Over time, shipping containers have been used for all sorts, from their intended storage and shipping capabilities to housing for homeless people in America.
There are so many great uses for shipping containers, and you can quite literally convert them into anything you need to due to their versatility and availability.
Reasons to Convert a Shipping Container
Shipping containers are readily available and a source that many people can secure. We have many fantastic quality shipping containers for sale at Flintham Cabins, providing the people of London and beyond with shipping containers for a variety of needs. There are several reasons why shipping containers are so popular, including:
- Easy to transport – the original intention of a shipping container was to get items and goods from one place to another, meaning they were built to be moved quickly. What’s more, the conversion of the container doesn’t permanently alter its outer structure, so you can move it from one place to another to be converted and then to its final temporary or permanent home without worry.
- Cost-effectiveness – shipping containers can save you money when compared to the cost of building something from scratch. Very little groundwork is required to hold a shipping container in place, so you don’t have to worry about those costs either, and you have a ready-made structurally sound building to work with from the get-go.
- Structural stability – As mentioned, containers are built to withhold a lot of weight, both from inside the unit and on top. They are designed to stack on top of each other and withstand battering winds and rough seas that you can expect when travelling across the world on the back of a haulage ship. They are virtually indestructible.
- Enhanced security – Containers are made from galvanised steel and are difficult to break into. They are too heavy to lift and move without the correct equipment, and stealing a shipping container is unlikely to go unnoticed. This makes them a great option if you require a building in a remote area.
- Flexibility – Shipping containers come in various shapes and sizes and are exceptionally versatile. They can be merged to make larger spaces or stacked with steps incorporated to make higher structures in tight spaces.
Five of the Best Shipping Container Conversions Ideas
As providers of site cabins and shipping containers for many years, we have witnessed many great uses for shipping containers, and we thought it was time to share these with our readers. Here are six of the best uses for shipping container conversions.
We love how many innovative thinking business people turn to containers to find the perfect place to start a catering business. From bars to pizza restaurants, you would be amazed at what people can create when they put their mind to it and where they can locate to when they do.
Some of the best conversions we’ve seen include Wahaca Southbank, a Mexican street food restaurant housed in eight shipping containers over two levels in London. Also, the Spark social enterprise space in York, which houses a variety of food and drink traders in a building made of 20 shipping containers.
Big brand names like Starbucks have also used shipping containers to create additional stores for their franchises. It’s quick and easy to convert shipping containers, and the ability to include mains electricity and spaces for kitchens or food preparation areas makes them perfect for restaurants and bars.
Pop-up shops are also becoming increasingly popular, with many business owners knowing they can’t afford the rent of a high street location and going for temporary solutions to make a name for their brand first. Alternatively, more well-known names opt for shipping containers to temporarily provide shops at events and festivals.
Shipping container shops have cropped up across the UK and beyond; London even features its own shipping container mall – Boxpark Shoreditch. The shopping centre was constructed using 60 recycled shipping containers, 40 on the bottom floor and 20 on the second floor, in 2011. It was a temporary structure initially expected to be on the Shoreditch site for five years but is still operating today. It mixes shopping with street food and even went under redevelopment in 2017 to transform the top floor into a street food hub. A few years after the Shoreditch development opened, another location, Boxpark Croydon, was opened, consisting of 96 shipping containers.
Shipping Container Housing
Houses made from shipping containers sound like a thing of the future. Still, as we mentioned previously, entire complexes have been created to make space for homeless people in America and beyond.
The tiny house movement dates back many years but has recently become more of a focus as people start to look for eco-friendly living solutions, and more awareness of tiny homes has come about through shows like Netflix’s Tiny House Nation. A small home has many benefits, and converting a shipping container into a tiny home is perfect. You have a ready-made structure which costs a lot less than building a house from scratch, and you don’t have to wait for as long for your home to be finished.
Garages and Garden Offices
The pandemic spurred on the number of people working from home and requiring new office space. Where space inside homes was limited, many people turned to their garden to look for a peaceful place that felt like they were out of the house without leaving their address when they went to work. Garden office shipping containers are more cost-effective than an extension to your home and have a faster turnaround than other custom-built options.
The typical English household has 1.3 cars, and many of them don’t have the space to park outside or have restrictions stopping them. As the number of vehicles on the road grows, the need for storing those cars grows too. Shipping containers offer a secure and weatherproof place to park your car when not in use.
There are so many places across the world that are incorporating shipping containers into their sports grounds. From team changing rooms to toilet blocks for fans, metal units are ideal for providing what is needed to play the game.
Back in 2009, a London School had a sports hall constructed from 30 shipping containers as a cost-effective method of providing the school children with better facilities. This year the World Cup will be held in Qatar in Stadium 974, a unique temporary stadium which is made from, you guessed it, 974 shipping containers!
Businesses and individuals worldwide benefit from the versatility and ease of converting shipping containers every day. If you are thinking about buying a shipping container to house a new business or converting it into anything from a swimming pool to a tiny home, get in touch with our team today.