Chapter X - Tools and Equipment for Shipping Container Home Construction

Building a container home does require any pretty wide array of tools. Nothing extremely exotic or expensive if you are a contractor or mechanically inclined. But for the average person with little construction experience, paying $1,200 for a plasma cutter may be intimidating. The actual learning curve to becoming competent with the tool can also take a toll on some people's confidence. Learning by doing has certain benefits, but you should expect delays and do overs that will add to the project's cost.

The sheer size and weight of the shipping containers (a 40’ ISBU weighs about 4 tons) means it is going to take some pretty heavy equipment to move them. It’s much cheaper to farm this work out to people with the proper equipment and qualifications than risk damage to people and property from the lack of the correct equipment.  It’s should be obvious that a pick up truck and some come-a longs just aren’t going to be enough to make anything serious happen.

Earthmoving equipment used will depend on the site, but at a minimum you will need to excavate several holes for the foundation forms so a backhoe or several friends with shovels will be needed.

The normal retinue of power tools will be regularly called upon, reciprocating saws, a cut off saw capable of cutting 2- 4” steel channel, grinders, drills, and circular saws, and hydraulic jacks would be a good start.

A complete compliment of welding equipment and the skills to use them are the most important things you can bring to the project. Experience welding exotic alloys also is a plus.

In addition to the above equipment, the normal assortment of hand tools including hammers, tape measures, power drills and drivers will all come in handy if you plan to do the job yourself.


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