Shipping containers are ideal for creating home or commercial kitchens. They can be outfitted with insulation, windows, and some nifty appliances for a fully functional and chic cooking area.
Shipping containers are also incredibly versatile. Over the last few years, these containers have been repurposed into commercial office spaces, cafes, restaurants, theaters, homes, basements, hotels and lodging, studios, art galleries, and more.
Since these shipping containers or cargo containers come in many shapes and sizes, you can customize them for a wide variety of applications. Keep reading to learn more about how these structures can be used to create kitchen space and storage. Below, we’ll discuss how long it takes to create a container kitchen, customization options, construction costs, and additional benefits.
What Is a Shipping Container Kitchen?
Shipping containers are corrugated stainless steel structures engineered to ship goods overseas. These structures can also be used to create different types of spaces, from retail stores to coffee shops and more. You can also convert a shipping container into a kitchen space for your home or business. All it takes is the right insulation, HVAC system, and appliances.
Unlike traditional brick and mortar buildings, shipping container kitchens are highly customizable. Whether it is a commercial oven, refrigerator, ice machine, workstation, shelves, or deep fryer, you can easily incorporate all kinds of cooking systems into your shipping container kitchen.
It is best to choose a new shipping container rather than a used one to build your kitchen. Used containers have been exposed to the elements and may have sustained significant wear and tear. The cost to restore a container can vary based on its condition, but you’re sure to save money by buying a used container instead of one that is brand new.
The construction time will depend on the size of the kitchen and whether you use single or multiple containers. Either way, the process will be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to build a brick-and-mortar structure.
Shipping containers already possess external walls and steel frames, so you won’t need to build from the ground up. All you need to do is choose the right container and decide how you want to customize it.
From Shipping Containers to Fully Functional Kitchens
Your shipping container kitchen supplier will need to start with a detailed layout plan. Since a shipping container has limited space, the designer needs to utilize it efficiently. Once the drawings are ready, you can begin the remodeling process.
How to Convert a Shipping Container into a Kitchen
Here’s are the steps to transform a shipping container into a mobile kitchen:
- Find the right container – It is best to choose a new container. If you want to save money by buying a used one, make sure that you inspect it in person. Look for minor or major dents, blemishes, and dampness.
If you choose a used container, you would need to do any damages the structure has sustained. Do a cost-benefit analysis before you make the purchase.
- Define the cuts – You need cuts in the container to function as serving windows and to get the bulk of the material inside. Some owners opt for two windows to give the kitchen some natural ventilation. Be careful not to cut large chunks of corrugated steel walls. This could jeopardize the overall integrity of the container.
- Complete the design, customization, and installation – To simplify the process we suggest getting a comprehensive 2D or 3D design of the final kitchen before starting construction. Keep the following points in mind:
- Space and location for all the kitchen equipment
- Electrical and plumbing lines
- Drainage system
- Lighting system
- Space for the staff to comfortably work for long hours
The design depends on what the kitchen will be used for. Different types of container-based kitchens require different types of plan. Options include:
- Kitchens serving pre-packaged items only.
- Cafes serving coffee and other beverages with sandwiches and snacks.
- Kitchens for re-heating or cooling food prepared elsewhere.
- Kitchens preparing takeaway food such as burgers, doughnuts, crepes, or fries.
- Full-scale kitchens that offer a variety of food items cooked from scratch. These kitchens usually have an outdoor seating space.
- Drive-through kitchens where the height of the serving window is at the car-window level.
How Much Does a Shipping Container Kitchen Cost?
A bare-bones shipping container will cost you anywhere between $2,000 and $4,500. The final cost will depend on the design you choose and the number of containers you want to join together.
5 Reasons Why a Kitchen Shipping Container is a Good Idea
Shipping container kitchens have numerous benefits over brick-and-mortar structures:
- Modular nature: It is easy to join containers side-by-side or stack them because of their modular nature.
- Portable: You can transform the container into a food truck. This way, you can increase the business by serving at events across your city.
- Disaster-ready: In case of a disaster such as floods or fire, you can easily move the container to another location and keep it safe.
- Weather-resistant: Built from corrugated stainless steel, cargo containers can withstand harsh weather at sea.
- Recycle: Rather than sending it to the scrapyard, you can repurpose your container. Prefabricated construction is also a relatively low-energy process. It also prevents carbon dioxide emissions and reduces carbon footprint.
The many uses for recycled shipping containers demonstrate their tremendous potential to change global architecture. Shipping container kitchens are an easy and affordable way to create a new business or expand your residential space. They also provide a mobile, customizable, and sustainable alternative to traditional construction.