to $5,000 if the spot you picked is really hilly or hard to get to.
  • Customization: It’s your shed, and you’re going to want it your way. Custom features like installing doors, windows, ventilation systems, and shelving can bump up the price. Putting a window in, for instance, can run from $1,000 to $1,500 a pop when you tally up labor and materials.
  • Delivery and Install: You’re going to have to get that container from point A to point B. Depending on how far it’s coming and if you need a crane to position it, delivery could be $300 to $500 for local or $2,000 for a longer haul.
  • Exterior Styling: If you want your container shed to shine with a new paint job or some sick decorative touches, be prepared to fork over around $1,500 for a pro to paint up a 20-foot container.

Also, keep in mind there might be permits and regulations that you gotta consider as well—that could cost you, too. You should definitely chat about this with local officials or contractors. When you know the potential costs upfront, you won’t get shocked with any unexpected bills down the road.

Construction Tips for Shipping Container Sheds

Building a shipping container shed might seem like a hefty job, but trust me, with the right knowledge and a positive attitude, it’s a fun and fulfilling project. To help you out, here’s a quick rundown of practical tips to make your construction smooth and successful. 

The Foundation is Key: Much like most things in life, your shipping container shed’s success will be largely rooted in its foundation. It’s all about providing a sturdy, steady base for your container’s footing. Whether you decide to use a concrete pad or a gravel base will largely depend on your site’s condition, your budget, and what you personally prefer. Just make sure that the foundation you opt for is capable of supporting your container’s weight and can keep ground dampness at bay. 

Getting a Handle on Cutting and Welding: You’ll need to make some amendments to your shipping container, and this will mean some cutting and welding. Whether it’s crafting doors or windows or adding more containers to the mix, it’s important to get these tasks right. If wielding a torch isn’t your thing, consider hiring a pro to ensure the job is done safely and doesn’t compromise the structure. 

Facing the Insulation Challenge: Metal is a heat conductor, which means a shipping container can become either an oven or an icebox depending on the weather. To keep your shed cozy and comfortable, don’t skimp on the insulation. Many people opt for the spray foam variety because it’s great at keeping out air and water, and it insulates really well. 

Thinking About Utilities: Planning to turn your shed into a workshop or need electricity for other reasons? Make sure you plan for utilities as part of your construction process. From the first stages of wiring to installing fixtures, ensure every step is compliant with local regulations and done safely. 

No matter if your dream is a simple, clutter-free storage space, or a fully-equipped workshop, these tips should set you on the right path to making a solid, durable shipping container shed.

The Bottom Line

So, as a wrap-up, shipping container sheds are a solid yet affordable choice if you’re looking for extra space. With countless ways to personalize and a big range of uses, it’s no wonder they’re becoming a go-to for homeowners. Keeping in mind the size, costs, design, and building details we’ve walked through in this guide, you’re ready to dive into your own shipping container shed project. 

Quick heads-up: Remember, shipping container sheds may be tough, but they still need some love now and then to avoid rust and keep up their long life. Regular check ups on your shed’s condition, and quick fixes to any issues can help make sure it sticks around for the long haul. 

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