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Shipping container homes on the rise

Demand for new property and extensions based around recycled shipping containers could be on the rise - and it is certainly becoming something of a design trend. 

Indeed, a co-working space in Sydney called Bay 9 used shipping containers in its construction, including for its lift shaft, Domain reports.

The latest series of Grand Designs New Zealand included a home built from 20 shipping containers, as the owners wanted to get more space without spending too much on a loft-style area. 

Donald Blanksby, owner of container-based property construction specialists Red Dirt Building, is behind some of the sea container homes in Victoria.

He said that most of the interest comes from people who are looking for inexpensive alternatives to traditional construction options - and interest is definitely on the rise, with weekend holiday homes, workers accommodation and extensions among the most popular requests. 

However, Mr Blanksby emphasised the fact that it is purely down to the individual block as to whether or not a council will be involved in any approval process. 

Builds of this nature may not need a planning permit, in which case the council will not become involved at all, particularly as regional councils do not have the same restrictions as metropolitan ones. 

With regard to cost, a single container can be priced anywhere between $1,500 and $6,000 for one that has been used just once - and the cost is likely to stretch to an additional $40,000 or $50,000 to turn it into a liveable space. 

"To turn that into something you can live in takes a lot of work - you have to insulate it, frame it - you can't just cut some windows in it and live in - it'd be like living in a freezer or an oven," Mr Blanksby remarked. 

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