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Good Reasons to Convert a Shipping Container Into a Garage or Workshop

Shipping containers are extremely versatile structures that can be modified for different purposes. Many car and motorsport enthusiasts are discovering they are an excellent option for creating a highly secure, watertight garage or workshop. Here are good reasons to convert a shipping container into a garage or workshop for your vehicles.

Shipping Container Garages

An effective, secure garage takes time to plan and build. Not only does this delay the time before you can have a reliable shelter for your vehicles, but it can also get very costly. Shipping containers are ready-made structures that can be modified and delivered to your site without the need for messy construction or costly materials and labour. You save time and money and can start storing your vehicles in your garage much quicker.

Sea containers offer ample space to store other types of seasonal equipment such as jet skis, motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers, garden furniture, etc.

Shipping Container Workshops

If you like to spend time doing mechanics or small repairs of any kind or simply enjoy woodworking, containers make excellent workshops. They are very spacious, allowing you to accommodate all your tools and equipment. All it takes is a few small modifications like adding windows, ventilation, electricity and plumbing and you’re done. The purchase of a shipping container will allow you to give back your attached garage its true function, which is to shelter your car.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can also combine two or more shipping containers to create a real mechanical workshop


If you wish, you can also build a deck on the roof of your container where you’ll be able to relax with friends and discuss your passion. Installing a green roof on your container is also another option if you want it to blend in a little more with the surrounding decor.

Watch this video for a great example of how to transform a shipping container into a workshop.

Shipping Container for Auto Parts Storage

As an auto enthusiast, you know there are a lot of parts, tools, and volatile chemicals required to keep your vehicles in prime condition. These tools and parts are expensive, requiring a secure place that reduces the risk of breaking and entering. Also, the liquids are best stored away from your home to avoid the risk of contamination.

Your container can be outfitted with proper storage to keep dangerous chemicals away from your family while your tools and other parts are within reach. As a bonus, you can store your tires each season to avoid the cost of keeping them at your car dealership.

Should You Buy a New or Used Shipping Container?

New shipping containers are the best choice if you are concerned about the look of your garage or workshop. They come almost free of damage, and the exteriors require little work.

If looks are not a consideration, used shipping containers are perfect as they are more budget conscious. You have lower costs for the container itself which means you can focus on creating the ideal interior and modifications for your garage or workshop. If you plan to do major alterations to the exterior, a used container allows you to invest less upfront and invest more in your customized look.

Learn more about shipping container grades and conditions.

Types of shipping contaner garage modifications

Types of Shipping Container Modifications for Garages and Workshops

When you’re modifying a shipping container for garage or workshop use, there are several types of modifications you can make, including:

  • Doors: To make entry easier, roll-up or garage doors are available. You can also install a man door to ensure you can easily exit the garage or workshop in case of emergencies
  • Electrical: Whether you are using tools in the garage, have an automatic garage door opener, want to add security, or simply want an overhead light you can add plugs and electrical panels to your garage.
  • Heating and cooling systems: If you have luxury or vintage vehicles, or want to work in your workshop year-round, you may also want to consider adding a heating and cooling system to your container. HVAC is a must if you spend a lot of time in your garage or workshop.
  • Partitions: You can add walls or partitions for the separation of storage and work zones.
  • Shelving & Racking Systems: This is the best way to optimize your space so you can store tools, tires, parts, etc.
  • Windows: Windows can bring in lots of natural light, which is nice for workshops. If you have vintage or high-end vehicles on display, you can install showroom windows.

As you can see, your container is completely customizable to suit your needs and budget.

Pros and Cons of Shipping Container Garages and Workshops

Here are the pros and cons of shipping container garages and workshops.


  • Size: There are four major sizes of sea cans, ranging from 10-foot standard to 40-foot “high” cube to accommodate your needs.
  • Durability: Walls and ceilings are made of Corten steel that stands up to the elements and the hands of time.
  • Price: This is one of the most affordable garage options if you want solid walls and security.
  • Portable: A shipping container is also quite portable, allowing you to move it from location to location if you are using it as a mobile workshop or if you have sold your house and are moving.
  • Scalable: Shipping containers are extremely scalable to meet your changing needs. You can start with a single container and add others later.


  • Ceiling Height: Shipping containers can be a little low 7’10” for a standard height container and 8’ 10” for a high cube one. This could make them unsuitable for two-level or tall items storage.
  • Interior Width: The standard 7’8″ width of a shipping container may limit what you want to store inside. For example, it may be difficult to store a car that you use on a daily basis due to the lack of space to get in and out of the vehicle. That’s why a container is better suited for long-term car storage.
  • Doors: The existing doors aren’t the most practical as they are very heavy and difficult to open and close. Depending on how you will use your container, you will probably need to install a new door.

Although a sea can might not be the first thing that comes to mind for your garage or workshop, they are an adaptable option that can be customized to your needs. Once modified, they are delivered to your site, ready for use.

Conterm sells shipping containers in many sizes and conditions. If you are considering converting a shipping container into a garage or workshop, give us a call, and we can help you find the right one for your needs.

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