The BEST Day Of Building Our Shipping Container Home – part #7

The Logistics of Placing our ‘Legos’

Well, the foundation was poured, the containers were prepped – it was time to put our home together.  Prior to this, I had spent weeks trying to figure out the best way to set our containers in place. Our original thought is that we would rent a crane and set the containers ourselves.  One of our close friends was a rigger and said he would help and the confident DIYers that we were, we were sure we could make this happen; and we probably could have except that I couldn’t find an insurance company to insure the equipment to lift our shipping containers. And so, after a hard look at mitigating our risk, I contacted a local crane company and hired them to place our shipping containers.  They were willing to work on a Saturday and gave us a discount for paying cash – always ask if there is a ‘cash’ discount. When the dust settled, it actually cost us just about the same amount to hire a professional crane company as it would have if we had done it ourselves, oh and the move was insured!



Saturday, the 18th of July, the crane showed up bright and early.  Our close friends and family were there and ready to help us put our home together.  The crane moved into position and Dave, with the use of his 75 year old Dozer, pushed our 40’er into position so that it could be rigged up and ready to lift.  Within 1 hour, our first container was in place – and honestly, it was one of the most nerve racking parts of the build. The smaller, 20’ container was then moved into position to be rigged up and was soon lifted by the crane – and that is when the operator said those words no one wants to hear – this isn’t going to happen because the reach is outside the tolerance of the crane and I can’t override the system.

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WHAT?!?!?!?  The container is half the size of the one you already place – how can this be?  Well, it turns out that because he had to extend his reach to the very back of our 40’er to place the 20’er, the picking point was right at the tipping point of the crane. At that moment, I was so thankful that we had hired a professional to place our containers, because I am not sure we would have handled the situation correctly if we were operating a rented crane ourselves.

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Good thing we surround ourselves with brilliant and my hubby is pretty smart too 😉 To solve this problem, they adjusted the rigging a bit, reset the crane slightly and were just able to extend enough to place the 20’er right where it was meant to be, without even an inch to spare on the tolerance of the crane.  Thank you, Jesus!

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Once the containers were set, my husband pulled the stairs that we had previously fabricated at his workplace into position and rigged those up to get ‘flown’ to the other side of the containers and set on the large concrete pad that had already been created for them. These stairs are made with a 12” piece of C-channel; definitely overkill, but we love them!

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I have to admit, the moment those containers were in place, both this sense of Oh – My – Goodness, this is amazing, and also Oh – My – Goodness, we are really doing this were colliding inside of me.  It all became so real – we were actually building our home out of shipping containers, and the hardest part was already done – the containers were in place and it wasn’t even noon 😉 Time to spend the rest of the afternoon rafting the local river!

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All The Welding 

Once the containers were in place, it was time to weld all the parts and pieces that allowed us to be legal and meet the code.  Initially, I was going to write about all of these steps, but seriously, boring. And so I will leave you with this picture blog 🙂

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If you would like more information about the welding process and how we did it – please drop a comment and we will be more than happy to try and answer the specifics.

It was during this phase of our welding, when we were 90% done, that our world took a sharp right turn.  While we were installing the pickets for our railing, the last portion of the welding that needed to take place, my husband suffered a life threatening brain bleed, which I have mentioned before.  Thank goodness, the structural portion of our project was completed, since he was our WABO welder and we needed his skill and expertise to finish our build. I will share the details of that frightful day in the next post.

Our take away – Life is not promised; today isn’t promised; tomorrow isn’t promised.  Work hard, play hard, dream big, realize that you are made for more and above all else, love with your entire heart – don’t leave anything on the table.  When we get to heaven, Dave and I aren’t going to arrive sweetly at the door, we are going to come in hot, just the way we live our life!

Live your best life, my friends!

Until next time,

Jaimie & Dave


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