The Working Man’s Prefab

By James White from Homey Improvements

Personnel-Door-and-AC-UnitA recent post highlighted the upsides and downsides of flashy prefab homes from a Danish company called VIPP. It’s an interesting architectural idea, but perhaps not the most practical for everyone. It’s kind of like an upgraded version of those trailers you always see on construction sites.

An upscale job site trailer like the one VIPP offered only got me thinking more and more about the common type everyone is used to seeing; the kind that looks like a leftover from a tractor trailer crash. It sits on a dirt patch and has men in hardhats hustling in and out all day long.

The Importance of an Office on a Job Site

For such a simple structure, it sure can carry a lot of importance on the job site. It frequently acts as the brain center of the entire operation. Frustrated carpenters know they have to clamber inside of it when they need to check their work against the architect’s plans. Foreman record the job’s progress, make orders for materials, and fill out timesheets there.

Despite its mobile nature, it’s about as permanent of a location as you can possibly get when a building is going up. It can act as a lunch room, meeting room, and central place to hold the most expensive tools. It can be the coolest place to take off your hat and grab a quick drink during a scorching summer day and the warmest place to eat lunch and start to feel your toes again on a freezing winter day.

Consider the Right Trailer for the Job

But not all job trailers are built equally. Take a look at these modular office buildings from cargo conainers, for example. Okay, so they might not be as stylish as VIPP’s, but then again, VIPP’s belongs in the MoMA and not anywhere near where place trucks are rolling in and out all day (just imagine some gravel kicking up against all that glass – yikes).

Custom-built modular buildings made from shipping containers are popular today and bring many advantages, such as the following:

  • They drastically reduce costs because they don’t require assembly for many raw materials.
  • Trailers can be quickly built to your specifications – much faster than building something from the ground up.
  • They’re customizable; you can install hardwood floors in them and mold them to your specific needs.
  • You can insulate them with standard fiberglass or closed cell spray foam.
  • You can give them a homier feel by putting up some drywall.
  • You can install as many windows as you want, so it never feels like you’re spending your day inside a sheet metal cave.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that you can even request multi-level units. These might not be the most popular things on job sites, but it’s a possibility because the units are built to withstand over 200,000 pounds.

Maybe it’s easier than you thought to upgrade from a rancher-style trailer office to a multi-level, onsite construction office that’s totally customized to your preferences.



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