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I was looking at how some folk were building (for themselves or to sell to others) cabins of various sizes using shipping containers, and ran across this:
http://www.energistx.com/spaces/sportsmancabin.html
Has anyone seen and had chance to inspect one of these hunting cabins from this supplier? Looks like it might be handy for initial onsite lodging if constructing own homestead buildings, or just as cabin on remote property. Since this company has a long (and successful) history of building hurricane shelters and command and control facilities for disaster response (I know of them through some contacts in Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas), thought they might be good way to start, and to later use as visitors quarters once a homestead is built.

I have NO fiduciary interest (or responsibility) to these folk, no stocks, no ties. Just some curiosity...my failing! ;-)

My first problem with this is they try to do like so many and insulate INSIDE the box, rather than properly putting insulation on OUTSIDE of the box. The box walls should be covered in at least two inches of spray foam on both sides to form vapor barrier on both sides of metal, then build wall out, and on inside apply preferred products (paneling, barn board, whatever). But to my mind, the walls are to the OUTSIDE. (yeah, just a tad opinionated)
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
My preference would be (if I were healthy and maybe a decade younger) to build for myself using a combination of 20' and 40' shipping containers (HiCube, 9.5' height outside) with matching 20' and 40' "platform containers" (the totally flat ones, all steel, no pesky super-treated poisonous wood to remove before reusing) on top to form base for nearly flat garden roof. Like this (if I can figure out how to attach/include pix):
View media item 84
Looking down from above, by the way, front entrance is toward bottom, back yard is above, and containers are lighter blue, site is darker blue. And yes, I messed up at first and posted wrong version of picture (a joke for a friend for post-magnetic pole reversal...a tad dry).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My preference would be (if I were healthy and maybe a decade younger) to build for myself using a combination of 20' and 40' shipping containers (HiCube, 9.5' height outside) with matching 20' and 40' "platform containers" (the totally flat ones, all steel, no pesky super-treated poisonous wood to remove before reusing) on top to form base for nearly flat garden roof. Like this (if I can figure out how to attach/include pix):
View media item 83
That's 40' x 36'. Inner contained area is: 20' x 24', just right to build up internal framework to hold up 3x 20' platform containers for base of flat roof overtop, or do a traditional roof, or a nice solarium type roof overhead. Lots of possibilities. Plenty of room (approx. 1440 sq ft). Fast to enclose.
 

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I was looking at how some folk were building (for themselves or to sell to others) cabins of various sizes using shipping containers, and ran across this:
http://www.energistx.com/spaces/sportsmancabin.html
Has anyone seen and had chance to inspect one of these hunting cabins from this supplier? Looks like it might be handy for initial onsite lodging if constructing own homestead buildings, or just as cabin on remote property. Since this company has a long (and successful) history of building hurricane shelters and command and control facilities for disaster response (I know of them through some contacts in Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas), thought they might be good way to start, and to later use as visitors quarters once a homestead is built.

I have NO fiduciary interest (or responsibility) to these folk, no stocks, no ties. Just some curiosity...my failing! ;-)

My first problem with this is they try to do like so many and insulate INSIDE the box, rather than properly putting insulation on OUTSIDE of the box. The box walls should be covered in at least two inches of spray foam on both sides to form vapor barrier on both sides of metal, then build wall out, and on inside apply preferred products (paneling, barn board, whatever). But to my mind, the walls are to the OUTSIDE. (yeah, just a tad opinionated)

Any idea what they are getting for these cabins? No info on pricing anywhere on the website, as far as I can see.
 

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I'd be more inclined to purchase a portable icefishing house. On the inside, some of the icefishing houses look just like the sportsman cabin that the OP posted. The big difference in my mind is the icefishing houses are portable and can also be used as summer cabins.

Here is a brand that is very popular in Minnesota ==> https://www.icecastlefh.com/

upload_2018-2-4_9-43-29.png
 

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Otiose Endomorph
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I was looking at how some folk were building (for themselves or to sell to others) cabins of various sizes using shipping containers, and ran across this:
http://www.energistx.com/spaces/sportsmancabin.html
Has anyone seen and had chance to inspect one of these hunting cabins from this supplier? Looks like it might be handy for initial onsite lodging if constructing own homestead buildings, or just as cabin on remote property. Since this company has a long (and successful) history of building hurricane shelters and command and control facilities for disaster response (I know of them through some contacts in Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas), thought they might be good way to start, and to later use as visitors quarters once a homestead is built.

I have NO fiduciary interest (or responsibility) to these folk, no stocks, no ties. Just some curiosity...my failing! ;-)

My first problem with this is they try to do like so many and insulate INSIDE the box, rather than properly putting insulation on OUTSIDE of the box. The box walls should be covered in at least two inches of spray foam on both sides to form vapor barrier on both sides of metal, then build wall out, and on inside apply preferred products (paneling, barn board, whatever). But to my mind, the walls are to the OUTSIDE. (yeah, just a tad opinionated)
It is way easier to apply insulation on interior...if they did exterior insulation, then some sort of siding would be required...tough to attach siding to a 'can'. Plus, the exterior of can is really good siding as is (corten steel). I have a shipping container that has been sitting in yard for 6yrs+ and it looks pretty much as good as the day I bought it.
I did look at a can with spray foam interior insulation, not for living in it, but storage. I really noticed a difference in warmth in spray foam can.
I weighed the cost of converting a can to livable abode, but decided against it...wouldn't be all that cheap to do, plus I didn't want to spend time on temp accommodations. Sure, you get a stout box, but it requires a lot of work to make it comfortable. Things like windows, door, fridge, stove, HWT, furnace, electrical, AC, etc., add up. I ended up buying a used RV (7k), as it has everything to live in it, immediately. And selling RV after use, would be easy.

APDC0389 (Large).JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Any idea what they are getting for these cabins? No info on pricing anywhere on the website, as far as I can see.
Nope. Not yet, at least. Suspect its pricey, but then again they've got the process down to a science from what I've heard about them, so maybe it's more manageable than I fear. Just thought it was an interesting alternative for getting onsite quickly, and then would remain useful for decades as guest quarters for when a load of friends and relatives show up out in the boonies and you need more capacity at homestead.
 

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It is way easier to apply insulation on interior...if they did exterior insulation, then some sort of siding would be required...tough to attach siding to a 'can'. Plus, the exterior of can is really good siding as is (corten steel). I have a shipping container that has been sitting in yard for 6yrs+ and it looks pretty much as good as the day I bought it.
I did look at a can with spray foam interior insulation, not for living in it, but storage. I really noticed a difference in warmth in spray foam can.
I weighed the cost of converting a can to livable abode, but decided against it...wouldn't be all that cheap to do, plus I didn't want to spend time on temp accommodations. Sure, you get a stout box, but it requires a lot of work to make it comfortable. Things like windows, door, fridge, stove, HWT, furnace, electrical, AC, etc., add up. I ended up buying a used RV (7k), as it has everything to live in it, immediately. And selling RV after use, would be easy.

View attachment 64557
Nope, sorry, it's EASY to attach to exterior, builtin attachment mounts at corners for all sides, bottom, and top. (Think SIPS, or similar type of panels precut)
Also, the windows, doors, etc. cutouts and reinforcement all can get done in a large warehouse or "factory" site readily available in just about any county's Port District. Most states and provinces have many standing vacant for years. If you've got a bunch of these to do (sort of like old Sears catalog homes by mail/rail in late 1800's and early 1900's), it's downright cheap! And most of the work and prep for onsite trades can be done offsite at this "factory" site. This seems to be what these folk are doing, though rather than partially-completed products that are then finished onsite, they do whole product offsite and ship anywhere. But if you treat the ISBU (boxes) as building blocks, and do customizations in controlled environment with standard (experienced, qualified, on-staff) workforce working mostly indoors to prep and customize your blocks, adding the steel reinforcements around cutouts and prepping so that whole structure can be dry-fit assembled in big parking lot to do final owner and onsite crew chief/contractor walk-through before breaking down and shipping pieces to site, I think it could be quite reasonable in cost and timeframe for construction, delivery, and onsite completion.

Then again, I'm dreaming, not doing like y'all, which is why I'm asking rather than telling (mostly, when I don't forget myself, eh?).... ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Nope, sorry, it's EASY to attach to exterior, builtin attachment mounts at corners for all sides, bottom, and top. (Think SIPS, or similar type of panels precut)
Also, the windows, doors, etc. cutouts and reinforcement all can get done in a large warehouse or "factory" site readily available in just about any county's Port District. Most states and provinces have many standing vacant for years. If you've got a bunch of these to do (sort of like old Sears catalog homes by mail/rail in late 1800's and early 1900's), it's downright cheap! And most of the work and prep for onsite trades can be done offsite at this "factory" site. This seems to be what these folk are doing, though rather than partially-completed products that are then finished onsite, they do whole product offsite and ship anywhere. But if you treat the ISBU (boxes) as building blocks, and do customizations in controlled environment with standard (experienced, qualified, on-staff) workforce working mostly indoors to prep and customize your blocks, adding the steel reinforcements around cutouts and prepping so that whole structure can be dry-fit assembled in big parking lot to do final owner and onsite crew chief/contractor walk-through before breaking down and shipping pieces to site, I think it could be quite reasonable in cost and timeframe for construction, delivery, and onsite completion.

Then again, I'm dreaming, not doing like y'all, which is why I'm asking rather than telling (mostly, when I don't forget myself, eh?).... ;-)
Most of my attitudes and beliefs about insulation on outside come from the Renaissance Ronin (Alex Klein, an architect who's been doing this helping families make their own homes as affordably as possible, where they do much of their own work). But I'm thinking that while his approach works great for many who do it themselves, there's a large market that traditional contractors/developers serve that want nice semi-custom or fully custom home, but without doing the work themselves (can't due to disability, illness, working the rat race, etc.).

https://renaissanceronin.wordpress.com/man-on-a-mitzvah/

This prebuilt cabin is, IMHO, an interesting in-between position for those who need to get onsite quickly, intend to do build of real home themselves (mostly), yet want/need to be onsite in approved up to code living quarters (cabin) while work goes on. And who see value for future guests once main home is completed. Just thinking....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just to be clear, for ISBU buildings, I'd expect/prefer that rooms be large, not limited to width of one ISBU (8'). Five 20' shipping containers side by side give two nice large guest rooms (approx. 15' x 19') with private bath for each in-between (in middle, or 3rd of 5, container). Add a 40' (all highcube variant, so 9.5' tall outside) sideways along ends, and you have a very nice, wide hallway connecting those rooms. Then connect up to large 20' x 24' great room (where your 40' x 8' hallway with storage closets and shelving on sides forms one of the side-walls of this space), add more doubled-up containers for rooms, or enclose more spaces with containers, and don't forget you can always build up additional story(ies) easily, or put a basement underneath as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
More ISBU blocks play ideas:

View media item 89View media item 88View media item 87View media item 86View media item 85View media item 91Those thick gray lines are ICF concrete walls with rebar reinforcing and embedded connectors to lock ISBU blocks and ICF walls into one hurricane wind enduring steel and concrete structure. And to support just about any roof structure ya might think up for however many stories you want to go with your country B&B or mother-in-law apartments/suite over garage, etc.
 

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I was looking at how some folk were building (for themselves or to sell to others) cabins of various sizes using shipping containers, and ran across this:

My first problem with this is they try to do like so many and insulate INSIDE the box, rather than properly putting insulation on OUTSIDE of the box. The box walls should be covered in at least two inches of spray foam on both sides to form vapor barrier on both sides of metal, then build wall out, and on inside apply preferred products (paneling, barn board, whatever). But to my mind, the walls are to the OUTSIDE. (yeah, just a tad opinionated)
The problem with doing anything to the outside is that you lose everything about it being a shipping container. It looks like one of their selling points is that you can ship it around to where you want it, and you'll lose that if you start layering insulation and more walls.
 

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I made a lot of offices, hallways, portable washrooms, storage buildings, pumping rooms and various other things while at an Arctic mining site (where they figured shipping the containers back was more costly than just using them for "stuff". I can tell you that they are handy if you have the equipment to move them around.
insulation is a pain - no matter if done inside or out. if done inside you are losing space, and a seacan is not 8-feet wide inside, it is 92-1/2". if done on the exterior then the standard dimensions are lost, and any intermodal equipment will no longer be able to manipulate the can.
in the extreme weather of the arctic we found that cans that were spray foamed from the interior were best, although losing those precious inches made the usable width rather small. We found the best way to insulate the floor was to lay SM foam, then a layer of foil, then 5/8" T&G ply and screw the ply to the wood seacan floor with long screws. The challenge with seacans is to end up with something that does not appear to be a hallway, generally by adding access to the sides.
Four cans separated by a truss span (20-30 feet) made a service shop with good lockable storage at the corners, a knee wall attached on top of the cans created a work shop with greater ceiling height.
 

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I was looking at how some folk were building (for themselves or to sell to others) cabins of various sizes using shipping containers, and ran across this:
http://www.energistx.com/spaces/sportsmancabin.html
Has anyone seen and had chance to inspect one of these hunting cabins from this supplier? Looks like it might be handy for initial onsite lodging if constructing own homestead buildings, or just as cabin on remote property. Since this company has a long (and successful) history of building hurricane shelters and command and control facilities for disaster response (I know of them through some contacts in Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas), thought they might be good way to start, and to later use as visitors quarters once a homestead is built.

I have NO fiduciary interest (or responsibility) to these folk, no stocks, no ties. Just some curiosity...my failing! ;-)

My first problem with this is they try to do like so many and insulate INSIDE the box, rather than properly putting insulation on OUTSIDE of the box. The box walls should be covered in at least two inches of spray foam on both sides to form vapor barrier on both sides of metal, then build wall out, and on inside apply preferred products (paneling, barn board, whatever). But to my mind, the walls are to the OUTSIDE. (yeah, just a tad opinionated)
I've seen contractors apply foam panels to the inside to make a jobsite shop. It worked good. If you need upscale, nope! For temporary or occasional use that provides decent security, it's OK. Don't use a hasp lock. Get one designed for a container and mount it across the doors as designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
If you must insulate on inside, here's a useful option that makes it easy:
But please, put SOMETHING on the outside to cover that hideous industrial look (and may as well add insulation behind whatever you use to cover that nasty 'can). Steel is for infrastructure, hidden away (and protected) inside, not blaring Darth Vader industrial look at all your neighbors, especially out in the country or mountains! IMHO. ;-)

And yes, I love my Lego's! (Intermodal Steel Building Units, or ISBUs)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now if you want to ship your 'can again at some later date, you're buying into a whole bunch of other constraints that I have no interest in messing with.

My interest is in modular buildings, customizable, affordable, and dry-fit testable for everyone to walk through before transporting modules to (usually remote) home site where final assembly and finishing touches get done, but without the drawbacks of flimsy trailer homes that a good windstorm may damage. And without the constraints to live in that 7-foot-something width of a single container. Affordable steel infrastructure tied to solid reinforced concrete foundation (e.g. ICF + FastFoot monopour foundation) that when complete looks like a regular house, but in tornado winds, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. forms a much more survivable shelter for average families on tight budgets.

Oh, and with forest fires all the rage out west here (or in mountains most anywhere), leave the kindling (wood studs) in the wood stove where they belong. Again, IMHO.
 

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Now if you want to ship your 'can again at some later date, you're buying into a whole bunch of other constraints that I have no interest in messing with.

My interest is in modular buildings, customizable, affordable, and dry-fit testable for everyone to walk through before transporting modules to (usually remote) home site where final assembly and finishing touches get done, but without the drawbacks of flimsy trailer homes that a good windstorm may damage. And without the constraints to live in that 7-foot-something width of a single container. Affordable steel infrastructure tied to solid reinforced concrete foundation (e.g. ICF + FastFoot monopour foundation) that when complete looks like a regular house, but in tornado winds, earthquakes, wildfires, etc. forms a much more survivable shelter for average families on tight budgets.

Oh, and with forest fires all the rage out west here (or in mountains most anywhere), leave the kindling (wood studs) in the wood stove where they belong. Again, IMHO.
One doesn't see a lot of shipping containers with exterior siding (or insulation under siding). The appeal to many is the outside of shipping container is done, in a manner of speaking (no need to weatherproof). It would require more than a couple of clips to attach insulation and siding on exterior. Can it be done, sure. And if one wants to up-size a shipping container (ex. double up), then your getting into metal fabrication. A shipping containers appeal is the ability to move it (to a remote location), so messing with outside creates issues (cannot crane it to location...it becomes a mobile home or RV without wheels).
Trying to make it as a mass appeal item is a tough sell, I think. While they do a fantastic job of storing stuff (I have one), retrofitting one as a home is not particularly cheap, and you have to contend with a 7-1/2' wide home, which is a deterrent to many.
And if you can pour a foundation at site, you can likely bring in 'kindling' to build...just put on a metal roof and hardi siding (fireproof).
I have no doubt a shipping container is stout, but so would a concrete house, if you want to go the stout route.

I see a few tiny homes being built in our area, and never has one started with a shipping container. I suspect the reason is, is it isn't easy, and a stick built one offers more options, like headroom in lieu of width (making it long term tolerable).
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One doesn't see a lot of shipping containers with exterior siding (or insulation under siding)....
Melli, sorry, hadn't gotten back here in quite awhile, but I just had to respond to your first sentence. How would you know if you saw a house built with ISBU building blocks? Take a look at these two examples:
View media item 272View media item 274
 

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I have a twenty foot container cabin sitting on my property right now. I purchased a one trip high cube, framed it inside, insulated, and finished with T&G pine. Total cost was $8500.00. not counting my labor. I have another one for my well house/pantry. Framed and finished with rough lumber I got from a local saw mill. Total cost was $4400.00, not counting my labor. I did all of the work myself, at my own speed. If I didn't like something, I took it out and built it again. I don't use nails, only deck screws. So it is east to redo something.

The temp has been in the high forty's for the past week, and low thirty's at night. The well house has stayed at seventy degrees, without running the heater.

They are not for everybody, but I like them just fine. I can lock them up when I am not home, they are rodent proof, and wind and weather proof. If one is worried about how they look, they can be easily covered with some type of siding, and look as regular as you like. I paint mine dark green, and from the road you can't tell them from the trees.

Someone mentioned using a RV, while building your real house. A used RV will almost always come with a leaky roof, flimsy construction, and it's own resident mice. Try living in one of those when it is ten below, and a forty mile per hour wind.
 
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