How to build a house from containers with your own hands

How to build a house from containers with your own hands

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The technology of housing using containers for sea and rail transportation is quite in demand abroad. In Russia, containers and wagons were converted mainly for the construction of utility facilities and garages. However, recently in our country and in other CIS countries there is an interest in this type of construction.

Advantages and disadvantages of containers

The cargo container has a welded frame of I-beams or pipes, which provide high structural strength. External decoration are corrugated sheets of metal with a thickness of 2-3 mm.

The configuration of the modules can be square or rectangular, which allows you to choose a variety of building options from several blocks. Most often erected one-story and two-story cottages. The idea of ​​such a construction attracts with a low price and an original interior.

Advantages of container houses:

  • Suitable for any climate zone, you only need to equip high-quality thermal insulation.
  • Low cost.
  • They are easily combined with various construction technologies (masonry, reinforced concrete structures, etc.).
  • Construction periods are limited to only a few months or weeks.
  • There is no need to erect a capital foundation; a residential building can also be installed on frozen ground.
  • The housing from the container is not threatened by the appearance of rodents and insects.
  • A permanent housing, a summer house, a bathhouse or an economic facility (basement, etc.) can be obtained from a building.


  • Shipping costs, the involvement of special equipment during installation (crane, manipulator, etc.).
  • The width of one container is quite small for one room. If necessary, you have to combine two or more modules to increase the area of ​​the room.
  • The metal surface is very hot in the sun in the summer and quickly cools in the winter, so you need to install high-quality insulation to create comfortable conditions.

The construction of home-made houses

When developing container house designs, it must be kept in mind that 20 or 40 foot containers are used for construction. The parameters of the room and its design depend on the configuration and type of modules used.

Before starting work, containers must be checked for radiation that can accumulate in them. The average norm of the radiation background is considered to be 35 microroentgen per hour.

For construction, the following tools and materials will be required:

  • railway containers;
  • timber 10 × 10 cm and 6 × 6 cm;
  • boards with a section of 10 × 4 cm and a length of 8 m;
  • boards with a section of 15 × 2.5 cm and a length of 6 m;
  • self-tapping screws 1.3 cm;
  • Chipboard 27.5 × 12 × 1.6 cm;
  • galvanized steel corrugated sheets;
  • plumbing bolts 2.2 cm;
  • two reinforced concrete piles 350 × 350 mm 6 m long;
  • mineral wool MP-50;
  • corrugated board S-10;
  • welding machine;
  • grinder with discs (diameter 20 cm);
  • screwdriver;
  • gasoline generator.

Construction stages

Foundation installation. His choice depends on the size, type of structure and climatic features of the area. One container weighs an average of 2.3-3.9 tons and does not represent a significant burden on the foundation.

For a one-story house or a summer house from a container, you can fill up a pillow of inert material (gravel, etc.) and hammer in concrete blocks or piles. For a two-story or three-story cottage, a more solid foundation is required - a monolithic or tape reinforced foundation.

Separate modules are installed on the foundation using construction equipment, fitting tightly to each other. They are fastened together with special corners or rectangular pipes, using a gas generator and a welding machine.

Further conducted work to clean up the interior of the house. In accordance with the layout, the sides of the container are cut out in order to increase the area of ​​the rooms. Remove unnecessary parts, cut openings for doors and windows with a grinder.

Corrosion-resistant treatment of metal surfaces with special compounds is necessary: ​​painting with iron or lead minium and heat-resistant paint.

Roofing. Roofing is done in the same way as for ordinary houses. A frame of 10 × 10 cm timber is assembled, which is attached to the container with self-tapping screws. Then install the rafters using eight-meter boards. Next, the roof lathing is made of six-meter boards. At the end of the work, the structure is sheathed with galvanized steel sheets.

During the installation of the roof, it is necessary to provide ventilation and vapor barrier. You can make the installation of a vapor barrier film between steel sheets and the crate. Another way is to install several pipes on the roof for free passage of air. Three pipes are fixed on both sides of the roof (length 40 cm, diameter 10 cm).

Installing a roof in houses from containers is optional. This design is airtight, made of high quality steel and does not allow water to leak. It is enough just to insulate the ceiling from the inside, and cover the building with roofing material on top. An interesting solution is to arrange a lawn with a flower garden on the roof of the container.

Home insulation. For insulation, a crate is made on the outer surface of the walls. Bars (6 × 6 cm) are fixed with screws at a distance of 90 cm, after which mineral wool plates (6 × 100 × 300 cm) are installed between them. To put the insulation more tightly, it is better to make a step between the bars less than the size of the plate.

As a heater, foam, extruded polystyrene foam is also used. To fix the heat-insulating material on a metal base, glue or special mastic is used.

External wall cladding can be made of corrugated board, siding or wood trim (block house, etc.). The material is fixed on the crate with screws. The color of the skin is better to choose light colors.

Internal work

Wall and ceiling decoration inside a modular home It is done in almost the same way as outside: the crate and insulation are attached. However, chipboard sheets are used for mounting the skin. When installing the floor on top of the insulation, first install the flooring from the boards (15 × 4 cm), and then mount the chipboard coating on top.

During the installation of the cladding, it is necessary to leave a gap of 1.5 cm. This space is filled with mounting foam, which subsequently avoids the ingress of dust into the room. Double-glazed windows are installed in window openings.

Heating, you can choose several options. The simplest are a metal stove and a fireplace. In Russian climatic conditions, it is preferable to install a brick stove. For this, a rectangular hole is cut out in a fiberboard coating at a pre-selected location. The stove is laid without foundation directly on the surface of the container.

If the house eventually sags from the side of the furnace, then it can be lifted using a jack and put paving slabs (50 × 50 cm) in this place. Thus, it is easy to restore the former position of the container.

Communications. For communication, special channels are made on the inner walls. The sewage system should be planned in a timely manner when designing a house. It is necessary to make a hole in the floor for the sewer pipe, which is connected to the drainage ditch or septic tank.

To equip the water supply system, it will be necessary to drill a well or connect to the water supply system of a nearby settlement.

The interior of the house is better to choose in a modern avant-garde style. It is more suitable for this type of construction.

Container House Reviews

Container House Owner reviews are positive. Most people who have built such a home for themselves are satisfied with it.

They found out on the Internet about houses from containers and decided to purchase the same country house. Installation costs compared with the construction of a conventional house turned out to be much less. If desired, the cottage from the container can be easily transported to another place.

Marina, Tula

I think to build a house, I liked the idea of ​​using containers for this. Fast and relatively cheap. The main thing is to properly insulate and finish, the modules can be played to your liking. It will be necessary to study in more detail different projects and house prices, and then start building.

Elena, Ryazan

I have been building private houses for a long time. I have studied the container house projects well and I think that in our conditions they can be as demanded as in other countries of Europe and America. The advantage of such houses is quick installation. I built a summer house of two containers, the conditions there turned out to be quite comfortable.

Andrey, Kaluga

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