You cannot believe how busy we are right now as families race to complete ISBU Homes before winter tries to rear it’s ugly head and wreak havoc with home completion.
(While a lot of you are still basking in summer/fall weather, we’ve already had snowfall here and throughout much of the northern part of the US. There’s snow on the mountains behind my house. It’s just one more reminder that there’s a lot to do before winter really makes itself known.)
As our families build out their “Corten Compounds”, one of the things we’re getting asked about more and more is “ISBU Outbuildings”.
We talk on a regular basis about using ISBUs to create buildings with farming applications (like Poultry Houses, Rabbit Houses and even processing shops for everything from poultry production to wild game processing and meat smoking).
Our families use them as stalls for livestock all the time. Here’s an example of a small ISBU livestock stall that we are quite fond of;
The nice thing about using ISBUs (Shipping Containers) for out-buildings (or field cover) is that you’re creating easily founded, easily placed, easily secured buildings that can actually be moved (if required) as your site plan evolves.
We build tack rooms out of them on a regular basis. Want to rent out pastures to boarders for some extra cash? Those horse owners are going to need a secure place to put their feed and gear. One of these “tack boxes” is easily fabbed and will last for decades. Better still, because they’re just boxes, they’re easily adapted to blend in with other buildings.
(By the way, this is a great way to recycle those ISBU doors that many remove in the Container Home Building process.)
What about building BARNS out of ISBUs?
We’ve seen those Youtube clips of the Amish doing high-speed “barn-raisings” that would give most contractors an aneurysm. I mean, they build these massive monuments to livestock in a weekend. It’s just incredible.
But, what if you used ISBUs (Shipping Containers) to do something similar. If you took a pair of 40′ High Cube ISBUs and then placed them apart from each other to form “walls”, you could top them with trusses and create an enclosed barn in no time flat.
These barns get built in less than a WEEK. I’m not kidding. A WEEK. And remember, the shops inside the ISBUs are already weathered in from Day One.
You could also do this to create stables for horses or cows or even to provide “protected” pens for pigs, goats, sheep or whatever else you wanted. Recycled rolling (overhead) truck doors on either side would protect the central space from wind and weather.
We’ve even used concrete highway dividers (that we purchased as DOT salvage material) to set the boxes as the foundation. That means that you get a 12’+ roof in the garage and you get room above for an office, a shop, or even a guest apartment by using attic trusses. A slab poured between the containers gives you your garage floor.
(Naturally, when elevating containers, be it on piers, CMUs (concrete blocks) or dividers… you build steps up to the container level to gain access to the storage spaces created by the containers. It’s typical to use one side for an office or shop and the other (with a ramp instead of stairs) for storage purposes.)
When you need more space, you simply sister more boxes up to the sides.
We even have a small rural “Sustainable Community” that built one of these ISBU barns to build their “Tiny Houses” for their residents within. When they’ve finished their home construction, they’ll convert the “build barn” into a community space.
If you need help figuring this out, just ask…