How to Build Your Own Shipping Container Garage

Need somewhere safe to store your car or possessions but have limited space? With their modular shape and corrosive resistant steel fabric, second-hand shipping containers make excellent affordable garages.

At the most basic level, they provide a lockable metal box for any expensive equipment, like that classic car or ride-on mower, or they can be modified to suit your requirements. Design-wise, your garage is only limited by your imagination – check out the shipping container man-cave from the sci-fi movie Tron: Legacy above.

Why choose a shipping container garage?

If you’re on the hunt for an innovative idea to help solve your storage problems, a shipping container garage is a quick, easy, and fun solution.

Having a dedicated space for cars or outdoor items, whether it be a basic garage from containers or a shipping container garage with your dream floor plan, can unlock a world of possibilities. While a traditional garage might not be a cost-effective or space optimised option for most families, a single container can provide the perfect dedicated space.

Instead of having to start an entire construction project, especially if you might want to change locations later, a durable container garage will give you the freedom to change your mind with the additional space to fulfil your needs. Your metal container walls, constructed from sturdy Corten steel, also provide extreme security, especially when the heavy container doors are shut and locked.

Here are our top tips for building a long-lasting garage with a shipping container

Choose the right container

Since your container is going to be the basic building block of your garage, you need to make sure you choose the right size and type of container. Shipping containers come in a variety of standard sizes such as 10ft20ft40ft, and there are also high cube containers that give you extra height.

Normally 20-foot containers are ideal for garages but it depends on the size of the area you have and your requirements. Some local bylaws don’t allow you to build garages beyond a particular size so this will also have a bearing on the size of the container that you choose.

You can go for a used shipping container or you can buy a new one. Both have their pros and cons; for example, a used container will be cheaper but it will have signs of wear and tear which might be ok if you’re going for the rustic look. A brand-new container will cost you more but it will last you longer, typically a new container will last for 20+ years. If you go for a used container, just make sure rusting hasn’t set in and there are no cracks in the body.

Select the design and configuration

This is our favourite part, let’s talk design ideas! Now you need to decide if you want just one container or several for your project. If you’re just wanting to store a single car or a few outdoor items to keep them safe from the elements, a 20ft container size would be perfect.

However, if you’d like additional storage space (think an adorable garden corner, bunded floors for workshop equipment, even an entertainment space) a garage with storage containers are your best bet! This conventional-style garage below uses a couple of 40ft containers providing additional lockable storage space as well as a vehicle shelter.

Make sure that the position you have chosen for your container is easily accessible, especially if you’re planning on parking your vehicle inside, and consider the type of entranceway you need. Modifications such as a roller door could be a practical solution if you’re short on space.

Build a foundation

Just like any serious construction, your container garage requires a proper foundation. If you already have a level and firm surface, such as concrete or asphalt then you’re halfway there. If not you can lay your own, here are 5 types of foundations to choose from (there are many other different types of foundations too) for your container garage depending on its usage:

  • Concrete slab foundation
  • Concrete footing foundation
  • Wooden beam foundation
  • Steel pipe footing foundation
  • Wooden Blocks

If you are going to park your car inside your garage, a concrete slab foundation is preferable, and if you want to use it as a workshop, you will need to provide extra support underneath heavy machinery.

Use experts to prepare the container

You can either prepare your shipping container garage remotely and then get it transported to the site, or you can get the container placed and fitted upon the foundation first and then give shape to your garage.

Container modifications can include:

  • Paint – Painted garage containers not only have an extra barrier against the elements but they also allow you to add your own style to your new garage! At Gateway Containers we have both painted and unpainted containers available for you to add your style to!
  • Insulation – Shipping container insulation is a great idea to ensure your container garage is ready to store whatever you need. At Gateway Containers our professional team can talk you through the best insulation options for your needs.
  • Ventilation – Ventilation is an important step in any container project. Making sure you have a good ventilation system in place will stop moisture build-up, which is bad news for your container. We can talk you through the best ventilation options for your needs.
  • Garage doors – Any garage requires doors to keep the weather out and your possessions in. While you can just stick with the doors that cargo containers come with, garage door options are endless. Chat to our team about a variety of high quality door options that match your container garage idea.
  • Shelving – Is it even a garage if you don’t have shelving? Creating a custom metal box could be just as easy as building some custom storage.
  • Security – Chances are if you’re storing a car or the like in your garage that you want to invest in a high level of security. Chat to our team about additional security options for your container.
  • Electrical – Having power inside your container will make it easy to store precious items. Using electrical panels and wiring in containers is a safe and beneficial way of making sure your container can run the appliances you need, safely. Chat to our team about installing electrical units before shipping your container to your door.

Container delivery/installation

Once you have everything sorted and ready to go, it’s time to talk about installation. This is done easily by our team of experts which can deliver containers from Southeast Queensland to northern New South Wales. They can also give you great advice on where to place your garage and how to get it in position!

Price guide

With so many customisation options, it’s best to chat with our team to find out the most accurate cost of your container garage.

Whether you want to build a small garage requiring a 20-foot shipping container or you want to create a large garage comprising multiple 40-foot containers, we can provide you with used or brand new containers, as well as a range of modifications. Contact our team of shipping container experts today for a quote.

Ready to start your container journey?
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About Mark Finnegan

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