Shipping Container Garage – The Proper Way to Do It


Last Updated: April 26, 2021

Nowadays, shipping containers are used for various purposes, from public places, home extensions to additional storage. Therefore, if you think that they are simply huge metal boxes used to transport your stuff, you are wrong. Shipping containers have become extremely popular for they are easy to transport, install and maintain. More importantly, they are sustainable and designed to withstand even the harshest conditions. Since they are not made out of natural resources, such as wood, they are environmentally friendly, which is one of their great benefits. Thus, there are a lot of people that are opting for shipping container garage nowadays.

Whether you are planning to build a garage for your car or an additional storage for your stuff, maybe a shipping container is the best solution for you for it is affordable and easy to maintain. Before you undertake such a complex endeavor, you should know some basic facts about creating a shipping container garage. (Tools-wise there are many resources you can check out to help you, such examples of it are Toolsy  and Tools Specialist.)

shipping container as a garage

Do you need planning permission for a metal container?

First things first: Before you start your garage construction, you need to make sure if the municipal permission is needed.

Owing to their affordability, practically everyone can buy a container, but permission for its conversion into something else might be needed. In this particular case, a concrete stab needs to be installed first for it will protect your container garage from sinking under the weight of stuff inside it.

How to Lay the Foundation?

Before you start placing the foundation for your garage, you need to know how concrete slab is laid properly. At the very beginning, you need to choose the location where you want to install your garage, as well as to mark it. Once you do that, you need to flatten the ground, which is usually done with the pressure roller. Repeat the action until the marked terrain is an inch or two below the level of the surrounding ground. Of course, you will also have to remove all plants from this ground.

The next step is forming the frame around the marked place. Start with the boards that are supposed to be 12-inch wide and 2-inch thick. Then, you should fasten them at the corners with the 3-inch nails. Once you do that, you need to add the row of bricks along the frame’s edge, which is supposed to hold it firm while you are pouring concrete.

How to build your own shipping container garage?

shipping container garage

Once you do that, you need to place the shipping container properly. For example, if you want just to extend your home and are looking for a place where to store you stuff, you should make the garage face your home’s entrance. On the contrary, if you are planning to build a garage for your car, you need to find a proper position for it, as well as to add a driveway entrance to it.

After that, you need to make sure if your garage needs to be insulated. Apart from the fact that shipping containers can be used for various purposes, they also need to be adapted.

If the garage is supposed to be your storage, it should definitely be insulated. There are various kinds of insulation materials and one of the most common ones are polystyrene sheets that should be attached to the ceiling and the walls, after which the gaps should be sealed with foam insulation. On the other hand, insulation is not necessary when it comes to the place for your car.

Finally, the dehumidifier should be installed for it will protect the entire place from damp.

How much is a shipping container?

Shipping containers prices can vary from $1,400 – $5000. The newer the container the more expensive it is. You should be knowledgeable enough of the shipping container’s condition to determine is price.

Because rates may differ by container company, home size and move location your move might cost you more or less than the average cost which is $3000 per move.

Considering the fact that containers being a little bit of pricey than they were 5 years ago there are still people looking for it because of its features and what it can do and they cost lesser than building a new garage. Depending on where you are planning to use or need this container, delivery fees should put into account.

5 Reasons Why Use Shipping Container as a Garage

You might end up asking why you would use an old shipping container as your garage so we are giving you, 5 reasons why you should use this:

Easy to install

Most people use shipping containers “as is” upon delivery. But not all area are even or firm. In that case, try putting down some gravel to establish a good base. 20’ containers weighs 5,000 pounds and 40’s weighs under 10,000 pounds, and you don’t want to see your storage sinking. If you want to create blocking underneath, using 6”x6” blocks (2’ long each) is ideal.

Easy to maintain

If you want your container to last for a long years try checking it once or twice a year for any rust that develops and aiding the rust before it infects all areas of containers. Other owners place roofing tar to extend the roof life.

Containers are easy to use

Once your container is organized, it has two doors that open up to allow you to enter the full width and full length of the container. Try adding a roll-up door or service door for extra service.  Your seller has the kit so that you can install them. If you’re using this as a parking area for your car no need to worry you just have to put a movable ramp. Its doors are lock using a lock rods to lock the container.  So you wouldn’t need a permanent ramp, just a movable one to create access for you in getting in or out. There are many garage doors for sale and it is hard to know which one you should buy. The first thing you need to do is decide whether you want a new door or a used one.

More Room for Storage

The main reason why shipping container garage is becoming popular is that it is “storable”. Shipping containers has a 24 tons capacity and in every tons there are 907.185 kg let’s try computing it 24 tons x 907.185 kg is equals to 21772. 44 kg! Wait what? You can store a car or boat or even a tractor in here. So basically you can store everything in here toys, old bikes and even old belongings that makes every season fun.

Also Read: 8 Hacks to Maximize your Garage Storage Space


As you can see, shipping containers can be easily converted to a garage. And creating a garage from shipping containers is easy, all you have to do is to follow these rules and you will enjoy your brand-new garage.

Some Ways to Overcome Your Storage Problems Using Your Garage Door By Our Friends At Elite Garage Door & Gate Repair Of Renton


Author Bio:

Lillian Connors is home improvement/green living enthusiast in charge of the sustainability segment on Smooth Decorator. You can check her out on Google+, Twitter and  LinkedIn.


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  1. hi I was wondering if you need a special permit from your city to install a container garage and if I have to get the permit myself

    • Liz,

      It will depend on the state where you live in. Each state has different rules with regards to making shipping containers into a garage. The best way for you to know is to visit the website of your city/state and ask a question through their support service or contact forms. Here are some resources that might help you:

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