Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Shipping containers are a highly popular material for many preppers because they are relatively cheap, can be stacked, already have walls, are watertight and rust and corrosion resistant. In addition to that they are big and can carry a huge amount of weight.
How convenient are they? Many would say: very because they can even be put underground for a bunker or stacked and welded to make a fortress that is quite easily defendable.

I have my plans for my own fortress made out of shipping containers much like the layout of a castle. Four high walls protecting an inner courtyard.
This inner courtyard will be an oasis. There will be fruits and vegetables and I plan to raise chickens in there for their eggs and(of course) their meat.
Meanwhile my walls will be two containers high with the bottom containers being the living areas. This is where we will pass time,cook and eat meals and thrive.
My top row of containers will be storage but I will cut out areas of the containers looking outside for windows. These will make very the fortress very defendable.
Upstairs is where we will store plenty of food as well as guns. As well as having the windows. Stairs to the top will have a strong latch that if you are upstairs you can seal. Then you can unseal other latches in other areas of the house to drop ladders down.

But nobody wants to bring their family to live in an uncomfortable home right? Well the top and bottom areas will have a mixture of hardwood and carpet flooring. Upstairs will likely be all carpet to reduce footsteps being heard from downstairs.

The walls will be lined with wood to reduce the feeling of living inside a metal crate and the place will be furnished just like a normal household. The reason I want it to be so homely is because I want to move their permenantly once it is built. I like the land their better then where I live now and it is much safer.
Pardon me for not revealing my exact location but I can say I will be in Colorado.

Power:
I plan on having solar panels hooked up to batteries to store energy and same with wind energy. I also want to have plenty of fuel and generators for those dark and windless days.
I want this home/fortress to be completely off the grid and have us living off the land.

We will collect water via a rain collection system that I will run through a filter and into two 500 gallon containers as well as having a creek nearby.

Thanks for reading and please do give me feedback especially to help improve the place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
Sounds like a pretty fun plan... 8 containers in 2 levels should afford you plenty of living & storage space and a center courtyard will offer a safe outdoor space for fresh air and will keep nocturnal predators away from your chickens! Be sure to keep us posted!

... and welcome to the forums :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks very much for the warm welcome. I will try to get a picture of my plans if I can get my camera working(it's acting up)

Do you guys have any plans that involve these containers? I'd love to hear.

Just to give an extra detail to scale and general layout there is this picture I found that this would be ONE corner (bottom left) of my bunker/home but my interiors will be different.

http://www.i9u.net/wp-content/uploa...hipping-Containers-Smart-Housing-Solution.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
I'm going to assume you are planning on using 40' containers... since if you go with 20' containers, once set in place withe the 8' wide side containers lined up with them to form a square (a total of 16') will only give you 4 feet of space by 20 feet long in the interior. I don't expect you'll have a very big oasis in there for fruit trees, veggies, and chickens.

And... no matter where you live... you'll have to have building permits from the county... so you might want to say that this is "stacked storage" or "art" or something other than "my house."

In Colorado... depending on where you are... cold and snow could be a problem. You'll have steel walls that will bleed cold... so expect to add a ton of insulation, especially if you are planning on running water pipes along the floors or walls. Plus... you'll need lots of venting for heat... and these are only 8'6" high. So... after the floor and the air vents and the ceiling... you may not make code.

Also... these are only 8' wide. After insulation, paneling, etc... every room will be approx 7' wide. With that in mind... I'm assuming everyone will be sleeping separately in single beds. Or... do you have another plan?

It's an interesting plan and I'm not trying to kill your dream... but welding them together... sealing them... insulating them... finishing them... etc... is going to be hugely expensive and time consuming. And... the steel walls are NOT bulletproof. So... if this is going to be a secure fortress... you'll need to reinforce the walls.

I've considered the off-the-grid bit as well... but have looked at earth houses (i.e., underground with only one side open to the world) and barns. The earth house is definitely more of a fortress... and the barn would conceal much of what I am doing. But... the details of those are for another thread.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gary

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I will look into earth houses and you are right about building permits, I hadn't thought of that yet haha. However in terms of insulation I found out that some sellers already sell insulated containers for keeping sensitive electronics. I will have to see how well insulated they are however. And I phrased it bad in the OP I don't have land yet. I am looking for somewhere in Colorado because that is close to home but I am willing to build it elsewhere for climate and crops.
Thanks for your feedback :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
481 Posts
I've wanted to build a storage container house for a long time, but it's the idea of trying to pull permits and get this to meet code that stops me. I know people in Maine who have done it, but it was way up north where things are a little more relaxed. Also the idea of trying to winterproof these sounds like a lot of extra work and expense. I've heard they have insulated containers, but wouldn't we still have to build a slanted roof over the building to keep the snow from building up? I'm way to lazy to go shovel my roof whenever it snows.

I think my main critique of the building design would be the idea that you'll be able to grow in your courtyard. If you plan to stack containers on top of each other and enclose it with containers, it will likely create a mostly shady courtyard in the middle, directly blocking sunlight. That would be ideal for animals, but I'm not sure how well things would grow... It might be better to do a U-shaped building and fence off the third section, taking care to face that open wall in the sunniest direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
A .22 will go right through any of the walls. Also, metal walls and roof breed condensation. Result of that is lots of mold and thats not a good thing to breath. Shipping containers give you a false sense of security as most people actually believe that they will stop the bad guys with no problem. NOT so. The only strong parts of the container are the corners, and that is so they can be stacked on top of each other. When it snows , and it snows a lot up in Colo. the snow will sit on the roof and pile up on the walls. When that happens, it takes a long time to melt off, and the result will be the inner areas will be wet, and that includes the studs and insulation. Think very carefully before you leap into something like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
container-homes-hybrid.jpg

I love the look and idea of a Container Dwelling. I have seen pictures of Container buildings in both Hot and Cold Climates.

I am planning on doing more of a side by side container building for a Shop/Office as an experiment/experience, using the a DIY styroform Basement finishing system as insulation for the walls.

If you search "ISO Container" you should get more usable links for creating livable space from Shipping containers.
 

·
Senior Member R.I.P.
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
First, you might consider cork flooring.

I have a 20ft container that is my storm shelter. Plenty of supplies stored inside as well as communications. Solar panels mounted on the roof.

When humidity is high I don't believe there is any choice but a dehumidifier.

A 20ft container you can put 1KW of solar panels on the roof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
I like everything about this for modular shelter...heck, they are even sort of portable.

There is a possibility that I might eventually have some property in the Appalachians. Container structures are one of my top 3 picks for living space.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,850 Posts
Just an FYI, they use these containers for data enters now. Microsoft and a few others are big into it. Very low cost and modular.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
The container housing is a good ideal here in the county I have my place no building permits required , the container at the construction site a 22 will not go through ig 30 cal will (308 30-06 ) ect but it will go through a stick built home to .
As for stacking them great ideal you can run a i beam across ceiling it will hold a lot of weight , there a a spray on foam insulation (outside ) that will seal all the leaks like rhino lining but alot cheaper .you can container garden on top . you are high up a little easyier to defend ... good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
I have stayed overnight on hunting trips in cargo containers set up as hunting camps. This was above-ground, and the interiors were furred out with pressure-treated lumber on the floors (sleepers), walls, and ceiling, insulated with rigid foam, and then covered with drywall and tile floors over cement board attached to the sleepers. The cargo container was used because previous hunting camps were set on fire by other hunters in the area committing arson to cut down on competition for game in the area, and they could not burn the metal exterior structure. Inside, you could not tell it from any other cabin - it was actually quite comfortable. Used generator for power, and water was trucked in via agricultural plastic container tanks on trailers. Properly built, these work for shelter. I would not bury them unless reinforcement was used to buttress the structure, and that would cut into interior space. But the container made a decent hunting camp. I would not want to live in one permanently due to the tight quarters, but they work for occasional use.

If you know what you are doing, and can do the work yourself, you can stick build a structure much cheaper that does not face the size limitations cargo containers present. It will be more spacious, more comfortable, and will accommodate more people or supplies/furniture, etc. But for a remote cabin where lawless behavior is possible, it made for a solid temporary housing solution. And it was arson-proof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
containers as home may work, but you are talking about 8, 40 foot containers minimum. around here they are around $3,000 a piece, thats $24,000, not counting getting them hauled, and someone with a crane to stack them, a lot of work and expense securing them, and a 1600 foot "oasis" would be bare dirt and chicken $hit if you only had 2 chickens, which is not enough. Definately not enough room for no garden of Eden. For that you need an acre.If you thinkn it would be some kind of "Alamo" and no one could get you..., wrong again. Any centerfire cartridge would punch right through it. I would instead think about burying 2, side by side, or better yet just pour a concrete foundation, roof it, and backfill it. I admire that you want this dream home, just trying to jog you in reality. Inground would be warmer in winter, and cooler in summer, definately safer, and more pleasant to live in. Through in a wood stove, and maybe a propane tank for lights and refrigeration, try the solar panels, but count on limited electric, and learn to be a miser with it. Dry clothes on a line, and heat water and cook with wood, you really dont need much. You could run a generator occaisionally if needed, but no more lazy sunday afternoons on the couch watching football games. Not being mean, just realistic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I would like to know where to find them and how much they cost.......I want two. One to store my vehicle in once I have it lined just in case of a solar or nuclear emp. The other I want to use as a sort of emergency shelter. Anybody have any clues where to start looking for these containers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,702 Posts
I was looking for a 20 footer just for storage,I dont know exactly where you are but, a company in Green Bay Wi. has them and will re-fit to your specs. office,security posts etc,I cant remember the name as I googled as storage containers "in" ....... or near..... (your area). they can be found alot more in port cities than anywhere else as, thats where they go to before they go anywhere else.they are also called a "conex" container I have also seen reefer type to handle fruit and fish those would be insulated and have at least a diesel powered a/c unit.I would imagine one or two could be set up as pretty near bulletproof and you would at least have a defensible position to didi to short of an rpg,etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
There was a dude on Doomsday Preppers, can't remember which episode but he had a seriously impressive shipping container fortress. I believe he was in Texas but I could be wrong. It was a two story fortress made with nothing but shipping containers. Very interesting segment and I'm sure you can grab lots of good ideas. It was badass.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top