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Storstac Installs Hamilton Shipping Container House

Storstac is excited to announce that we have successfully fabricated and installed the Downtown Hamilton Shipping Container House. This precedent-setting build nicknamed the Hamilton Shipping Container House was installed in just EIGHT HOURS and consists of eight 40′ high cube shipping containers sitting on top of a solid concrete foundation. Designed by Toronto Architect Jason Halter, the house has been custom designed to suit his clients’ specific tastes which Jason describes as being “iconoclastic”. Although the unmodified shipping containers themselves are fabricated in China (China manufactures the large majority of new shipping containers) all of the modification work (Cut and framing of all window and door openings, interior openings, structural reinforcements, window installation and exterior paint) were undertaken at our Toronto, Canada modification facility. Unlike a number of shipping container homes built around the world, this one will not be clad with any additional materials. Instead, the containers Corten Steel corrugated walls will remain naked, and they were painted (In Storstac’s dedicated paint shop) brick brown; allowing the house to better blend in with the surrounding Victorian era homes. The rugged industrial look of this shipping container home pays homage to the fact that the home is located in “Steel Town”, but a number of subtle architectural design elements (like the seven walkout balconies that will utilize the shipping container doors as the balconies side walls) will make this shipping container home stand out from most others. Until now there has only been a hand full of container homes built in Canada, almost all of which have been erected outside of cities urban centres, mostly in rural areas as cottages. As stated earlier in this article, the Hamilton shipping container home was modified and fabricated at Storstac‘s modification facility located at 90 North Queen Street in Toronto, Canada and will rely strictly on 100% Canadian steel (for framing and modified structural work), paint, windows doors and most importantly local labor. Follow us on Instagram (@storstac_containers) to follow some of our favorite modification projects.

 

Hamilton shipping container house

Front view of the Hamilton Shipping Container House

Hamilton shipping container house

A look at the Hamilton Shipping Container House from the rear

Hamilton shipping container house

Installing the Hamilton Shipping Container House

Shipping Container Home Myths Debunked

Shipping Container Home Myths Debunked

Although they have been popular in various parts for the world for years now, shipping container homes are beginning to draw some interest here in Canada. There is a lot of information available on the internet regarding container home construction, but not all of it is as accurate or true as the authors lead you to believe. In this article we will briefly discuss the single most popular misconception when it comes to shipping container housing: THEIR COST.

A look at what the Hamilton Shipping Container Home will look like once complete - waiting for door and window install before site installation

A look at what the Hamilton Shipping Container Home will look like once complete – waiting for door and window install before site installation – Designed by Jason Halter of Wonder Inc, fabricated by Storstac in Toronto, Canada.

Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building – FALSE

The cost of shipping container housing is the most popular misconception related to container housing that exists today. From internet articles, to news paper and magazine articles to TV shows, various sources have claimed that a shipping container home is an inexpensive alternative to traditional housing that will “save you thousands”.

Here are the facts: Shipping container housing costs nearly as much, if not as much as traditional home builds when you are comparing apples to apples. Let’s say you are building a two story home with a basement. If you were to build a two story home with a basement out of shipping containers, and then you were to build the same square footage home using traditional building methods, the end costs will end up being nearly identical. Using shipping containers to build your home or cottage comes with a number of advantages, but unfortunately, significant cost savings is not one of them. Compared to traditional building methods, a shipping container house could save you upwards of 5-10% of the structures overall cost once the build is complete.

Queen Street West Container Home Extension - Installed - Built at our Toronto, Canada modification facility

Queen Street West Container Home Extension – Installed – Modified at Storstac’s Toronto, Canada modification facility

Why do people claim Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building?

There are various reasons why people claim Shipping Container Housing Costs “a lot less” than traditional home building. Reasons range from using used containers vs new containers, the other costs associated with home building (floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, washrooms ect), unaccounted costs of personal time invested in the project. When it comes to using New vs. Used containers for housing/living purposes, we always encourage our customers from to go with new containers instead of using used shipping containers for housing or living in for two reasons.

  • Age: Used containers are typically anywhere from 12-20 years old. They have most likely been around the world a number of times and thus, have been exposed to some of the harshest environments on planet earth. This adds wear and tear to all parts of the container including the exterior, interior and floors. Using a used container is a great way to save money, but the expected life of your shipping container house or cottage will have a much shorter life span with used containers
  • Contents: There is no way to track the contents of a container over its life span. Everything from harmless baby toys, right up to nuclear waste can be transported inside of a shipping container. The last thing you want is to live inside of a home that has transported hazardous materials across the globe.

Shipping containers only account for part of the homes overall costs. Shipping containers make up the structure of a home. Although the structures accounts for a chuck of the overall project cost, things like windows, doors, electrical, plumbing and most importantly final interior finishing (washrooms, kitchens, hardwood floors etc.) vastly outweigh the cost of the structure when all is said and done. Don’t forget that whether something is being installed in a shipping container home, or whether that same something is being installed in a traditionally built home, the costs are the equivalent.

Another dynamic people don’t take into consideration is the “sweat equity” that is put into the build. From shipping container cottages and homes, to “tiny homes”, when a project is undertaken by an individual, the material costs may be the only major element that is factored into a builds final price. What they don’t factor in is the hundreds, and even thousands of hours of their own time they put into their project. This again, significantly impacts the projects final costs further emphasising the misconception that container housing is an inexpensive alternative to shipping container housing.

In this article, we have discussed a few of the factors that contribute to the general misconception that shipping container housing Costs “a lot less” when compared to traditional home building methods. Factors can range from using used containers vs new containers, the other costs associated with home building (floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, washrooms ect) and the unaccounted costs of personal time invested in building out the project. If you want to learn more about the services we can offer, feel free to get in touch with one of our shipping container modification experts to discuss your next potential project.

Rendering of what the Queen Street West Shipping Container Extension will look like once complete

Rendering of what the Queen Street West Shipping Container Extension will look like once complete

Storstac Builds Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex

Storstac is excited to announce that we custom fabricated the the Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex for the 2016 Rogers Cup and 2016 World Cup Of Hockey right here in Toronto. Working in conjunction with Juiceworks Exhibits (based in Toronto), we assisted in co-designing the Rogers Fan Hub Shipping Container Complex to be one of the most spectacular, solidly built shipping container structures ever commissioned. Engineered in-house (here at Storstac) by our engineering team, we created and built this modular container structure out of six 40′ high cube modified shipping containers right here at our Toronto, Canada shipping container fabrication facility (using Canadian steel, parts and paint).

The main floor is comprised of three 40′ modified  shipping containers  that are joined together to create 960sq’ of open concept entertainment space. Fully insulated, air conditioned and heated (ready for the cold/hot Canadian winters/summers), the first floor of the Rogers Shipping Container “Fan Hub” provides visitors with various interactive activity zones, couches, charging stations, tv’s and even an information desk. Make your way up to the second floor of the Rogers Shipping Container “Fan Hub” via the (interior) spiral stair case and you find yourself  inside a single modified 40′ shipping container that leads out to the roof top balcony. Utilizing the base of two 40′ modified shipping containers, we  created 740sq’ of roof top patio space allowing visitors to relax on one of  multiple couches and or chairs, creating a relaxing space with a great view of its surroundings. We even custom built two shipping container inspired ping pong tables for guests to enjoy outside (Design by Juiceworks). Follow us on Instagram @storstac_containers for updates on all of our other container housing and container modification projects.

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex 3 - Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub (Front View) – Engineered and Built by Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex - Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub (Side View) – Engineered and Built by Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex 2 - Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub (Roof Top Balcony / Lounge) – Engineered and Built by Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex 4 - Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub (Interior View) – Engineered and Built by Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex - Shipping Container Ping Pong Table

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex – Shipping Container Ping Pong Table

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub Complex 5 - Storstac

Rogers Shipping Container Fan Hub (Full View) – Engineered and Built by Storstac

 

About Storstac: With over 450 years of combined experience in the shipping container modification industry Storstac Inc. is the Oldest, Largest, Most Experienced shipping container Modification Company in Canada. Storstac’s Founder and President has been designing and manufacturing modified shipping containers since 1971. Since then, we have pioneered countless shipping container modifications that range from the very first portable wireless telecommunication shelters for Cantel (now Rogers), Clearnet Communications (now Telus), Microcell telecommunications (now Fido) to the revolutionary Tesla pop up container dealership (made from two 20’ shipping containers). We’ve worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, right down to your average Joe that needs a used shipping container for onsite storage. We fabricate modified shipping containers for a host of applications which include generator enclosures, retail pop up kiosks and retail stores, shipping container bars, shipping container markets, fully functional commercial grade off grid shipping container kitchens, high end bespoke shipping container man caves and even modular shipping container homes and buildings.

 

 

 

PreFab Containers vs Local Shipping Container Modifications

Not Made in China

Storstac does all of its shipping container modification work at its fabrication facility in Toronto, Canada

Shipping container architecture or “cargotecture” as it is commonly refereed to in the shipping container industry has become quite popular in North America over the last few years. Using shipping containers as the frame work to build shipping container houses, bars, kitchens, cottages, offices etc. is currently more widely accepted and is gaining traction in North America. With this increased appeal and demand for modified shipping container structures there are more and more people out there using high end renderings to try and get their foot in the door in this growing industry. Typically, these prefab container re-sellers are small scale operations (1-3 people) made up of architects and sales professionals that use these renderings to sell prefabricated houses and cottages (among other things) to potential buyers. What most people don’t realize is the fact that these prefabricated buildings, although sold locally, are manufactured and prefabricated on an assembly line in China by a few large shipping container manufacturers (these re-sellers will often refer to the Chinese factories as “Their factory” or “Our Factory”). Although the price tag on these prefabricated shipping container projects is usually somewhat attractive (compared to modifying and fabricating the same thing in North America), that’s pretty much the only positive aspect of buying a prefabricated container building from china as apposed to buying it and having it modified and fabricated locally in North America.

  • Shipping Container…think again – Prefabricated Shipping Container Structures (including houses, cottages etc.). ARE NOT made from real shipping containers. They may look like real shipping containers, but they are not. They are built using different grades of steel and different grades of paint because they are not intended to be shipped on the ocean with cargo. Also, they are built with the various openings in place, they do not take a standard shipping container and cut the openings into them (say for windows, doors, staircases etc.). This means that over time, these prefabricated shipping container buildings will not age the same way a standard shipping container will age as they do not use the same grade of Corten steel that they use on their cargo bound shipping containers
  • Build Quality – China is known for mass producing various goods cheaper then anywhere else in the world. This is positive for things like electronics, clothing and other low cost goods, but China should be the last place you want your new home or cottage to be built. Overall building standards and quality of materials are much lower coming from China, then they are if they are sourced and built locally in Canada. China is NOT KNOWN FOR MANUFACTURING QUALITY GOODS, they are known for manufacturing goods for the LOWEST POSSIBLE COST. We have first hand experience with prefabricated shipping container structures and can attest to the fact that the over all build quality is extremely low. Prefab structure from china use only Chinese made products and materials. This means the interior and exterior materials like your siding, insulation, walls, floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, appliances, bathroom fixtures etc. will all be made in China (compared to a local fabricator like us who will source locally made insulation, walls, floors, electrical, plumbing, kitchens, appliances, bathroom fixtures etc. simply because that’s what’s available for purchase in North America).
  • Material Quality – As mentioned previously, prefabricated shipping container buildings from china are made with Chinese parts and steel. Here at Storstac all of our shipping container modifications use Canadian made parts and steels. Things like our doors, windows, steel (used for things like framing openings and reinforcing when required) are all made in Canada. This is a huge bonus because generally anything Made in Canada/ U.S.A. is usually superior then the same item Made in China regarding overall quality, durability and longevity. Also, if your brand new window has a defect, but its from china, how do you warranty that window for replacement?
  • Standards of Building – Building standards in Asia are vastly different then in Canada and North America as a whole. Door sizes, hallway widths, staircase clearance and even minimum clearances of doors and washroom fixtures are different in Asia then they are in North America and Canada. One overlook on say the size of your washroom or the position of the door, and your door might be opening right into the toilet or sink, (literally, we have seen this happen in the past).

Still not convinced that a locally designed and modified container structure is right for you? Feel free to pass by our office to talk with one of our modification experts on why your next project should be built right here in Toronto, Canada.

 

china factory

Shipping Container…Think Again.

China Prefab Factory

Prefab containers inside one of the largest prefab companies in China

Storstac Builds Tesla Container Dealership

(Storstac Inc. Toronto, Canada) Storstac builds Tesla container dealership! When it comes to shipping container modifications Storstac has done and seen it all. From the installation of Toronto’s very first container market, to mobile bars to container buildings, Storstac can modify a container to meet the needs of any application. When we were approached to build a mobile dealership for Tesla we were eager to get started. The project parameters were simple: fit the entire dealership within two 20′ shipping containers. Although this might sound like a simple task, this included packing up the roof, signage and the entire 20′ x 12′ open concept showroom area into the two 20′ shipping containers. Keep in mind that the two 20′ shipping containers featured finished drywall, desks, chairs, computers and showcases for Tesla merchandise. The world of shipping container modification is one filled with a lot of smoke and mirrors. Although there are a number of container modification companies out there, very few have the technical skill, imagination and experience to fabricate a modified container that can meet the strict as-built guidelines and quality standards that a company like Tesla is looking for. Storstac’s owner and president has been modifying containers since 1971 (that’s 45 years of real world experience with container modification). You will be hard pressed to find a company with half as many years experience in this field. Although it was a challenge, we worked tirelessly to get the job done. In the end, we fabricated the Tesla Dealership to fit all of these components within the two 20′ shipping containers. The Tesla container dealership is another way for Tesla to reach its customer base without setting up a bricks-and-mortar stores or rolling out a traditional marketing campaign. Mobile pop up stores are gaining traction in North America and Canada, so if your looking to take your business to the next level, or your looking to expand your current market presence, then maybe a containerized pop up store is where you should be looking.

Storstac: We are Toronto’s Largest, Oldest, Most Experienced container modification company.

Outside of the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

Outside of the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

An inside look at the Storstac built Tesla container dealership

Tesla Showroom in Action

Tesla Showroom in Action

Modified Container Office Space

Storstac custom fabricates mobile container office space out of 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping containers. Our mobile office containers are some of the best made container offices in the industry and feature everything you would find in a conventional office space. Our modified container offices are fully insulated and feature a 100amp breaker panel, lights, heaters, air conditioning, wall plugs, phone jacks, two windows, and one man door. Once you step inside one of our modified container offices you will think that you just walked into a traditional brick and mortar building.

The advantages of a Storstac modified container office over a traditional trailer office provided by the other guys are easy to see. Our modified container offices are built within an all steel shipping container or sea can. The advantage of building an office inside of a modified shipping container is that they provide you with a sturdy, all steel structure that will outlast a trailer office multiple times over. Traditionally, trailer offices are made of all wood construction. The all wood construction can cause the trailer to smell and it causes the trailer to be extremely flimsy which significantly shortens the shelf life of the office. The Storstac modified container office is also placed at ground level. The man door is only 6″ off of the ground, which means there are no stairs or steps required to get in and out of the office. This makes winter maintenance very easy and straight forward. Trailer offices always require stairs, and they are usually made of wood. This can cause unnecessary tripping hazards and makes winter maintenance more difficult.

Buy one of our modified container offices that are pre-fabricated, or have one built to your specifications.

For more information about our 10′, 20′ and 40′ modified shipping container offices you can reach us at 416-231-9100 or come see one for yourself at our Head Office/ Depot @ 90 North Queen Street, Etobicoke Ontario.

 

Storstac 20' modified container office

Storstac Container Modification

modified container office

Storstac modified container office

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