If you fear that you can never afford to own your own home, it's time to think outside the box by getting inside a box -- namely, a storage container from a place like Turner Leasing Co Inc. These rectangular metal structures, which can either rest in one place or take to the road as storage trailers, can get you into a true "conversation piece" of a home for a tiny fraction of the cost of a traditional dwelling -- after which, you can spend as little or as much as you like to personalize it.
A typical metal storage or shipping container may not look like much when you first buy it, but you'd be amazed at what can be done with these versatile items. Creative homeowners have turned both single units and collections of multiple storage containers into remarkably elegant, innovative homes. The rectangular shapes lend themselves to bold, inspiring designs while maximizing internal space. But if you're no Frank Lloyd Wright, you can always just cut a door and couple of windows into the structure, frankly flaunting your home's unusual origins.
Of course, a storage container home or office can't be set up just anywhere. Ideally, you would plant it on a strong foundation or elevate it on sturdy blocks, on land you already own or have permission to use. Make sure you're in accordance with local zoning ordinances and other laws before even beginning such a project.
For many, the nomadic life offers an irresistible temptation, especially if they're retired or able to earn a living from anywhere in the country. Unfortunately, the startup costs for such a lifestyle can be prohibitive. A full-sized recreational vehicle (RV) can easily cost more than $100,000, and even a small fiberglass camper trailer may cost more than $10,000. By contrast, a six-foot by ten-foot storage trailer can be obtained for just a few thousand dollars. If that sounds cramped, fear not -- storage trailers come in a wide range of sizes, allowing you to purchase as much or as little cubic footage as you think you'll need (or whatever your vehicle will safely tow). Optimizing the interior plan will help you get the most functionality out of the least space without feeling crowded.
In addition to the cost factor compared to traditional RVs and passenger trailers, the benefits of creating your own "mobile home" include:
- The ability to relocate on a moment's notice if a new job opportunity or other life circumstance requires it
- The opportunity to settle down at campsites or in remote locales for extended stretches of time
- The joy of seeing various parts of the U.S. while still feeling at home wherever you go
- The fact that you can design and furnish your own custom floor plan instead of settling for (or rebuilding) a pre-designed unit
Remodeling Your Storage Space
Once you've purchased your storage container or trailer, you could just throw a sleeping back into and move right in -- but you'll be awfully uncomfortable until you've remodeled the space for proper everyday living. For instance, you'll need to create windows for easy breathing and ventilation. Other issues to consider include:
- Insulation - The inside of your storage container is probably bare metal or wood, neither of which will do much to protect you from hot or cold weather. You can minimize this problem by installing insulation made of rigid foam board or similar materials available at home improvement stores. Attaching wood paneling over the installed insulation will add a further degree of comfort.
- Electricity - If your storage container is anywhere near the "grid," you might be able to plug into the municipal electrical resources. You can also get electrical power from a gasoline generator and/or solar panels. Have the necessary interior wiring done by an experienced electrician, and make sure you understand how to use the system safely. Storage trailers have the advantage here, because they can use a secondary battery recharged by the car's alternator while you travel.
- Heating and cooling - Heating can be achieved via electric space heaters; propane or other campsite heating units pose too much risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, suffocation or fire (although space heaters must be used with great care as well). Depending on the size of your structure, you may be able to cool the space adequately with a single window-unit air conditioner.
- Water - Your plumber may be able to attach your permanent storage container home to the city water supply by building the appropriate network of pipes and installing standard appliances. Storage trailers require the use of tanks that store used water or sewage; these must be dumped periodically according to local laws.
Saving yourself decades of mortgage payments is just the icing on the cake when you choose to live in a storage container or trailer. You'll also find it an ideal way to express your creativity and personality. Contact your local storage container seller today -- and have fun in your new home!