Shipping containers are a hugely popular choice for many Australians who want to add a small, independent workspace to their home. They're relatively inexpensive, highly versatile and are fast to transform into a usable space. They make fantastic offices, workshops and can even be used as a granny flat or guest accommodation.
Because shipping containers are delivered to your home structurally complete and ready to use, they're a great choice for people who are comfortable with doing a little DIY work to finish off the project. One of the main parts of preparing your shipping container for use is creating an interior lining. Here are the three basic building supplies you'll need to line your shipping container effectively.
1. Timber framing battens
Before you can add the other lining elements, you'll need to construct a basic timber frame along the internal walls of the shipping container. The easiest way to do this is to use framing battens which are available from any building supply vendor. To make the project easier for yourself, you can even have them cut to your specifications before you bring them home.
You'll need to have a sturdy batten in each corner of the container and then add vertical battens at regular intervals along each wall. Horizontal battens should be added halfway up the walls, connecting the vertical battens, and also along the roof and floor line. These can be fixed in place using a drill bit designed for steelwork and screws of an appropriate length.
Once you have your timber frame finished, you can add a layer of insulation. Insulation is vital for shipping containers to prevent them from becoming an oven in the summer and a refrigerator in the winter. You can buy insulation in small packs from your local building supplies store.
There are a few different insulation types that work well in shipping containers. Spray on insulation foam is the most effective but it can be a little tricky to use without experience. Foam or polystyrene panels are a great option because they're highly effective and very easy to install.
3. Wall surface
The final step in lining your shipping container is to add a wall surface. This is attached to your timber batten frame, encapsulating the insulation material beneath it. Generally, you can choose between gyprock plasterboards or plywood panels for this task.
Plasterboards are a great choice if you want to give the shipping container a more refined and room-like finish. You may need to hire a plasterer to complete the joint sealing process if you want a professional finish. Plywood is a good choice if you plan to use your container as a workshop and want your walls to be a bit sturdier and less prone to dents and cracks.