The viability of the shipping container home as an affordable, modular dwelling unit that can be easily transported and quickly assembled on a suitable site anywhere in the world has been demonstrated numerous times.

From the Canary Wharf project in London to the DeMaria Associates home in Redondo Beach, CA, container home projects have been in the news with increasing frequency, and as more shipping container projects pop up municipalities are beginning to view them with a more sympathetic eye.

Along with relatively lower costs, when compared to a traditional home, another aspect that people find attractive about a container home is the apparent simplicity of the process. And the bloggers DO make it sound soooo easy, why you would think even a youngster could do it; “Just stack them up, and cut opening for the doors and windows" they say.

In fact some writers have gone so far as to call ISBU construction "Lego style building". It’s actually quite far from that, even if it is relatively easy compared to traditional construction. Unfortunately, just like most of what you read about container home projects on the Internet, this sort of simplistic information - especially when it is recycled over and over again - is of no help when it comes to the actual building of a shipping container structure.

Guiding an ISBU project from glossy concept to finished structure requires a whole lot more than some simple slogans and a few You Tube Videos. Some people will probably always have a problem with shipping container construction, they just consider shipping containers plain ugly. Perhaps they have seen too many of the unadorned, beige, shipping container carcasses by the sides of too many rural roads, a testament to practicality and cheap space, but with few concessions to appearance or beauty.

Other people believe that a container home will never have broad based appeal beyond the hardcore recyclers and low cost enthusiasts who were responsible for bringing the whole concept of ISBU construction to the public's attention in the first place. It’s true that early designers and builders of residential ISBU projects used little more than paint to disguise the humble origins of their corrugated steel boxes, while chanting a "form follows function" mantra, which extolled the "beauty" of cost savings and industrial design.

But industrial design isn't for everyone and many people have since set out to modify the ISBU process to create a more traditional looking home, with a front porch, gabled roof and a stucco exterior for example. They envision a container structure cloaked in these traditional features as the route to mainstream acceptance. The grassroots movement of using sustainable and recyclable materials to create a small minimalist living space that has a substantially smaller ecological footprint than the traditional home is growing every day. With the current economic reality there is a growing trend away from traditional home ownership, to small minimalist spaces with a small footprint.

This Guide is divided into 3 sections that correspond to the stages of a typical construction process. The Design and Engineering Sections make up the planning stages. These stages should be completed before the final construction stage can begin. In writing this guide I have tried to make it relevant to as wide a section of the population as possible, from the layman to the professional.

My biggest fear is that by trying to appeal to such broad range of people I have failed one group or the other. If so, I apologize. I must also mention that because the qualifications and craftsmanship abilities of individual readers are beyond the control of the author, the author disclaims all liability incurred in connection with the use of information contained in this book.

At no time should you consider this guide to be a replacement for a qualified engineer or contractor. Container-4-Home assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this guide. Nor should you construe that we are offering the advice in this guide in the capacity of an engineer or general contractor.

Because the book is formatted in HTML and displayed in a browser window there are no pages per se. Technically each chapter, even if it’s 10,000 words long, is considered a single page. It’s easiest to navigate from the Table of Contents of the particular section. Just select a chapter by clicking on it. At the end of each chapter there is a link that will take you to the next chapter.



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