As a sturdy steel box, the uses of a shipping container are only limited by the boundaries of your imagination. They can serve as extra storage spaces on construction sites, double-up as modified classrooms, or even be made into houses worthy of Grand Designs.
Alongside this plethora of functionalities, they can also be used as car garages. In this post, we tell you what you need to consider when transforming a container into a place to store your vehicle.
There are many reasons why you might want to store your car in a shipping container, but the most common one is probably for temporary storage. If you’re planning to be out of the country or just away from your home for any significant period of time, then a shipping container can offer you a secure way of keeping your car safe and sound. And this doesn’t just apply to cars, either. Seasonal vehicles such as ski-jets, boats, motorbikes, and just about anything else you can think of can be locked away until the right time of year comes around again.
Before rushing out to buy a container, you first need to work out if your car will actually fit into one. Shipping containers come in set sizes as laid out by the International Standards Organisation, which enable the shipping industry to transport them efficiently across the globe. Although there are a limited number of standard sizes, the most common is 20 feet long, 8ft wide, and 8.5 feet high. These should be enough for most models of cars in the UK – according to a study made by Direct Line, the average car is 13.6 ft (4.12m) long, 6.4 ft (1.95 m) wide, and 4.8 ft high (1.47m).
A standard 20ft shipping container will hold up to two cars (depending on their size), when parked lengthways. It is actually possible (if perhaps not advisable) to store more than this, but it requires some serious modifications to the structure of the container. The interior of the container would have to be altered to include a structure similar to that seen on vehicle-transportation trucks.
If you’re using a container to store just one or two cars, modifications still need to be made. First of all, you have to make sure it’s on a solid foundation to prevent it from shifting around and sinking into the ground. This is especially relevant if you’re planning on positioning it in a private field – make sure to lay down a level foundation of concrete before going any further with the container.
In terms of the container’s structure itself, you might want to think about adding insulation. This will help to prevent condensation and damp building up on the inside – important if you want to store your car for long periods of time. There are various different types of insulation for shipping containers, but the foam variety is perhaps one of the easiest to apply.
The same laws apply to container garages as they do to container homes. Without going into too much detail, it’s not that difficult to install a garage on your property provided that you own it. If the garage were to be considered an extension to your home, for instance, it mustn’t cover more than half the area of the land the original house, and mustn’t be taller than the highest part of the roof.
If you’re looking to position it on a more open piece of land, like a large garden or field (as long as you own it), the restrictions are even less stringent; in fact, you wouldn’t need any planning permission at all.
Shipping containers are amongst the most versatile structures available. Hardy enough to withstand the seven seas whilst being fully customisable, they can be used for almost anything that springs to mind. If you’re looking for a secure, covered space to put your car, then a shipping container might just be the answer.
UnitHire sells new and used shipping containers fit for any purpose. Get in contact today to see if we have the right container for you