Debate and Waffles

Last week was spent taking measurements and ordering vast amounts of supplies because what could be easier than vaguely knowing how to build one shipping container house? Throwing yourself into building two, simultaneously, with completely different designs. This is a product of waffling. We gathered supplies from a variety of resources. We found axels for the trailer at our friend Tim's who has a general stockpile of all things.[caption id="attachment_52" align="alignright" width="225"]Axels waiting for us to ghter them up and take 'em home. Axels waiting for us to gather them up and take 'em home.[/caption][caption id="attachment_33" align="alignright" width="225"]Using an overhead crane, we stored the axels on top of our container. Using an overhead crane, we stored the axels on top of our container.[/caption] We got all three and stored them on the container in our studio. Craigslist or sourcing from places which scrap RV's is a good bet for discount axels. A new 20' trailer can generally set you back between 3 and 7 grand so building your own is a cost (not time) efficient alternative. We are using the plans from Northwest Outdoors. Solar panels were found on craigslist for ¢76/Watt, so we bought 12 and also put them on top of the container. [caption id="attachment_36" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The solar panels arrive and are promptly put onto the container, next to the axels. The solar panels arrive and are promptly put onto the container, next to the axels.[/caption]The best deal we found on delivered metal came from Alco Metals, which, you guessed it, we stored on top of the container. After moving through traditional ways of framing, we decided to ignore convention completely and frame everything in angle iron, placing studs horizontally across corrugation. The decision was cemented by the discovery that the corrugate spans 11" center to center, meaning we would have to cut all the interior plywood down to meet the studs. Since the corrugation has a 2" depth we framed all windows in 3" angle iron so we can weld a complete seal across the sill. [caption id="attachment_54" align="alignright" width="225"]Metal being hoisted up next to the axels and solar panels. Metal being hoisted up next to the axels and solar panels.[/caption] There are a variety of choices for insulation. We chose 5/16 double bubble foil insulation which has an R value from 3.7 to 21 depending on how you attach it. It is easy to work with and significantly cheaper than other alternatives, although if your in a less temperate climate closed cell foam is something to consider. Now we wait for the containers to arrive and prepare for a weekend of metal dust and lead fumes.

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