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!

So you want to insulate your container.  It seems like it should be easy, but the biggest question to ask yourself is which way is best for me?  Today we're going to talk about 4 different styles of insulation:  traditional roll insulation, spray foam insulation, foam board insulation and structural insulated panels.  All have their own pros and cons, so I'll try my best to cover them.   Also, we'll try to tackle different kinds of interior walls at the end.

If you have experience with any of these, I am strongly encouraging people to comment below - add pictures if you'd like!  I know a lot of you have tackled this and your advice is great appreciated!

Traditional Roll Insulation

This is the style most do-it-yourself-ers are used to.  Frame in the container like you would a traditional insulation project, however, you can put your 2x4's flat against the wall so they protrude into the interior of the container only 2" instead of 4".  Roll in the insulation and cover with whatever paneling/interior walling you would like.  The pros to this one - you might have already done a project like this, making it easy to figure out how to do it.  The cons - it does take up a bit of space, you have to deal with roll insulation and the framing has to be cut perfectly to fit in perfectly into the height of the walls since you can't nail them into the wall of the container.  Also, you may need to put in a vapor barrier to prevent condensation, which is just one more step.

Spray Foam Insulation

This is quickly becoming my go-to method of insulation.  Some framing is still necessary here, but spray foam insulation is applied as the walls are installed to keep it inside.  The pros - you can get insulation into every nook and cranny in the corrugation of the walls, increasing your r-factor and reducing condensation, and a good r-factor can be reached with narrower walls. The cons - it takes a little more know-how to get the application just right (however there are companies that will do that part for you) and the cost can be a little higher than traditional roll insulation.  Overall, I think it is a good mix of price and value.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation is a product that we sell and is available through most container sellers.  It consists of 2" of foam board with a thin panel on one side to be the interior walls of the container.  This is usually a laminated material that can be easily wiped clean with a cloth.  The boards come pre-cut to fit into the walls, ceiling and doors of the container and installation is, in theory, relatively easy.  However, installation does require using some clips that are adhered to the inside of the container and the ceiling panels keep the walls panels in place.  The door panels can be a little trickier to install.  The pros - it is a an all-in-one product so you don't need to find paneling for the interior walls, the kits come with everything you need for installation.  The cons - it takes up a full 2" for a very medium-level r-factor and can be a little clunky to install for novices.

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are panels designed to provide both structure to walls as well as insulation.  They are mde with OSB panels, a foam core (or other material such as plywood, cement board, etc) and a connector piece for putting them together.  They are by far the strongest option here, and are widely used in modular homes.  I do not have any experience in using them, however, I think that the additional structural support might be useful in projects where large portions of the container are going to be cut out and additional structure needs to be added to the remaining walls.  The pros - they are very strong and provide a high r-factor.  The cons - they are expensive and heavy, which make them a little more difficult to work with.


Interior walls

Related to insulation is what to use for your interior walls. The beauty of modifying your container is that really, anything you want pretty much will work.  Here are some common ones: plywood/OSB, thin wood paneling, FRP panels, fabric-covered fiberglass wall panels, drywall, steel plating and literally anything else you can get to stick to your framing.  A stroll through your local big box hardware store can give you endless inspiration.  When picking what is going to be right for you, think about a couple of things to consider:

  1. How will you be using the space?  If it is going to be an office, maybe going with the cloth interior of fabric-covered fiberglass wall panels would be good.  Do you need to clean it often?  Then FRP might be best.  Industrial use that you need steel, there you go.
  2. What is your budget?  Some options are more expensive than others.  Plywood is going to be cheaper than steel plating.

Do you have examples of projects you have completed?  How did you insulate your container?  What worked and didn't work with that?  Please comment below.