Shipping containers are built to withstand being hurtled around the seven seas, constantly exposed to the elements. As purely functional capsules made out of reinforced steel, they might not be the prettiest of objects (though certain designers and architects may disagree). Sometimes, the corrugated metal shell of a shipping container simply doesn’t fit the aesthetic of a space. Regardless of whether it’s being used as a school classroom, mobile cafe, or construction storage space, there are ways to make your shipping container ‘blend in’. One of these is to add cladding. In this post we’ll look at what cladding is, what different types are available, and how to fit it.
Quite simply, it’s a layer of material added to the external surface of your shipping container. Whilst it can act as added insulation (saving you room on the inside of the container), its use is mainly aesthetic. Given that shipping containers can be used for a range of different purposes, from simple storage units to the most ambitious Grand Designs, they need to be fully customisable; cladding allows this, providing an almost unlimited selection of design options.
In many ways, shipping containers are a designer’s dream. They can be gutted, chopped, and changed in an infinite number of ways to produce something entirely original. Cladding is merely the icing on the cake, adding that final unique touch to the design. And there are many, many options to choose from. Here are some of the most common (and a few not so common, that we just like):
Exactly how you clad a shipping container depends on what material you’d like to use. Regardless of whether you opt for timber or brick, however, the first steps are nearly always the same:
Once you’ve followed these steps, you should have a uniform, sturdy exterior surface to attach your chosen cladding to.
Shipping containers can be both functional and design-friendly. With the addition of cladding, they can slot into almost any context – whether that be a school field or an award-winning housing project. Having read our short guide to shipping container cladding, we hope you’ll be better equipped to kit out your container.
If you’re looking to rent or buy a shipping container, then get in touch with UnitHire. We have a range of new and used shipping containers of different sizes to suit every purpose.