Shipping Containers Enable a Career Change From Firefighter to Architect
Regan Foster was off work due to injury as a firefighter in Denver, Colorado when he hit on an idea: why not build himself a large new house out of shipping containers? The results were so good he quit his day job and became a building General Contractor.
Regan Foster container residence
The home isn’t the sort of size you imagine a firefighter could afford! It comprises nine x 40ft high cube shipping containers that are arranged as two pairs on each floor with a ninth at right angles to them on the second floor.
The two pairs of stacked containers sit 7.32 metres apart in the middle, allowing for a giant, double height living room / kitchen area in the middle.
The home itself has a granny flat with a separate entrance for Foster’s mother in law, as well as a total of seven bedrooms and five bathrooms that are in the container spaces.
Light and space is core to the construction with lots of openings cut into the containers. It is well insulated and the original floors have been replaced so the toxic, pest proofing chemicals soaked into the floors don’t pollute the atmosphere.
Containers can be brutalist with their post-industrial appearance but in many ways this is celebrated in the overall construction. On the front there is cladding that somewhat hides the construction but inside, dents and all, you know you’re surrounded by shipping containers. This celebrates their past.
Regen Foster changes job
Some people are geniuses with their brains – others with their hands. To be a genius in any way is to be blessed. Foster is definitely of the latter persuasion and is described as an ‘extreme DIYer’ for whom no creative act with his hands thwarts him.
This is why from the physical build, flooring, to much of the furniture and decor, the home is so visually appealing.
Dwell.com reports, “Regan acted as general contractor and consulted with architect Joe Simmons of BlueSky Studio on the design. “When we first met, he gave me a diagram,” says Simmons. “He pretty much had it all figured out.””
This is what led Foster to quit his job as a firefighter and take a step up in life to getting his General Contractor’s license.
A General Contractor in the US is a high grade blue collar career – getting that license puts you in a different league of construction work. According to the US General Contractors License Guide:
“They are primarily responsible for the supervision of an entire construction project. This could be anything from constructing a new office building or property, a room add-on, addition of a second story, landscaping services, home improvement, or getting a job finished that requires a building permit.”
As well as proven experience the GC student needs to sit an exam to get a state license – this is no walk in the park.
In building this masterpiece of shipping container ‘cargotecture’ Foster was able to change career and to move into doing what he loves best for a living. That’s not a bad outcome from building a home for your family and community!
Foster is one of those characters who thinks for his community and family as he does for himself. Thanks to the spaces in the home, he has been able to host community events as well as entertain friends and family without people falling over one another. That’s the advantage of having such space!
Gateway Container Sales
Container architecture brings the cost of building homes down to an affordable level. If this is something you would consider for yourself here in the Brisbane, Australia area, then do get in contact to discuss buying and modifying shipping containers from us.