A beginner’s guide to extending your home using storage containers

The loft conversion has long been the traditional answer to the demand for extra living space for growing families. However with ever reducing budgets and reduction in loan availability from banks there is a growing tide of families looking for alternatives and the unlikely front runner is the humble storage container. Here is a quick beginner’s guide to a real alternative to the loft conversion by using storage containers.

  • How much will it cost? A basic storage container can be obtained for as little as £500-£1300. This provides you with the raw storage container. Usually this includes delivery from the yards where they are stored to your premises so it’s already clear that using storage containers for an extension is cost-effective.
  • Do I have to do the conversion myself? The answer is you could if you wanted to. Just like any self-build project you can undertake this work yourself. For the intrepid DIY expert familiar with welding equipment and industrial cutting equipment then this may be a project for you. For those less adventurous or more used to applying a coat or two of paint there are specialist companies prepared to do the conversion for you.
  • How do I design what I want? Just as with any form of build project there are specialist designers and architects who have made it their career to convert these giants of the shipping container business into the very latest modern and stylish home extensions.
  • Could I build a Whole House Using Shipping Containers? Within the context of building a house and in terms of size and structure shipping containers can be used to build a structure the size of a conventional house. If you are looking to build a twenty bed mansion out of these containers there may be other issues to overcome. The modular nature of shipping containers means that you can easily use several containers to create a larger structure.
  • Do I need Planning Permission to build an Extension from Shipping Containers? In very loose terms a shipping container is a temporary structure and so planning permission need not be obtained. HOWEVER this is dependent on where you live, what your local authorities views are and where you want it positioned. Just ordering a shipping container and having it delivered to your front garden in your quiet suburban road will attract attention from the neighbours and probably the local authority. If this is a genuine project and proper plans are drawn up designs are presented to the planning department you will stand a far better chance of being able to construct your extension without too much resistance.
  • Can I build an Environmentally Friendly Extension using Shipping Containers? Again there are specialist companies who can design an environmentally friendly home with rain water harvesting and purification systems. They can design solar powered systems that provide electricity or alternative wind powered systems.

All in all shipping containers can and are providing a real alternative to the loft conversion for growing families. It is proving to be a cost effective and fun option for those who dare try it.