Shipping container homestead

Discussion in 'Homestead Construction' started by Sdom001, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    Hey everyone, I wasn't sure if this was the right section to put this in since it will mostly be about building the house to start with. Admins if it's not please feel free to move it.
    I've been off the forum for a while but been very busy. I have since bought 45 acres with 13 acres being pasture with the rest all hardwoods and a few pines. The property also has a very wide creek that flows through it,a spring fed stream and a spring fed watering hole. The wife and I have decided that we will homestead the property. We will have a few cows, chickens, a couple pigs and the rabbits we already raise.
    We decided to build the house from 4 shipping containers. It will be all one story, 2700 sqft total with a 6' wide wrap around porch. I have already started constructing the house and i am chronologging the build on my blog for those who are interested on the step by step process. I will also be posting updates on here, just not in as much detail.
     

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  2. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nice drawing and kids in the creek. A very good start. All the best.
     

  3. OhioHomestead

    OhioHomestead Well-Known Member

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    looks good, I look forward to seeing the end product we have talked about doing this before.
     
  4. itsb

    itsb need some advice?just ask

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    nice lookin property, what part of the country you in. good luck and enjoy
     
  5. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    I am in the Southeast
     
  6. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For areas without zoning or building codes, this might be a fun way to go. Would be interesting to compare the difference in cost between a standard stud wall and a shipping container. Perhaps it is done to be different?

    If you plan on covering the interior walls with drywall, paneling or boards, there isn't any cost saving either way. If you plan to insulate, stud walls without a shipping container would be cheaper. If you plan to side the exterior, stud walls is cheaper than screwing furring strips on a steel container for siding.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the cost of a home isn't in the shell. No matter what you build the shell out of, that cost is going to be about the same. The cost of home construction is in insulation, wiring, plumbing, lighting, heat and air conditioning, cupboards, bathroom fixtures and windows.

    In your climate, a concrete slab, with PEC waterlines in the floor, hooked to a water heater for radiant heat, stud walls and attic truss won't cost you more than 4 shipping containers. What are you putting under the containers to stop mold, mildew, rust and prevent shifting of each container?
     
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  7. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    What do the containers cost?
     
  8. OhioHomestead

    OhioHomestead Well-Known Member

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  9. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    I am doing spray foam insulation underneath the containers. I got the first 2 delivered to my property for $2500. each for the 45' ones. You can still build this type of a home in areas with zoning and building codes, it's been done already.
     

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  10. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So you are spray foaming the bottoms? what about the walls? What keeps vermin from digging tunnels and nests in the foam?

    Is there any lumber yard, near you, that offers a package home, just the wall studs, floor joists, truss, sheathing, windows and shingles? You might find that conventional construction is less costly and resale more reliable. You may not be concerned with resale. But everything gets sold, eventually.
     
  11. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    Walls are also getting spray foamed. There will be concrete walls connecting all the outermost piers therefore enclosing underneath the house.
    As for keeping away vermin the same as you would with a stick house-- an exterminator.
    Lumber needs are ruduced because lumber needed is only to hold drywall so i wont need the same amount or dimensions a stick built house would for structural reasons.
    As for resale your right i am not worried about it. This house is stronger and will last longer than a conventional house built by todays methods will. It wont burn down to the ground, it will hold up to a strong storm better than stick built. And its termite proof.
     
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  12. Muleman

    Muleman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well you are on your way already so no turning back at this point. I too did extensive research on this type of construction and the numbers just did not pan out for me to show any benefit. But I hope it meets your expectations when it is all done. Best of luck to you. Thanks, for sharing your experience.
     
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  13. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    I can understand the numbers dont always work out in favor especially if you live in an area that's heavily regulated and building code restrictive. I think it also depends on the design or even the size of the house overall. The smaller the better the numbers work.
    Thanks for the support its definitely going to be an experience.
     
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  14. Muleman

    Muleman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I do not know where you are located, but I suspect not far away from the pictures. I am in North Central Arkansas. NO, that is right NONE, zero, building codes outside the city limits, so that was not a factor in my decision. I am not meaning this to be discouraging at all, so I hope you do not take it that way, just trying to relate some of the info I came up with. Initial cost for the containers was basically the same as a stick build frame. This seemed like a big step forward as it would already be dried in, so I assumed that would lead to reduced cost later on, but that was not the case. I was looking at potential labor savings and more importantly time savings. What I came up with was in a weeks time I could have containers setting on my property ready to add on to. That was the big plus I was looking at. I am about 2 1/2 hours from Memphis and containers are available to me for $1800 each and I have a truck and trailer and the means to unload and place them myself, so that incurred no additional cost, besides fuel and time. The money really started to add up when it came to finishing cost. What I was looking at was lightly framing the insides in order to finish it into living spaces. All interior walls were the same as stick built, cost wise and labor time wise. Again the exterior needed some type of siding as well, so no cost saving or labor savings there. What I seen when I figured it all up was the only benefit I gained was the fact I could have the containers sitting on my property quick! Which at the time seemed like a big head start. But the finish work was the same as stick built for every other aspect. Insurance was not even going to be a big difference for me. The heating and cooling properties of metal is not very good and leads to sweating on the inside, which leads to mold problems if a dehumidifier is not used. That was a big downside for me.

    Again I am not trying to discourage you, just pointing out some of the info. I came up with when considering a similar project. I will be very interested to follow the build and see where you are at as it progresses.
     
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  15. 1948CaseVAI

    1948CaseVAI Well-Known Member

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    Have you checked to see if you can insure the "house" when you finish it?

    I am not a fan of government but most building codes exist for the reason to keep people from making costly or dangerous mistakes.
     
  16. Muleman

    Muleman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I understand what you are saying, but I have to disagree a bit. I have seen them try to push for building codes in my area and it is all about revenue. Well, that and neighbors who are too ---- worried about what some body else is doing on their property. I just got no use for building regulations and would not even consider living somewhere where I had to get a permit to build a building on my own property. I understand the comfort these regulations and inspections may give those with no idea what it takes to build something, but they are more than welcome to hire someone who can help them if they need it, but I should not have to pay to build my house, becasue some one else does not know how to build theirs. I have seen some of what is built according to "Code" in some places and I would not live in that. I know how contractors build and I know how they cut corners to turn a profit and stay within "codes". I just do not buy it, codes and regulations are about revenue, plain and simple.

    I will add to that those state certified electricians and plumbers are not what they are cracked up to be either. I have seen several jobs some so called "Certified electricians have done and you open a electrical box and it looks like a bird nest inside. No, I will not be hiring anyone to do any of that work. I learned my lesson years ago when I hired a sheet rock finisher, thinking "he is a professional" so he should be able to do better than I have been doing in the other rooms, only to find out his work looked like a kid did it. I went back to doing my own stuff and have not hired anyone to build anything since then and have no plans to.

    Sorry, for the rant, I just don't buy the idea of a need for codes, regulations and hiring "Certified" or "Licenced" people to do work on my property. I already pay enough taxes without having hidden taxes in the form of "Making sure I am safe from myself"
     
  17. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you know what they call a guy that graduated last in his class from Medical School? Doctor.:hysterical:

    Just because a guy managed to pass the test to be a Residential Contractor, doesn't mean he can build a bird house. Always check references before you hire anyone. :sing:

    Folks always chafe at zoning, preferring the freedom to do what you want on your property. Their tune changes when a thousand sow hog operation is built next to their house. A three story apartment complex. A motocross race track. A dead cattle rendering plant. A 5 million hen egg operation, with a two acre dead hen composting pile. A huge puppy mill.
    You can't have it both ways.:help:

    Sometimes insurance companies won't insure a place built without a professional inspection. Might not matter now, but may later.

    Every place sells eventually. What it is worth will matter, someday. :(

    When most communities place restrictions on things though of as blight, things like junk cars, tarpaper shacks, old house trailers, they concentrate on the places they are permitted. You may get to witness your remote piece of paradise evolve into a shanty town.:eek:

    No judgment. Just understand that the other side of the "I want to do what I want on my property" coin is "I am willing to tolerate every sort of nastiness my neighbors might come up with".:pound:
     
  18. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    Not taking it as discouraging.:) And although there are no building codes and requirments to get inspectins in my county, I am following what building codes are for the state. I am hiring licensed contractors for certain aspects like electrical, hvac and I am documenting the entire build process with reciepts and pictures of every stage in case of being needed for the future.
     
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  19. haypoint

    haypoint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a close friend that bought an old brick school and converted it into a house. It had 16 foot ceilings, so making part of it into two stories worked well.

    He started with a solid structure. But adding heat, water and electrical was a challenge. Replacing the roof, windows, drywall and everything that required working around the existing structure was costly.

    He once said, he would have been better off starting from an empty lot and building a house that looked like the school, but had conventional walls and made to be comfortable, would have been far cheaper.

    Another friend was given a big farmhouse. Just had to move it. After all the work getting it ready to move, building a walk out basement to match the shape of the house, the moving company, he had a house that was ready to live in. Except, it needed insulation, wiring, plumbing, furnace, cupboards, flooring, shingles, soffit, facia, windows, siding. Again, a conventional new home would have been better and cheaper.
    We often joked that every lumber yard should buy old empty homes and give them away as a method to snare new customers.
    When I was growing up, I learned the story of "Stone Soup". You can make enough soup to feed the village, using just stones. As the story evolves, "improvements" to this soup are requested. Eventually, everything that would go into a good soup are added to the stone soup. I think a shipping container house is a lot like stone soup.
     
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  20. Sdom001

    Sdom001 Member

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    I'm sorry for you that you feel that way. But for me this is the way I have decided to go so either enjoy the thread and help with suggestions or move along but continuing to tell me its not worth it isnt going to change anything for me.