Things to consider when converting a container into an office for home or work.
Shipping containers are ideal for converting into a temporary or semi-permanent office. They can be supplied in sizes
from 10ft to 40ft or custom built to suit the space available.
When planning an office container conversion, the way I like to plan it is to imagine how the unit would be used and
what it should look like. If it’s going into a garden, perhaps it needs to be cladded in wood with pretty slices of
glazing, it could be at a coastal location where you want large windows to take in the views or it might be used on a
construction site where the external appearance may not matter at all, as long as the unit is watertight and
The external finishes we offer for containers include repainting with marine standard container paint to any standard
RAL colour. The paintwork can be tailored to suit company or school colours along with branding or logos. Full or
part external timber cladding is a popular option for quirky container conversions, we use various types of timber
depending on where the unit will be located and the desired final finish. Custom built units can be made with flat or
corrugated steel so you have the option of keeping the industrial container look.
Following this, the next step would be to think about access. What furniture or equipment will be going into the
container? Who will be using the container and how often? Will the size of the container mean that two entry/exit
points are needed for health and safety? When we convert a shipping container, we can retain the original double
cargo doors at the 8ft end which could be used for moving large items (desks, machinery etc) in and out of the unit.
As well as this, a single or double steel personnel door can be installed for personnel access. If you are looking for
something a bit more special, we supply and install double or triple glazed sliding doors, concertina doors and patio
door sets too.
Now you’ve got a way into the container, what are you going to see when you get inside? Nothing because it’s a big
dark box! Someone turn the light on! Our electrical packages vary and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Some options include 5ft LED striplights, spotlights, air conditioning systems, 2kw heaters, 13amp twin sockets,
waterproof electrics, single or three phase external connections or simply first fix electrics to fit your own elements.
Another way to get some light into the container is through windows. Standard container windows are made for use
on construction sites where they need to be anti vandal and secure. The standard container window frames are
1035mm x 1065mm including a set of double steel shutters. If you’re not going for the industrial look or should
security not be at the top of your list, perhaps bespoke double or triple glazed units would be more suitable. Our
bespoke windows can be made to any size and shape. They are supplied with either aluminium (recommended) or
uPVC frames. Large pieces of glazing can really set your unit off with a unique look letting light plunge inside.
Moving onto the internal wall finish, we currently have bare corrugated steel walls. They are white (usually) and
clean, but it’ll be very cold in winter and extremely hot in the summer. We have a variety of options to internally line
and insulate the container. A standard finish for shipping container offices is to line the walls with white melamine
faced chipboard over 50mm glasswool insulation which is fitted to a timber stud frame. We can also insulate the
containers with spray foam insulation, rigid insulation boards and different thicknesses of glasswool. The final finish
may include wipe clean MFC, ply wood, food safe lining, waterproof lining or a product suitable for your individual
requirements. Do let us know if you plan on hanging any equipment from the walls or even your favourite pieces of
art, this will need to be accounted for when installing the stud frame.
The original container floor is 28mm thick marine plywood. Not a bad floor to look at but a bit of a nightmare to
clean! Flooring options to consider include heavy duty vinyl overlay, steel chequer plate flooring or if you want the
container to really feel homely, laminate or carpet with a big fluffy rug. We can also install underfloor heating
systems, imagine that in the winter.
I hope this has given you a good starting point for developing the plans of your container office, if you have any
questions feel free to speak with us for advice by calling 0330 321 3380 or email your plans to me (Lucy) at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Now get your pen and paper out and start planning!