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Is it High Time for a High Cube?

Standard shipping containers make for great storage and modified work spaces. But is a container with extra height best for you?

Shipping containers can be converted into multi-purpose portable buildings that can do everything you need at a fraction of the price of building new. They have the power to do pretty much anything – they can store supplies, become an office, host a restaurant and stack to become a multilevel home – without having to deal with the “usual” new-building complexities, and without compromising quality.

TargetBox sells two heights of shipping containers: “standard” and “high cube”. You likely have heard these terms before, but aren’t quite sure what their benefits are to you. Let’s take a closer look to see which is best for you, your property and your needs.

The Standard Container

TargetBox’s most popular container is 8 feet (2.4 metres) wide, 8.5ft (2.59 metres) high, and comes in two lengths: 20 feet (6.06 metres) and 40 feet (12.192 metres).
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A standard ‘barebones’ TargetBox container is well-suited for upgrades. If you’re doing the renovations yourself, the interior can be modified endlessly to include sliding doors, windows, flooring, lighting and more. The inside height of 7.74 feet (2.36 metres) fits eight-foot drywall sheets with ease, so you will have very little waste.

When you design your dream standard-storage-container project, your interior height space will be limited. This could be especially frustrating if you are tall. This is especially true if you are needing bulkheads to container mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, which could ruin an otherwise perfect conversion.

An extra foot of space could really help.

The High Cube Container

If you’re looking for a space solution that gives you a little extra height, a high cube is the option for you. One extra foot of height [9.5 feet (2.9 metres)] provides many more opportunities to customize your unit, and increase the beauty and efficiency of your space.
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But not everything ends on a high note with a high cube. If you’re heating or cooling your space, there could be a slightly higher operational cost than with a standard container. The purchase price of a high-cube container will be slightly more, considering the extra size and weight. But note that your price also takes into account the grade of your container, transportation costs and any modifications you wish to include prior to delivery. (Many customers rely on TargetBox’s pre-delivery customization services, including painting and window/door installations.)

What else is different from a standard container? A few things that you don’t even need to worry about, unless you have height restrictions on your property. For example, one extra foot could mean issues with delivering a unit under electricity lines. TargetBox will work with you to address these concerns before delivery. An extra foot of height may also result in renovations that take a little more effort than with a standard unit. Since the interior of the container is over eight feet tall, you will need to use a full sheet of drywall, plus a little bit. This will add cost, time and energy to your modification project.

But we feel that the long-term advantages of a high-cube container outweigh the disadvantages. You will notice a big difference with how roomy the space is – having more headroom helps. If you’re using the high cube for storage, one extra foot can mean shelving that can hold hundreds of pounds of more ‘stuff’.

A frequent modification to our high-cube containers is using the extra space to run electrical through the ceiling or mechanical/plumbing under a built-up floor. Most shipping containers converted into restaurants use high cubes because of this very reason.

So, Which Should You Buy? Standard or high cube?

It really depends on how you’re using it. If you need storage space or basic modifications done, and you’re on a budget, we recommend a standard unit. They’re everything you need. To take full advantage of the space your container will be occupying, and ensure you can complete your upgrades exactly as you see fit, it may be worthwhile to go with a high cube.

Do your research, and reach out to the TargetBox experts to learn more about your modification plans and which container is best for you.