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Building a Conex house

PLETHRA
April 18, 2016 08:19PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2

Looking into buying and modifying an existing home or building a new residence out of conex containers.

Has this been done on the island? A post from 2012 discussed this but there was no follow up on progress.

Re: Building a Conex house

OldTart
April 18, 2016 08:30PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

The only building I've ever seen on STT constructed from conex containers is in Smith Bay where several of them are stacked to form a small business/retail center. They've been there for well over two decades. I've not come across any used for residential purposes and have no idea how many hoops you'd have to jump through to obtain permitting.

Re: Building a Conex house

nohstx
April 18, 2016 08:46PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 125

I converted one into a living quarters years ago for someone else, and priced out building one for myself for a while but couldn't get the numbers to add up. It seems like a good idea but by the time you insulate enough to compete against the tropical sun it turns out that you can build with wood or concrete for almost the same price but have a much more flexible floor plan in the long run. The conex containers also start to rust here within a few years so be prepared to put a roof on or spend time patching every few months after a while. It is nice that they are readily available, somewhat bombproof and stack easily but unless you are considering it an upgrade from tent living, to make a comfortable place out of one here it definitely is not very cost effective unless you want to live very simply.

For anyone who does go that route I recommend buying aluminum reefer containers as opposed to the standard steel ones. They last longer here and are already insulated which saves some headache but either way to keep it cheaper you still end up living in 8' wide rooms that are get pretty cozy quickly. I think they would work well in other climates but here there are more cons than pros when it comes to container housing.

Re: Building a Conex house
avatar

Exit Zero
April 18, 2016 11:47PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,214

I have seen a home here that has one as a guest room/office and one as a tool shed/workshop - both have a/c units.

Re: Building a Conex house

terry
April 19, 2016 10:22AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 2,535

There is one, a two story in LaReign on STX.
Looked into it when we were going to build but found same as Nohstx. If you have a place to store them, you can buy them cheaper in the states and loan then to someone to have their stuff shipped to your island if they pay the shipping. Then when you get enough build your place. That was the hang up I had. My property was going to require a crane to get them up on it and to get it done all at once I was going to have to buy and ship them all at once.

Re: Building a Conex house

PLETHRA
April 19, 2016 12:32PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 2

I would be modifying them in NYC at my shop and leaving just the cut throughs and some structural to be done on site.

Plan is to ship all of our stuff/cars in the empty ones to be used as common areas etc.

Ill be down for a week in either May/June to look at land/real estate that i can modify/add on to.

The on in LaReign on STX, any way to find some pictures on line of the build?

Re: Building a Conex house
avatar

Exit Zero
April 19, 2016 12:57PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,214

If there is no potable water line to the site you will have to consider the cistern requirement and also the sewage solution.

Re: Building a Conex house

amanda4882
April 20, 2016 12:12AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 82

We also looked into containers. It would be challenging but there are plenty of container based homes in tropical areas of the world. Finding someone to build the foundation/cistern and getting it through DPNR are issues as well.
There is a property in St John with three container based cottages that was for sale two years ago. The seller/builder offered to share his experience/knowledge with me but wanted $100 so I passed.
You can get containers in STT from Crowley sometimes.

Re: Building a Conex house

Alana33
April 20, 2016 07:18AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,676

I'd imagine you'd have to insulate them very well and air condition to the max given our climate if you were to a use a container.

Re: Building a Conex house

terry
April 20, 2016 10:25AM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 2,535

I believe that you would still need a cistern due to the DPNR (?) rules.

Re: Building a Conex house

nohstx
April 20, 2016 11:06AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 125

Quote
terry
I believe that you would still need a cistern due to the DPNR (?) rules.

Only required in locations that cannot connect to potable water supply (Wapa)

Re: Building a Conex house

amanda4882
April 20, 2016 11:46AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 82

There is a office in St Thomas that is two 40ft containers side by side.
I think it used to be a dentist office. does anyone know where it is?

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