Shipping Container Workshops

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Residential shipping container workshop

At some point many people seek workshop space for their business needs, home projects, or just for hobby. Some need commercial workshop space to house their business operations, while others are simply looking to add workshop space to their residential property. Many assume that a garage or shed is their best bet. But did you know that shipping containers can make great workshops? Learn why so many people are deciding to get shipping container workshops.

What is a shipping container workshop?

Although shipping containers are originally designed to transport cargo overseas, they are now converted into commercial and residential spaces of all kinds. Shipping containers are made of high-grade steel and are extremely weather-resistant, making them great for outdoor workshops. Not to mention they are portable, can be used for either temporary or permanent spaces, and extremely easy to convert into alternative space.  

When converting a shipping container into a workshop, you will essentially use the interior of the container to build a space fitted to your workshop needs. Your supplier can work with you to find the right customizations to support you.

Why build a workshop with a shipping container?

It comes at no surprise that so many people today are using shipping containers as workshops. Using a shipping container as a workshop space comes with tons of benefits. Not only are they very cost-efficient, portable, and durable, but they can be customized to fit your exact needs. Take a look at just some of the benefits shipping containers can offer when building a workshop.

1. High-grade security

Normally, people want to house their workshops outdoors, such as a commercial lot or a backyard. The fact that shipping containers are highly secure makes them great choices for workshops. Shipping containers are made of high-grade steel, making them wind and water tight, weatherproof, and fireproof. They are extremely resistant to criminal break-ins or damage, which will help you rest assured that your valuables inside will not be stolen or damaged. Compare this to a garden shed, which can be broken into very easily. In terms of security, shipping containers are the superior choice.

2. Portable

Shipping containers are designed to be mobile and portable. They can be easily transported from place to place, or removed easily when you no longer need the container. If you ever move or decide to relocate your commercial operations, you don’t have to worry about leaving the workshop behind. Additionally, suppliers can easily deliver your shipping container to your location as well as remove them if you are renting. Learn more about shipping container delivery services as well as renting shipping containers.

3. Customizable

One of the top benefits of converted shipping containers is that you can design them any way you would like. Shipping containers already come equipped with sturdy walls, floors, and ceilings. Then, you can add any customizations inside as you see fit. Plus, customizations for shipping containers are very cost-efficient and can be completed quickly. Common workshop customizations include electricity and lighting fixtures, shelving, windows, custom workbenches, ventilation and air conditioning, and more.

(Note: Talk with your supplier concerning customization and if outside resources are needed to achieve your desired look.)

4. Durable

Because shipping containers are weather-resistant and highly secure, they are extremely durable. Most shipping containers can withstand the harshest conditions, which makes them last years on end. Compared to a garden shed, they are much more durable and last much longer.

5. Cost-effective

One of the many reasons shipping container workshops are so popular is because they are so cost-efficient. They are versatile and can be used for a slew of residential or commercial needs without breaking the bank. Depending on the container’s condition, a container can cost you anywhere between $1,000-$6,000 and can last you 10-12 years or more. To learn more about shipping container costs, take a look at our cost guide.

Are they for commercial or residential use?

Shipping container workshops can be great for either residential or commercial uses. Whether you want to house your workshop on your residential property or plan to set up your business on a commercial lot, your supplier will be able to work with you to make that happen. 

My Dad and I turned a Shipping Container into a wood shop ...
Commercial shipping container workshop

Keep in mind that shipping containers are stackable and can be combined to create even bigger spaces. This is especially useful for business owners that want to create larger workshops with shipping containers.

Features to include in a shipping container workshop

There are tons of customization options to make your workshop truly feel like your own. Suppliers can work with you to add features and customizations to your workshop to fit your needs. Take a look at some common add-on features for shipping container workshops:

  • Electricity
  • Light fixtures or solar lighting
  • Custom workbenches
  • Hooks for electrical cords 
  • Shelving
  • Stairs
  • Windows
  • HVAC units
  • Ventilation 
  • Bathrooms
  • Extra storage space
  • And much more

Available Sizes and Layouts

The large majority of shipping containers are 8-feet wide by 8.5-feet tall. There are also high-cube storage containers that add an extra foot to the height, making them 9.5-feet tall. In terms of length there, are a couple different choices. The most common sizes for shipping container workshops are:

However, there are alternative lengths that you can choose from, if needed. Shipping containers also have a variety of layouts you can choose from when designing your workshop. For instance, there are layouts that have a workshop space with a small extra storage space attached. There are also open floor plans if you don’t have a need for additional storage. Learn more about shipping container and ground-level office layouts.

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