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My shipping container cabin/shelter

 
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This is a beautiful home you have built!  I admire your dedication to this project and the amazing talents you obviously posess.
 
                          
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@Paul,
That was a fun video.
These containers are so flexible.
I love how they used 2 containers for the outer walls of that barn.
All they need is to insulate and the heat won't be so bad.

@all,
I have made some more progress on the traincar, now.
I decided to make 2 partial walls, which allows the perception of 4 different areas.
It happened because I have some bookshelves that would make the room an awkward size if I just put a wall for them, so there is half a wall for the bookshelves (on the left) and 16 inches behind that wall is another wall on the opposite side. The doorway between them is on an angle.
And, the tools that will be behind the wall won't be seen from the front room, which is nice since that front room is to be a library reading sitting in the sun room.

I hope these words help make the picture more clear.
This is the room as seen from the front door.

jeanna
new-traincar-walls-.JPG
[Thumbnail for new-traincar-walls-.JPG]
 
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xenon281 wrote:
I love your project! And I got the humor about the pics...LOL! Who knows how to find the best deals on shipping containers?



I see them on craigs list all the time.
 
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In response to Paul's video:

Hey Marina and Robert,
I am interested in the possibility of coming to check your place out. We live east of Redding on the Millville Plains.
PM me or reply here if you are game for a visit sometime.
peace,
Brett
 
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Location: Mineola, Texas
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cat chicken dog duck fish homestead
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Larry wrote:
Thinking about putting in a bowling alley in the east wing now



Yeah, but it is only a single lane. I wouldn't want it unless I could invite all my friends over!
 
Seriously, that is looking awesome Larry!

Richard
 
R Hasting
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Location: Mineola, Texas
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cat chicken dog duck fish homestead
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Hey Larry,
If you don't mind my asking, what was the approximate cost of your project?
(My wife wants to know, go figure:-)

Richard
 
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I liked the shipping container barn video -- I've thought for a long time about doing something like that, and plan to do it when I get my own place after we get this house sold.  I'm considering building the house out of two shipping containers, also, with a floor plan similar to what Larry has used in his beautiful little place, but am wondering if it would be worthwhile to buy insulated containers?  Or if I'd be best off to just get the regular uninsulated containers and put my own insulation in?  Anyone have any ideas on that?

Kathleen
 
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hastingr wrote:
Hey Larry,
If you don't mind my asking, what was the approximate cost of your project?
(My wife wants to know, go figure:-)

Richard


Approx $35,000. That includes all furniture and well, but does not include the land. If I had to pay someone to do this, it would have never been worth it, and I would guess the cost would easily be double.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Does anyone have any idea what the price difference might be between buying a factory-insulated container, and insulating your own by any means?

Kathleen
 
Larry Schlicker
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Does anyone have any idea what the price difference might be between buying a factory-insulated container, and insulating your own by any means?

Kathleen


There are lots of places you can get quotes from, here is just one. http://www.iport.com/insulated_container.html
 
Larry Schlicker
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RayMort wrote:
This is a beautiful home you have built!  I admire your dedication to this project and the amazing talents you obviously posess.

Thank you. I have never really considered myself talented, just a tight wad , but by being so, I have learned a lot!
 
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Wow! Im really impressed
Looks really nice, u have an eye for beautiful solutions. Would be interesting to know the cost for it all.
Thanks for the inspiration
 
Larry Schlicker
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
  I'm considering building the house out of two shipping containers, also, with a floor plan similar to what Larry has used in his beautiful little place, but am wondering if it would be worthwhile to buy insulated containers?  Or if I'd be best off to just get the regular uninsulated containers and put my own insulation in?  Anyone have any ideas on that?

Kathleen


I would get a non insulated container, and if I had mine to do over, I would probably do a spray foam to the inside after my framing was finished. I would still have sprayed the exterior where I have put dirt onto the container, but I think spraying the interior is better then fiberglass, or the factory insulated  containers. JMHO.   
 
                          
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Great job on both. I have been lurking and your finishing skills are outstanding Larry.
What a great place and I'm sure Jeanna's will be great also when its done.
Thanks for posting everything.
 
Larry Schlicker
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Thanks Lefty11!
Only a few things left to do, but it can now be used as is now. The few things left are mostly small details.
 
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Larry, the well digger is coming out on Monday and I am going to have your diagrams ready for him.  Just hope he has an open mind - most people think I'm crazy for wanting to do that but you have proved that it can be done.
 
Larry Schlicker
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Larry, the well digger is coming out on Monday and I am going to have your diagrams ready for him.  Just hope he has an open mind - most people think I'm crazy for wanting to do that but you have proved that it can be done.


I have also seen a double pitless adapter that would work, instead of using two adapters you could just use one of them. http://www.completeplumbingsource.com/maas-midwest-ld-2-x-double-pitless-adaptor

Good luck with your well, just remember if your water table is over 25' deep a pitcher pump may not be an option.
P.S
There are some pitcher pumps that will pump deeper then 25", but they are pretty costly
http://store.waterpumpsupply.com/oapldewehapr.html





 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Oh.  Thank you for mentioning the 25'.  I just called my neighbor to ask her if she knew how deep her well is.

The last well that I had, not too far from here was 60' deep.  I have even had one over 300' but I lived on top of a hill at the time.

I am sure that this area will be less than 60' but not sure how much less.
 
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      Another different but similar project to this could be centered around the large steel fuel tanks that are removed when service stations are closed down. They would be perfect for an earth sheltered cottage buried into a hillside. They are generally sold for scrap metal but because they are oversized they're worth less than regular steel. I've seen them go as cheaply as $100 each. Where I live in Canada the hazmat companies that deal with these tanks are forced to clean them to very high standards using hot steam and other methods. I've been inside tanks where I could barely smell petroleum. With a good paint job you would have a very strong and durable shell to begin a project with. Good quality rubber roofing sells for about one dollar per square foot and this would make an excellent exterior covering. This is the same stuff they use on green roofs and has an expected lifespan of 75+ years. After a tank is set in place you could get one of those foam spraying companies to completely coat the exterior except for the front of the cave. Here in BC many of these tanks have been buried by marijuana producers but they seldom take the necessary steps to ensure a long-lasting structure. I have 1 km of well-drained south facing hillside with gravelly soil overlooking a river which is what got me contemplating the style of housing.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Hmmmm.  Dale, I'm thinkin above ground earth covered root cellar/storm shelter?

Any submerged root cellar where I live is a bad idea - however your suggestion of the tank has me thinking....
 
Larry Schlicker
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Oh.  Thank you for mentioning the 25'.  I just called my neighbor to ask her if she knew how deep her well is.

The last well that I had, not too far from here was 60' deep.   I have even had one over 300' but I lived on top of a hill at the time.

I am sure that this area will be less than 60' but not sure how much less.


I know that they do make hand pumps that can pump down to 350' but the ones I seen like that are designed to go on top of the well, and I do not know how house friendly they would be, but cost is crazy. I am sure you could install one in a home, just not sure what all is involved. Good luck on your well, hitting a good well is almost like striking gold!
 
Larry Schlicker
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Hmmmm.  Dale, I'm thinkin above ground earth covered root cellar/storm shelter?

Any submerged root cellar where I live is a bad idea - however your suggestion of the tank has me thinking....


I was thinking the same, it would make a great root cellar or storm cellar.
 
Larry Schlicker
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
Oh.  Thank you for mentioning the 25'.  I just called my neighbor to ask her if she knew how deep her well is.

The last well that I had, not too far from here was 60' deep.   I have even had one over 300' but I lived on top of a hill at the time.

I am sure that this area will be less than 60' but not sure how much less.


Remember that the depth they dig is not as important as where the water line is. My well is 60' deep but the water line is usually around 12' below the surface.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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O.K., thanks - I didn't know that either.
 
Dale Hodgins
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    Jeanene, the underground fuel tanks are huge for that purpose but there are many other large metallic vessels available. The giant propane tanks you see at service stations are replaced from time to time. Also many industrial processes use big water or steam vessels that become obsolete. Scrapyard will generally charge you far more than what these containers are actually worth. Your best source for these things is demolition contractors or hazmat companies who specialize in industrial demolitions. You generally just have to pay the scrap price. Quite often the cost of transporting these vessels to the scrapyard cancels out any profit the contractor would make. So if you pay for the hauling, it's yours. Only purchase totally clean containers or containers that you are confident you can clean your self. The propane vessels are ideal since propane doesn't leave any nasty residue. If you encounter any container which has a white fibrous substance on either surface be wary since many steam vessels have asbestos linings and you don't want to own one of those. I have done hundreds of demolitions so I'm not talking off the top of my head here. Good luck
 
                                
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Larry,

Your "little cabin" is nicer than my house. 

I've been asked to design & build a single container house for farm help housing for a friend... it won't be nearly as fancy, but your project is definitely inspirational. 
 
Larry Schlicker
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TheDirtSurgeon wrote:
Larry,

Your "little cabin" is nicer than my house.   

I've been asked to design & build a single container house for farm help housing for a friend... it won't be nearly as fancy, but your project is definitely inspirational. 

Thank you dirtsurgeon, and good luck with the project, would love to see pics of it if you decide to take it on.
 
                      
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Larry thanks for sharing all of these pics. Awesome transformation into a home. Nice job! I'll be checking out the blog.
 
                          
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Hi everybody,

I had a surprise this summer and even before I post more pix I want to share this.

Did I mention that I made soil because I couldn't get enough behind and around the containers (without cutting more trees) ?
I made soil by interleaving soil with bedding straw knowing it would decompose the straw and in the end I would have soil.

I called it a huegel-berm for laughs.

Well, indeed it is a huegel-berm. It started to put out heat and the heat collected in the insulation and it is now a steady 69 degrees inside hot day by cold night, It is in fact a little too warm for me and I need to sleep in my summer jammies!

So, I will try to get some pix together.

Oh one more thing, the composting toilet is making flies.
I sealed off the room with tape and later,I will remove the toilet and give it its own house once the flies are finished proliferating.


so--- I am living off  the grid and I do not visit here much, so if you ask a question please be patient.

jeanna
 
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jeannacav wrote:
Oh one more thing, the composting toilet is making flies.
I sealed off the room with tape and later,I will remove the toilet and give it its own house once the flies are finished proliferating.



We didn't seem to have that problem with the sawdust toilet. The lid seals I guess... and we didn't use it long term as we are not off grid... we do use it while camping and find it bug free.... much better than the outhouses at the camp grounds. The compost bucket has been harder to keep fly free even though it also has a lid. I think the difference is the cover materiel. I would guess in the case of a new building... there are codes to deal with. Once the codes are met though (so that whoever moves in after you can be stupid and still stay healthy), could you use a sawdust version for your own use?


so--- I am living off  the grid and I do not visit here much, so if you ask a question please be patient.



No worries... most of us spend too much time in front of a screen...
 
Larry Schlicker
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jeannacav wrote:




Oh one more thing, the composting toilet is making flies.
I sealed off the room with tape and later,I will remove the toilet and give it its own house once the flies are finished proliferating.




jeanna


I also started having a gnat issue, so I started doing some research and found that it usually happens when the compost is to dry. The moister level should be kept between 40-60%. There are some pesticides out there that you are supposed to be able to use that will not destroy the bacteria that you need to break down the wast, one of them is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth  is the one I am going to try, it is not very expensive and comes in a dry form, so you can just sprinkle some in before turning the drum.
Will keep you posted. 
 
Larry Schlicker
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Well it has been about a year and a half since I started the shipping container cabin and I'm proud to say it is finally completed. The last things to get finished were the restroom and solar water heater. The cabin can now stand pretty well on its own with the solar electric and solar water heater. I am still hooked to the grid and that wont change, but should the grid fail, I will be in good shape.
Here are a few final pictures, but my blog has lots more. http://seacontainercabin.blogspot.com/



The restroom




Some uses for cut out metals.
Window awnings.


Vent wells.


Fire Wood shelter.

I still have lots of metal left and will continue to find uses for it till it is all gone. 
 
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Location: North Olympic peninsula, WA state.
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You are an awesome craftsman! good work, good use and recycling of material. I know you have had some negative responses and I don't want to be one of those... my only concern at this point, and you may have already covered this (sorry, didn't want to read every old post), what happens if the house gets struck by lightning? I'm certain it's grounded, but I'm wondering what happens to anything or anyone touching an interior metal wall during a strike? I just want to know because I've seen a few of these homes, there is one about five miles from here and every time I pass by it I wonder about lightning. Maybe I'm just paranoid. I really do like the house!
 
Len Ovens
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Mark Anderson wrote:You are an awesome craftsman! good work, good use and recycling of material. I know you have had some negative responses and I don't want to be one of those... my only concern at this point, and you may have already covered this (sorry, didn't want to read every old post), what happens if the house gets struck by lightning? I'm certain it's grounded, but I'm wondering what happens to anything or anyone touching an interior metal wall during a strike? I just want to know because I've seen a few of these homes, there is one about five miles from here and every time I pass by it I wonder about lightning. Maybe I'm just paranoid. I really do like the house!



There are lots of trees around that are much more likely to attract lightning. However, if this house was set in the middle of a plain, on the top of a knoll. It could be hit by lightening... same as a wood frame house. Because it is steel, it provides a good path and little resistance to the lightening and so it won't have the huge heat that it does going through air... or wood. It is probably safer than a wood frame house if hit. It should be grounded though, so that the occupants don't become a path on stepping out the door. If it were a grid house, it would be grounded anyway, but even off grid a house should be grounded so it doesn't collect charge from the wind blowing or similar things. I have discharged capacitors to make them safe then used an air hose to dust them off.... and already they have some charge again. Large ones are shipped shorted for this reason.
 
Mark Anderson
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It's good to know they will more than likely be safe in the house, even if lightning were to strike it.
 
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Larry McCoy wrote:Thinking about putting in a bowling alley in the east wing now

Oh, Larry "Rockerfeller" McCoy, I have seen you at socials!
 
Larry Schlicker
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If you will look at the bottom picture and at the bottom corner of the container, you can see the ground cable which is connected to a copper rod going 6' into the ground.
 
Larry Schlicker
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Ryan Bandera wrote:

Larry McCoy wrote:Thinking about putting in a bowling alley in the east wing now

Oh, Larry "Rockerfeller" McCoy, I have seen you at socials!

LOL
 
Len Ovens
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Larry McCoy wrote:If you will look at the bottom picture and at the bottom corner of the container, you can see the ground cable which is connected to a copper rod going 6' into the ground.



I would have been surprised if you had left it out. There has been a lot of attention to detail shown in this construction.
 
                          
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Hi everybody,

I was bumped from the forum somehow.
I got back in by saying I forgot my password. Oh well whatever works.

I have bee wanting to make today's comment for a while.

Last summer the straw began to decompose and the interior of the container got quite warm.
That was the good news...but...
The seeds of grasses had not grown much at all, and when the torrential rains began this fall, the berm started to slide.

It is really quite sickening to watch all that hard work and warmth and all the rest that berm means make landslides all over.

I bought 3 clear painter's tarps and covered the berm with them, so for now, the berm is safe.
It is also warmer.
The cold rain was making the room cold.
Also having no berm at all in places made it cold and noisy.

I plan to re-seed it in the spring.
For now, the biggest problem is moisture at the door and windows.
I am heating with candle heaters , which are excellent, and if the berm were fully there, I am sure would be sufficient, but
The inside temperature is frequently 51 which is too cold for me, and 30 minutes with a mr buddy will bring it up to 60, which is fine, but,
the humidity coming from the propane is not!

I just have a supply of cloths and wipe it down.
Last night I used oil lamps to add warmth without propane.
They were OK, but I do not like the smell.

Actually, this is a lot of fun and a great adventure.

OK thanks for listening,

jeanna
 
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