When building your own shipping container, one of the fundamental steps is buying the right shipping container. They create the backbone of your build, serving as walls, floor, roof and overall structural support.
While it may be tempting to think that “containers are so strong and interchangeable, any of them will work,” the decision of what quality and condition of containers to purchase is actually quite crucial to avoid future problems. And given that everyone is on a budget, it will be pointless in overpaying for more than you need.
For a given size and type of container; the options of which are vital to understand first, you can have great variations in aesthetics, performance and cost. Checking the condition of the container prior to purchasing is important.
Before you buy your shipping container, you need to know exactly which containers you are looking to purchase. It’s important to buy the right container which goes hand-in-hand with properly planning your shipping container home or office. Your planning and design will determine the type and size.
There is always a temptation to cut corners by sacrificing on the condition and buying a less expensive container than you actually need, to save money. However, this is not recommended. You could end up with structurally weak containers or containers that require a lot of repair work before they are weather tight. Trying to fix either of these situations later could cause your building costs to spiral out of control. Conditions for containers are determined via inspection, whether formal or informal. There are a dizzying variety of inspections that can and do take place in a container’s life, including the inspection you may do yourself during the purchase of your own containers.
A shipping container’s strength comes primarily via 12 steel beams that form the edges of each of its 6 faces. These beams have different sizes and cross-sections depending on if they are corner beams, bottom rails or top rails.
These beams have to be in good condition. Most other parts of the container can be patched or repaired fairly easy, but damage here is not as easy to fix. Note that most of these beams have a hollow cross-section, meaning that you need to look at them from both inside and outside to get a true view of their condition.
Surface rust is nothing to be worried about, but deeper rust and corrosion will have a noticeable effect on the beam’s strength.