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Shipping Containers as Storage Sheds

30.03.2014 - Posted by Updated On 30.03.2014    

A 20' or 40' shipping container makes a great storage shed, and with a little planning and thought it can keep everything inside safe and secure for a long time. Using a shipping container for on-site storage means a shorter built out period, reduced labor and material costs, and very secure, fireproof building.

Before you get started, you'll want to consider your specific requirements. Making sure you get the right size container, getting a container that's in good condition, and making sure that it's sitting on the right type of foundation. We've discussed some of these topics individually and in greater detail in the past, in this article will try to keep it focused and relevant to the topic of storage sheds.

Selecting the Right Size Storage Container

Unlike wooden storage sheds, shipping containers typically come in 20' and 40' lengths, and are all 8' wide and either 8'6" tall (standard) or 9'6" tall (high cube). If your needs dictate that you need a different size, than a shipping container probably won't work for you. If that size fits the bill, continue reading because it sounds like you're on the right track.

20' containers are great because they're small enough to be very portable, provide 1,360 cubic feet of storage space, and strong enough to meet even the strictest demands. One point to consider is that very few 20' containers are available as high cubes, or 9'6" tall. It is possible to find them, however they will most likely be new or one trip containers and will cost a little more. Standard 20' containers are widely available as both new and used.

shipping container storage shed
40' containers are very popular with factories, mines, and other large commercial operations. When used as storage sheds they have 2,720 cubic feet that can be loaded and locked up protecting equipment, supplies, and even products or seasonal inventory. 40' containers can be purchased as standard height, or as high cubes, in both new and used condition in most major cities in the United States and Canada.

Inspecting the Condition

Getting the right storage container in the right condition is important. Used shipping containers will be less expensive, but may not have the most curb appeal. If you're concerned that the neighbors will complain, you may want to consider spending the extra money and buying a new container that's a solid tan or white.

Before you purchase the container it's a good idea to inspect it, especially if it's your first time buying this type of equipment. We've published a few articles on storage container inspection tips, and even created a handy inspection checklist. The general points are to check all the corners and seams for rust or corrosion, going inside and making sure the unit seals up tight, and checking to make sure the floor does not have any rotten areas.

Storage Shed Foundations

If you plan on keeping your storage container for an extended period of time, you should consider some type of foundation, either permanent or short term. While you can put your container directly on the ground, but can cause water, condensation, and nature to expedite the rust and decay. The simplest solution is to place the ends of the storage container on rail road ties, or sleepers. This allows air to circulate under the container and keeps everything dry and out of any pools of water. If you require a more permanent solution, you can also consider a footer foundation or concrete pad foundation.

Options and Expansion

There are a lot of other things that you can do with a storage shipping container. Many people install additional walls to create storage for separate items or organizations; you can install vents for added circulation and cooling, or even shelving and electrical services.

The sellers on help customers every day and have experience with nearly every situation that you can think of. When speaking with them about your storage container needs, be sure and have an idea of your specific requirements and timeline. No matter what size storage container you need, or how large or small your organization is, the sellers on can help you find the best possible container at a competitive price.

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