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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

Buying a Shipping Container for Storage

Originally used to move cargo from one part of the world to another, shipping containers have since been modified for countless applications. Modified shipping containers save been used to create anything and everything from public storage facilities, mobile offices, equipment enclosures, retail restaurants, and yes, even houses…but what makes a shipping container an ideal storage solution for your overflowing warehouse or expanding storage needs?

  1. Wind & Water Tight – Well, first off , shipping containers are wind and water tight steel boxes. They are intended to travel on oceans, and thus, have been designed in a way that keeps water out, so that the cargo stays dry. This principle perfectly transitions over to your growing storage needs. What ever you put inside your storage container, you want it to stay dry. Period.
  2. All Steel Construction – Second is security and the strength of the steel shipping container. Made of corten steel (a weathering steel) shipping containers are strong and designed to take everything that mother nature throws at them.
  3. Security – Dry cargo shipping containers are all corten steel, including the container barn doors. Accompanied with a shipping container lock box, a shipping container provides you with a secure box that, unless someone is really determined, is difficult to gain access to (at least with out drawing a lot of attention and noise). Quick smash and grab break ins are usually a crime of opportunity, and an all steel shipping container takes that opportunity away. Lastly, shipping containers are modular and mobile.
  4. Portable – A simple tilt and load tuck (a flat bed tow truck if you will) is all you need to move around a 20′ shipping container (a 40′ shipping container is moved with the same principle, but will come on a big rig 18 wheeler). This means that your storage container is not a permanent investment. You can always add storage containers to grow your storage needs, or move them out if you no longer need them. If you relocate to another location, you can simply pick up your container and take it with you (or leave it behind if you choose).

If you would like to learn more about how you can turn an everyday shipping container into a great storage container, or your looking to modify a shipping container for your storage needs, feel free to click this link to learn more or call us @ 416-231-9100

 

The Perfect Storage Solution

 The Perfect Storage Solution

Storstac to build Hamilton Shipping Container House

Storstac is excited to announce that in just a few weeks we will begin fabrication of Canada’s first shipping container house to be permanently located in a major city’s (Hamilton’s) downtown core right here at our Toronto shipping container fabrication facility. This precedent setting build nicknamed the Hamilton Shipping Container House is already BUILDING PERMIT APPROVED and will consist of eight 40′ shipping containers sitting on top of a solid concrete block foundation. Designed by Toronto Architect Jason Halter of Wonder Inc, the house has been custom designed to suit his clients specific tastes which Jason describes as being “iconolastic”. Although the shipping containers themselves are fabricated in China (as China is the only place in the world where shipping containers are fabricated) all of the modification work and materials used for this project will be made in Canada. Unlike most 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 will be painted 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 it will be located in “Steel Town”, but a number of subtle architectural design elements (like the six walk out 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 have only been a hand full of container homes built in Canada, most of  which have been erected in rural areas as cottages. The vast majority Canada’s shipping container homes/cottages are pre-fabricated builds that are modified and built in china. This is problematic because they use Chinese steel and parts which provides the end user with a low-quality, inferior product that is unlikely to stand any real test of time. As stated earlier in this article, the Hamilton shipping container home will be modified and fabricated at Storstac’s modification facility located at 90 North Queen Street in Toronto and will rely strictly on 100% Canadian steel, paint, windows doors and most importantly local labor. Follow us on Instagram (@storstac_inc) as we will be closely covering and updating followers as this project develops and progresses. Installation of the Hamilton Shipping Container House will take place in June of this year.

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, Storstac has 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, fully functional commercial grade off grid shipping container kitchens, and even modular shipping container homes and buildings.

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

 

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

All of the Hamilton shipping container house modification work will be undertaken by Storstac at our Toronto modification facility

 

For progress on this project and all of our other shipping container projects

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Read more about this Project:

Globe and Mail – Proposed Hamilton container home is a steel building for Steeltown

The Hamilton Spectator – Shipping container house debuts in Hamilton

 

 

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

Mobile Container Kitchen

We are the first company in Canada to build a fully sufficient, off the grid, commercial grade mobile container kitchen.  Our mobile container kitchen (Commercial and Light-Duty Kitchen) is intended to be used on or off-the-grid in any situation. Besides being hooked up to a power source (either from a near by building, hydro line or via a generator/solar panels) the kitchens (both commercial and light-duty) do not require any water or sewage connections. All water  is housed within the units and is easily disposed of and replenished. The commercial kitchen is also equipped with on-board propane tanks to power all of the appliances (the light-duty kitchen does not require propane as it uses all-electric appliances). The commercial grade mobile container kitchen also comes with an 8′ x 8′ walk in fridge, freezer, three slinks, two deep fryers, one range, one grill and two ovens (one being a convection oven). As with all of our custom modified containers these two kitchens are CSA approved (electrical) and the commercial kitchen is TSSA approved (propane).

 

Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen

Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Commercial Kitchen Appliances

Storstac Off The Grid Commercial Kitchen

Storstac Off-The-Grid Commercial Container Kitchen

Container Modification Toronto Canada

There might be a number of typical container modification companies located in Toronto that claim this and say that, but Storstac is not your typical container modification company. We are the Oldest, Largest and most experienced container modification company operating in Toronto, The GTA and all of Ontario; and that’s just fact. But what does that really mean? Well, we have been modifying containers and fabricating custom built portable buildings since 1971. Since 1971, Storstac’s president, Vincent Ruggiero, has been responsible for the custom fabrication of thousands (yes thousands) of custom built portable buildings. The fabrication of these custom portable buildings have directly assisted in creating and expanding Canada’s expansive cellular network. In the last few years we have worked with the Scadding Court Community Center to help bring to life Market 707, Toronto’s first and only Container Marketplace. We have worked with billion dollar companies like Tesla, helping them bring Elon Musk’s “secret weapon” (a mobile Tesla dealership built from two shipping containers) to reality. We have built life-saving fire training facilities that range from flash-over simulators to complete, multi-story, multi container fire training complexes. We DO NOT claim to be a multi-national organization with multiple offices located across Canada, the United States and China. We do not take credit for work done by other container modification companies  (common practice within social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). We DO however, take pride in our work. We make sure that our product will stand the test of time, not just ensuring it looks acceptable when it leaves our shop. We have sent our custom modified containers to the Canadian Arctic,the Russian Tundra, American Mid-Western deserts, and everywhere in-between. Our 6+ acre container depot and modification facility is located just minutes away from Sherway Gardens in the West End of Toronto. With over 20 people staffed at our office and in our modification facility, we are simply the largest container modifiers in all of Ontario. Don’t take our word for it though, feel free to stop by and take a look for yourself. Our doors are always open and we welcome anyone and everyone to come pay us a visit to see what Storstac can do for YOU.

A view of our Toronto Container Depot and Modification Facility

A view of our Toronto Container Depot and Modification Facility

 

A look inside our modification facility

A look inside our modification facility

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