Kenyans are now embracing fabricating shipping containers into homes, offices, and shops. This is indeed a cheaper way to own a home or start a business premise.
Container houses are made using noncorrosive corten steel. It is further coated with ceramic making it resistant from mildew and rust. It, therefore, lasts for a long period of time.
Shipping containers come in two sizes, 20×8 feet and 40×8 feet. To build a bigger home, builders combine containers. In a home with multiple containers, the walls are removed to give a spacious interior. Containers can be stacked to make a multi-level residential home. They can also be twisted to give a striking architectural design.
Container houses can take 2/3 weeks with the shortest taking 10 days to build.
Shipping containers are usually shipped from China. Some organisations can ship a fully fabricated home if you prefer though most organisations sell only shipping containers .
COST OF BUILDING A CONTAINER HOME
Certain dynamics come into play before arriving at the cost of a container home. The size of the container is a huge determinant. The age and condition of the container also determines the cost. Customized features that you choose also determine the cost.
However, a simple office made from a 20 foot would cost KSh600,000 and a 40 foot container office costs Ksh850,000. A self-contained one bedroom costs between Ksh450,000 and Ksh700,000. A two-bedroom that is self-contained costs between Ksh650,000 and Ksh950,000. The costs differ depending on the interior finishes, transportation costs, location, and structural modifications, such as adding balconies.
PROCESS OF BUILDING A CONTAINER HOME
The Kenyan Government doesn’t recognize containers yet as permanent structure and therefore doesn’t require permits. However, the shipping container must be inspected to ensure it is up to standard.
Acquiring a shipping container
A shipping container must be inspected first before use. It may have holes, rust or might have been used to transport dangerous chemicals and therefore not fit for use.
It is advisable to buy a new container instead of buying a used one. Once you have purchased it, you shall need to organize transport to the site.
Getting the plan drawn
Get engineers and other professionals involved in planning. You need to determine the design, any modifications, and the linings you will need to have added during the setup.
Commencement of the housing project
Just like building a house, you will need to use a team of professionals; architects, project managers, electricians among others.
Setting up the foundation
The foundation could be a slab on which the container will be fitted. The slab could be made from concrete or steel beams or raised and placed over concrete or wood.
Some spaces will be cut to install windows and doors. The joints will be weatherproofed and if there is a compromise on the structure the engineers will put vertical beams for extra support to avoid sunken roofs. This is the reason you have to engage professionals.
Windows and doors will be installed and tested for structural integrity before they are sealed. They have to uphold strength and environmental elements.
Construction of the interior wall
The interior is lined with wood or steel and insulation is done at this stage. Insulation is meant to adjust the different climatic conditions.
The type of insulation will depend on your preference:fibre glass insulation,cell spray,foam or polystyrene. They will then do wall panelling for a smooth finishing. This can either be sandalwood or dry wall panels. The floors and the roof will also be insulated. It is advisable to get a high cube (container with a longer height by about a foot)containers to allow for adequate space for roof covering and insulation otherwise the home will be cramped.
Installing fixtures and fittings
Plumbing, electric wiring, and painting are done at this stage.
The work is now done and the inspector comes to check the construction has followed the construction codes and it is habitable.