Are you ready to be different than everyone else? Are you wanting to build something out of a box? If you are saying yes to both questions, shipping containers may be a route for you! ISO containers are a great way to build a unique structure that can be within reach of the average person.

Shipping containers were designed for storing and transporting goods. However, there are so many different ways to upcycle steel containers into a wide variety of new structures.

So, what can you REALLY build with a shipping container? The short answer is really - anything! - even if shipping containers are commonly used by business and home owners. Containers provide a scalable building block to create extra storage, retail space, restaurants, homes and so much more. Here is a general list along with images of how containers have been and are continuing to be utilized:  

  • Storage and Sheds. Sure it is the most basic use, but containers are great at storing things.

  • Cabins, guesthouse, tiny homes and vacation/main houses. The hottest trend in the past few years in containers is container architecture.

  • Offices and building extensions. Containers can add in extra space for people too. Containers can fitted out with insulation, electricity and desks easily.

  • Fire training stations. Containers can be burned again and again! As long as you replace that wood floor with something that doesn’t burn. We have all sorts of ideas on how to change the space to keep your team on their toes.

  • Saunas, pools and pool houses. Who doesn’t want one of these?!

  • Food trucks, restaurants and bars. Containers make everything more fun!

  • Portable toilets. Ground-level entry that can be moved to wherever you need them. And everyone will be happy they’re not a port-a-potty.

  • Retail shops and malls. Downtown Container Park in Las Vegas is a perfect example of how to take a great, creative idea and make it a reality.

Food trucks take over Toronto

Food trucks take over Toronto

Las Vegas , here we come!

Las Vegas, here we come!

  • Bistros and coffee shops. Starbucks has been running with this idea for a few years, but there are so many more takes on getting caffeine to those in need.

  • Student housing facilities and schools. The most classic example of this is TempoHousing in Amsterdam.

  • Emergency hospitals/disaster shelters. Containers can be moved around quickly and easily, making them a choice for quick response. The real hold-up here has been finding the way to create government-approved solutions that can be made where they are needed and at the right price point.

  • Nurseries and indoor gardens. This is such a great, sustainable way for locally grown food just about anywhere. Check out how they do it in Antarctica, Las Vegas and just about anywhere you can set down a container.

To find the right container for you, just contact us directly at 877-374-5452. We’d be happy to help make your vision a reality!

The bar at Victoria Burrow showcases shipping container decor

The bar at Victoria Burrow showcases shipping container decor

Victoria Burrow in Victoria, MN recently opened. The restaurant features street food and drinks served out of our shipping containers along with a wide range of fun activities — axe-throwing, mini-golf, bocce ball, virtual reality, an arcade, darts, bean-bag toss/corn hole, oversized Connect 4 and more!

Victoria Burrow bought two 20’ containers from Super Cubes - a red one-trip/”new” container and a blue used/wind- and water-tight container. They cut up the containers to use as decor throughout the restaurant.

Customers are able to experience our containers by first walking through a set of blue container doors and then are greeted by a container display in the entry way. Another cool attraction is the restaurant bar. The bar is physically made up of red container doors, side and portions of the container wall that are awning over the bar area.

If you ever want to experience seeing a container from the inside, here is your chance! You are able to sit inside one of the containers while enjoying your meal. You can hang out on the original container floor which also has an opening to the unique bar. The container area acts almost as a private seating section within the bigger space of the restaurant. From “inside” the container, customers can REALLY take in the physical container structure, as well see all other distinct aspects of the restaurant. If this seating area is taken up, no worries! Tucked back by the axe-throwing area, there is a second smaller seating section made out of container roofs.

Diners also can experience the containers up close when ordering and picking up their food. Similar to food trucks, all food items are ordered and picked up at concession windows that are made out of the containers.

We really enjoyed seeing the containers transformed — from first meeting with customer at the container yard to pick out their containers to viewing end product - Victoria Burrows restaurant!

To get more of a live effect, just click on all of our pictures!

Now, do you have big plans for containers? Call us at 877-374-5452 and we’ll help you with it!

Welcome to Victoria Burrow

Welcome to Victoria Burrow

The bar container invites people in

The bar container invites people in

A stand-alone 20’ container hotel room that can move around

A stand-alone 20’ container hotel room that can move around

When you are in the early stages of a container project, it is important to figure out the general scope of your project. You should have a rough idea of how many containers you think you will need, an idea of how you plan on using them and what general modifications you want. Are you looking to take a container and make a few tweaks to make it your own or are you planning a large, multi-container complex? Obviously, these are two ends of the spectrum, but having a good understanding of where you want to go will help in figuring out what you need to do.

 Please keep in mind the following:

  • If you are looking for just a few minor modifications to a container, you may or may not need to involve anyone else in your project. The real focus is getting the work done the way you want it.

  •  If you are looking for a home or retail space, things will get more complicated more quickly. You will need to look into local zoning issues, more detailed plans and involve more people in creating and following through with those plans.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is that the more you plan on taking away from a container (i.e. Removing full sides of the container, creating large windows, etc.) and/or stacking containers, the more complicated the project will be.

You have a rough idea of what you want, but there are still a ton of unanswered questions. You need experts to help you out in seeing what’s realistic for what you want to do. So, where do you turn next? Usually that is a 3-part answer. There are 3 things that you have to look at almost all at the same time. There are the containers themselves, the project’s design plan, and the feasibility of the project. There are many more issues to consider, but these questions help you figure out the rest of it. 

A recent customer stacked these 9 Super Cubes containers for a new home in St Louis

A recent customer stacked these 9 Super Cubes containers for a new home in St Louis

1.  The Containers

Containers come in three standard sizes and conditions. We also have some specialty containers that can also come in handy. Pricing will vary on the size and condition of the container as well as where you are located. Give us a call to get an idea of how much containers cost and how much they will cost to get to you.

To help with some of this, seeing the below specs on our standard container sizes and conditions of our containers: wind-and water-tight, cargo-worthy and one-trip. Also, viewing our container basics page is a great reference as well.

Max Gross: Weight of Full Container (Container Filled to Rim)    Tare: Weight of Container (Weight of Empty Container)    Net: Weight Capacity (Max Gross minus Tare)

Max Gross: Weight of Full Container (Container Filled to Rim)

Tare: Weight of Container (Weight of Empty Container)

Net: Weight Capacity (Max Gross minus Tare)

2. The Project Design

The most exciting part of the project is the design work. You have an image in your head of what you want to do. It is time to put that down on paper or on a screen to show everyone else your vision (what you want to do). Once you communicate it with someone else, your project will probably fall into one of three categories:

  •  Small, straightforward modifications, no structural elements. This is the most basic project. It’s just one container, you’re adding in a door and/or a window or two and that is about it. Overall, the container stays basically intact.

  • Smaller project, but some structural elements. Your project is still small, but has some part of it that requires a bit of structural work. It might be a large opening between two containers or large doors that reduce the structural integrity of the container.


  • Larger projects with structural elements. This would be any home, multi-container structure, or other projects that have considerable structural elements to it (i.e. stacking, larger cut-out sections, etc).

If you do need some structural help, we strongly recommend working with a structural engineer and/or an architect.  They will create plans that will help in the next few stages of your project. Those designs will be needed for any zoning and building code approvals as well as for pricing the cost of any desired modifications. These professionals will ensure that your design is safe. However if you are doing a smaller project with just a door or window, you can easily draw that up yourself.

A 50-container shrimp farm we helped with in Los Vegas, NV.

A 50-container shrimp farm we helped with in Los Vegas, NV.


Super Cubes does not have a design team. We can help with modifications, but we would either need a design that you draw up, one from your structural engineer or architect.

3.  Feasibility  

Where you are putting your project also is a big part of the equation. If you are building a house, does your project need to meet any building requirements by your city, county or state? Are you zoned for the type of project you have? What about the land itself? What preparations do you need to make to ensure you have the proper foundation for your project?  These are all critical questions that you will need to investigate before you get too far on your project. You may need to work with a variety of different people to get to all of these answers. Often you will need some of the design work done before getting too far into the feasibility work on your project.

Stayed tune for Part 2 in this series when we talk about modifications and other services needed for your project!