Posted on 7 Comments

Collecting Finishing Materials

It seems rather strange to me that the week after I have posted an article about minimalism, I’m posting an article about collecting finishing materials in order to complete the south container on our container home. However, the materials we bought are necessary and it’s quite exciting for us to have all the boxes arrive, ready for installation.

Louis has been hard at work finishing the interior cladding. He has been fitting plumbing pipes and electrical conduit. Kevin has also been working on some of the electrical wiring and sourcing flooring. I think we’ve been a pretty good team.

As we are preparing to fit the final finishes for the South container, we thought we’d give you a quick glimpse at some of our purchases as we drawer ever closer to the most exciting part of the build on this section; the final finishes that bring all our hard work together, and make the container totally livable!

Here goes, in no particular order…


We must have spent weeks deliberating on the differing types of ceiling available. We wanted something that would give good insulation properties, that would be quick and easy to install and that would be affordable.

There are several options to choose from but we settled on this particular type made out of polystyrene. It will be well insulated and super easy to install because the boards are nice and big. Not only are they big, but they also the same width as a shipping container. Along with the ceilings we purchased cornice and the angles and t-pieces to hold up the boards.

It is the kind of ceiling one would more likely see in an office. Over the polystyrene sheet, it has a thin, plastic layer with a printed design on it. We’ll see how it looks once it is installed. If we really don’t like it, it’ll be easy to paint over the design with white paint.

Polystyrene ceiling boards, cornice and angles

Floor And Wall Tiles

We do have some reclaimed floor and wall tiles, but have decided to keep those for another section of our house. Therefore, we bought a few boxes of new tiles for the bathroom floor and wall, and for the walls around the coffee station area.

Various floor and wall tiles in their original cardboard packaging


Tiles are a great flooring option. However, we wanted something a little more comfortable for the lounge and bedroom area. Therefore, we also bought a few boxes of laminate flooring, from our favourite flooring supplier, FinFloor. Definitely more on that in an upcoming post.

FinFloor black Forest laminate range ready to be installed

Air-Conditioning Unit

I may have mentioned once or twice, that our summers are extremely hot, with temperatures easily reaching close to forty degrees Celcius. So, air-con units are definitely on the cards. We spent a little extra on an inverter type for two reasons: 1) They are much more energy efficient and 2) They cope better with fluctuating electricity (safer for the load shedding we’re currently experiencing in South Africa).

We’ll let you know what we think of this unit once it’s installed, as it is one of our most exciting purchases.

TCL aircon unit
This is the exterior unit for the aircon system.

Yes, we have been hard at work collecting finishing materials. It’s going to be fantastic seeing it all installed and our first container ready for habitation. We can’t wait!

7 thoughts on “Collecting Finishing Materials

  1. I think these materials are fully compatible with minimalism. Minimalism is about trying to reduce your stuff to only what’s necessary – and I would say floors and ceilings are pretty necessary! Looking forward to seeing them installed.

    1. They are helpful in keeping your house clean!

  2. Out of interest, how much was the polystyrene insulation?

    I’m building also, and have been buying some. Been paying R400 each for the 40 x 1200 x 2500mm, although the supplier also had some s/hand sheets for R200.

    Bought mine in Jan, and Feb.

    1. The polystyrene ceiling boards we bought is a product called Isolam. R95 exc Vat per square meter. Also 40mm thick.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. Do you have supplier details?

        I’m also in WC – although deep South, close to Capri / Kommetjie.

        I have an oldish not so updated blog here where i talk about my offgrid solar installs.

        1. Cumulus Insulation (t/a Isolite). Number is 021 951 6100. Garrett STreet, Tygerberg Industrial Park.

          Will check out your website asap. Thanks for sharing!

      2. One more note: The type we bought is normal polystyrene with a thin PVC layer. Yours is probably the extruded type of polystyrene which has better properties in regards to insulation, water absorption and sound absorption. Just check the specifications with both products and make sure that you are happy with it for the application you need it for.

What do you think? Let us know!