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The Saner Container

DIY vs Done For You Shipping Container Modifications

When deciding to modify a shipping container, one of the most important things you will need to decide is if you will complete the modification yourself or have someone do it for you. Both options have pros and cons, and cost and ease are not the only things to consider. In the chart below, we'll highlight some of the most important considerations when deciding how to approach shipping container modifications.




Done for you Pro

Done for you Con


Do it yourself will always be the cheaper options when possible 

But if you don’t know what you are doing, you end up paying for more things than you need

Experienced professionals will help you avoid mistakes that could be costly

If you know what you are doing, paying someone to do it will be more expensive

Tricks of the trade

Super Cubes has kits that allow you to install doors, windows and more all on your own

There are other kits out there that sound like they will install easily, but aren’t going to last as long

A professional knows what they are doing and has successfully completed the modification  many times before

If you are working with a “pro” who isn’t really a professional, then you may be unsatisfied with the work or time it takes

What modifications are you looking for? Can you do that yourself? Does a professional need to be there?

For some modifications - doors, windows, etc, doing them yourself isn’t too hard and are DIY friendly

Some modifications are not DIY-friendly and require definite skills. It could be dangerous otherwise.

Certain modifications require a professional such as a structural engineer or a certified electrician to ensure proper materials are used and work is done to code

If you have a container onsite and simply put a battery-powered light inside, you probably don’t need a professional involved


If you are handy and enjoy DIY projects, it may be something that is fun and easy for you

If you don't consider yourself handy, haven't welded before or don't have experience with insulation, this type of DIY project may not be something that is a good fit for you

Having your container(s) show up fully complete and ready to use is an easy option

If you like to do things your way and know that you’ll be annoyed by how someone else does it, you might dislike having someone else do the project for you


Super Cubes DIY Shipping Container Modification Kits 

Container under the Stone Arch BridgeWhen determining whether to complete shipping container modifications yourself or hire professional help, several considerations come into play, including cost, ease, experience, abilities, and time. Opting for a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach is often the more economical, but unexpected expenses can overshadow the savings if you lack the necessary expertise. On the other hand, hiring experienced professionals may appear costlier upfront, yet their experience and knowledge help avoid potentially costly mistakes. 

As the chart above highlights, certain alterations are unsuitable for the do-it-yourself approach and require specific skills; otherwise, they can pose a safety risk. For example, if you are cutting out the entire sides of two 40’ containers and putting them together, then stacking more containers on top of them, you need to know what you are doing. You need the right quality of containers, the containers need to have the proper support put back into them to support the structure, they need to sit on the right foundation so they don't pull apart from each other and they need to be connected to each other properly. If any of those elements are done right, you could have a very dangerous situation.

Related Read: Container Modifications—Adding A Door To Your Container 

The ease of the project is another factor to weigh; DIY endeavors can be straightforward, particularly with user-friendly kits like those offered by Super Cubes. However, some seemingly easy-to-install kits may compromise durability in the long run. Professionals who are equipped with tricks of the trade ensure a modification that not only lasts but is also secure. Assessing your abilities is crucial - DIY can be less costly if you know your way around the process. 

When modifying a shipping container, you'll want to consider the time factor as well, as DIY projects may take longer, especially if you're learning as you go, whereas professionals bring efficiency to the table by completing modifications in less time and have done some more complicated modifications far more frequently than you have being able to do them with the proper support and safety in mind. Ultimately, making an informed decision requires a careful evaluation of these factors to ensure a successful and satisfactory shipping container modification.

Super Cubes is a family-owned business located in Minneapolis, MN, that provides containers anywhere in the continental US. We offer personalized service for individuals and businesses, providing high-quality containers at competitive prices. With nationwide facilities, we can modify and deliver containers close to you. Contact our experienced team for your next container project.

Post by Super Cubes
January 12, 2024