Steel shipping containers were originally used by large manufacturers to ship goods across the country. Today, however, they’re being used in a lot more diverse ways. They can be transformed into mobile work stations and homes for those looking for alternative ways to live.

If you’re considering one of these structures, think about purchasing used containers. You’ll be able to save a lot of money, yet still get a great shipping container if you perform the following steps before you purchase.

How to Purchase Used Shipping Containers for Sale Without Any Problems

Size & Dimensions

Before you start thinking about what you want to turn the shipping container into, you must first assess the size. If space is an issue, you’ll need to select a container small enough to fit. The standard size for most containers is around 20 feet. These containers are sized just right to make them easy to transport, yet not so big that you need a lot of space. Extra small containers are also available if space is really tight. You can choose 10 feet and 8 feet containers, for example.

If space is not so much of an issue, a 40 foot shipping container may suffice. These offer a lot of internal space, which may be needed if a lot of people are going use the structure.

Local Building Codes

It’s important to research your area’s zoning requirements before having one shipped to your location. You may live in a residential area, for example, that has specific requirements for how big a structure can be. Start by going online and seeing if any permits are required to have such a large structure on your property or even if such structures are permitted. Permits are almost always required if you plan on installing electrical and plumbing systems in these structures.

Container Types

There are many types of shipping containers. Some of the most popular include refrigerated, dry freight, insulated, open top, flat rack, and a chassis trailer.

An insulated container would be perfect for structures intended for use as homes and offices.

Having an insulated shipping container also comes in handy if you have sensitive documents or equipment that need protection from the elements outside.

Putting a shipping container on a trailer chassis is a great idea if you plan on moving to different areas. You may work a lot of in different cities and having a portable unit gives you the freedom to work wherever your schedule dictates.

Overall Condition

Chances are, used shipping containers are not going to be in pristine condition. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy quality containers that still serve their purpose. You can even save a lot of money so long as you choose used containers which are still structurally sound enough for your a home or office.

During these inspections, look for signs of surface rust and corrosion. These red flags usually indicate the container has been around for quite some time and may not hold up for very much longer. Make sure the doors on the front can open and close smoothly and that the locking mechanism works, if it has one.

Also pay particularly attention to the smells and odors coming from inside. If they are present, you’ll want them gone so that people living or working in them don’t have to struggle. An easy, yet effective trick for removing odors is to spread coffee grounds around the inside. They help absorb any unsavory smells within a day or two.

There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to buying used shipping containers for sale anywhere, be it in Houston, Dallas, or Seattle. As long as you take your time and figure out what these containers are being used for, you can avoid buyer’s regrets. Talk to shipping container manufacturers if you need additional help deciding what type of containers to purchase.


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