Your guide to converting a shipping container into an office

A guide for homeowners and businesses

There are many reasons why you should consider converting a shipping container into an office. Firstly, it’s a lower-cost, faster alternative to a renovation or extension. Secondly, a container conversion is bespoke, portable and highly secure. Finally, an office container rarely needs planning permission. So, if you’re a homeowner or run a business, read on to learn more about converting a shipping container into an office.

How to plan for your container office conversion

Planning permission

A converted container office will rarely need planning permission because it’s not considered a permanent structure in the UK. Although, it’s important to check with your local planning authority. Here are some areas to check:

  • Listed buildings (i.e. the land it sits on)
  • National Parks
  • Areas of natural or outstanding beauty
  • Next to a road – especially highways and junctions

If you plan to stack your office container, it’s worth knowing how this affects any views for local residents.

New or used

Converted container offices are perfect for all budget types, because they come in all sizes, new and used. Naturally, an older 8ft container will cost less than a brand-new 40ft container. This is why converting a shipping container into an office is ideal for start-up businesses. You can choose an older, smaller container first and move onto bigger, newer ones later. Basically, container offices easily allow businesses to scale.

What is important; however, is making sure your container meets ISO standards. ISO stands for: International Organisation for Standardisation. Essentially, this ensures your office container is of a certain quality, safe and will perform well as a conversion.

Plumbing, power connections and installation

Essentially, a shipping container is an empty box. In order to make it a convenient and comfortable office space, you must install toilets, plug sockets and other similar necessities. Indeed, it’s where converting a shipping container into an office starts to be a challenge. In fact, we suggest leaving this step to the professionals. Unlike a brick-and-mortar building, if you drill into the wrong wall, you can’t easily patch it up.

In addition, you’ll need to insulate your container to keep you, your team and any valuables, warm and dry.

Design matters for container office conversions

Make the most of your space

Converting a shipping container into an office gives you more space. It’s exciting and fun. Remember, you have a blank box to make your own, whether you’re a homeowner or a business. However, designing your converted office container is difficult to get right. It’s all too easy to fill your new space with furniture and clutter. Before long, you’re back to square one!

Here are some quick tips to make the most of your space:

  1. Plan ahead of time – don’t wait for the move-in date to shuffle furniture around
  2. Choose office items to compliment the size of your container – too small will feel cluttered, but too big will make you and your team feel overcrowded
  3. Consider hiring a specialist container conversion company – they will design your new space to be practical to use and appealing to work in
Interior and exterior designs

Container office conversions are becoming more and more sought after in the UK. It’s easy to see why. You can make a converted container office your own from the ground up. Not only can businesses incorporate their brand, but homeowners can let their personality shine.

After all, a shipping container is a blank canvas inside and out. For example, a business might choose to paint the steel exterior in their brand colours, whereas a homeowner might choose to clad their outside walls with wooden panels.

When converting a shipping container into an office, the interior is totally customizable too. From partitioning rooms to underfloor heating, canteen sofas and more, businesses and homeowners are spoilt for choice.

Modifications and mobility

Converting a shipping container into an office gives you design flexibility. For instance, a standard renovation or extension will come with standard doors, windows and security options. However, a container office conversion can be modified. Here are some examples:

  • Skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows – to offer more daylight and keep you and your team awake and productive
  • Anti-vandal shutters and high-security doors – so you can be confident that you and your equipment are safe
  • Stairs, lifts and ramps – if you plan to stack your office container, external stairs are a must. Likewise, lifts and ramps are legally required by businesses to support staff with disabilities

Modify your container office to maximise its benefits.

Hire a container conversion company

Remember, converting a shipping container into an office is a challenge. Generally, it’s better to hire professionals to make sure the job is done right. What’s more, conversion specialists are faster than builders and offer both temporary container offices and permanent solutions.

Pentalver have been providing businesses and homeowners with containers for over 50 years. In short, we design modular containers off-site and deliver them to your door. Not only are we affordable, but we have recently built three new conversion workshops. So, you can get your converted container office even faster.

For an affordable, all-in-one office container, check our container office standard solutions following the links below:

You can also check all our standard conversions here.

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