We have a front door! It’s not completely finished yet, but Kevin and Louis have been working hard on our container home entrance. The results are fantastic so far, so I’m quite keen to see how the end result works out. Our entrance way fits the industrial look of the containers. The door is big and chunky just like a shipping container. Best of all, Kevin has designed the entrance so that we will be out of the rain when we are locking and unlocking our new front door.
The rustiest of our five shipping containers is the red one that makes up the west side of the house. This one we have divided into three sections. The middle section is our grand entrance. From the inside, the left section is a study where all the paperwork behind Small Scale Engineering will happen. The right hand side will will include a small laundry area and a guest bathroom.
Preparing for our Container Home Entrance
We wanted an entrance way that suited our house design, and Kevin’s plan is exactly that. The middle section of this roof is quite rusty and full of holes. Rain water got in, so the wood in this area was rotten and had to be pulled out as it is unusable. Despite the fact that the wood is so rotten, it was really tough getting the old planks out.
The steel braces under the wood is still good enough to leave in place, so we did exactly that. There is sadly nothing we can do with the rotten wood as it is too far gone. However, we can now fill up the space left with concrete, which will help create a durable floor for the entrance.
Creating the Entrance Way
Kevin cut sections into the external side walls of the container where the entrance is to be situated. He put some thought into it though, and only cut around three sides. On the forth side he cut some slits, but did not cut all the way down. This half cut line was weakened and could be used as a sort of hinge to push the panel back, just under 90 degrees to the container side. He did the same thing on the internal side, but in the opposite direction. These two panels now make up the side walls of the entrance.
The two cut panels were flopping around in quite an unruly manner and had to be tamed in order to create the walls to the sides of our entrance-way. On the inside of the shipping container, in the areas that make up the study and laundry room, Kevin welded in bracing to which he could fasten the side panels.
Once the bracing was in place, we helped hold it into place, while Kevin used tek screws to fasten everything together. Tek screws are pretty amazing because they are self-drilling and self-threading, and they don’t mind the “stickier” (Kevin’s word) corten steel of the shipping containers.
A little bit of grinding of rough edges, and welding for extra security and we were ready for the next step.
Manufacturing the Door
Back in Epping, during a bit of spare time, Kevin started working on our castle’s front doors. Our original plan was to reuse a set of doors we removed from one of the other containers. In the end though, it was easier to start from scratch and make a new set. Shipping container original doors are extremely heavy and difficult to work with.
Kevin had a selection of steel from Steel & Pipes so was able to get to work. The full frame would have been too big to transport on the bakkie back to our site, so he was not able to complete all the work. In Epping, he made the two doors and cut all the pieces that would make up the door frame.
Fitting the Door
Once back at home, Kevin and Louis laid out the pieces on the section of concrete we poured previously. They made sure everything was dead straight before welding the door frame together. They tacked the door closed so that the doors themselves wouldn’t flap around while they lifted the full structure into place and welded it all into position.
Kevin’s measurements were spot on so it was easy for the door to be lifted and slotted into place. A bit more welding and our door was up!
The door is by no means complete. We don’t have any hardware yet (latches, door handles, etc). Our aim at this stage was to make the interior of our house secure so that we can leave tools inside. It is getting a little frustrating having to forever move tools around for their safety even though a particular job is not yet complete. Now we can leave them safely on the interior of our house until that particular job is complete. Then we can pack them away and get out the tools necessary for the next project.
For now, we have glued in some of the reclaimed crate wood to close up door. This will be eventually sandwiched between something more interesting. We don’t have a lock, so Kevin has temporarily welded on a couple of the tie-down D-links we removed from the interior of one of the other containers. We can lock the door with a padlock for now. Our favourite pink primer is protecting the OSB wood from the weather until such a time that we can complete the door.
Let us know what you think of the results so far on our container home entrance! Can you imagine how awesome it is going to be once complete?