Photo: Instagram @container__homes

How to build an iron and a home-box.

Who first had the idea to use shipping containers for housing, we are unlikely to know, but the idea was viable, and now home of the containers are built worldwide. Moreover, in Europe they have a definite fashion and demand. And recently, reporters learned that the iron home-box build is already in Belarus. Meet the young couple Stanislav and Igor, the owners of the house out of two shipping containers for 30 thousand dollars. The guys told how to build and how to construct their home and, most importantly, is it warm in this winter.

“Maybe a container?”

Stanislav and Igor with two small children live in house made of containers from February 2020. Before that, they rented an apartment in Grodno. Housewarming celebrated almost the same day as the plot left by the builders. Around the house still, not all brought to mind, but that’ll come, the main thing is your home.

— We have long dreamed of their own home, dreaming of their own house, — says Stanislav. — Eyeing the apartments, to houses for sale. Counting how many will need to invest more in repairs, and understand that you can’t afford it.

When you search for suitable options on the Internet came across the article about the houses made of shipping containers — how they are built, how people live in them, the pros and cons.

— A lot of information, but the real construction companies that have engaged in houses of the containers, there is little, — Stanislav continues. At least in Belarus, we found only one. Their representative came and told us how much it will cost, how it will look. About a month thought if we should agree. Definitely our choice was influenced by cost — counted it again and decided I needed to try.

Land for construction of the boys was already in agro Kvasovka, 15 kilometers from Grodno. The project drew together with the architect and construction company. Chose to 60 “squares” — this is one bedroom apartment, only with a free plan. Stanislav said that she and her husband planned a house for themselves, as they wanted to. By the way, the house has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room with kitchenette. In the future, from the living room and the bedrooms you can exit to the terrace, but she need to save enough money.

Planning to

Project architect Andriy Nikolayuk talks about the nuances of the design of the containers.

— Work on the project began by determining the required areas and functional zones of the future house. The task was to provide maximum open space for daily stay and two bedrooms. Also wanted to be in the house plenty of light. To do this in the living room and bedrooms were provided panoramic Windows on the entire height of the room. Also important role plays the correct location of the house and its orientation to the cardinal points. The house was located in such a way that the Windows of one bedroom overlook to the East, the second to the West, and panoramic living room window to the South. It turns out, all premises will always get sunlight. In winter, when the sun is low, it helps additionally to the heat of the sun. In the summer, that the sun’s rays do not overheat the living room in the afternoon, was provided increased removal of the roof on the South side of the house.

Once the project was coordinated in the Department of architecture, at the site there were builders (at the end of December 2019) and two arrived shipping container.

Even when the project was ready, we had doubts: would not it be iron to rust and rot? — said Stanislav. But our fears are dispelled: containers processed so that do not rust even from contact with salt water, besides from precipitation on top of them will protect the roof and ventilated facade. When the containers are brought to the site, they were not impressed with the used, looked like new.

Build home container

While some workers were engaged in insulation of the bottom of the containers, the other for future house made of pile-screw Foundation. Then drove the crane and put the containers.

Photo: Paul Brylev

Further, the builders cut and reinforced window and door openings on the project. Walls and roof insulated on the outside by spraying polyurethane foam. After that installed Windows and doors.

Paul Brylev, the head of the company, which is engaged in construction of houses made of containers, says technical details and the nuances of construction.

— The bottom of the container is insulated with rock wool 150 mm and closes paraprofessional membrane. Pairs of wool out and inside moisture does not get. The walls and roof covering polyurethane foam with a thickness of 50 mm is approximately equal to 100 mm of rock wool. Polyurethane foam containers we poured from all sides, and the result is a continuous insulated envelope, as in a thermos. Inside walls insulated with mineral wool 50 mm and the closed vapor barrier. It also serves as additional sound insulation. Such warming in our climate is enough that the house was warm. If so desired, a layer of insulation can be increased.

Photo: Paul Brylev

Outside the house is decorated with a metal facade in wooden crate. Here pent roof, of corrugated, insulated 100 mm rock wool.

Photo: Instagram @container__homes

For internal partitions, according to Paul, you can use any traditional materials — blocks, bricks. But in the house of Stanislava and Igor partitions made frame.

Photo: Instagram @container__homes

As the internal cladding used GSP (gipsstrasse plate). This is a very durable material, and is ready for further finishing after sealing joints the surface can be painted or Wallpaper paste over.

— Since the appearance of the builders to the completion of the works was less than two months — said Stanislav. — Could be faster to make, if not a “vacation” from the builders after the New year. Nevertheless, on 11 February the house was all ready to move in: divorced electrician, plumbing connected. In the bathrooms and in the kitchen area — tile in the rest of the rooms laid laminate. All rooms — ceilings. In fact, we only had furniture to deliver. If we bought an apartment, then it would be impossible to live with two young children, would require more repairs, which money is not enough. Plus would have to pay for the rented apartment, the interest on the loan. And here for 30 thousand, we got the house with a full finish and not an empty box.

Once the builders have finished, the family almost on the same day, Packed up the apartment and moved into a new house. The heating was not working — connect the boiler to the existing lines is impossible. This the settlers did not stop — heat the house with two heaters.

— Include them only at night — the day the house warms up due to the large Windows, — said Stanislav. — The house is situated so that the sun in turn heats the room and the warmth lingers long. Now night zero temperature and heaters are not included. The first few days after arrival, we noted the condensation in the corners of the house where not reach the sun, but when the house got warm, the problem was gone.

Now from utilities on the plot there is electricity only and well, work is underway on arrangement of battery drain. The street has gas, but the guys are planning to heat with electricity at cheaper rates — has already applied for allocation of the necessary power. The house has no radiators in every room made a water-heated floors.

First impressions

Stanislav says that when on their site brought a container and started to install them, the area was going to grandma with agro — for them it was unusual.

— For those friends that build houses out of blocks and bricks, it was crazy that we chose the house from a piece of iron. Everyone was with their opinions: that the house was not breathing, he will rust finish that will swell and fall off. Now those who doubted in our house during the construction phase, come and be surprised: cool, fast, warm, dry and, most importantly, cheaper apartment or house. There were those who said that we will freeze, because the walls, ceiling, floor — iron. And we even without the boiler never frozen. Grandmother in a neighboring house also during the day the oven heats, and we are not, we have heat. People finally realized that it was an ordinary house like any other, only being built quickly.

Outside the house is not completely ready — Stanislav and Igor’s dream to build terraces, as planned in the project. This year around the house will be the garden, but the next scheduled landscaping and front of the terrace will appear to the lawn. Meantime no money on her.

The ventilation in the house as such, no, but that’s no problem — opened the window and the house was ventilated. If desired, you can install the fan with non-return valve

According to the owners, now the size of the home they are completely satisfied. But if in a few years they want to expand, then this is no problem. Will need to put some more containers to put on top as a second floor or side.

Why Belarusians sea container?

Paul Brylev by education a civil engineer before getting involved in a new business, worked a usual construction sites. But at some point drew attention to the European fashion, on a small house out of shipping containers.

— With the wild popularity all over the world in our country, this niche was free. Began to study, to consider profitability — all the calculations said that this is a relevant direction. And even our climate is not an obstacle — Canadians have it more severe, but this does not prevent them to be trendsetters in the construction of houses containers.

Paul immediately began to build the house-containers — training and he held an internship abroad. First, the facility is located in Montenegro — there it is 5 months collected from sea containers present a Villa in two floors with swimming pool. Now she rented to tourists for 350 euros per night, and in the off-season the owners live there with their two children.

Home of the containers in Montenegro. Photo: Paul Brylev

Is the first Belarusian orders — little houses for garden, one or two containers. People did not perceive them as a full house. Gradually opinion began to change: customers saw that in the end they get a house for year-round use, with the same engineering systems and facilities, the finish, just like in a traditional house from a silicate.

Photo: Paul Brylev

Paul says that in the beginning there were concerns whether to approve the projects it houses the Department of architecture. But the fears proved groundless.

— They understand that it is the same frame construction, only a skeleton of iron. There are architects who have long questioned in their offices about the house, the design of the device, but did so purely out of curiosity — it’s not every day them for approval to bring the project home out of shipping containers.

Container container discord

We have no ports, but to buy a sea container no problem — you can find in the ads. However, they are significantly more than in Lithuania, Poland or Russia.

— Cheap can also be found, but these have their resources exhausted — a couple of times went to look at containers on the market in Zhdanovichy and found that it is already rotten boxes and for construction are not suitable. Second, in good condition containers are expensive — cheaper to bring from Russia or Lithuania. The average cost of container delivery — about 6 thousand roubles. In Belarus more expensive — from 8 thousand. It would seem that the price difference is not so great, but you need to remember that we are talking about the construction budget, every penny counted.

And thirdly, to build a house you need a certain type of container 40 ft, extended height (High Cube). Such containers are suitable for building a house, because after finishing the ceiling height is obtained not less than 2.5 meters. However, for construction, for example, baths, cafe, office, mini market and other similar buildings, you can use ordinary containers.

At the core of the container is a solid frame welded of steel beams. The lower base frame serve the longitudinal and transverse beams, to which the corners of the welded side edges. The covering is executed from steel corrosion-resistant sheets with a corrugated profile, made of alloy steel, wall thickness 3 mm. For iron caused the paint around the perimeter that protects from corrosion, the container will serve as a home for at least another 50 years.

There are certain phobias when choosing containers: what if it was carrying radioactive cargo?

Usually such containers are marked with a special sign, and we in construction don’t use. Additionally, the container can be checked via the public database — find out when and that it was transported.

The first house-dacha from the sea container is located in Gomel. About him Paul is another story.

— The customer said that he will make a spiral Foundation, so when we drove home, it seen “Foundation” have an unpleasant surprise. The fact is that contrary to our terms of reference, instead of 8 piles were screwed into only 6. But the main problem was different — they were swirling not two meters into the ground, but only for the meter. Therefore, on the land protruded a two-meter pipe, and the customer is urged to put house. No explanation, it is wrong not to act. In the end, the customer wrote a note saying that he takes responsibility. After installation, as expected, the container was swinging in a strong wind, as the waves inside it was really scary to work with. The result piles further strengthened, and the space under the container the customer organized a summer kitchen.

Then had a cabin in the Stern, a few went to Russia. The largest property is situated near Minsk — it consists of 7 containers, with two floors (now in the process of construction).

Photo: Instagram @container__homes

How much does it cost to build a house out of containers? Paul says that on average (according to the experience chosen materials customers) get $ 500 per “square”. And this is with a fine finish.