Friday, July 30, 2010

The shipping container floor plan and cutting out dividing wall's

Here is my container cabin floor plan. It seem to be the best use for the available space, at least in my minds eye. This container floor plan is also a great plan because I am putting a large amount of dirt on the back and end wall, so the dividing walls will add support to the back wall. The pantry will have shelves along the back and end wall that will also lend support to the outer walls. 

Marking the cut line.
My first cutting is to open the space between the two containers that will be the living room.
I am going to be using arched door's and window's on this project, so I decided to make the opening an arched opening for a couple reasons. One, it should help maintain strength for the roof, and two, it will tie in with the doors and windows.
The opening will be 14'-6'' long and 7'-3'' high. I used a 7'-3'' wire with a black marker fixed at the end to mark this with.
 

The other end was secured to an eye bolt at the center of the selected area. I also drilled a hole from that point to the other side to mark the location to duplicate the cut line on the other side.

     

     Wall after it was marked for the cut line.

   
Cutting.
A 4-1/2" angle grinder worked well for cutting the walls out. I tried a sawzall at first, but they do not work well when you are attempting to cut two wall's back to back as the blade wants to wonder on the back panel, and it also has a tendency to get pinched as the wall's flex and distort during cutting. I also tried a 6-1/2" metal cutting blade with a skill-saw, but it wanted to track straight, so that did not work for the arched opening. 
  
A word of caution when cutting walls. The walls in these containers are 12 ga steel and very heavy, and after you cut them, they are very sharp at the cut edge. I estimate this section to be approx 400lbs and I was making my final cut at the bottom when it came crashing down. My natural reaction was to raise my arm to stop it and I sustained a sever laceration to my forearm. So use extra caution when cutting these container walls.
First wall out!
  
You will use approx one 4-1/2'' cutting disc for every 5' of wall cut.
There will be little waste from the cut out walls as I will be using them for overhangs, awnings and interior building materials. 
Second wall out.
 
Next post will be, welding the containers together.

111 comments:

  1. Muy Interesante, seria bueno ver mas Fotos.
    Atentamente
    Juan Borquez

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  2. Whats the total cost of all this ????

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  3. Total cost was just at $35,000. That includes everything except the land.
    That includes the well, all landscaping, plumbing, fixtures and furnishings, carport, everything you see in the blog

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  4. This really is brilliant. Low cost, low maintenance, energy efficient, virtually indestructible. Of course if you weren't your own contractor the cost could easily double. I'd love to do this one day.

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  5. Thank you very much! It would have easily cost twice as much if I had to hire the work done, but I was able to do all phases myself, from conception to driving the last nail.

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  6. Hi Larry,

    Congratulations on the project, It is amazing what you were able to achieve on your own. We are starting a similar project on our own and found out your web in our search ideas. It is very instructive, thank you. I wasn't able to figure out how you secure frames to the side walls. Did you screw to the top and bottom? because I guess they can't be screwed to the sides because they will leak water in, right? I would appreciate if you can help me with this doubt. Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    Daniel

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  7. Daniel. Thanks.
    Look at the framing and electrical page and you will see the 2X4's that are attached to the upper box beams of the container. These are attached with 2-1/2" self tapping screws, approx 5 for ever 10' run. Then you can attach stud hangers onto the upper 2x4's and then put up your ceiling trusses. Then build your walls and nail them into the floor and the 2x4's that you attached to the upper box beams. It will be solid.Hope that helps. Larry

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  8. Hi Larry,
    Thank you very much for the reply. Just one question, when you screw the 2-1/2" self tapping screws to the upper box beam, will they show on the exterior? Thank you. Daniel.

    PS: we are starting the project very soon, I will send you picture as the project goes on.

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  9. Daniel, they will not go through to the other side. Your 2X4' are 1-1/2 and the box beams are over 2", so they will not even touch the outer portion of the box beams.
    Hey, glad to hear your starting your project soon, and will be looking forward to those pics. Larry

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  10. Sorry to bother you again Larry. Can you help me with this please?
    Can the hole for the window be made with a grinder with Abrasive Metal Wheel?
    And to hold the window, can it be nailed to the wood frame? Will it be safe this way? Or does it need a metal frame to be welded to the wall of the container?
    Thank You. Daniel

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  11. This should answer most of your questions. http://seacontainercabin.blogspot.com/p/spray-on-insulation-landscaping.html
    I used a 4-1/2" angle grinder with a abrasive cutoff wheel for all of my openings.
    I also just screwed the windows to the container with self tapping screws, although putting a metal frame around the window would be better, but with arched windows, that created a problem. I think nailing your window to your interior framing would be fine.

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  12. I might add that when you cut out for the windows, the wall will distort and you may want to secure them to your framing also to aid in keeping them stable around the window area.

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  13. Thanks Larry, that will help me alot. I hope that this information you giving me will help many others too. The distortion on the windows hole is because of your big windows or will it happen on any size window? To have a reference what is the size of your front windows? Thank you. Daniel

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  14. The distortion would not be as bad on smaller windows. My windows are 4'X6'. It will also depend on age and condition of your container. Mine were pretty old and beat up :(.

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  15. Hi Larry, DO you know what is the gauge of the container beams and walls?
    Thank you

    Daniel

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  16. Daniel, here is a link to every aspect of a shipping container. http://www.steinecker-container.de/container/Container2/Spez-Container/Spez_high%20cube20.pdf

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  17. Looks like you will have to copy then paste that link in the address bar.

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  18. Thank you Larry for this very complete information.

    Daniel

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  19. This is awesome! I'm so thrilled to have found your blog. To build a small, off grid home from shipping containers is my dream. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge.

    Margie

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  20. Thank you Margie. It was my hope that this blog would be of benefit to others because when I started my shipping container project, I could not find any real help for the project anywhere, so I just dove in anyway and decided to do a blog as I went in order to at least have something for others to see and possibly help there project go a little better by having something to draw from. Larry

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  21. We are putting 3 40' containers together, but are berming 3 sides and put on a metal roof... but then we aren't going off grid here is our website

    http://myshippingcontainerhome.blogspot.com/

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  22. Looks like it is coming along very nice. Thanks for the link to your blog, I will enjoy watching it's progress. And yes it is very hot here in Oklahoma this year :-(

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  23. where you at... We are about 10 miles from Webbers Falls

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. I have gone through every one of you posts, and I must say I am very impressed with this. This does give me hope in completing a similer build. If you dont mind, I have a few questions. Are the trailers anchored in any way to the ground? Also, were there any building codes you had to follow or inspections that had to be done? Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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  26. Thank you!
    My containers are not anchored. They have a combined weight over 8 tons with probably another 2-3 tons of materials and furnishings inside for a combined total of approx 20,000 lbs, that coupled with and earth berm along the back and end wall and it sits in a low spot surrounded by hills, high winds from the front or north end will only try to push the containers against the earth embankment and winds from the other directions will flow over the embankment and over the top of the containers, so I am confident that it is not going anywhere unless it suffers a direct hit from a EF3 or greater in which case tie downs would not be of any help.
    The containers are in the county and therefor we do not have codes that we have to go by.
    Good luck with your project.

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  27. Did you insulate all walls that are covered in wood? since I am dirt filled on 3 sides I only am insulating the front wall... hope I can keep the temp down on the dirt walls to about 70 degrees.. I didn't even consider the inside walls.. maybe I should think about those before I sheet rock them

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  28. I did insulate all walls except the pantry area, with R13 and also used plastic sheeting on the warm side for a vapor barrier.

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  29. Do you have a Materials list for your project. Example How many 2 x 4's,etc.

    Thanks

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  30. I did make an initial material list, but never kept it, and I spent a lot of time going back to lowes for more. :(

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  31. I read your post about cutting the archway between the two containers with an angle grinder and just cringed. A plasma cutter makes those cuts so easy.

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  32. I just used tools that I owned, and a plasma cutter was not one of them. It would have been nice but I still got the same job done with a $30.00 grinder.

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  33. Larry, What did you do as far as insulation for the floor? This is the coolest thing I have seen in a while. Awesome work.

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  34. Thank you.
    I did not insulate the floor because I did not want to lose any of the ground's heating and cooling benefits. I did put down a thin cushioning material before I installed the wood flooring which also creates somewhat of a thermal barrier, but it would be very miniscule in nature.

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  35. One of the most awesome things ever!!

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  36. Hello Larry!

    First of all I hope for you that all the effort, time, the will to share, and simply good and kind heart that you have put into for shering your infromation will come back to you in all aspect of daily life.Thank for great project and blog. My wife & I R about to start one the same size. I hope not to bother U to much during the project. This is a heads up:)

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  37. Thank you Ido!
    Thanks for the heads up :-), and no problem, I will be glad to share what I have learned.
    Larry

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  38. I dream of making a container home when I get out of Army soon. A lot of prep work comes first and a lot of research. I just hope Georgia isn't too hot.

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  39. It got up to 110 degrees this year and with a small energy efficient 110 window AC,it kept the cabin under 80 degrees all summer long. Insulate it well, and you will be fine.

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  40. Were starting a very similar project here in Japan. really happy to see some1 else doing the 2 40's together design. Out of interest have you seen any other 2 40's project online? Any new pics from your cabin around.

    Well done you!!!

    Regards from Japan

    Keith

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  41. Thank you Keith, and good luck with your project!
    Honestly, I have not seen any 2 container projects that have any detail whatsoever. And that is why I started my blog. There are lots of pictures of different projects out there, but no detail as to how. My blog is pretty up to date as far as it's pictures go. There are things I have done on the property that would help lend to more self sufficiency such as a 65,000 gal pond, a brush pile for small game shelter and things of that nature, but the cabin is now pretty complete other then the rock work I want to do around the wood stove. Larry

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  42. Great build. I like that everything was practical and kept to the basics.

    Do you have any pictures of the behind the refrigerator cabinet? I can't picture how you did this, but there would be a great addition of extra room it would give you.

    What did you use to cover the Roof with after the foam insulation? It looks like it is rubberized material of some sort. Also did you put in an entire septic system for this build, or are you just draining away the excess water?

    Thank you,
    Justin

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  43. Thanks Justin.
    I added a picture of the space behind the fridge on the finished rooms page, hope that helps.
    On the roof, I covered it with 45 mil pond liner.
    I do not have septic because I am using a composting toilet and the only wast water is grey water, which is drained to a buried gravel pit via 2" drain pipe. My main reason for going this route is because of the close proximity of my well, and my fears of contamination. Larry

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  44. Great Job...and a sincere THANK YOU. Yours is easily the best documented "How To" I've found online. I know that took a lot of extra work on your part. Thank you very much!

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  45. Thank you! It is comments like yours that make it all worth doing!

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  46. I love your concept and design. Planning my own project with three containers. Thank you for all your help and knowledge.

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  47. Thank you! I have thought about pulling the blog many times, but it is comments like yours and the thought that it is still out there helping others that keeps me from pulling it.
    Your welcome and good luck on your project, I hope you will share your experience with others as I have. Larry

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    1. Please don't pull your blog, people like myself use blogs like yours to inspire us to do.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom with us less wise. : )

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    2. PLEASE don't pull your blog!
      I've been planning to do this for years, searching for property around Lake Travis. (Hill country-Texas) My plan is to retire in five years, to my container home, and i had no idea how to accomplish everything. You're a Godsend! Thankyou SO much for sharing!

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    3. This is absolutely mesmerizing---I've just been rapt with the pictures and the words, especially at such an ingenious and singular undertaking (singular being the operative word---you seem to be totally solo on this remarkable journey). Just the simple pencil-on-a-string concept, old as time, is new and bright in this usage on such a large scale, and the care you take with each step is gratifying to see---this place will serve you well in its strength and endurance.

      We have no plans for building anything at all, what we jokingly talk about is an immense compound, with each of the seven children and their families in separate house, surrounded by a moat) but I'm just so interested in the conversion of things, the usages of things, the using-up and wearing-out of stuff used for unusual purposes. (perhaps it comes from a childhood lived next door to a brown-brick-siding little house made of two railroad cars set side by side, and shared by a couple and their two children.

      .http://lawntea.blogspot.com/2011/07/evening-in-paris.html

      There were also TWO of the little Sears Roebuck houses in our town, brought down from Memphis on the train and put together "from a kit" which I found simply enchanting, like semi-dollhouses for real people.


      I do hope you'll continue to show the progress and all your wonderful ideas for use-of-space. Thank you for sharing this marvelous adventure, and may you live long and prosper in this wonderful home.

      rachel


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  48. Wow!!!

    Larry, thanks so much for sharing your great project. I found your blog searching for shelving ideas for containers. We are building a barn/storage with 3 containers in a u shape. Peaked roof will cover all 3.
    Can you please explain your shelving in the pantry? It looks great and very strong. What type of support did you use.

    I understand this blog is probably a pain for you, but there is nothing else out there this good. No pressure, but you are definitely earning good karma points.

    Thanks for your time,

    Debbie

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  49. Your welcome Debbie. I am glad it is being of some benefit to others.
    On the shelves, I just used 2x4's as my frame work. They are basically free standing except at the bottom where they are nailed to the floor, and then they are joined to the interior wall with screws. I used T&G for the shelving and trimmed it out with the T&G also. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of that in its process and it would be a real pain to do it now, lol. So basically, I new how many shelf's I wanted and how much room I had to work with and just started doing some framing with 2x4's to get there. The L shape makes them pretty rock solid.

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  50. Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the response.

    More questions!

    Since I want my shelves to go all the way to the top I figure I can run a 2x4 stringer at the top and bottom (like your walls) and go from there.(We have little building experience, but are fast learners). Thank goodness for the web and YouTube videos.

    I was also wondering why you did not spray foam the whole container. We are in USDA zone 4/5. avg.low in Dec/Jan is 19F. record low of -28 F in 1972. I was surprised at how expensive the spray foam is. Did you buy a kit and do it your self?
    Besides the vent for the battery room, did you use any other vents or fans?
    We also plan to buy a composting toilet. Can you please share what brand you bought and are you happy with it?

    I also plan to document our building, but since I am about as good with computers as I am with building, doing a blog might be a stretch.

    Thanks again,

    Debbie

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  51. Hey Debbie. The spray foam is pretty expensive. My main purpose for using spray foam was to insulate and seal the roof and most importantly seal the back and end wall where I was going to shove earth onto it. Even though these containers are made of a highly rust resistant cor-ten steel, I figured burying it with dirt was pushing my luck, and I want this to at least last my life time. I did buy the DIY kit and was very pleased with the ease of use. If you go to the insulation page on the blog and click on spray foam, it will take you to spray it green web site where I purchased mine, and they are a great company to buy from and there to answer any questions you might have.
    On the vents, again on the blog it will show that I put in crawl space vents at the front of the cabin and a humidity controlled crawl space vent fan at the battery room for expelling moisture and keeping the underneath dry. If you were to put your project more above ground, then it would not be an issue for you.
    The composting toilet is a sun-mar NE, and they are not very cheap either, but my reason for buying was to conserve water, and I figured the cost would also be not that much more then buying a septic system, probably even cheaper. I have been happy with it and haven't had any issues other then gnats. They are made for a family of 2-3 full time, or 5-7 weekenders. This is a link to one like mine. https://www.thenaturalhome.com/sunmar.htm If you watch on ebay, you may find one and save some money. I got lucky and found an unused one on ebay where the seller changed his mind and never installed one that he had bought and saved about $500.
    Debbie, this was my first bog and it wasn't all that hard to do, and a few tears ago I could barley spell computer lol. So I hope you take the time to canonical your build and do a blog as it would be of great benefit to others. Larry

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  52. Larry,
    I would love to visit with you over the phone. I have my contianers and am planning on burying all three with just the front of one 40' facing the southwest. The top and all of one side will be covered with dirt along with the one end (24') covered about three foot deep, just leaving window room and ability to crawl out. My concern is condensation and stopping it from molding the insulation and ventelation. Please help me asap. How can I talk with you besides over the blog?

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  53. Was your containers high cubes or regular containers?

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    1. The containers I used were standard 8'

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  54. Give me your # and I'll call you. I wont post it, I'll just delete it after I get it.

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  55. Do you have any problems with rain and that flat roof? Any form of pooling?

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  56. There is no problems with the flat roof, and flat roofs have been around for many many years, so the container with a flat roof is not new. It does have a few areas that pool a little water but the roof has a 1" coat of closed cell spray foam on top that water can not penetrate, then on top of that is a 45 mil pond liner which obviously is made to hold water, then that is painted white to reflect heat. The paint is a 15 year paint, the pond liner is a 25 year, so I don't think I am going to have any real issues with my roof in my life time, (fingers crossed).

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  57. Have you considered putting on a green roof?

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  58. I have considered that and I still am. I have been thinking of just putting a 2" border around the perimeter of the roof and planting some fast growing drought tolerant ground cover. I am planning on doing that this spring.

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  59. Thanks much for posting all this. Turned out REALLY nice.
    Any issues with the exposed metal walls leaching cold from the outside?

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    1. Thank you. The interior wall really isn't as cold as you might think. It is pretty sealed from the outside and is just cool to the touch on a really cold day, and it is also cool to the touch in the summer time also, this is because of the thermal effect it gets from ground temps.

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  60. Larry - What you have done is very, very nice! I have an acre of gound in Utah, on the "top" of a hill, and the land slopes to the South, so I would have southern exposure for sun but the problem, is that I was up there in the springtime and while my acre sits up high, it is DOWN HILL from about three acres of land and the water just RUNS off that land onto this acre i have.
    If I put a rubber liner around the container AND under it, would it stop any water from getting in if sealed properly?
    Or would a backhoe, dug trench around it be better?
    When I want to relax -all I have to do is watch your video! Thank You, Jim

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    1. Thanks Jim. If I were doing it, I would address both issues which is keeping water off the container and controlling ground water. You could use a paint on water proofing for the walls like they use on basements,I used the spray foam but it is a bit expensive, and then use a perforated drainage pipe for controlling the ground water. If you have your container slightly off the ground, then I don't think a drainage ditch is really necessary for the pipe, you could just use some clean gravel under your pipe then cover it well with more clean gravel as I did and it should be fine. If it is going to sit completely on the ground, then maybe a small say 5-6" deep ditch below the container might be in order, just enough below to insure the bottom rails of the container will not be subjected to prolonged periods of water. JMHO.

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    2. Thanks Larry for the advice!

      On your toilet, is this plumbed to the outside with a cleanout ?

      Larry i went to the site about that pop-can solar heating system and i got to ask you -does that work like the guy says it does? From pop cans? I am trying to comphrend it keeping a house warm and I still think of a furnace! got to stop thinking like that right?
      Hey thanks again. I will let you know when i get things going here! Jim

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    3. Jim, the toilet is a composting toilet and the only thing that drains is excess liquid which is plumbed into the other grey water line then goes into a large gravel pit in the ground. The pop can heater works well but is only supplemental heat and day time only. What works for me is, I can start a fire in the morning to break the chill in the cabin, and the solar heater will do a good job of maintaining the room temp. I have used the solar heater by itself just to see how it would perform on its own and it will bring the cabin temps up by 10 degrees by days end, but again, that is by the end of the day, not a huge help if it is 40 degrees in the cabin. The earth embankment does help moderate the temps and even on days when it has gotten into the teens, rarely has the cabin gone below 40 degrees inside. In a nutshell, with the earth embankment and the solar heater, it takes very little wood to keep it nice and comfy inside, they all work together to save resources. Glad you are going to keep me posted on your project, many have told me they would and none of them have, break the cycle Jim :-)

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    4. Thanks larry for answering all these posts! I will keep you informed but let me say this to you - There is NOWHERE on here that anyone has taken the time and WE KNOW IT TAKES TIME to post on here from you, So I say thank you and so do others because you make it seem POSSIBLE! You are the light that keeps us going!

      Going to sit back and relax and watch your home being built again! Must only be about the 6th time for me! LOL

      Larry - on the welds on top, you say you welded an inch and then skipped an inch, did you come back and weld the inch you had intentionaly skipped or did you then put the coat and the rubber on it? How many pair of kneed pads did you go through?

      Again Thank you so much, Jim

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    5. Thanks again Jim! On the welds they are just as I stated, but first I used a couple cans of the spray foam sealer in the gap between the containers to seal it, then I did the welding approx 1" then skipped an 1" on both sides of the metal strip. The welds were not intended to seal the containers, it was just to join them to reduce any chance of shift as you might get during a tremor, which by the way isn't a real big concern here in Oklahoma, least not at the present time ;-). Then I sealed the entire roof with spray foam insulation and topped it with the 45 mil pond liner. No knee pads were destroyed in the making of the container,just had my knees replaced a few times, lol!

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    6. I might add that the only reason I used the spray foam between the containers before I welded them was because I wasn't sure how long it would be before I put the spray foam insulation down and I was afraid it might rain before I could get to that and water would get between the walls and possible into the containers.

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  61. Larry, I saw you on Reddit, and I'm in the OKC area. Wanted to say kuddos on your house. Was wondering if you give tours. This place is amazing!

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  62. It's probably already been asked but how much did this project cost?

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    1. I spent right at $35,000. But that includes every aspect of it other then the land it sits on. The containers, all furnishings, solar equipment, landscaping, even the carport and well. I didn't dig the well but did all the rest of the work and that is the only thing I had to hire someone to do, even the service poll electric entrance was done by myself. So all in all, I think that is pretty reasonable of a cabin that is turn key and bullet proof, well 22 bullets anyway :-))

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  63. Greetings Larry! WOW! THANK YOU so much for posting all the great pics and information. I mean seriously - it's a lotta effort & time to post all that - and as I'm sure you had predicted it's exactly what I'd like to build myself! Well with some alterations of course! :-)

    Your place is really incredible! Nice work!
    Thank you again for posting all the pics & info - it's incredibly educational.

    God Bless
    /D

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  64. Thanks very much David! It was a lot of work but worth every bit of it in the end. And may God bless you as well. Larry

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  65. Hey Larry...great job...love the interior design. I've been building container projects for some time now, in fact we just finished a 30 container project for a mining company in northern BC, Canada. You were correct in using a mini-grinder for your cutouts. We use a mini-grinder for our window and any other cuts that need to be precise. We use a plasma cutter for the rest. We have found that using spray foam insulation is better than anything else to keep out the condensation...mind you, our temperatures are a little cooler here in BC. We are in the process of building our new website and would like to add a link to your blog to show our customers what is possible with a small budget and a couple of containers. My partner also builds custom floating homes and was intrigued by your project as he is new to the container world, so this would be a great addition to our inventory. Just as a tip for anyone that wants to do an open shop design...meaning double wide inside cutting out both walls completely...just weld a 2x6 inch tubular beam down the length of the outside rails between the containers to support the ceiling from caving in.
    Again Larry...fantastic job...one of the best we have seen. Oh, and yes, those steel panel are heavy when they come down...we also learned the hard way...lol.

    Take care
    Keith Drummond

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    1. Thank you Keith!
      I'm looking forward to seeing your web-site and you are more then welcome to add a link to mine. When you get it up and running, I will add a link back to your site. And thanks again for your comments. Larry

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  66. well done u give people hope
    and for that god bless you
    thx a lot

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  67. I love this work. Thanks for taking the time to share. Beautiful.

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  68. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! What a GREAT JOB!!! This is fan-freakin'-tastic!! Loved EVERY moment of this blog!

    We are getting our first container next week, but just for storage for now. Originally wanted a 48' HC, but access to the property prevents that, so 20' it is.

    Love what you did with the place! REALLY diggin' that awesome wood stove/oven!!

    God bless! We stand for Israel too!

    Shalom!

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  69. Thanks CocoNut! Israel could use lots of prayers right now. God bless and thanks for the nice comments! Larry

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  70. Thank you for the suggestion about using the angle grinder. We tried using a sawzall and it was a disaster - you can't cut a straight line to save your life - plus it kept bucking, then the blade would get stuck and break off. The angle grinder sounds less dangerous and more accurate. I love what you did.

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    1. Your welcome. Just go slow and steady and it will work great. A surgical mask might come in handy, it creates a lot of fumes. Larry

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  71. Hi Larry,
    Really love your project.
    Keep comig back to you site.
    I understand you were in a rural area and had no building codes.
    Do you happen to know what if anything you would've had to do differently to comply with building codes. Just a general idea as I'm sure they differ from place to place.
    Was hoping to buy a nice piece of property in eastern MB Canada, and construct somthing like this.

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    1. Hey Colin;
      If I had to deal with building codes, I doubt I would have ever been able to pull this off. So many building codes require a licensed electrician,plumbers and such that it just would not have even been feasible for me to pay someone to do all of that. I probably would have ended up with a $65,000 container project instead of the $35,000 I put into it. I really can not tell give you any advise as to what might be required in your area. I would just start asking the local offices where you are what it is going to take. Sorry, just no help here. Larry

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  72. Glad to see someone working hard to make a great home! I hope it all came out good, and just how you pictured it to be!

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    1. Thanks Kevin! I am pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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  73. Thanks for sharing. Great project. Is the bottom sealed with steel just like the sides and the top or is it just plywood on cross members? If the latter did you do anything to prevent pests from getting through the floor/bottom

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    1. The bottom is made of 1-1/2" treated plywood with steel crossbeams. They were made to be pest proof, so nothing is really needed to be done. Larry

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  74. Larry,

    I hear that the "treated plywood" floor is soaked in formaldehyde... did you sand the floors and apply some type of coating to prevent any off-gas from coming out of the wood?

    I am in the process of building a shipping container home for my family and I just don't know about my 2 year old daughter living above formaldehyde soaked flooring. I am planning to sand and coat the floors and potentially put snap-in flooring on top of them.

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    1. growadesign:
      Not sure how much effect the treated floors have left after 37 years but I wasn't concerned about them beings this project was just a retreat encase of disaster, although I used tile flooring in the bathroom and kitchen and that is a none breathing substance, then I used a floating wood floor in the rest of the cabin with a none breathing under-lament, so the floor is pretty well sealed off. Would love for you to keep me posted on your progress. Thanks for your questions, Larry

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  75. Hi Larry,
    We are building with 8 20ft shipping containers and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! We (hubby & I) are at odds about supporting when removing any of the sides. Our main floor container (we have them stacked 2 high)will have an 8ft cut out of the side and both ends will be removed, one framed with a window and the other end will be a slider ( I too am doing a curve but set on it's side like ) not an arch. When you cut that out, what support did you do around it ? I am concerned about supporting the 2nd floor container.

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    1. Hey Dale.
      I did not feel the need to add any supports for the cutout, contrary to what you here all the time, most of those comments come from folks who are just repeating something they heard and have absolutely 0 experience with building from a shipping container. I have seen where some like to go in with 2"x 2" square tubing and weld it under or beside the existing tubing for more support. We may only get 12" of snow at any one time and I am confident that my design just didn't need that extra support. And beings I did not do it, I really do not have any hands on knowledge to give you. Sorry, I just can not give you any real advise as to beef up your particular setup. Larry

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  76. Larry:
    I want to add my thanks to all the others. I hope you never remove this blog. It is so useful. I am only in the dreaming stages right now, but hope to build a cabin from a container in the future. I'll be re-reading this when that time comes, so I hope it is still around. Through the blog, I've learned a lot of ideas that I had not even considered, (like the pop can heater) so it is really, really beneficial. Thanks so much! ML

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    1. Thank ML, it is comments like this that make me thankful and contributes to my desire to keep it going!

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  77. I just wanted to say again how awesome you retreat is. I haven't seen anything to compare to the coziness and design anywhere. I come back and look at the youtube video often.

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  78. Hi Larry -

    without doubt a Brilliant Job !

    Let me ask where is this project located ?
    What was the cost of ea. Container ?

    Appreciate your reply Mike L

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  79. Thank Mike.
    I am in Oklahoma and ea. container was around $3,500 delivered. Larry

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  80. Larry really beautiful wish you could build a small one for me!!!

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    1. Thank you, but I don't think I have another one in me, LOL!

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  81. Hi Larry, What an awesome job you did! The fact that you took so many photos and explained it all is so informative. You will probably never know how many people you have enlightened. I agree with the others, please don't pull this blog. I have already passed it on to some people I know would love to see this. You have got some serious skills and surprisingly your container lodge is very aesthetically pleasing.

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  82. You did such a wonderful job! My husband and I hope to build our own sometime soon and will be using yours as a model. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  83. Thanks for documenting your work and sharing it, Larry. Your work is inspiring and this blog is really appreciated. We're thinking of building a larger house from containers here in Southern California. Building codes and permits will probably be our biggest obstacle.

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