Are you excited about joining the tiny house movement in a storage container home? Using one or more storage containers to live in is a great way to reduce your expenses and even to live mortgage-free. Because storage containers are versatile, you can put two, three, or more together in all kinds of configurations, from side-by-side, L or C shapes, square shapes with a courtyard in the middle, multi-story homes, and more. All you need is a piece of land to put your new tiny house on, a foundation, your storage container(s), and some imagination.
One more thing you need before you start decorating and move in is insulation. Storage containers are made of steel and will get very hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter without proper insulation. The good news is that you won't need much insulation to make your house comfortable in any season, and you can easily cover it up with drywall, paneling, and flooring and ceiling materials of all kinds to make it invisible. Here's how to insulate your storage container home the right way.
1. Choose Your Insulation
If you are like many people who join the tiny house movement, you are ecologically minded. While part of the appeal of living in a tiny house is the lowered living expenses, there is also the appeal of reducing your impact on the environment by living green and sustainably. You can keep these values in mind when choosing your insulation.
There are green versions of spray-on insulation, fiberglass insulation, and foam insulation. You can also choose a more unusual material, such as the increasingly popular and very environmentally friendly recycled egg carton insulation. Just be sure to buy enough of whatever you're going to be using to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling of your storage container home.
2. Fix Up Your Framing
Most types of insulation are installed within some kind of framing. According to ResidentialShippingContainerPrimer.com, the typical frame increases the surface area of the shell of the container, which is not energy efficient. The larger the surface area of the shell, the more energy loss your home will experience, which can increase your power bills if you're not using solar and are connected to the grid.
Instead, add framing that makes your container shell smaller in its surface area. You won't sacrifice any actual space in your tiny home (which is at a premium), and you will be setting up a frame for your insulation that will make your house much more energy efficient by minimizing energy loss.
3. Insulate the Outside of the House, Too (Unless You're Using Spray Foam Insulation Inside)
Because your storage container home is made of steel, it is subject to rust on the outside and the buildup of moisture on the inside—both things that make for an unpleasant living environment. You can prevent both and make your home as comfortable as any on the market by using spray foam insulation inside the house. It will protect both the inside and outside walls.
If you're not using spray foam insulation, you will need to insulate the outside walls in addition to the inside ones. To hide the outside insulation, you must then add siding to your home, such as metal, vinyl, or wood. This can give your home a charming look, so keep your desired appearance for your house in mind when you decide on whether or not to use spray foam insulation.
Insulation is just one part of building your storage container home, but it is a crucial one for your comfort. It is one of the finishing touches you put on your home before decorating and moving in, but you need to plan for it at the beginning of the building project.
Things need to be in place for the type of insulation you plan to use. Draw up your plans for insulation now, or have an engineer help you, and your house will be perfectly set up to receive its insulation when it's time to install it.