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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 Shipping Container Kitchen

Storstac is one of the only companies in North America to fabricate a fully functional, 100% off grid, commercial grade kitchen inside of a standard ISO shipping container. Utilizing our 450+ years of combined experience in the shipping container modification industry (Going as far back as 1971), Storstac was able to design, and modify a shipping container to house a 100% off grid commercial grade kitchen. Our Off Grid Commercial Grade Kitchen is complete with a Propane Room, Off grid clean and grey water tanks, a freezer, an 8′ x 8′ walk in fridge, 3 sinks, 1 commercial grade dish washer, 1 four burner commercial stove with oven, 1 commercial gill top, 2 commercial grade fryers, 1 commercial grade convection baking oven, various stainless steel prep counters an shelves, commercial grade range hood, fire suppression system, and even an off grid security system complete with digital key FOB entrance/exit cards. Our Commercial Grade shipping container kitchens use only 100% food safe building materials. Our container kitchens can be custom built to order depending on your cooking requirements and needs. Feel free to contact a member of our knowledgeable sales team to custom build a commercial shipping container kitchen today.

Storstac Off The Grid Commercial Kitchen

Storstac Off Grid Commercial Shipping Container Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Shipping Container Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Commercial Shipping Container Kitchen Walk-In Refrigerator

Commercial Shipping Container Kitchen Walk-In Refrigerator

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

Portable Storage Solutions @ Storstac

(Toronto, Ontario) Storstac  is proud to house one of Ontario’s largest portable storage container fleets. Our portable storage container fleet features premium grade painted shipping containers. Easy open doors, lock boxes and an attractive paint job put our portable storage containers ahead of our competitors bar none. Whether your looking to to free up some space for renovations, your working on a construction site and need somewhere to securely store your tools/materials, or your looking to inexpensively expand your on site storage space, Storstac portable storage containers will meet any and all of your storage needs. Looking for a modified container? We do that too! With over 40+ years in the business of modifying shipping containers we take on any job big or small. Need a roll up door, man door, window, retail container kiosk or complete container home? We do it all. We are the Oldest, Largest, Most Experienced container modification company in Ontario (located in Toronto).

Storstac Portable Storage

Portable Storage Container – Toronto Pan Am Games

November is here and we are receiving the last of our premium Pan Am and Parapan Am Games storage container rental units. Storstac was an official supplier of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, delivering over 250 premium storage containers and container office units to all 32 venues across Toronto and the entire GTA. Storage Containers can be used for a number of applications  including but not limited to renovations/tool and material storage/expanding on site available storage/expanding warehouse storage. Portable storage containers are great because they can be delivered just about anywhere, and are easily dropped off and picked up. Storstac’s portable storage containers area great because they are painted, wind and water tight, are “cargo worthy” and come with a free, high security lock boxes. Next time your looking for a portable storage container for rent or purchase Storstac would be happy to help you get the job done right the first time around…and in case you were wondering, YES!, we modify shipping containers as well!

Storstac Portable Storage Container

Storstac Portable Storage Container at the Toronto Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games