A shipping container is a blank slate ready for modifications to suit any purpose.

Your imagination is only limited by your budget, when it comes to container modification. Recently, the container home industry has been booming, but not everyone wants to take on a project of that magnitude. There are also many simple modifications that you can make to a container that won’t break the bank, but will improve the functionality of your container.


Adding shelving to your container is one of the quickest, most cost effective modifications that will have a big impact. Shelving will help you to organize your storage, as well as maximize the space in your container. Our shelf brackets as designed specifically for use in a shipping container and hang from the lashing rings near the top rail. These brackets can be installed in any container that has those rings, making them a great solution for any container from the smallest to the largest. The brackets take standard 2″ by 10″ planks that you can pick up at your local lumber yard, making this a simple container modification that anyone can do at home. If you don’t want the fuss, we can install the entire system for you. The shelving can be configured along one, two or three walls, or in a smaller section.

Man Door

Not every trip into your storage container will require the main access doors. They can be cumbersome and some people find them heavy or difficult to open and close. Installing a man door can be a simple modification to your container. A steel man door will provide quick and easy access, while maintaining the security of your container. A man door can be placed almost anywhere on the container, including right in the main door if that’s where you want it. Placing a door on the side of the container can mean much easier access to the items stored farther back in the container, or will allow you to divide the interior space into two sections. Our custom door installations include a header and threshold that will help keep the weather out of your container.

Image of a man door in a 40' container

Custom Paint

As far as container modifications go, custom paint can make a huge impact. Fresh exterior paint is a terrific choice whether you are trying to match the colour of your container to your building, or trying to maintain the cohesive look of your brand. If you are looking at painting a used container, not only will it freshen up the appearance, but it will also help to protect your container from the elements. The most important, but often overlooked factor to consider when choosing your colour, is how it will behave in the sun. The darker the colour, the more of the sun’s rays it will absorb and the hotter your container will be in the warmer months. As well, darker shades will show more sun fading over time. That black container will look sharp, but it may be too hot inside to work comfortably.

Image of a bright yellow container with several vents and two doors.

From time to time, we will feature some of our special container modifications in our Feature Gallery. It’s a great place to see what’s available out there if you’re looking to add to your container. And stay tuned for our next post where we will take a look at some of the more involved container modifications.

Electrical and Lights

One of our most common requests for container modifications is adding electrical components. More specifically; adding lights to a container. The obvious benefit to adding lights to your container is that it will enable you to work inside any time you want to. You do need to consider how you will run power to your container safely, so we do advise speaking with a professional first. Beyond that, there are a few issues to consider if you want to add lights to your container. Unless you are an electrician, this isn’t necessarily on the list of DIY container modifications. Any time we’re adding electrical components to a container, we have our work independently CSA inspected to ensure that we are meeting electrical code for our area and project. Beyond adding lights, plugs, ventilation, heating and cooling systems are all popular container modifications.

We’ve used some exciting new products in recent projects and have been very pleased with the results. The LED lights on the market now are incredibly slim and take up very little space when they’re installed. This makes surface mounted lights a thing of the past. The bulbs are extremely long lasting and don’t require frequent replacement, which is great for the environment. They are also energy efficient, giving you way more bang for your buck.

Image of lED lights in a ceiling

Insulation and Lining

One of our previous posts discussed the benefit of spray foam insulation in a container. Spray foam remains the most popular of our container modifications. If you are looking to work out of your container year round, spray foaming and plywood lining the interior with help with heat retention in the winter and insulate you from the heat of the sun in the summer. We have perfected our technique for strapping and lining a container securely, while avoiding leaks, through years of experience. We do advise our customers to cover spray foam insulation on the walls to avoid gouging or damaging it during container use. There are many options, but our favourite is using a durable pre-finished plywood in either a white or wood finish. It looks great and stands up to lots of heavy use. No extra finishing work, like painting, is required. If you’re working out of a container on a job site, simplicity and durability are key.

Our Feature Gallery is a great place to see what’s available out there if you’re looking to add to your container. Check it out from time to time as we add new projects.

Click here if you would like more information or a quote for container modifications.