THE ORBERSON CONTAINER HOUSE PROJECT

Container Logo

Building a container house is a considerable task. It looks and sounds easy, however most of us look at the surface and the projected outcome. With less thought given to the quality of workmanship that goes into making a project of this nature an eye catching functional endeavor.

I personally felt that 320 sq. ft. was to small, I also felt that 8 feet was just too narrow for my liking. So, the option was to build a 640-square foot unit, using 2, 40-foot containers, and removing part of the interior walls of the two containers. Not knowing for sure where I would choose as the final resting place for the project, Having places in both southern and northern Arizona. I chose to make it in two sections to allow it to be un-bolted, then move it with a container moving truck.

Having prior welding experience and knowing the right people (Doug and Brenda) with container experience, at Metal Yard Art. Located here in metropolitan Phoenix. The project was set to move forward. Because of our knowledge we chose to use used containers and chose two quality containers for our project.

Our containers started of as a good match except fo color

starting Containers

Using high cube straight that are wind and water tight is a must. In addition, there should be little to no damage. Any dents should be in areas that will be cut away during construction. It is a good sign if the doors are straight and open and close smoothly, and latch well.

second step remove the inter walls

starting Containers

Because these units will be separated and moved one side at a time, then be rejoined at a second site, we felt it wise to leave some of the inter walls for added strength

second step B remove the second inter walls

starting Containers

With 2, 12-foot openings, this allows for plenty of open space to prevent the cabin fever that can be part of a narrow container home. I feel it is very important to feel comfortable in our unit.

starting Containers

Picking straight strong container makes a huge difference in the way the inside will look at the end of the projects.

Floor Plan

Thanks to the integrity in the way Doug and Brenda do their work, my floor plan is just what I was looking for

Containers together

I am very happy with the way the containers fit together. We have less than 3/8 inch gap between the containers. This is very assuring, we will get a good weather seal with very little gasket material.

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Now for the window and door openings. I chose a medium size window as the may wind up in a colder climate. Using a 4-ft. wide and 3-ft. tall windows all around, except for the bathroom. For this I chose a smaller window.

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Window Framing

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With all the openings cut, it’s time to frame the opening for the window and doors for installation Later in the project. We are using 3 x 2 square metal tubing for the framing of the openings.

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Front and rear, now for sandblasting and painting

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Before sandblasting and painting they can look rough

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After sandblasting they look pretty ugly

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Sandblasting makes it much easier to get a uniform paint job

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Next we adding a sub-floor to aid with the pluming and drains

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Finally we start to see more pleasent side of the project

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Even though they will be bolted together it is wise to do a complete
paint job, to prevent Problems up the road

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Although I have seen some very nice colorful paint schemes, I decided to play it safe

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We chose not to add a rear door, and add more to the side entrance.

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Now we wanted to add the pluming, so we could complete the bath room floor

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Now the bath room floor and the base for the insulated walls

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More planning for the rest of the inside and kitchen area

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So we decided that we’ll just finish framing the bathroom and laundry room next

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Now that we have the laundry room framing complete we will move on to door framing

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Framing for the French doors is a lot more work the wall framing area

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The French doors are very time consuming, much more than single doors

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But, I think French doors make the container house a lot more appealing

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Things are much lighter and roomie feeling with the extra panel in the double doors

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After finishing the French door in both containers we will contemplate were to go next

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Adding the side windows and door helsp the appearance

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Finally we have got all the windows in, so now we will put the back together and start on the inside

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Adding the insulation is a much larger task than you would expect. especially if you are wanting to get the full benefit from you insulation Containers together

It seemed like every piece of drywall we put up had two or there items the had to be allowed for Containers together

After we enclosed the area around the French doors, I finally feel the entrances are taking shape Containers together

We are adding a large amount of R-19 insulation to the ceiling area n Containers together

We may have got carried away with the electrical end, we have (4) 220/208 circuits and (7) 110 circuits. But at least we will have enough place to plug appliances in if needed Containers together

We chose to utilize space. and let the bath room and laundry room share a space Containers together

Lucky for us, we found someone who was good at tap and texture for the finishing touches of the drywall. Containers together

We also added a 36 inch bathroom door just incase we need the extra entrance way for laundry etc. Containers together

We chose to go with a under the sink tankless on demand hot water heater Containers together

It is going to get entertaining try to cover all the out lets and items in the wall and still have it look appealing. But, I have confidence we are up to the job. Containers together

The one thing I wasn’t able to achieve, was not having a step up into the bath room. Containers together

They look a lot better that we have placed them on I Beams and put them in position to bolt together Containers together

The openness of the design make it seem a lot more like a place I would want to live Containers together

The openness of the design as viewed from a different angle allows a better perception and make it seem a lot larger Containers together

We add a massive amount of insulation and we are using a state of the art A/C Heat pump with the capacity for a unit with twice the floor space of this one. Containers together

Once we had the cabinets in position, we couldn’t resist hooking up the sewer and the water. Now washing things and finishing the bath / laundry room will be a lot easier

Containers together

Because we planned our project so it could be moved with the season we decided to go with lamented flooring to the reduce weight.

Containers together

I think I am glad that the floor turned out a little darker than our cabinets This actually happened because the store only had the square footage we needed in a color near what we wanted in this color in stock. I now believe it was for the best!

Containers together

Drilling the 30 holes to bolt the units together was an all-day task. As it is a must to keep them totally straight and space properly.

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As you might guess the first part of the bath room to be installed was the toilet

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Having the cabinets set in place allowed us to see that more cabinet space was a must, so it is back to the stores again. By now Lowes and home depo know us buy our first name.

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One more oversize cabinet made a huge difference

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Running water inside makes it a lot easier to work with the taping and finishing the drywall

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Now to check all the pluming and drains that we place in the walls and laundry room floor. The water lines had been tested. But this was the first time we could test all the drains at once

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And for effect we added an electric stove, however I think we’ll replace it with a black model at some point

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For the finishing touch on the bath / laundry room we felt that a darker color vanity was in order

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With the laundry room / bath room near finish, I wish we had of had more room for a bigger shower

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Nothing ever happens without paper towels and pipe wrenches, they always seen to work their way in

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There is something about this corner that doesn’t look right. It may require more though!

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I think we need one more light on the light bar over the sink to make the area look more balanced. Oh well, Lowes is just down the road.

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We went with a large closet in the bed room, but considering the times we live in I think it is needed

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It is easy to see the kitchen area from the bedroom maybe that is a good thing because the ductless heat pump air conditioner is located on the kitchen wall.

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The laundry room / bath room is packed full, but we didn’t give up a single amenity. We have a cabinet area over the washer and drier, and a floor to ceiling towel cabinet planed between the shower and commode

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Although the bedroom would be small for a conventual house I think it will be ample for our container home. It will handle a Queen size bed if place in the right direction.

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Because we want to be able to transport our container up and down normal high ways without permits we had to make a concession with the air conditioner lines so as to set the united behind the container. Not as pretty as I would like but maybe coloring the insulation on the lines will help.

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But the split unit’s heat pump tucks right behind the container

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I am happy to have the split unit’s heat pump tucks behind the container. We will just have to find a way to beautify the lines.

Doug Styles and Brenda Keiser 602-380-1336

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