As you may already know, the shipping container market has become more popular than ever in recent years. Originally just being used to transport cargo overseas, they’ve now evolved into homes, pools, sheds, and, of course… workshops.
From commercial welders to Etsy sellers, most of us that are dealing with custom-made or physical products likely need a space to work on our craft. The good news is, that in this article we’ll discuss not only how to create your own shipping container workshop, but what the benefits are to you as well.
While it may seem farfetched to set up shop (literally) in a shipping container, there are quite a few benefits to doing so. As you may already know, shipping containers have taken the world by storm.
Offering a cheap and reliable frame for any type of structure or project that requires at least 4 walls. Some of these items may come as no surprise, but in case you’re curious – here are some of the benefits of using a shipping container for your next workshop.
As their name implies, a shipping container is made specifically for its portability. Initially designed to transport mass amounts of cargo overseas, (hence their other name, sea can), they have quickly become a staple of the commercial, shipping, and even the home renovation scene.
Without any modifications, a shipping container typically only has one entry point – 2 metal doors on one side. With the entirety of the container being made of industrial-grade steel, there is little more you’ll need to do to prevent thieves from accessing the contents. This is why they would make a perfect place to store your tools and equipment for your workshops – even super-car manufacturers use them to transport their million-dollar cars overseas.
Despite what you may think, shipping containers are actually an extremely cost-effective option for creating a workshop (or any structure for that matter). Depending on the condition, size, and type of container – you could spend as little as $1,000 on one. It’s for this reason alone that they’ve become such a hit, especially in the ‘tiny homes’ market.
While we’ve hinted at this already, shipping containers are extremely durable. Being made of industrial-grade steel allows them to withstand some of the harshest weather conditions and the occasional ding or dent that comes with loading and unloading them onto freighter ships (as they were designed to do). You can easily rest assured that your container will be up to the job of nearly any task you give it.
Shipping containers come in a variety of sizes, which makes them the perfect solution for any home project. However, there are two main types of containers that you may want to consider. A standard container is typically measured at 8’ wide and 8’ 6” high while a high cube container is measured 1 foot taller at 8’ wide and 9’ 6” high. The only constant change you’ll need to consider is the length. Most common of which is the 20’ length but you can find ones from 8’ all the way to 40’ and beyond.
Lastly, just in case it wasn’t obvious already, shipping containers are highly customizable. From adding doors, windows, walls, vents, electricity, etc. you can do just about anything you want to one and have it for years to come. Your only limit is your imagination.
Now that we’ve informed you on how great shipping containers are, you’ll likely be ready to buy one right now! If that’s the case, you’re in luck! At Coast Containers we specialize in the sale of both new and used shipping containers across Canada.
Check out our selection of new containers here, or if you’re interested in saving money – check out our used containers here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
With that out of the way, let’s finally dive into our main topic. How to create your own shipping container workshop!
Whether you’re creating a wood workshop, metal workshop, craft workshop, or even just a game workshop for fun, there are a ton of options to consider. While there may be even more that may cater specifically to your individual needs – in this section we’ll cover the basic set-up requirements you’ll want to have when creating your own workshop.
The first thing you’ll want to do before you start ripping things apart is to create a plan or a design for your proposed workshop. By doing so, you’ll ensure that everything is done correctly and to the specific requirements that you need. If you’re not comfortable doing the modifications yourself, we strongly recommend that you seek the help of a third-party contractor, a company that specializes in shipping container modifications, or even reach out to us at Coast Containers to ask about our modification services. Additionally, you’ll also want to consider how much space you’ll need and which shipping container size is best for you.
In most cases, you’ll probably need or even want electricity in your workshop. Whether it’s for power tools or equipment or even just lighting or charging your phone – it’s likely a must-have. In this case, we STRONGLY recommend you contact a licensed electrician to assist with this step of the project. They’ll be able to set you up with the correct and safe hookups you need to ensure that you or your equipment aren’t hurt or damaged. This will also likely need to be one of the first steps you take in the process as you’ll want to ensure that everything is good to go before you start the construction process.
Now that you have the plan and electricity setup, it’s time to start looking at the accessories and modifications you’ll need. Depending on the type of workshop, you may want to invest in ventilation systems, windows, or even just free-flow vents to ensure that dust or other hazards don’t build up inside.
Again, much of this will depend heavily on your intended use, but some common accessories/modifications are a garage door, lock box, ramps, windows, vents, lighting, etc.
You will also want to consider adding your own workshop supplies/equipment such as machinery, workbenches, toolboxes and storage, racks and shelves, peg boards, etc.
Once you’ve purchased the accessories you’ll need, you can now officially start the project. Where you begin is up to you, but if they’re not already set-up we’d recommend starting by selecting the floor and walls you’ll want in your container. Also, we recommend adding insulation especially if you’ll be using it all year-round since the temperature can vary quite drastically in Canada. The remainder of the steps will depend on what your specific needs are, but with your plan in hand everything moving forward should be a piece of cake.
Now that all of the design and framework is complete, it’s time to make it your own. This is where most of the accessories come into play where you can add your own lighting fixtures, machinery, work benches, and even a fresh coat of paint. With the work finally complete, you’re now free to start working again – but on the stuff that you love to do in your new workshop!