Build-your-own Shipping Container Cabin Checklist

Our “Build-your-Own Shipping Container Cabin Checklist” provides you with the methodology we use for our projects. We will custom design your requirements, share our R&D, techniques and tricks to building your own Shipping Container Cabin seamlessly. Most importantly, our learnings from this 7-container project have been documented in detail to ensure other builds can avoid some of the surprises we have encountered.


      1. Concept and Design
      2. Needs, Wants, and Philosophies
        • Low cost
        • High security
        • Sustainable, independent, and unique
        • Maximize and exploit inherent benefits of container structures
        • Turn the inherent weaknesses of containers into strengths
      3. Design Strategies
        • Insulation and Interior Strategy for container ceilings, walls, floors, inside versus outside, cold climate and condensation considerations, thermal break concept, R value of steel
        • Insulating Coatings, fundamental research and findings
        • Center Great Room, features and functions
        • Roofing System and Cupula Effect
        • Off grid features
        • Stepwise Construction Approach
      4. Concept Drawings
        • Google SketchUp concept PDF images
        • Google SketchUp electronic working files for additional views and customization
        • Final AutoCAD rendered concept drawings in PDF format, basis for Construction Drawings
      5. Containers and Materials Selection
        • High cubes versus standard cubes
        • New “one-trip” containers versus used “wind and water tight” units
        • Treated plywood floors – understanding pesticide treatments, construction techniques to encapsulate, alternative measures
      6. Off Grid, Sustainability and Reliability Features
        • Interior water tower
        • Solar water pumping
        • Plumbing with quick and natural draining
        • Wood fired sauna and shower area
        • Patio mist natural air conditioning
        • Optimizing power supply and demand
          • DC versus AC
          • LED lighting and DC alignment
          • Refrigeration options, highest efficiency designs, DC options
          • DC HVAC options
      7. Construction strategies
        • Concrete piers and container fastening
        • Container interface and connection
        • Post and Beam structure and fastening
      8. Bill of Materials
        • Detailed list of construction materials
        • Local suppliers versus big box stores
        • Exercising buying power for materials
      9. Issue Final Construction Plans
      10. Obtaining Building Permits
        • Building project support with Local Building Officials
        • Building code treatment and structural integrity validation
      11. Taking Delivery of Containers
        • Scheduling and accepting deliveries
        • Tilt and load truck capabilities and constraints
        • Alternative methods to unload and move containers on site
        • Inspections and contingency planning
      12. Project Coaching available from Jason Rioux