Housing is an important commodity that must not be taken for granted. In 2017, there were approximately 553,742 homeless people in the USA. As a non-profit project, The Dream Homes Project aims to help those who are not capable of owning a home by building and providing them with shipping container homes.
Shipping container homes are a great home option for those who are not capable of buying their own homes. However, if you’re not familiar with these, you may find yourself questioning the safety of these homes. The first thing that we will do is address the safety question of container homes. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be willing to help us provide homes for low-income individuals.
Most of the time, after a shipping container has served its purpose, it can be recycled or repurposed as a shipping container home. If you have a used shipping container, you may not know what has been shipped in it. It can be anything from consumer goods, a bunch of dry goods, or hazardous chemicals.
The paints and finishes of shipping containers are intended for their purposes, which is to ship goods across oceans and not residential homes, so it is best to check it before repurposing it as a shipping container home.
To avoid the risks of exposure to hazardous paints, most of the shipping containers used for residential homes are made from brand new containers that are not treated with harsh chemicals and hazardous paints. Just make sure to use those shipping containers that are not used to handle and transport toxic chemicals.
If used shipping containers are going to be used, non-breathable flooring will serve its purpose to prevent harmful chemicals on the wooden floor. You can place tiles on the top of the flooring to keep it secured. You can also remove the original wood floors and use marine plywood instead.
Since shipping containers are exposed to seawater during their transport, toxic paint coatings are applied to them to keep them protected from harsh seawater and extreme weather conditions. When converting a shipping container into a home, the paint coating can be removed. You can also cover it with non-toxic spray paint or spray foam insulation to keep the occupants safe from the harmful chemicals of the previous paint coatings.
Since shipping containers are made from steel, they are resistant to pests and insects. This means that you will not have to worry about the structural integrity of your shipping container home as it is made from steel. However, you have to make sure that no insects can damage the interior finishes or exterior siding, especially if it is made from wooden floors or if the exterior wall covering is made from wood.
Below is some important information about shipping container homes:
What Is The Common Size Of A Shipping Container Home?
Shipping containers have limited sizes, so they can be easily consumed by different aspects of a home such as HVAC, insulation, plumbing, etc. Shipping containers are designed to fit trucks and trains, so they have narrow widths and big furniture will not easily fit in.
A standard shipping container is usually a 20 feet or 40 feet model, which will not have a huge space after you have installed the necessary aspects of a home such as insulation, wiring, HVAC, plumbing, etc. That’s why it is common to use two or more shipping containers when building a home.
How Can A Shipping Container Be Insulated?
A shipping container is usually insulated with a thin layer of insulation that has a high R-value per inch like polyurethane spray foam. Spray foams are effective as an airtight insulator; however, you must be careful as some brands of spray foam contain greenhouse gases.
Can A Roof Be Added To A Shipping Container Home?
When building shipping container homes, you must remember to reinforce its corners and roof as they may not have optimal structural integrity. The roof of a shipping container must be capable of withstanding harsh elements such as snow, hail, rain, etc.
A roof can also add an aesthetic feel and architectural flair to the shipping container home, which is common in North America. There are plenty of roof styles that can be used for shipping container homes such as flat roofs, gable roofs, living roofs, pitched roofs, shed roofs, and roof terraces.
A flat style of roofing is the most simple, least expensive, and easiest to install in a shipping container home. If using this style of roofing, you must remember to create a slight pitch to accommodate the drainage of rainfall as it is prone to water pooling, which can become more costly to maintain in the long run.
A gable style of roofing resembles the roofing of traditional homes it has a triangular shape. Because of its sloping style, it will allow water drainage during the rainy season and prevent leaks, as well as extend the lifespan of the roof. The installation process is the same as that of a shed-style roof and will require the expertise of a structural engineer. Keep in mind that the roof should have adequate ventilation so that you can use steel sheets or shingles to cover the roof.
A living roof or green roof is a style of roofing with plants and greenery growing in it. This type of roof is beautiful and provides natural cooling and insulation.
A pitched roof is designed with a downwards slope and is commonly used in areas that encounter heavy rainfall and snow.
Roof terraces are flat spaces built on roofs to increase spaces, especially on homes with limited space like shipping container homes. Roof terraces are commonly used for outdoor gardens, lounging areas, or eating spaces.
Shed-style roofing has slightly sloping, is easy to build, and is low-cost. It is common roofing for shipping container homes because it can be fitted with solar panels to further increase savings for your energy bills. Shed-style roofing must include welding right-angled steel plates over the length of both sides of the container.
On both sides, a beam made of wood will be used to attach the steel plates while the trusses will be connected to the beams. Steel bars can be used to provide reinforcement and structural support along the trusses. You can use steel sheets or shingles to cover the roof. To allow adequate ventilation, you must make sure that the trusses of the roof will hang over the edge of the shipping container home.
What Are Prefabricated Modular Container Homes?
These are shipping containers that are made up of prefabricated sections that are called modules. Most of the sections used are of the same measurement, which means that they can be easily manufactured in the factory at low costs. The main components of a prefab container home are manufactured in the factory and will be transported to the designated site to install accordingly. It is easy to install and quick to assemble with little construction work needed.
Modular constructions are known to be used for temporary and permanent housing and have been quite popular as shelters for areas that are affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, etc. The advantages of using prefab or modular homes are the following: flexibility, portability, ease, quickness to install and construct, and cost-effectiveness.
Do Shipping Container Homes Last For A Long Time?
Shipping container homes can last up to 25 years or more if it is well maintained. You must protect the exterior part of the home as it is exposed to harsh elements. Rust is the main problem of shipping container homes as it can reduce the lifespan of the shipping container home.
You must always inspect for rust spots. If you see any rust-affected areas, you need to immediately treat them and make sure to repair them to prevent them from spreading as it can lead to the premature ruin of your shipping container home.
Shipping containers are prone to rust because they are made from metal. If it is manufactured with alloys, it can form a surface level that prevents the spread of the rust to other parts of the container. If the areas you live in experience a lot of rain, it can also cause the formation of rust in the shipping container home.
Are Shipping Container Homes Strong And Sturdy?
Since they are manufactured from steel, shipping containers are tough and durable. They can withstand harsh elements as they are built to last against extreme weather conditions on both the ocean and the land to protect the shipment inside it.
During its transport in the ocean, shipping containers are exposed to strong winds and huge waves that can be as high as 50 feet. If they can last against the harsh elements in the ocean, they can also last through extreme weather conditions as a shipping container home.
During the building of the shipping container home, holes will be cut out to serve as windows and doors. Just make sure to reinforce those areas to maintain the optimal structural integrity of the home. The doors and windows can be placed behind the original doors of the shipping container to help maintain its structural integrity and durability.
Shipping container homes can withstand strong winds, but if you fasten them to a foundation, it can improve the safety of the home so that it can endure strong winds up to 175 mph. This will make shipping container homes a great option for people living in areas with harsh weather conditions like hurricanes and tornadoes.
A non-profit organization, The Dream Homes Project is based in Colorado. Our project’s main goal is to build shipping container homes for low-income individuals, from elderlies, young families, single parents with children, disabled, former foster kids, etc.
Once we have accumulated all the funds for the project, we will be buying the materials needed for the construction of shipping container homes. We are planning to construct homes for our beneficiaries using prefabricated modular container homes. We also need volunteers, and if you are interested to help, you can donate to our cause by visiting this link here. If you have any questions, inquiries, or suggestions regarding our project you can call us at +760-218-8472 or send an email at [email protected] We are knocking on your kind hearts to help us with our project so we can help other people own a home. The sooner we reach our target the sooner we can start building homes.