Our DIY Shipping Container Home Building

We started our shipping container home building adventure when we purchased a 3 acre bush block with river frontage, from the house we will have great views of the river.

We decided to make a 'shipping container' house rather then - building a timber house, buying a relocatable house or cabin, or building a shed and fitting it out like a house.

The main reason why we chose to use shipping containers is because they are relocatable and we really liked the idea of making a 'unique' house.

Our plan was designed to use 4 high cube containers - 2 x 20' (6 metres) and 2 x 40' (12 metres) containers placed in a square which created a central room which is now the living room.

We had our first meeting with the local building officer, we showed and explained what we would like to do.

He had not had anything to with container houses before but approved our construction providing we do all requirements, get certificates etc.
We were very happy that we could go ahead with our plans and building.

A soil test had to be done and a surveyor had to survey the block mainly to verify the setback from the river and the height the house had to be due to being next to a river which flooded in the 1950s.

An architect drew up plans and the structural engineer added instructions to those plans mainly for strengthening the 'cutouts' in the container walls, the foundations and the decking across the front of the house we will build sometime in the future.

We completed the 'online course'  for the 'white card' and the owner builder certificate

Started the paperwork for the shire with a housing 'Development Application' and plans required, then completed the Construction certificate.

The Construction at home of the 'shipping container' home building

We purchased the four 'used' containers and set them up in a square and levelled them exactly in position for construction to begin.

The first cut was the largest cutout through to the living room which was most exciting, we had began our 'shipping container' house adventure.

Large cutout in the 40 foot shipping container will open out into the living room in the central area in our shipping container home building when it is complete

Then the internal doors where cutout and framed so we had easy access to all of the containers, the front door was cutout also.

Next the internal wall framing was done, then the internal walls for bathroom, toilet, wardrobes and door frames.

The 'central room' floor joists were put in place and some floor boards placed over them around the edges so we could walk from room to room easily.

Followed by cutting out the windows openings which were all had a steel frame welded in to keep the wall strong.

The electrician started to run the wires where we required power points, lights etc.

The timber framing on the exterior was also being done which the corrugated cladding will be attached to later.

The plumbing inside and outside was being installed ready for the shower, basins, toilet etc to be fitted.

All the windows and wardrobe sliding doors were fitted.

The internal framing has been done so that the plasterboard can be attached 
 to all the walls and ceilings in our shipping container house

The plaster wall and ceiling sheets were attached inside all containers.

The skirtings and architraves were fitted where they need to be.

Then we were able to get some painting done.

The central room framing timber was completed which the plaster will be attached to later after the containers are relocated.

The bathroom-laundry-toilet 'wet' area floor was waterproofed.

The electrical and plumbing was finished off as much as possible including the shower and toilet installed.

The kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, sinks, basins etc were installed

The 25 stumps for the 'container' house to be placed on were being fabricated and galvanised.

The initial construction of the shipping container home building was done at home which took 12 months and then the containers were separated and trucked to our block of land to be completed.

Shipping Container Home Building at the Block

Meanwhile at the block the 25 very large holes where being dug, they had to be at least 900mm deep and 600mm wide.

Next the frame that had the bolts attached to were placed in the hole and the cement was poured in so that everything was level for the stumps to be bolted on and left to set for several weeks.

The stumps were then bolted on and levelled ready for the arrival of the containers.

About the concrete foundations and preparing the house block

Relocating the shipping containers to our block of land  in New South Wales.


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