I am not a prepper. If I get the chance to do something like this, it would be for a storm shelter as I live in Tornado Alley.
In the past, you could get used shipping containers pretty cheap. Some places you may still be able to get them for a lot less – best to shop around and take shipping costs into account. However, many places that sell used shipping containers have raised their prices by a significant amount. Personally, if I ever can afford to get one, I want one of the newer ones, those made after the switch to waterbased paint. Next, it should be wind and water tight or be able to become that way without too much in additional costs.
The main uses of used shipping containers have grown beyond the traditional uses. For example, I see people using them as houses, businesses, or underground storage. If you plan on using them for underground storage or as a storm shelter, best to figure out how to encase them to avoid rust issues. The handful of videos I have seen involve using concrete with a layer of rocks or gravel to ease the strain on the metal container. In Wichita, there are three companies that have purchased a number of shipping containers. One company has 1 or 2 in the downtown area. A second company has around 12 on the north end of downtown, and the third – https://revolutsia.com/about has 36 shipping containers.
From the About page:
Revolutsia used 36 shipping containers that are eight feet wide and nine feet tall with varying lengths, but mostly at 40 feet. These were used to construct the two story development with an open air gathering point at the center. The central area features tables with umbrellas, a center fire pit, decks, an elevator to the second floor and includes the existing trees.
In addition, there was an existing stone cottage, and Bokeh Development utilized their philosophy of bringing the old into the future with the new by incorporating it in the design and construction of Revolutsia.
In reading some of the stories about the shipping containers, it can be more expensive than building a traditional building for business. For underground shelter, I have not seen costs, but you do have to take into account the potential rust issue which has to be avoided.
For above ground construction, I will be sharing a few more YouTube videos from the Life Uncontained channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-l69It3hxAY3tkBH_utLNQ/. Many of them focusing on challenges they faced or had not considered when they started the process. It’s not as easy as it sounds to make shipping containers into houses. I would hire electricians, plumbers, and other professionals before starting such a project.