Bespoke Shipping Container Workshop Conversions

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Bespoke Shipping Container Workshop Conversions

An introduction

Lincolnshire based Containerking / rent-a-unit have just had the pleasure in supplying a fully bespoke container conversion workshop for Gatwick based Marlborough Communications who are a subsidiary of Cohort PLC. MCI provide battlefield communications equipment principally for the Ministry of Defence here in the UK.

Steve Empson : Managing Director of ContainerKIng / rent-a-unit. “It always amazes me how a small obscure Lincolnshire based business attracts interest from so many professional corporate multi-national businesses, we were obviously thrilled to receive and go on to win the MCI business, Having previously supplied bespoke equipment, including a workshop container to a Scottish Government sponsored deep sea diving school far away in the Fort William Highlands were actively working on an order for portable buildings for Milkflo Limited down in Cornwall, and we are seeing a sustained level of enquiries for our bespoke Cabin’s, Executive Portable Buildings and Container Conversion products from right across the country, indeed next week we are delivering a new Pathfinder Sentry Box to a National Trust Stately Home in Cheshire ! 

Converting a shipping container

Converting a standard shipping container into a bespoke workshop unit can be a great way to create a functional, durable, comfortable, practical and affordable workspace. 

Here are some steps we follow to convert a shipping container into a workshop:

  1. Choose the right container: You’ll want to select a container that is in good condition (ContainerKing / rent-a-unit generally would always use a New “one trip” container) and the right container size for your needs either 10ft, 20ft or 40ft x 8ft. Consider factors like ceiling height, ISO specification containers come in standard widths being 8ft and in two different height ceilings standard height is 8ft or “high cube” 9ft 6 inch high. *Standard ISO containers are the most cost effective shells to use however remember you are restricted to the standard sizes available. If you need something a little bit more bespoke Containerking / rent-a-unit can purpose build your workshop unit in whatever size you may require up-to a huge 40ft x 12ft in size (larger units can also be achieved using ISO standard containers with some additional fabrication work cutting out the sides and linking each container together)
  2. Plan your layout: We have the experience and the containers, but we will want you to plan out how you want to use the space. Consider factors like where you’ll need us to fit or place workbenches, space for your tools, and equipment, and make sure you have enough space to move around comfortably.
  3. Cutting openings: Depending on your design, we will probably need to cut openings in the container for the fitting of windows, doors, or for ventilation. It’s important to take your time to think and plan everything through before we get to work.. . It’s too late to change your plan once we’ve started cutting out for doors or windows etc !! 
  4. Insulating the container: Shipping containers can get hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so it’s important to insulate the container to make it comfortable to work in year-round. There are several options for insulation, including spray foam, batt insulation, and rigid foam panels, but from experience.. . Although it will cost more money we always recommend a combination of both polyurethane spray foam (to prevent condensation on the underside of the roof) and either mineral wool, glass wool or Kingspan in the ceiling and walls. In some instances we have also fitted air conditioning so temperatures within your workshop can be fully regulated.
  5. Installing electricity and plumbing: Depending on your needs, you may want us to install electricity and plumbing in your bespoke container workshop. It is almost inevitable a professional container conversion will have full electrics fitted including for ceiling or under counter lighting, external lighting, fire alarms and sirens, curtain/panel heating or simple down-flow heating, consider the fitting and locations of sockets, spurs, fans switches etc etc etc…. 
  6. Finish the interior: Once we have the doors, windows fitted service patresses welded in position and the insulation, electricity, and plumbing etc in place, we can then look at the finish of the the interior of the container. This may include a multitude of finishes like adding drywall, hardwood ply, OSB, easy wipe pre finished melamine, fire resistant ply etc etc etc then have you considered installing flooring ? Do you want us to fit a welded heavy vinyl or rubber workshop floor tiles ? Maybe a simple cheep but effective waterproof laminate ? What wall and finish would work best for you depends on how you intend to use your workshop container, but be assured there a multitude of different options available. 
  7. Furnish your workshop: Finally once you receive delivery.. . you’ll want to furnish your workshop with the right tools, equipment, and furniture. This might include a workbench if we haven’t supplied or pre fitted something bespoke ? Also consider your shelving and/or storage cabinet requirements ? 
  8. There are no doubt many things to consider before you finalise your container workshop plan, one final item we need to mention is the colour and finish. Most of the container workshop conversions we have completed, our customers have had the unit fully resprayed in their individual corporate colour in either single or two pack paint and in either a standard RAL or B/S colour number, we have occasionally externally cladded the container with a timber like Thermowood or Cedar so the unit blends into a natural setting if used externally or at a private dwelling. We can also locally source and fit your bespoke “livery” if your a corporate customer and need your corporate branding displayed on your unit ? 

Benefits of Bespoke conversions

Overall, a bespoke conversion of a shipping container into a workshop requires careful planning, engagement with a dedicated industry professional like ContainerKing / rent-a-unit who always uses the the correct methods, tools and materials, and pays close attention to detail specified. But with effort and creativity, we can create bespoke to you, a unique and functional container conversion workspace that meets your needs and fits your budget.

April 17, 2023

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