Let’s talk about Conex containers. It’s not a question of what you can do with Conex containers, it’s a question of what you can’t do with Conex containers! Conex containers are those giant steel shipping boxes are built to be water-tight and sturdy enough to withstand hurricanes at sea. They can actually function in those conditions while being stacked eight containers high on a transport ship! If we ever face a nuclear disaster, it’s going to be only the cockroaches and the shipping containers that survive it.
Even if you aren’t a commercial shipper, there are still about one million things you could do with a Conex container. You can use it to build one of those tiny homes that everyone is raving about. You can stack several on top of each other and create a Conex mansion. They’re built to keep water out, which means they can keep water in just as efficiently. This means you can easily convert it into a swimming pool. You can make a workshop or a guest house or an office or a framed in porch out of a Conex container. The list goes on. Seriously, just hit up the Google machine for Conex container ideas, and yowza!
But you know this, because you’re already looking for them. If you already have a project in mind that requires a Conex container, you’ve come to the right place. Stand by for our handy list of things to consider while shopping for Conex containers.
Four Things We Wish We Knew When Shopping for Conex Containters
- Know Your Zoning Codes Before You Do Anything Else!
Conex containers are fairly versatile contraptions, but they can be a bit of a hassle to get your hands on, to transport to your property, to unload, and then to convert into whatever you have planned for it. The last thing in the world you want after going through that hassle is to find out that you aren’t allowed to have shipping containers in the zone your property is located in, and you’re forced to tear it all down. Every commercial and residential zone is different, this is the kind of thing you’ll want to check with your particular zoning office to get all the details on.
Also, you should keep in mind that even if you are technically allowed to have a shipping container on your property per zoning laws, you might still be restricted by the HOA in your neighborhood. So make sure to double check on that before putting any time and money into buying a shipping container.
- Know Where (and How) to Look
The United States imports way more goods than they export. If you do the math, you’ll realize this means that they have way more shipping containers coming here than they have leaving. Since it’s generally not cost effective to ship empty containers back overseas, they often get sold off at dirt cheap prices if you know where to look.
While you’re looking for shipping containers, a good place to start is community forums like Craigslist or Facebook sales. Make sure you look up a variety of terms, such as “Conex” and “Shipping container.” They might mean the same thing, but the search engine doesn’t know that.
- Know What’s Legal
It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Since shipping containers are often owned by people in multiple countries, there are sometimes scams associated with people selling old shipping containers that aren’t theirs to sell. You don’t want to spend a thousand dollars on a container that is then taken from you because you never legitimately took ownership of it. Just make sure to research the identification number printed on the container itself, to ensure that the person selling the container actually owns it.
- Know What You Need
Shipping containers come in a vast array of shapes and sizes, but the most common ones are either 20′ or 40′ long. In addition to those sizes, some are made for shipping things that must remain refrigerated, so they have additional insulation. Others have extra modifications that suited the equipment they were used for in their original life. Not always but often, the best setup is a straight-forward, non-refrigerated container that requires the least amount of changes for your project.
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