Q:

How do you design good container home plans?

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Quick Answer

Any good container home plan begins with designing a foundation. Apply for a permit from your area’s building authority before building a container home. To build a container home, you must plan the modifications to be made to the container, the method for securing the container to the foundation, and the installation of fixtures and utilities.

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Full Answer

  1. Apply for a permit

    Apply for a permit by submitting the necessary construction documents to the relevant building authority in your area.

  2. Plan the foundation

    Plan the foundation for a shipping container home. A slab on grade application is a typical choice for the average home. Map out trenches on the perimeter of the foundation for drainage. Indicate where gas supply, electrical and water lines run to the base of the foundation. Add to the plan compacting soil, back-fill, gravel and re-bar for the foundation walls. Include how pre-cast panels are to be dropped and tied together.

  3. Include container modifications in the plans

    Consult an architect or structural engineer before making any modifications to the container. Penetrating members and cutting holes both weaken the container and affect its structural integrity. The solution is to frame openings with steel framing and add column and roof support for large roof loads and openings. Plan to have reinforcing and welding done off-site, starting with the interior, before the container is delivered to the site.

  4. Plan for securing the container to the foundation

    Include how the container is secured to the foundation in the plans. Hook the container into place, and weld it down to attach it completely to the foundation. Embed steel plates to the concrete slab, and weld the container’s corner blocks to the plates.

  5. Plan for the installation of fixtures and utilities

    Plan for the installation of windows, flashing, exterior doors and skylights. Indicate how and where insulation, interior framing, plumbing, cooling systems and heating are to be installed.

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