Turning an Old Shipping Container into a Fabulous Guest House Is Easier Than You Think

31 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog

You love to entertain guests and need more room to accommodate them. That doesn't mean you have to add on to your home. Instead, if you have a bit of space in your yard, you can easily convert a shipping container into a guest cottage.

1. Prepare the project

If you want a cottage that is ready to use, look for used accommodations from oil or logging companies who lodge workers on site. Those accommodations are often made from old shipping containers, and they are ready to use. You just have to redecorate them to suit your taste.

Alternatively, build your own cottage. Start with an old shipping container and a few materials including insulation, planks, drywall, a door, a window, paint, and some electrical wiring or a long extension cord.

2. Insulate the storage container

Insulate the ceiling and side walls of the container first by attaching insulated panels to the walls with a strong epoxy. Save the floor insulation until you have finished the front of your cottage.

Once you have the insulated panels in place, you can screw sheetrock panels to the insulated panels. At that point, your walls and ceiling are ready to paint and decorate (but save that for the end of the project).

3. Adding the front of the cottage

To make the front of your cottage, you need frame a wall that fits snugly in the open part of the storage container. Leave spaces for one window and one door. If you are working with a rectangular shipping container with doors open on one end of it, set your front wall slightly inside of the shipping container.

With this arrangement, if someone closes the doors of your shipping container, the entire front of your guest cottage is covered. You can close the doors in emergencies as you would storm shutters, or you can remove them and use the open bit of the shipping container as a front porch for your guest cottage.

Add a door and windows to the wall you have just framed. Apply plywood over both sides of the framed wall. On the front side, apply siding to the plywood, and paint it. On the inside of the wall, attach insulating panels and sheetrock.

4. Create the floor

Once you have the front of the cottage done, it's time to create your floor. For best results, lay your floor in layers. Start with a few insulating tiles to even out the metal base of the shipping container. Then, cover that with carpet, vinyl or some other type of flooring.

5. Adding power

If you're experienced with electrics, you can wire the cottage yourself, or you can pay an electrician to do it. Alternatively, simply run a heavy duty power cord from your home to the guest cottage. Drill a hole through the walls of the cottage, and bring the power cord inside the shipping container. Attach a power strip connect your lamps and other items to it.

For more information about your options, contact companies like All Vic Containers.