Can you put siding on a shipping container

Timber is relatively cheap, readily available and easy to work with, so it’s the ideal starting point for lots of structural extras and accessories to your shipping container project.

With our new timber Bolt On adapter, made from 30mm birch plywood, you can easily cover your shipping container in cladding, shuttering ply, or stage flats , or quickly attach things like wooden signposts . Many people are far more comfortable using woodworking tools than metalworking ones, so being able to fix timber and sheet materials to a shipping container was always a high priority for us.

For more heavy duty applications such as building a structure off the side, or on top of your container read our post on how to bolt structural timber to a shipping container.

Can you put siding on a shipping container

Why would I need to fix some wood to a shipping container?

One of the most common reasons for attaching wood to shipping containers is to add some cladding or siding. Shipping container cladding can be used to provide insulation or to enhance the appearance of the container, helping it blend in to its surroundings.

Insulation such as spray foam applied to the inside of a shipping container can take up valuable room which is why some people choose to add the insulation to the exterior of the container and then cover it in a weatherproof cladding.

Most shipping container cladding tutorials will tell you to start by fixing timber battens to the walls of your container, because then it’s easy to screw sheet material directly to the side of the container. They will suggest using glue or screwing through the sides of the container. Both of these are obviously not ideal, and no good at all if it’s not your container!

Can you put siding on a shipping container


For each Timber fixing point at the corner of a shipping container, you’ll need

  • A Domino Clamp
  • A Plywood Bolt On adapter for timber, with two M12 x 45mm Countersunk screws
  • A 10mm and an 8mm hex key
  • Your timber
  • Your woodworking tools
  • Correct length woodscrews (see step 3)

Can you put siding on a shipping container


  1. Use your 6mm hex key to attach one plywood Bolt On adapter to your Domino Clamp using the M12 countersunk screws which come with the adapter.
  2. Attach one Domino Clamp in the top corner casting of the shipping container and one in the bottom, if you’re unfamiliar with the technique following our detailed installation instructions here
  3. Check you have the correct length wood screws, by adding together the thickness of the adapter (30mm) to the thickness of what you need to screw to it, and making sure your screws are at least 5mm shorter than that. For instance, if you are attaching a 50mm x 50mm batten to the adapter; 50+ 30 = 80mm is the total thickness before the screw would hit the domino clamp. So stick to 70mm screws. With the plywood adapter now firmly fixed to the container, you can now screw your timber or sheet material to the two unused areas on the plywood Bolt on, using the correct length screw, and drilling a pilot hole if necessary.

NOTE: if you prefer step 1 and step 2 can be done in the opposite order, since the central hole in the adapter will allow you to attach and detach the Domino Clamp from the shipping container corner casting even when the Plywood is fixed to it.

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Sep 23, 2021 • Posted by Paul Jamieson

Can you advise me on how many clamps needed to connect two 6m wide roof to two 20ft containers?
Shipping will be to NSW, Australia.
Also price & bank info.

Aug 25, 2021 • Posted by Steve Welch

We have a shipping container. I am thinking about cladding the exterior. How much is the complete kit that is required to execute this ambition?
Regards, Steve.

May 12, 2021 • Posted by Christopher Sandiford

Hi – Very interested in buying the clamp and adapter for a 20 ft container in Melbourne, Australia.

Can you let me know shipping and approximately how many clamps & plywood adapters would need?

Apr 25, 2021 • Posted by Robyn

Hi would you advise where I can get the domino clamps and cladding adapters in New Zealand?

If not available anywhere here a price to purchase and shipping please. Also if no distributor here I would be interested in being one.

Maybe cover all bases, a new distributor, even if there currently is one.

Mar 22, 2021 • Posted by Anne Konig

Could you please send all info re pricing and shipping to Australia

Mar 22, 2021 • Posted by Anne Konig

Wonderful that people think out of the box .
Very interested in your product.
Now live in Australia originally UK.
Look forward re your pricing and all info.
Kind Regards Anne.

The exterior siding of the shipping container involves different layers for protection and sometimes temperature control as well. We will be discussing the cost breakdown of the exterior sidings for three different materials. There are many more materials and ways that can be applied in the process. These are, however, the most common ways to get an idea of the total siding costs incurred.

Calculating the container dimensions

There is a specific method to calculate the dimensions of the exterior siding of a container. Let us consider a 40-feet high-cube shipping container. Such a container is 40 feet long, 91вЃ„2 feet tall, and 8 feet wide. For the siding process, you will have to add about 2 feet to the height of the container. This is done to cover the roofing structure and the bottom rail of the shipping container. The dimensions for roofing, therefore, comes out to be 40X111вЃ„2 feet for each sidewall. Similarly, the siding dimensions for the end walls are 8X111вЃ„2 feet.

Siding substructures

Let us discuss the different kinds of materials that can be used for the container siding. We will also be detailing the costs involved in using each of these materials.

Substructure 1

Here we take two by sixes and rip them into smaller pieces. We apply a premium adhesive to them and put them into the outside valleys of the container. Then these are screwed through the metal at an end for securing them properly. This method does not include any insulation and is, therefore, cheaper. It costs us about 25 cents per square foot for this type of substructure.

If you want to add an insulation board to this substructure, you can easily do that as well. Ensure to attach a fastener that can go through the insulation board to secure it comfortably. At the same time, it shouldn’t be too long to pierce into the metal.

Substructure 2

Another substructure that already includes insulation involves the use of fast panels. These panels can be installed on the exterior sides quickly and easily. The costs involved in these kinds of siding is $3 per square foot. With this kind of substructure, your material cost rises but there are savings in the labor costs. The system is extremely fast and involves the use of less labor compared to the one discussed earlier. While considering the rise in material costs, you must also consider the decline in labor costs involved.

Substructure 3

The third option includes the installation of galvanized roofing panels on the sides of the container. The cost of these panels turned out to be $1.70 per square foot. This estimation includes the entire container but the doors. These are excluded from our calculation to give you an idea about the cost of siding alone.

As a bonus, here are two other ways you can do the siding of your container house:

Trex Board

Trex boards enhance the overall look of the container siding. They are virtually maintenance-free and are resistant to scratching, molds, insects, and mildew. If you consider using Trex boards on the siding, they will cost you around $3.75 per square foot.

Trex Boards

Cedar Lap

Cedar lap siding is another beautiful and extremely durable option. It is one of the most cost-effective options. At the same time, it is labor-intensive as well. It is extremely flexible as you can stain it or clear-coat it as per your preferences. Such a siding will cost you around $1.50 per square foot.

Final Words

Your choice of siding can accurately tell you the amount you are going to spend on building your container home. This way you can budget your expenses well in advance. You must keep an allowance for taxes, transportation charges, and other unexpected expenses while calculating the siding cost. Expecting a bigger bill and ending up spending less is way better than going out of the budgeted amount.

Can you put siding on a shipping containerRules are often created for a good reason: to avoid consequences. Highways, for example, have speed limits to ensure everyone on the road is as safe as possible. Playrooms often have plugs in electrical outlets to protect toddlers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, storage containers have types of items that you aren’t allowed to store in them.

This post will dive deeper into that last example. From hazardous materials to animals and plants, there are certain items you can’t store in a storage container . Let’s cover why certain items are restricted, as well as go over a couple dozen examples of restricted items so you’re in the know.

Why Are Some Items Restricted?

First, let’s go over a few reasons why a storage container company doesn’t allow certain items to be stored in their containers (just in case you were wondering):

  • It could be dangerous: Anything flammable, corrosive or explosive puts people and belongings at risk. The item itself could be dangerous, or it could be dangerous when combined with another item. So, hazardous materials are usually banned.
  • It could be messy: Anything perishable has the potential to die, spoil and create mold. In order to maintain a sanitary environment, most perishable items (like fresh, frozen or opened food) aren’t allowed to be stored.
  • It could be costly: Storage containers are built to be extremely durable and secure, but you still probably don’t want to store your family’s most precious items in them. Keep things like wedding photos, birth certificates and cash in a safe instead.

Items You Can’t Store

So, what are some examples of items you can’t store in a storage container? While there are definitely more than 25 items, we rounded up some of the most common examples. (If you’re interested in learning whether a specific item should be stored in a storage container or not, give us a call at 972-GET-A-SAM.)

Here are 25 items you can’t (or shouldn’t) store in a storage container :

  1. Animals
  2. Plants
  3. Frozen or refrigerated food
  4. Produce
  5. Gasoline
  6. Batteries
  7. Lighter fluid
  8. Pool chemicals
  9. Cleaning solvents
  10. Firearms
  11. Ammunition
  12. Paints
  13. Fireworks
  14. Bleach
  15. Matches
  16. Nail polish/nail polish remover
  17. Fertilizer
  18. Pesticides
  19. Home or vehicle keys
  20. Cash
  21. Jewelry
  22. Laptops
  23. Stocks, bonds and IRAs
  24. Deeds and titles
  25. Oversized items like cars or pianos

If you’re interested in a storage container (assuming you’re not storing any of the items listed above), give us a call at 972-GET-A-SAM for a quote today.

Sam Store & Move
2005 McDaniel Dr. Suite 150
Carrollton, TX 75006

Can you put siding on a shipping container

In a sprawling Cambridge warehouse, Matt Lubberts and his team at Now Housing are building what he believes could solve a big chunk of the country’s affordable housing crisis.

By turning “one-tripper” shipping containers into dwelling units that range from 160-square-foot shelter spaces to multi-room homes, the company is seeing growing interest from northern Indigenous communities to Ontario municipalities looking for ways to house the homeless, moving away from shelter systems that increasingly rely on hotels to handle overflow.

Turning used shipping containers into homes is nothing new.

Lubberts and his team have been doing it for four years.

But in that time they’ve worked out the kinks in the manufacturing process, bringing costs down and making multi-unit builds an attractive option for municipalities looking to create more affordable housing.

Several municipalities have since expressed interest in shelter models for housing the homeless, including Chatham, Windsor and others in the GTA.

The containers the company uses, which are about 10 feet high, eight feet wide and 20 to 40 feet long, are called one-trippers because they’re only used once to ship electronics, furniture or clothing from their point of origin in India or China.

This helps ensure they’re never used to transport hazardous materials, Lubberts says, meeting strict Canadian standards.

Once the containers make it to their manufacturing warehouse on Laurel Street, they’re stripped down, cut open, framed up, wired, plumbed and configured to accommodate one of the model designs that range from studio suite to multi-bedroom units.

Since they’re approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and operate like a manufacturing facility to build each unit to spec, they don’t have building inspectors coming through their warehouse. They work instead with a certification company to meet quality control standards.

“It substantially eliminates the costs associated with regular construction,” Lubberts says.

Manufacturing a home indoors reduces waste, eliminates concerns about weather, reduces reliance on labour and skilled trades and increases safety since the builders aren’t working at heights.

The finished units are lifted in place by a crane.

“It’s a different way of thinking about how to do construction,” Lubberts says. “By doing this, we can eliminate between 30 and 40 per cent of the cost of the overall project.”

Spray foam insulation keeps them warm and cool, and non-biodegradable wall panels keeps critters out and prevents mold.

These aren’t like three-season double-wide trailers, Lubberts says. Everything in it meets year-round standards, making them ideal for serving northern communities looking for housing solutions.

“We wanted to make sure they could go anywhere,” he says.

Inside the shelter model, there’s room for a bunk bed and futon, a kitchenette with fridge and microwave, and a three-piece bathroom with a stacked washer and dryer wedged in beside the shower.

They hook up to municipal water and electrical services and come ready with a heat pump and air-conditioning unit on a 20 amp breaker.

A fourplex in Cambridge runs on about $250 to $300 in electricity a month, Lubberts says.

A duo suite for shelter housing provides two private spaces in a 40-foot unit at about $65,00-$70,000. Putting siding on it adds another $10,000.

And at 160 square feet per side, the shelter model doesn’t meet the minimum building code for square footage, but meets all other standards for heating, electrical, insulation and plumbing.

It’s ready to be dropped on the ground and hooked up, Lubberts says.

“When you’re said and done, you’re basically able to provide a place for someone to live, better than in a shelter, for under $50,000.”

Municipalities that are housing homeless people in hotels, can purchase the units, mortgage them, and own them in five years at about half the cost of what they’re paying now, he says, adding the amount of money some municipalities are spending on hotels “is just phenomenal.”

And that’s with no return on equity, he says.

Beyond the shelter units, Now Housing builds all the way up in increments of 160 square feet, to 1,280 square foot units that have living areas, full kitchen, bedrooms and bath. Those go for about $240,000.

“That’ll get you the house, but it doesn’t get you the land and the servicing,” Lubberts says.

But in terms of an accessory dwelling on an existing property, it works for what the City of Cambridge and other municipalities are considering.

In terms of square-footage pricing, Lubberts says they’re building the units for between $260 and $300 per square foot, while most traditional builders land somewhere in the $450 to $500 per square foot range.

At those rates, the cost of building a house often doesn’t make sense, Lubberts says, adding a lot of it has to do with material costs that have tripled over the last year.

A half-inch sheet of plywood that costs $85 today would have cost $22 in 2019, he says.

“If you think of a builder’s cost at $500 a square foot, 2,000 square feet is a million bucks. Well, how do you make any money on that? People are already stretched beyond their means.

“It’s a huge problem that’s been brewing for 15-20 years and it’s finally come to a head.”

Designing a home out of shipping or cargo containers is a great way to lower your carbon footprint and decrease construction time. Shipping containers are solid steel, which is structurally sound and already built into walls, so it just becomes a matter of adding doors, windows, and insulation. Here are five ways to incorporate cargo containers into home construction.

Home Additions

The first way to take advantage of shipping containers is to use them for home add-ons. If you’re planning on adding a new room or area of your home, a shipping container can provide a way to avoid the inconveniences that long-term construction can cause, like noise and dust. You can choose to show off the shipping container aspect, which is sure to get you plenty of attention from your neighbors, or you can cover the shipping container in siding, so no one has to know. Using a shipping container to add to your home can provide a quick solution, and can be easily flaunted or concealed.

Can you put siding on a shipping container


A second simple way to use a shipping container is for storage. After all, storage was the original purpose of the container. A common way to use cargo containers in this way is to put them alongside your garage to store bicycles, tools, or anything else that may get in the way of your car. Just like for a home addition, the cargo container can be covered with siding to match the rest of your home easily, and in this case, the doors can also be replaced.

Or, for those who truly want to go green, skip the garage altogether and place a roof between two cargo containers for a make-shift garage or pavilion. Using a shipping container for storage can give you a safe, sturdy place to keep your possessions.

Can you put siding on a shipping container


Storage containers can make the perfect office. The great thing about the use is that it requires almost no modifications: the container can be set down and left as is. A cargo container office is great if you want an office away from the house, or need a temporary one due to construction. In fact, many construction sites and expanding schools use shipping containers as offices too.

Can you put siding on a shipping container

Swimming Pool

This fourth use for shipping containers may seem a little out of left field, but shipping containers are already between 8 and 9 feet deep and up to 40 feet long. These dimensions work ideal for a family pool or lap pool. However, be careful about placing these in the ground because being surrounded by dirt can hurt the container’s structural integrity. Cargo containers work much better as above ground pools.

Can you put siding on a shipping container

Get Creative!

Shipping containers are well-suited for almost any outdoor structure separate from the house, including stables, pool cabanas, and guest houses. Cargo containers come in many variations, including 10, 20, and 40 feet long, so there is sure to be one suited to your needs. The functions for shipping containers in your home or on your property end with your imagination.