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Shipping Containers: The Perfect Garden Shed


As spring brings warmer temperatures and more daylight hours, green thumbs will start getting the itch to start planning their annual gardens. Some will stick to a flower garden, which is sometimes more manageable to monitor than a vegetable garden. Some may even choose both.

Besides choosing the type of garden, growers will need to ensure that they have all the essential pieces of equipment and tools required to make their efforts fruitful. That list of tools can be pretty long – rototiller, hoe, rakes, irrigation equipment, hand trowel, wheelbarrow, shovels, weed control products, fertilizer, hoses. Add in lawn care equipment like riding mowers, push mowers, and trimming tools, and you’ll need a large (and secure) space to store all that outdoor equipment.

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If you don’t want it taking over the main garage where you park your vehicles and store the family bikes and patio furniture, consider another solution. Instead of investing a lot of money and time into building a standard wooden shed, purchasing a steel shipping container to serve as your garden shed is the ideal solution. Shipping containers make great garden sheds for many reasons, mainly because they are cost-effective, durable, safe, secure, long-lasting, and require no assembly before they’re ready for use.

Here are some benefits to consider when choosing a shipping container instead of a traditional storage shed as your garden shed:

  1. Cost: Using a shipping container as a storage shed is much cheaper per square foot than a typical shed. For example, a used shipping container measuring 20’ long x 8’ wide x 8.5’ tall costs around $2,500. That averages out to about $15.63 per square foot.

By comparison, a typical 12′ x 12′ shed can cost at least $3,000 at a big box hardware store. That comes out to around $24.19 per square foot. Shipping containers offer a cost savings of almost $10 per square foot.

  1. Construction: Shipping containers are built out of 14-gauge Corten steel, a steel alloy that will endure with a stable coating when left unpainted with a long-lasting coating for several years. That means they will be much more durable than the typical wooden shed that is prone to weathering.

Shipping containers are painted with high-quality industrialized paint that will protect the Corten steel. The entire bottom of a shipping container is sprayed from the factory with undercoating, similar to what is used on an automobile. This significantly increases a shipping container’s ability to resist corrosion from the bottom.

In comparison, unless you’re purchasing a costly vinyl shed, you will have to make sure that there is a fresh coat of paint on your wooden shed every few years. If not, the wood may split, crack or rot. A storage container, even a used one, could easily sit for ten years before needing any upkeep if left untouched.

  1. Durability: Shipping containers are tough! They are built to withstand the weight of six fully loaded containers stacked on top of one another, with 62,000 pounds in each of the six containers. That’s the equivalent of 372,000 pounds.

The floors are made of 1-inch-thick, treated marine-grade plywood with “C” channel cross members, which means they will hold much more weight than the average person will ever store in them. Even the most hardcore master gardeners can bring on all the equipment they want because a shipping container garden shed can safely store lawnmowers, quads, wood splitters, tractors, mini excavators, and other heavy equipment, and more.

  1. Customization: Master gardeners wanting to add some personality and functionality to their garden shed can do so if they choose a shipping container. They could install an extra door for easier access, such as a man-door, glass door, or a roll-up door. Or, add windows and vents for improved ventilation. They could even consider installing electricity and adding fluorescent lighting, as well as plumbing and adding drip irrigation used for the growing season. For extra security, gardeners could add a bolt-on lockbox. There are many kinds of shipping container accessories to consider depending on the need and use.
  1. Critter (and human) proof: Traditional storage sheds aren’t always the more secure, and potential thieves and neighborhood rodents (animals, not your neighbors) can find their way in, especially the tiny rodents like mice who only need an opening as small as ¼-inch in diameter. They love to make nests in these sheds or engine compartments of a lawn tractor and munch on electrical wires of power equipment.

A shipping container garden shed is constructed to be airtight and securely sealed, making them virtually mouse-proof. And to keep other uninvited guests out, the shipping container's doors are secured with a double-gasket security seal to provide another layer of protection from harsh weather, insects, and other pests.

You can now begin plotting out your garden, order your seeds, change the oil in your machinery and get ready for gardening season. Your new shipping container garden shed is waiting for you. Click here to begin browsing shipping containers near you.