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admin | Category: Container Cost | 29.12.2015
Finish construction documents for your shipping container home and submit to building authority for permitting. Begin grading work including any required excavation for foundation, utilities, storm water management, and septic.
When the shipping containers arrive on site, they are crane-lifted one by one onto the foundation, hooked into place, and welded down to marry them completely to the foundation. Install interior framing, insulation, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical, and rough out all fixtures. Staged inspections through the build with contractor and building official - foundation, plumbing and electrical, architectural, and fire.
The work involved several days of me under the house and Cynthia inside the house, the two of us fishing, running, and pulling about 500-feet of wire. I may have mentioned this before, but many years ago when I was in my early twenties, I helped an older electrician by pulling wires and crawling under houses, doing the work for him that he could no longer do because of his failing health. In the master bedroom there is a lamp on either side of the bed and a hanging lamp over the chair. To light the stairs, I bought ten, truck side marker LED lamps and mounted them under the hand railing. The mass of spaghetti wiring under the microwave counter in the kitchen is now organized and nicely tucked into a large junction box. The wires in the junction box go to and from the new switches that control the kitchen lights and the exhaust hood over the stove.
I took this photo from the second bedroom, looking through the laundry room, the master bathroom, and into the master bedroom.
Looking from the front door, here is a shot of the dining room and living room with all lights working. Using my homemade, DIY sheet metal bending brake, I formed some aluminum shelving and also a cover for the electrical panel.
The shelves hold the house phone, the wifi printer, and the monitor for the security cameras.
So with just one or two tiny electrical details left to do, I can almost cross this one big task off my list.
Next week I have some more aluminum to cut and bend to make shelves for the little office, plus make a few remaining shelves for in the walk-in master bedroom closet. I drew little boxes around the screws that I removed and labeled them for proper reassembly. Everything worked well, but when I tested the camera, the video came out black even though I had removed the lens cover. You can see that I had to hang a tarp so that the wind wouldn’t blow out the burners. On the checklist, the gas is now piped to the kitchen stove, the kitchen water heater, plus the clothes dryer and the water heater for the bedroom part of the house. Note the electrical receptacles and switches mounted in the side of all the island cabinets. Here’s the new American Range and the hood that I built using my DIY homemade sheet metal bending brake. At the electrical panel, I wired receptacles where I could plug wiring from the stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker, etc. Another little detail that I had to take care of is where the open shipping container doors on container #1 meet the container. Armando and Francisco have their hands full with an outside project that will make a huge difference. The back garden was looking kind of sad, so I bought a few drip irrigation hoses and an automatic timer. Cynthia asked Victor how his wife is (for proper etiquette in Panama, you always ask how a person’s family is, even if you have never met the family). Victor also told us (and has photos on his phone to prove it) about the small yellow bird that has returned to his house every year for seven years.
With some tears-of-frustration and a lot of joy and excitement, the concrete counters in the kitchen are all but done (I still need to find some carnauba wax and polish the counters).
Finally, the winner — what we did was to partially seal the concrete with an acrylic polymer concrete sealant.
Then I spread more of the acrylic sealer on the concrete, keeping the surface wet while the concrete drank its fill.
As the concrete absorbed the sealer and began to dry, we were delighted to see that the black concrete mix had retained much of its color. So even with the distress of not knowing what to do about the air holes, we have emerged completely jazzed with the look. We had been using those wonderful and ubiquitous chrome steel shelving units that PriceSmart (and probably Costco, etc.) sells.
Aramis and I took the strips into my shop and made one-inch, 90-degree bends on each of the long sides of the strips. I used the saber saw to cut notches on the back side of the shelves so that they would fit over the shelf brackets.
Cynthia and I then populated the shelves with our clothes and other stuff that we need to keep in the dry room so that they don’t grow mold.
We discovered a weak point in our window security bars, so Aramis and Armando spent two days welding in an additional curve to each window, grinding the welds, and painting the new metal. Additionally, Aramis has installed the last of the loovered windows, and Armando worked with me for a day cleaning the concrete dust from the kitchen.
Jabo has found the closet under the stairs and thinks that this would make a swell dog house. After two years of debate and indecision and tabling the motion, the Design Committee finally had to make a choice as to which material to use for the stairs to the loft and the roof deck — concrete or steel? So with no experience working with this metal, and without knowing if my homemade sheet metal brake would be able to bend the stuff, and without knowing how I was going to support the staircase, I made my measurements and headed down the mountain. For $85 per sheet, I returned with five, one-eighth-inch thick, four by eight-foot sheets of diamond plate steel. The first order of business was to cut the steel plate into pieces — a riser and a tread in each piece. Next we put the sheet in my homemade sheet metal brake to bend it: Cynthia shot a short video of Aramis and me bending the steel.
The top triangular landing is somewhat small, so to give people a few extra footsteps to get their balance, I made a second landing just below the triangular landing. Here is the underside of the triangular landing: Next we installed seven steps and another landing. On the left wall, the steps are welded to pieces of rebar that will be firmly embedded in the stucco.
It will be quite dramatic when someone walks to the top of the stairs and is faced with a wall that is entirely glass. On the right side of the stairs you can see spaces where the container wall corrugations go in and out from the stairs. To keep the height of the risers just under six-inches, easy for the senior set, I chose to use 18 risers. In our push to complete as many outside details as possible before the rainy season begins, this past week we focused on the north wall of container #4. Ramiro and I fabricated and installed 21 support braces just like the ones on the hangover overhang at the front of the house.

When we had all the brackets in place, we ground the welds smooth with the angle grinder and prime painted them.
While Ramiro sanded, I took the last three hours of the day and hand sanded, two-coat primed, and two-coat finish painted (latex) the outside east wall of my shop. I cut a six-inch hole in the roofing metal and inserted a PVC pipe as a downspout to carry off rainwater. The back garden was filled with weeds so I asked the guys to weed for an hour and then they could take the rest of the day off. At noon, Armando took a shower (now at the end of the dry season there is very little water at his house) and he and Pancho left right at noon. Cousin Christine — this is the palm that you gave us (in a small pot) a couple years ago.
And Cynthia, after placing an order on January eleventh, finally* received from the States two spray cans of mold release for use in slumping glass. Tomorrow Ramiro and I plan to paint the north wall and its windows and then move on to other exterior walls. With the heavier rains on the way, I would like to pour the concrete on the roof deck over container #1, the one closest to the road.
Even if the construction debris was cleaned up and the walls were painted, this elevation would still be crying out for help.
Next while I jockeyed a level, a framing square, and the tubes, Aramis tack welded each outrigger tube in place. These outriggers wouldn’t be able to support the weight of the wet concrete by themselves, so next we made angle braces.
This was a lot of work but the repetitiveness of the braces echoes the vertical lines of the container siding and added a really good design element. And finally, when you compare the first photo in this post to the next photo, you can see a big improvement in the design.
In other news, Armando and Alex have all but completed rocking the east wall in the carport. Now, with the wall nearly complete, I freely hand out the compliments and tell them that they are artists. These white flowers are tiny compared to the much larger purple Catalayas in the next photos. And lastly, in the No Wonder Why She Hurts So Much department, Cynthia was in the process of emptying a cat box about a week ago. Shanghai Metal Corporation are delighted to supply the series of cold formed products such as square steel tubes, rectangular steel tubes and circular steel tubes. Feature of Steel Square Tube: - Excellent equipment - Capacity of producing high accurate - Heat treatment technical equipment - Strict quality management - Strong technology and development Cutting and slitting can be customed as customers' request.
Shanghai Metal Corporation provides standard seaworthy packaging to worldwide customers, usually the tubes are packed in bundles, wrapped by plastic bag, fixed by steel strip, and then placed in the container with steel wire fixing.
Shanghai Metal Corporation Products are packed and labeled according to the regulations and customer's requests.
These heavy-gauge steel containers are so strong—each is designed to carry 57,000 pounds—that they need only be fastened at the corners to hold fast, much as they would be on a ship. With very few exceptions, the electrical phase (pun intended for you electrical engineers out there) is now all done. After all that wire was placed, I spent the better part of a week wiring all the plugs, switches, and lights, and installing the switch-plate covers. It is so good to see the switches and the metal covers in place rather than the gaping hole in the wall. I ran the low-voltage wiring inside the square steel tubing that the railing is fabricated from. I used waterproof exterior electrical boxes because they look so much better than the standard electrical box. GoPros can take excellent quality photos and video, but the fixed lens gives somewhat of a fish-eye effect.
There are still many, many details to go, but at least she is out of the wind and all her equipment and supplies are now in the same room. At the bottom of the aluminum siding on this cabinet you can see that we are experimenting with frosted glass for the baseboards.
It is not unheard of (understatement) for electrical spikes to happen, taking out expensive appliances along the way. After I finish all the electrical, I’ll build an aluminum enclosure around all the electrical stuff. When we built the perimeter fence, it was raining too much to weld on the pipe at the top of the fence. Before, our back yard was all but unusable because if you walked in the grass, you would be eaten alive by the no-seeums. With a big smile and a laugh Victor replied, “GORDA!” What a joie de vivre he has! The concrete looked good, but there were hundreds of tiny holes — professional concrete guys have concrete vibrators and vibrating tables to coax the air out of the mix. As I ground away the cement filler paste, I realized that the filler had filled virtually none of the holes. Then I made a paste of black grout mixed with water and the acrylic sealant (I figured that there would be a good bond between the sealed concrete and the acrylic-modified grout).
Happily, the sander made quick work of removing the residual grout layer, and with only a handful of disks left a very smooth surface. The counters look as if we had re-purposed some old counters from a farmhouse or a nineteenth-century factory. I cut a piece of one-and-one-quarter-inch galvanized tubing, sanded it smooth, and attached it to the brackets. I had Aramis help me cut sheets of diamond-plate aluminum that I bought some time ago for this purpose. We applied so much force that one of the welds on my brake popped loose with a resounding BONG. Then Armando and I washed the processing oil off of the shelves and dried them to a nice shine. I am capable of making a wooden, high-end closet installation with fancy drawers shaped like socks and racks for all the ties that I no longer own, but in this climate, open shelves and plastic boxes work the best in our experience. I also bought four sheets of diamond plate aluminum (also $85 per) to make shelves in the dry room. As big as my DIY sheet metal bending brake is, it didn’t even begin to bend the eighth-inch steel.
By the way, the right side of the lower landing still needs to be leveled and welded into place. On the right, the steps are welded to pieces of angle iron, which are in turn welded to the container wall.
My plan for the stairs is to wire brush them (using the angle grinder) clean them, then heat them somewhat with a torch and apply boiled linseed oil, then buff off the excess oil. We used the laser level to transfer the marks on the wall to each individual step as we worked our way down to the bottom step. And because each riser worked out to five-and-fifty-one-sixty-fourths, difficult to measure with a tape measure, I chose to work in metric.
And once they get down to four-and-a-half inches, you can use them on the smaller angle grinder for cutting other metal stuff.

The approach from the driveway, the angle of the front steps leading to the front door, and the window wall all look good. A few braces looked okay and would have supported the concrete, but I made a design decision and installed a brace at each outrigger.
Our goal here is too illustrate the many container projects both big and small that are taking place around the world. For exact specification for each nominal size and wall thickness, please see other sources. All these packing detail are ensuring your goods safe to your hand during the delivery, we also accept customization for your special requirements. The Aluminum Plate For Car License can be used in the train,building wall, bike, motorbicycle decor, wall desk sign, etc. Great care is taken to avoid any damage which might be caused during storage or transportation.
In the example above, the shipping container bottom corner blocks are welded to steel plates imbedded in the concrete slab to secure the house to the foundation.
The results are illuminating and it feels very good to be able to walk through the house and turn on any light we want. So now, thanks to Ernie, we can walk from room to room to room, switching off one light switch and turning on another without ever being in the dark. By the way, we used safety grab bars for our towel bars; the thickness of the bars separate the towels so that they dry better in this humid climate.
Also, I don’t know if I have posted about how we used safety grab bars for door handles. This lamp illuminates the photos in the concrete frames and is controlled by a switch on the other side of the column.
He told me that he once made the same mistake — the iris in the camera was shut completely down, preventing any light from hitting the sensor. I usually take Sundays off and write a post, but the last two Sundays I have been consumed with getting Cynthia into her new kitchen. As a redundancy to the plug-in circuit protectors, I’ll also wire in a whole-house voltage protector at the main circuit panel. Aramis, the welder that worked for us for six months, has other work, but he recommended his godfather, Ramiro. I made a small plastic spatula from a plastic jug and spent the day tediously spreading the grout in at least six directions over each and every hole. So I took another hour; Aramis working on one side of the container wall and me working on the other, we screwed some adjustable shelving standards to the container wall. So Aramis and I talked and decided to use the angle grinder to make a groove half-way through the thickness of the plate.
By the way, as the project progresses, we will trim the foam panels on the right to follow the angle of the stairs. We chose to enclose the stairs behind the foam panels so that people will be surprised when they go around the corner and see the unexpected style of the stairs for the first time.
He used a wire brush on the angle grinder to remove the areas of heavier rust around dents and dings.
I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave, too, but he insisted on working for another hour. One of our neighbors told us last night that this plant is in the taro family and that the young leaves, stalks, and roots are edible. But there was one task that I wanted to do first, namely to resolve the issue of rain falling on the front windows (the windows closest to the road).
While he did that, I cut from the same size tubing what would become end caps for these outriggers. When I finally got to look at his work (he had two rows done), I could see that he was a good two-inches off level.
Her feet went straight out into the air, gravity kicked in, and she landed on the edge of a step, covered in, um, kitty litter. In addition, clear labels are tagged on the outside of the packages for easy identification of the product I.
All corner blocks are welded to each other to secure the containers to themselves in the image below.
But a modification kit exists called the Backbone Ribcage that removes the stock lens and allows for using virtually any other lens made for photography.
He tells me what he needs and I take to the Internet to find it and to talk to the vendor in English. But if we chose concrete for the stairs, we would have to tile them, and how do you squeeze Natural or Industrial or Bling out of tile? And if we were to use diamond plate (also called floor plate) steel, well it just doesn’t get any better than that! It was basically a shipping container with a few windows punched in, a roof deck, and a big roof overhead. I recently gave him two leads to nearby people who need his services, and the other day he stopped by with a couple orchid sprigs for us.
But now I was faced with grinding all the counter tops back to ground (pun) zero — two days of filling and grinding for naught.
And with our eclectic style, we can’t wait to see the high-tech aluminum-faced cabinets below the massive and hand-wrought counters. This lack of creative design, plus the matter of there being no rain protection for the wall and windows on that south exposure, had to be resolved before I made a major mistake and poured the roof deck slab first. I didn’t want the overhang to project out so far that it significantly reduced light coming into the kitchen, and just a couple inches looked stingy. But on Monday, I greeted Armando and Alex, and asked them to take a look from a few feet back. But the good part about building over such a long period of time is that you can change your mind without having to redo a lot of work!
He was on his way to a lake in El Valle to set free the box turtle that he had had for five years. In heavy rains, the wind often blows the rain sideways, so an enormous overhang still wouldn’t fully protect the windows. So now we have chosen a lighter body color for the house, a gray, sea-foam minty green, if you will, with a darker green for the trim.
The wet grinding was very slow, so I tested the orbital (dry) sander with coarse sandpaper.
So we got out the hammers and chisels and removed a full-day’s work and started again.
Yesterday I sprayed a gallon of the new body color on the wall by the front door and started priming the galvanized metal window frames. They weren’t happy, but I couldn’t stand the thought of seeing the wall off level for the next 30 years!

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