Just looking for a quick answer on the most commonly asked questions? Look no further – each question below expands out into an answer when you click on it.

Sometimes you can, however sometimes you cannot. We recommend always checking on this before purchasing. You might be able to visit a depot to choose the most appropriate container for your needs. If you are visiting a depot, you need to be suitably dressed (container depots are often dusty and/or muddy) with steel-capped boots due to health and safety regulations.

Shipping containers provided in a variety of colours, however you can paint containers an array of colours at any reputable dealer.

Yes, a small range of colour options may be available in stock for some new and used sale containers, however a lot of the time when you have your container painted it will incur some additional cost. There should be a colour chart pdf showing just some of the colours available.

Empty Tare Weight
20 foot container 2.25 ton or 2200kg
40 foot container 4 ton or 3950kg

This will depend on what it is exactly that you are storing, and how you will be storing it. A general rule of thumb is that a 20 foot shipping container will hold the contents of a 2 to 3 bedroom house. This can change, if there are unusually shaped or sized objects included.

Possibly, depending on the condition of the container and market demand.  The price will be subject to the market value at the time and any additional transport costs to pick up the container.

It all depends on how long you intend to use it for.

If you intend to use the container for the medium to long-term, then purchasing is the sensible option.

Your cash-flow is also a consideration, as are tax differences between asset ownership and hire/lease arrangements.  If the container is to be used for a short-term period, then we recommend hire/lease as the most cost effective solution.

Most containers have air vents to allow for air circulation which helps to eliminate or prevent condensation.  However, if your contents stored in the container are damp, or contain moisture, or you take moisture into the container on a rainy day then it is possible for the container to develop condensation issues.

This is the exception, not the norm though.  To assist with the protection of your stored items you can add a moisture collector into the container to absorb unwanted dampness

Reputable companies will accept credit cards (Visa & Mastercard), eftpos, or internet bank transfer.

Remember – credit cards can attract a service fee.

Unless on a pre-authorised account, all payments are usually asked to be paid prior to release of the container.

Usually modification work requires a 50% deposit prior to any work commencing, the balance to be paid on completion.

In most situations we can make alterations or modifications to your shipping container. Usually it is preferred not to make physical changes to self storage or hire containers, however it is definitely easy to modify a container for sale.

Sale containers range (as per our Container Grading page) from ‘C-‘ or ‘As Is’ to ‘A+’ or ‘New Build’ and are priced accordingly. It will depend on the companies range of containers and how they grade them to what you are buying. Just remember, if you are getting a few quotes, to always compare the SAME TYPE!

If you use a self storage facilities then your contents are very secure. Your container will be locked by you, using your own padlock, so no one else can access it. Self-storage containers are housed inside fully fenced depots, which are usually locked outside of daylight hours and checked by a security firm.

Shipping Containers New Zealand recommend the addition of lock boxes for extra security.

Lockbox containers are very secure and impossible to vandalize. They are generally a great deterrent to thieves. A lock box effectively is a steel box welded to the front doors in which a padlock can be fitted and cannot be accessed via bolt cutters.

Yes, you can get insurance for storage of items in a container. Please contact your insurance company to explain your needs.

Your previous history with that company, the location of the container and the length of time the goods will be stored will be factors your insurance company considers before issuing a policy.

Customers are usually welcome to arrange their own transport check with the company to determine the best type of truck to organise – it will generally be either a swinglift truck, or hiab truck – both capable of self unloading. The type of delivery is generally dependent upon a number of factors relating to location and positioning and can be discussed in more detail at the time of booking.

If the container is going to be static (remain in one place) then the answer is generally “no”. If the container is going to be used domestically and/or internationally to transport goods then the answer is generally “yes”. For further information, check out our certificate page here.

Containers are designed to sit on their four corner posts, so the only essential requirement is that the ground is firm and level so as to prevent twisting of the doors. For more information on the foundations required for containers read our page here.

As you might expect, this will depend on the conditions it is exposed to, and the level of maintenance. As most containers are made using high quality corrosion resistant Corten Steel they will last a lot longer – some containers currently in static use are 30 years old.
A new container, maintained once every 10-15 years, could be expected to last upwards of 50 years at least.

This is not a problem – you should be able to get help on deciding the best container solution from the company you purchase from – if they are not willing to help with this, then walk away. They should ask you what you need a container for, how long you will need a container and what accessories & container modifications you may need.

Quite often, companies can deliver within 24 hours; though sometimes it may take a little longer. Delivery time depends on available transport, the required container(s), the quantity of containers you require and any accessories or modifications you may require. Delivery details should be confirmed at the time of your booking.

Every council is different and has its own regulations on containers. It is recommended that you give your local council a call before making a purchase or arranging to hire a container.

How hard is it to modify a container into a home?

It takes a lot of work to turn a shipping container into a beautiful home. There is a lot of planning to do before you even begin buying the building materials you will need. If you haven’t done anything like this before, you will probably want to at least consult with an architect, especially one who has experience with modifying containers into homes. He will know the pitfalls and potential gotchas that come with this kind of project. On the other hand, if you have experience with home building, you will probably be fine, as long as you take the time to plan everything out.

How should I ventilate my container home?

This is a tough question to answer, because there are so many different factors that come into play, such as: your home’s design, its size, number of windows, if you have a conventional roof, the climate where you live, and if your home is already built. If you are still in the planning stages, then you have the opportunity to consult with architects and contractors who have experience in this area. The insight you gather from them will help you figure out the best way to ventilate your container.

Is the plywood floor in my container safe?

No. Unless you ordered your container brand new and requested that they put an untreated plywood floor in it, it has been treated with toxic pesticides and may be contaminated with chemicals that are equally dangerous. To prevent the vapours from those chemicals from poisoning you and your family, you should remove the old flooring and install new. If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to remove the old flooring, be sure to cover it up with at least a primer coat and regular coat of epoxy containing 100% solids. Otherwise, the toxic chemicals in the original flooring will seep through.

How hard is it to install a regular door?

If by ‘regular door’ you mean a door like you would see on a house, it will be a little trickier. To properly seal it, you will have to use something on both sides of the steel to weatherproof the door frame. The door frame will have to be made waterproof, in order to prevent water from getting trapped inside the doorframe where it can cause the wood to rot. Otherwise, it’s similar to framing in a door on a house.

Can I have windows like a regular house?

Regular windows like you see on a ‘stick built’ house the same challenges as a regular door. These windows weren’t made to be installed in a steel wall, and will require extra effort to properly weatherproof the window frame. One thing to pay particular attention to is waterproofing the frame so that water doesn’t get trapped inside, causing mould and rot.

What’s the best way to insulate my container home?

Fiberglass batt insulation is the cheapest and also the worst insulation you can use in a container. Due to the condensation issues with container homes, it is recommended to use either closed-cell spray foam applied by a professional, or mineral wool insulation, which has several advantages over virtually every other insulation. While more expensive, it is still less than spray foam insulation, it is fireproof, needs no vapour barrier, and maintains its R-factor throughout its life, unlike fiberglass batt. Furthermore, it dries out damp spaces while mould and mildew repellent.

How should I run the ductwork for heating and cooling?

Running ductwork through the ceiling seems like the best bet, given the cramped space between the interior wall and the steel. Running it overhead make it easy to divert into individual rooms. Running it through the ceiling also helps to create a space that can be used for roof ventilation to better manage condensation inside the home.  

How should I heat my container home?

This is a difficult question to answer with much detail, but here are some things to consider:

  • Will the heating unit be located inside the home?
  • How will it be powered–electric, natural gas, wood, or other fuel?
  • How large of a living area you need to heat.
  • How much will it cost to heat using three or four different resources?

The ultimate consideration in the end is how much heating capacity you will need and what the cheapest resource is.   

How can I control condensation in my container home?

The answer is to properly ventilate it. The trick is to promote enough airflow through the container home to keep everything dry. This, of course, is easier said than done. If you plan to run your ductwork through the ceiling, you can use that space for ventilation by building vents in the sides of the container immediately below the roof, and placing passive roof vents on the roof itself.

Is it cheaper to make a container into a home than it is to build one?

It can be, depending on how you plan to convert yours into a home. If you plan on keeping the outside largely as it is, except for a light-colored coat of paint, it will probably be cheaper, although not by as much as you may think. There are a lot of additional costs to transforming a container into a home that you don’t have to worry about with a conventional home. You have the transportation cost of delivering the container and hiring a crane to offload and set the container where you need it. If you are planning to stack containers, your costs may outrun what it would have cost to build a conventional home, due to special structural considerations.