Can I Use A Shipping Container As An Office? [6 Ways How]

Can I Use A Shipping Container As An Office? [6 Ways How]

Imagine a giant shipping container, that you have seen somewhere in a seaport or in an action movie, is sitting in your backyard. Well, after the initial shock, you start to ponder what to do with it. Now you know. 

You can use a shipping container as an office. A shipping container is a great option for a shed and you can convert it into a home-based office. They are spacious and right-sized for an office to be established. 

Maybe a shipping container appeared in your backyard out of nowhere or maybe you have purchased it, if you can use it correctly, it can provide you with an excellent office. 

Can I Use A Shipping Container As An Office?

A shipping container is an invincible and matchless option for a shed. This might seem absurd to you, but the truth is you won’t find any other competition against its durability and strength. It is true that wooden, prefab, steel, or vinyl materials are great material options for a shed but in some senses, a shipping container is unbeatable. 

A shipping container is built to withstand and withhold the harshest environment of the ocean. They are made with the toughest steel material which can resist molds and mildews. On the other hand, as you sustain millions of weights inside them, they are themselves very lightweight compared to some other shed materials. 

A shipping container is best as a storage facility, or a garden and bike shed. But can it be used for an office as well? You can use the shipping container as an office. however, you have to convert the shipping container into a breathable and livable space suitable to spend hours in it. 

Why Should You Use A Shipping Container As An Office? 

Is there really a benefit to using a shipping container as an office? This question might haunt you till you decide for or against it. But before you make the big decision to welcome a shipping container to your property, you have to know why you should have a shipping container as an office shed. 

1. Durable And Long-Lasting

The best part of a shipping container is they are extremely durable. They are made with heavy, stainless steel material capable to withstand rough and tough conditions. They are both lightweight and strong. As they carry tons of products, they are capable and proficient enough to serve you as long as you need. 

2. Portable 

When you build a shed with wood or steel, they are forever stuck to the ground. When they are in dilapidated condition, the only fate they face is demolishment. A shipping container, on the contrary, doesn’t have to embark on a similar fate. 

A shipping container can be transported to different locations via container chassis. Lifting and placing the container on a chassis is rather easy as they come in one part and you don’t have to take down the components. Tilt bed trucks are also a great option to carry empty shipping containers. 

3. Spacious And Expansive 

This one feature is truly unbeatable, and you can’t match the size of a shipping container with any other type of shed available. Normally, a regular-sized shed is around 90 to 120 sq feet. Meanwhile, with a shipping container of 40 ft dimension, you will get a floor space of 285 sq ft. 

However, there is more than one size available. If you are frugal with space in your backyard or the place you want to set your shipping container, you can easily go for 20 feet shipping container. There are also 60-foot containers that could accommodate a small office of 5 – 10 people or can be a meeting room housing minimum of 20 people. 

4. Permanent And Temporary Solutions 

A shipping container can be an attraction in your backyard space as long as you want them. As they are quite durable and strong, you won’t have to worry about decaying or rotting, unlike other materials. You can permanently settle an office in the shed. 

Similarly, a shipping container can be a big save for your temporary space need. You will find one or two shipping containers in large construction sites which are usually used as temporary offices to monitor the activities in the construction zone. As they are portable and transport-friendly, they are being shifted to other locations without a hassle. 

5. Customizable 

The best part about a shipping container is that it is a complete block with no hindrance. You will get the maximum floor space. Thus, this shed option has lots of potential. You can customize this any way you want. It can be a personal office setup or a desk and chair setup for a couple of people. The choice is infinite. 

6. Property And Retail Value 

A shed on a property increases the property value by 18%. When you invest in a shipping container shed, you are not only investing in your present but rather your future as well. A well-furnished office setup on a shipping container will attract affluent buyers who want a house with an office built in it. 

Also, as a shipping container hardly decays and can live up to 100 years, it never loses its value. Even after 30 years of rigorous use, you can sell the container keeping a profit margin. As the container is a very versatile and multipurpose vessel, there will be plenty of customers interested in your container shed for office or other purposes. 

Can I Use A Shipping Container As An Office? [6 Ways How]

6 Cons Of Using A Shipping Container As An Office

When you read so much in favor of something, you should know that there are some flip sides to that thing as well. Others may not tell you the story of the flip side, but I will. Remember that informing you of the cons of a shipping container is not to discourage you but rather to make you aware of both sides so that you can make your decision more easily. 

1. Fetching Permit Will Be A Headache 

Not all local zoning codes and regulations are familiar with the concept of a shed office. Moreover, a shed office inside a shipping container might seem like a foreign vegetable to the archaic codes. 

As there are hardly any fixed and elaborated codes and rules, the officials often decline to give a permit to plant a shipping container on your property. You must convince the officials and the inspectors of the purpose and usage of the shipping container and there will be no harm for such a thing in your backyard. 

2. Insulation Mandatory 

A shipping container is undoubtedly an enclosed and sealed vessel. As it has to sustain the rigorous energy of the sea and the seaport, it is sealed in such a way that not a single drop of water can penetrate the container. 

Even though this is great news for the people in the import and export business, it might not be the same for you. Because there is no chance for ventilation and insulation, the container is very inhabitable. You can indeed insulate and put ventilation to the shed, but the pocket might feel lighter after the task. 

3. Toxin May Persist 

If you are planning to buy a shipping container, there is a little chance that you are eyeing to get a brand-new shipping container made only for a shed. That would definitely fail to serve the meaning of shipping containers. You must be eyeing for the used and reconditioned containers. 

When you are purchasing a used shipping container, you should check the corrosion level and the existence of toxic chemicals inside and outside the shed. A collision of saltwater and steel might birth numerous harmful and toxic chemicals inside the container, and they might still persist after reconditioning.

4. Not Eco-Friendly 

A benevolent purpose of using a shipping container as a shed is to use eco-friendly recycled material and reduce the use of non-environmentally friendly materials like plastic. It is great if you are to use a used and refurbished shipping container for your shed. 

However, most of the particles of a shipping container are not eco-friendly. They can’t be recycled and left in a junkyard. Also, what type of product it carried matters in this respect as well. If the products created a toxic and unmendable environment inside the shipping container they are not only dangerous for the environment but also for your health. 

5. Placing It Might Be A Difficulty 

A shipping container is a simple 3D rectangular with no variable shapes and curves. They make an ideal shed in a construction site or a place with open land. However, if you are opting for a home office shed using a shipping container, you might need to sacrifice a big chunk of your property. 

If you built the shed, you could design it as per your wish and according to the shape and size of your property. But it is not possible for a shipping container. As it can’t be adjusted, your place has to adjust to accommodate such a bulky construction. 

6. Installing Facilities Can Be Tricky 

A shipping container is not made to harbor electrical, plumbing, and other facilities. But for an office, electrical lines are more crucial. There are not many electricians who are adapted to install electrical lines inside a shipping container. 

As it is made of metal, it is a deadly combination to put the electricity line and the container together. You must put great caution to run electricity inside the shipping container. Also, for plumbing and other mechanical needs, a usual general measure won’t suffice in such a situation. 

6 Ways To Convert A Shipping Container Into An Office 

As a shipping container has a well-constructed structure, conversion into an office won’t be too much hassle. But as the container is fully made with steel you must hire a group of professionals to complete the conversions. Let’s see the steps you need to follow to convert a shipping container into an office. 

1. Select The Shipping Container 

As there is no possibility to modify or shape up a shipping container, you have to be mindful about choosing the correct container compatible with the location. There are containers from 20 feet to 60 feet. As per your requirement and budget, find a suitable shipping container. 

2. Delivery And Planting 

A shipping container will be delivered via a container chassis. As you won’t have to put them together after delivery, your trouble is reduced by half. All you need to do is prepare the land you are about to put a container on and make sure the surrounding doesn’t hinder the placement. 

Can I Use A Shipping Container As An Office? [6 Ways How]

3. Ventilation

If you want a conventional door in your container instead of a typical container door, you should remove them before delivery. Then you can add a door with glass, vinyl, or wood. Add at least two windows for maximum ventilation to the shed. You can also drill some small holes.

4. Insulation 

Insulating a fully metal body is difficult but not impossible. The cost and effort might seem extravagant to you, but it will save you from lots of trouble. For metal bodies, drywall will be the best material for insulation. 

5. Partition 

If you want to add more room inside the shipping container, put some partitions now. Make sure that partitions don’t block the ventilation points. You can put foldable and collapsible partitions which are easy to take down. 

6. Electrical Installation 

As mentioned earlier, running electricity to a metallic body is a dangerous task. Hence, put great concentration and don’t cheap out to buy good quality materials. Buy fully plastic-coated lines to avoid any electrical hazards. Also, keep backup electrical options in your shed. 

Final Words 

A shipping container is a suitable shed option for both home-based office workers or for temporary office needs, all you need to decide is whether they are the right fit for you. If you are still hesitant and want to explore more options for a shed, learn about wooden sheds by clicking Can You Turn A Wooden Shed Into An Office? here. 

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