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CANtainer Camp

D-FENZ

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My only thing is I need to make sure it is reinforced to support about 3ft of dirt that will be above the container. Im think that I will keep a 3 foot space on the side unless someone thinks that would be a bad idea. Any ideas or different contraction ideas would be awesome.
Near where I live there is an expanded polystyrene (EPS) manufacturing facility. This is the stuff that most people call Styrofoam. An increasing percentage of their business is what they refer to as geofoam which is just vermin treated EPS. It is used for an amazing variety of backfilling applications including airports, shopping centers and highways. This plant makes up to 4' x 4' x 16' blocks. You could stack them as high as you like and then cover them with a couple of feet of dirt.

One of the major advantages is that it doesn't compact or slump and should last forever. And it is surprisingly inexpensive. Depending on your proximity to an EPS plant, truckiing may be an issue. This stuff may be just what you need for backfilling a container.

Check it out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geofoam. Also Google images.

Amazing stuff.
 

BarnacleBob

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The ceilings and interior walls are insulated with (r12), excepting the front wall (r19) .... So it is very insulated inside & out..... the organic top cover will inevitably be "green," as we are still trying to decide what to plant on top.... Summer around end of July & thru August when humidity is high presents some problems with comfort....we have small 12k btu A.C. that does a fair job.... if the roof cover doesnt help us much I'll prolly put in a small central unit and use the gen to power it a cpl hrs a day to control humidity....

It is really interesting living in one of these things.... much, much different than top sider homes! We love it.... heck we dont even have a mail box as we do not have any bills to be forwarded to us.....
 

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Bob........your not the only one who believes in thick walls......im a firm believer in lots of insulation....
Your windows look like ours..... BTW, nice mouldings and trim :)
 

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Bob.....im a topsider.......but highly insulated buildings have similar issues.....im about a r-30+ on walls ....r-3 bubble wrap+r-19 fiberglass ..+ air gap..then foam board total 12" wall

Humidity is one of the issues i face......I use ground source totally for AC and Heat with no backup.....my problem is system is sized for heat load which makes it over-sized for AC load.....meaning it hardly ever runs to draw out moisture in the summer.....so dont oversize your AC unit if moisture removal is a goal....just tossin that out there as a problem i have...

one other issue i have that is bad/good is sound......the only outside sound we hear comes through the windows.....cant hear a car coming down the drive.....cant hear a storm approaching......no roosters....no dogs barking....etc..

LOL....you gotta have some bills to pay.....IE...internet access...taxes...
 

BarnacleBob

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Yea, we have property taxes on 14 acres @ $138 yr.... we use prepaid phones... cars are paid for, purchase and remit auto insurance with local agent.... so we really have no need for a mail box.....

If we must receive mail or packages we use "general delivery" procedure & process at USPS... postal regs require general delivery mail & packages must be held for 30 days before they are returned.... As a general courtesy we inform the PO when we are expecting mail or packages. General Delivery beats a mail box any day .....
 

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The 1 1/2" floor foam provided room to snake plumbing under the floor. I ran 1/2" black pipe for the water heater, propane fridge and cooktop, then capped and pressure tested and painted soapy water on the joints to check for bubbles. Also ran 3/4" PEX tubing across the floor between water tank and kitchen/bathroom area. Subfloor is finished.
More details in the coming week.
 

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hoarder

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I've been working on the kitchen bottom cabinets and countertops. It will be a pine galley style kitchen, 8 feet on one side, 7 on the other.

Also fabricated a battery box. It's 14 guage steel, about 48" x 16 x16, to house eight golf cart batteries.

The second and third pics did not come out well, perhaps insufficient thawing of the camera.
 

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mtnman

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LOOKS GREAT! Are you a pro cabinet builder? Your work looks that way.
 

ttazzman

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LOOKS GREAT! Are you a pro cabinet builder? Your work looks that way.

I agree......no way i would tackle building cabinets unless i had to.......i would go to a discount or salvage yard to get cabinets.....of course building custom like that gets you exactly what you want...
 

hoarder

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LOOKS GREAT! Are you a pro cabinet builder? Your work looks that way.
Thanks for the kind words. I've built 3 kitchens from scratch. It may look good in a blurry pic like the above, but if a cabinet shop hired me as a journeyman, they would fire me the same day. I'm way too slow.

I agree......no way i would tackle building cabinets unless i had to.......i would go to a discount or salvage yard to get cabinets.....of course building custom like that gets you exactly what you want...
I watched craigslist for quite awhile as well as the resale places. It's mostly mismatched and partial stuff, usually particle board and falling apart. The better pull outs go for a couple grand. This entire set of cabinets, top and bottom, including bathroom vanity and cabinet over washer as well as the formica countertops will cost me $800 and there will be no particle board, MDF, chipboard, waferwood or OSB anywhere inside this container.
 

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Thanks for the kind words. I've built 3 kitchens from scratch. It may look good in a blurry pic like the above, but if a cabinet shop hired me as a journeyman, they would fire me the same day. I'm way too slow.



I watched craigslist for quite awhile as well as the resale places. It's mostly mismatched and partial stuff, usually particle board and falling apart. The better pull outs go for a couple grand. This entire set of cabinets, top and bottom, including bathroom vanity and cabinet over washer as well as the formica countertops will cost me $800 and there will be no particle board, MDF, chipboard, waferwood or OSB anywhere inside this container.
You're much too modest.

Good idea with such an enclosed area not having those off-gassing material issues.
 

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I got the Pella double pane vinyl windows installed and caulked today. I'm working on a partition wall between bathroom and kitchen areas. It will have a pocket (sliding) door.
 

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I bought a one-piece 36" fiberglass shower for the container. These fiberglass showers and tubs are a great idea because they are maintenance free, no grout and no caulk. Unfortunately the manufacturers always produce them a few yards shy on mat and about one gallon short on resin, so I always rectify that by beefing them up. The first fiberglass one-piece tub I installed back in 1983 broke before I got it installed so I've been adding resin and mat to them ever since and never had a failure. I guess they have to build them that way because the competition does.
Some manufacturers recommend that you set them in a bed of mortar for support. I never do that, the added glass does the trick.
 

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hoarder

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Some progress and pics:
 

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hoarder

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And more, showing pocket (sliding) door.
 

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Beautiful!
 

ttazzman

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you have got to love the look of that wood....(Curious as to what your using for the countertops???)

comment on the shower .....your right they are always a bit short on resin/mat, i started setting mine then foaming them in bottom and sides for support and noise reduction with low expansion can foam
 

hoarder

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you have got to love the look of that wood....(Curious as to what your using for the countertops???)

comment on the shower .....your right they are always a bit short on resin/mat, i started setting mine then foaming them in bottom and sides for support and noise reduction with low expansion can foam
The countertops are Formica on top of AC plywood. Total cost $140. Yeah the foam can help tubs and showers. I had a rent house that had a very soft bottomed tub and I employed the same solution. Trying to fiberglass an installed tub underneath was beyond my ambitions.
 

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I bought a 300 gallon water tank which is now situated near the woodstove. In the winter it's nice to have water that actually flows.
 

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hoarder

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Condensation is a potential problem with heated or air-conditioned containers. They have 4 puny vents at the top near the corners to help them dry out. I figured it would be a good idea to keep those vents operational by avoiding covering them up. There is a 2" air gap above the fiberglass ceiling insulation as shown.

Note the padeye welded to the header in the third picture. The purpose is to facilitate hoisting 25 gallon propane bottles in place. The propane stubout is shown in second picture.

The vertical PVC pipe is for venting the battery box.
 

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MNeagle

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I bought a 300 gallon water tank which is now situated near the woodstove. In the winter it's nice to have water that actually flows.
What's to stop that tank from melting hoarder?
 

hoarder

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What's to stop that tank from melting hoarder?
It won't get hot enough. The melting point of polyethylene is 230 degrees F. The firebox is brick lined and the tank will be at least 10" from it. I want to keep the water relatively warm in winter.
 

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how are you planning on filling the water tank? ...well...rainwater..haulin..??


i guess the followup would be sewage/grey water disposal?
 

hoarder

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how are you planning on filling the water tank? ...well...rainwater..haulin..??


i guess the followup would be sewage/grey water disposal?
I have a 325 gallon tank that fits in the back of my one ton. I can pump from a creek until I drill a well.

If I install a flush toilet, I'll have to hook it up to a septic system. I also have a sawdust toilet which I built. If I use that the shower and sink water can run out on the ground.
I intend to build a home on the property which the container sets on so a septic system will eventually be put in.
 
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I borrowed your pics several years ago found them on the web...

Did you build or buy the trusses and were they expensive ?

That's what you need in Missouri, someplace to get out of the rain and keep equipment dry. Just in case this morphs into a barn thread, I'll just have to post pics of the two container barns I built...one in Montana and one in Texas:
 

hoarder

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I borrowed your pics several years ago found them on the web...

A few questions did you use the space above the container roofs and above the container roofline below the trusses ?

Did you build or buy the trusses and were they expensive ?
On the Texas one I used custom made 5 in 12 pitch trusses which were about a hundred apiece delivered. They are on about 3 foot centers. There was no attic/loft space there to speak of. The lean-to "wings" were real cheap to build. Just three 10 foot posts per side.

The Montana one I steel framed it myself to a 8 in 12 pitch. It has a large loft which is ladder access only. The steel cees and zees cost $1700 delivered. The roofs of the containers themselves are not very strong so only lightweight junk is stored on them. Floor between the containers is framed in cees and decked in 3/4" plywood is holds a lot of weight.

It's really hard to beat pole barns cost-wise, but when it's rocky, drilling the holes is a pain. The real advantage of containers is no concrete foundation work needed.

edit: Pics of Montana barn, as you see the floor is underslung so the entire loft is flat.
 

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ttazzman

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looking at Hoarders container barn pics......i much prefer the all metal style of construction in my opinon it has countless longterm advantages over the wood truss setup especially if you want to have any sort of loft at all....
 

hoarder

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looking at Hoarders container barn pics......i much prefer the all metal style of construction in my opinon it has countless longterm advantages over the wood truss setup especially if you want to have any sort of loft at all....
The deciding factor for me was roof pitch. In the North you have to have pitch to shed snow, so if you pay for pitch, you might as well pay a little more and use that extra space. In the South where the pitch was not called for, it didn't make sense to me to build such a substantial roof system.
 

ttazzman

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I like the metal construction because i like to use 26ga roofing metal ...and span it 5'+ on steel purlins.......and much prefer the #12 screw connection metal to metal....many less issues than the metal to wood especially if you get any condensation or leak moisture on the wood.....less than half the holes in the roof....a good calculateable wind uplift connection....

I have done several.........the metal usually is slightly higher priced as a system designed correctly....but the storm/wind/hail/leak/dent resistance of the 26ga roofing wins every time for me (we deal with 30# snow loads here not the 40-50# snow loads the northerners deal with)

also the 26ga is a proven workable LOW SLOPE roof system in the commercial industry....and with the low slopes you can build much wider buildings with out the huge height issues
 

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Good point, Ttazzman. The screws are the weak point of a screwmetal roof on a wood structure. Expansion and contraction causes a few of the scews to back out. After 20 years the rubber washers rot, more or less, depending on the quality of the screws. Then water gets in and rots the wood. Sometimes you can get by installing longer new screws if it's on 2x4 slats/purlins. Other times you can slide all the panels uphill an inch and screw into new wood. It's a good idea to plan for the latter strategy by letting it overhang an inch extra and getting the slat spacing just right.
Screws on a 7/16" OSB roof are a poor idea, IMO. The slightest amount of water infiltration and then you have nothing. My house has screws on 5/8" CDX plywood which I consider the bare minimum amount of "meat" for screws to bite into.

Using 2x4 or 2x6 slats instead of plywood also makes it easier and safer to install metal on a steep roof. On heated structures the slats will show frost lines in the winter, though.

The problem with the 26 gauge on residential structures is that you can usually only find it in high rib, which holds snow in valleys and has a "commercial building" look to it. Also, being thicker and taller, the cuts look rougher and stand out. That's what I have on my house. It's tough but not pretty.
 
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hoarder

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The bottom edges of shipping containers have slots for forklifts. These are generally no longer needed once out of the shipping industry because they are moved by sliding onto a truck bed. The existing slots are very convenient for rodents to come and go, and to escape predators. If you weld covers over the slots and set the container on perfectly flat ground, there will be no way for them to enjoy the underside and procreate there.
 

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mtnman

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The bottom edges of shipping containers have slots for forklifts. These are generally no longer needed once out of the shipping industry because they are moved by sliding onto a truck bed. The existing slots are very convenient for rodents to come and go, and to escape predators. If you weld covers over the slots and set the container on perfectly flat ground, there will be no way for them to enjoy the underside and procreate there.
All that time spent welding when you could just hit em with that big rock! All kidding aside, Good Job.
 

ttazzman

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You have perfectly flat ground????.........lol........:)...........personaly i prob woulda screened them with a cover for moisture ventilation

Brings to mind i have never looked at the bottom of mine.....mine does have a wood floor on inside
 

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You have perfectly flat ground????.........lol........:)...........personaly i prob woulda screened them with a cover for moisture ventilation
Good idea, especially in wetter climates like you have. There is a reason homes have crawl space vents. Here we have 12-14" annual precipitation and gravelly soil so I doubt I'll ever have much moisture under there.
 

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thats quite a difference........my rain gage says i got 11" of rain this month of june.......
 

hoarder

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thats quite a difference........my rain gage says i got 11" of rain this month of june.......
We had zero inches of rain in June. One inch in July.
 

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hoarder

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The shower is elevated about 7" to acommodate the trap, keeping it in the heated environment so it won't freeze.
 

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