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Building a Shipping Container Workshop - Pros and Cons


shipping container workshops

If you love tools and DIY projects, you know the pleasure of having your own workshop.

Building and working from your own workshop is a rewarding experience. Many people have had wooden sheds in their backyard workspace. However, wooden shed workshops take a long time to build. Wood is also susceptible to rot, fire, and plants underneath the structure.

If you want to build a new workshop, alternative construction has many advantages, and this is where steel shipping containers come in.

Shipping or cargo containers are built to withstand harsh journeys across oceans. They are highly durable against weather changes, corrosion, fire, and theft. And they are super quick to set up. Shipping containers are great for both business owners and hobby enthusiasts.


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Why Build a Workshop With a Shipping Container?

  • The Freedom of Custom - Highly customizable with electric fittings, HVAC units, stacking spaces, and more. This is easily a major advantage.
  • Durable – Built tough to withstand harsh weather and avoid problems like rot. Their structure is highly stable.
  • Cost-effective - The initial cost of procuring the shipping container and customizing it may be close to usual construction, but in the long term, the maintenance cost is very less.
  • Environment-friendly - You don't need to dig the earth for a foundation or use concrete, bricks, and steel rods. Place shipping containers on wooden planks or a stone foundation. There is no construction required, which keeps the surroundings clean. At any time, there are over 11 million cargo containers lying around the world in shipping yards. We are just reusing what is already built.
  • Security – You want to safeguard your expensive tools. Shipping containers are hard to break into. You can also have lockable shelves inside and high-security lock options on the main door.
  • Fun - Few things can match the satisfaction you get from converting a container into a lovely, custom workshop. Look at how these guys at Cottage Life turned a container into their dream workshop. DIY forever!

Types of Shipping Container Workshops

Shipping containers are versatile - you can have a workspace inside the container or extend it on a deck outside. You can use them to build any of the following workshop options -

  • Carpenter workshop - Easily stack everything you need - chisels, mallets, handsaws, hammers, hand drills, jigsaw, nail gun, and orbital sanders - on wall-mounted shelves. Dedicate a space for larger machines such as the table saw, lathe machine, jointer, and band saw. You will still have enough floor space for a workbench.
  • Auto workshop - If you own a motorcycle owner and like to tune up your machine, a container workshop can stack up all your tools and spare parts, just where you need them. You can also modify the shipping container to park your expensive motorcycle.
  • Electrical and electronics workshop - You may have expensive equipment such as scopes and multimeters that you need to protect from dust. Shipping containers provide you your own quiet corner to work and security from both theft and exposure, thus keeping your equipment safe.


What Do You Need for Your Container Workshop?

Here are some essentials for your container workshop -

  • Electricity - Connect your container to mainline power or a generator. You can have power sockets, exhaust fans, WIFI wiring, and extenders.
  • Light fixtures or solar lighting - Setup ceiling and wall lighting or rooftop solar panels.
  • Custom workbenches - Choose between wall-mounted or island workbenches as per your need.
  • Hooks for electrical cords - You definitely need hooks to neatly hang all your tools and cords, and you need a lot of them.
  • Shelving - Get your custom storage space with wooden or steel shelving. Some container providers offer shelves, racks, and other customization options at an additional price.
  • Stairs - You can also utilize the rooftop as a nice patio with a staircase leading to it.
  • Windows - Keep the workspace bright and airy with large windows and exhaust fans.
  • Flooring - Plywood or timber floor. Remember to keep it sturdy for falling tools.
  • HVAC units – A heating and air conditioning unit, with suitable vents. Account for condensation during cold weather.

What Sizes of Shipping Containers Should You Go For?

20' Container Workshops -

  • Internal dimensions - 19'4" L x 7'8" W x 7'10" H
  • External dimensions - 20' L x 8' W x 8'6" H

40' Container Workshops -

  • Internal dimensions - 39'6" L x 7'8" W x 7'10" H
  • External dimensions - 40'0" L x 8'0" W x 8'6" H

You can also purchase containers in a range of sizes available online.

Things to Know Before Buying Containers for a Workshop Project

  • Insulation and Heat Control - If your job requires a highly insulated workspace, you may want to go for traditional construction. Insulating shipping containers can reduce workshop space.
  • Health Hazards - Some containers that previously transported toxic chemicals can be a hazardous workspace for people, if not treated before use.
  • Large space requirement - If you need a large space for bigger machines, you probably want to consider combining multiple containers. Bring in an expert for recommendations before you build.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to transport a shipping container?

The cost of transporting a shipping container within the United States depends on your location and distance from our warehouse. Container transportation costs can fall anywhere between $225 and $850. Please speak to our experts at 866-459-7600 for a custom quotation.

Can you use a shipping container as a garage?

Storage containers are durable, easy to maintain, affordable, and are great for building garages. As opposed to a fixed concrete garage, you can move the container if needed and can customize it the way you like.

Are shipping container workshops cost-effective?

The initial cost of buying and furnishing a shipping container workshop may be equivalent to a regular building of the same size. But since it is very sturdy and can last long, the overall cost of maintaining it over the long term is considerably less.

Move over, shipping container home – conex boxes are a great choice to build your own custom container workshop.

Wait, what about container delivery and installation?

Whether you want the container installed on gravel or inclines, or are worried about tight corners, a seasoned container provider with expert truck drivers can make the job hassle-free for you.

Where do you find a great partner like that? That’s right – talk to us at Mobile Modular Portable Storage.

With fast delivery, turnaround time, reliable services, and some outstanding reviews, you can get your shipping container for office or workshop space up and running in no time for your next DIY project.


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