Preconstruction planning

Construction process


Preconstruction Planning

Building with us is as simple as it gets.  Once you contact us, we can talk through what you’re looking for and how we can help. Then, if you’ve made the decision that one of our Max Container Options buildings is right for you, we’ll get together and talk.  We’ll ask a lot of questions and do a lot of listening, and you can ask us a lot of questions.  There is no cost here.Once you’ve concluded that you just have to have one of our Container buildings designed and built for you, you will work with our in-house designers and order a custom draft so we can start putting pen to paper.  Please save and share with us any pictures or examples of what you’re looking for so we can better serve you.  There is a $250 cost for this rough design.

Next, once the rough draft of your project is nailed down, we’ll bring our Production Manager in to talk about the materials and details that affect the final price of your home.  From materials and finishes to custom features and systems, he will guide you in the right direction in getting your needs and wants to correspond with your budget.  Once all of these misc. details are nailed down, we can give you a full price estimate for your home.

We’re almost there.  After you have reviewed, refined and approved the design, materials, and costs – its time to get busy!  Max Container Options requires a 50% deposit prior to beginning construction, with subsequent draws specified clearly in our construction contact.  Having financing previously arranged certainly expedites the process.  If you need help with financing, please mention it to us so we can guide you in the direction of lenders who are alternative building friendly In order to make things even simpler, we’ve compiled a few questions for you to ask yourself prior to meeting with us.  Please know that we will definitely be asking you these questions, along with others, so considering them in advance can only benefit everybody involved.

1. How will you be using your home?

Is this home to be above ground, or buried below grade? How many people will be using this home? Will this be a weekend retreat, or full-time residence?  Perhaps you just need an office, or an extra bedroom?   Where will this home be located?  Wherever it starts, do you intend for it to stay there, or will it be moved?  If you plan on moving it, how often do you think you’ll move it?

2. What is your budget?

In addition to what you’re able to spend, what are you trying to achieve here?  Of course every decision has a cost, from finishes to systems.  For example, if you’re intending to be fully off-grid, without a septic system and requiring a composting or incinerator toilet, please know that non-conventional toilets, solar panels, a battery bank, inverters and controllers – are not inexpensive, while your operating expenses are almost non-existent. So with regards to budget, will this be more of a value-oriented shelter?  Will it be a premium, high-end home with every luxury feature?  Or perhaps somewhere between?

3. What are your needs and your wants?

If you own ample property but want to put your money into a fully off-grid package instead of installing a septic system and running grid-tied power, what kind of options and features will facilitate this goal?  Perhaps you need a small in-law suite, no-stairs, and a 50amp hook up are your only musts.  However you answer these questions, we will work with you to guide you about what’s best for the intended use of your home.  We do have pre-existing models you can select, but anything and everything can be customized for you.  From how it looks to how it functions, to behind the scenes systems and more – we can create exactly what you want and need.

Construction Process

All of our buildings are constructed inside our 200,000 sq ft facility.  Building inside leads to a better constructed building for less cost at a known and predictable schedule.  Our craftsman are out of the weather and on a level floor, rather than fighting the elements and slogging through mud and snow.  We have ample storage for material and are able to buy in bulk, which reduces our material costs, and weather-related delays are eliminated from the construction process.  The result is a better building in less time, and an overall improved building experience for the customer. 

Any construction project, whether site-built or off-site built, will include inspections.  In addition to the controlling governing body, whether municipal or HUD, we have multiple internal inspections for quality control that meet or exceed the strictest standards for our multi-hazard resistant buildings. 

Constructing inside lets us control not just the weather and quality control better, but it helps us control our expenses and our waste as well.  The energy and resources used to build our homes are used more effectively than site-built homes.  We have a streamlined and efficient building process that allows us to know exactly what we need and order what we need, so that we can reduce the time and cost of constructing a building.  Excess building waste is minimized by having exact dimensions and measurements for our building materials.  In fact, you may be interested to know that we are pursuing ISO 14001 certification, which means that our operations will meet international standards for energy management through building process enhancements like recycling, waste management, and dust control.

You can witness all of this efficiency for yourself. Transparency is one of our core principals, and we welcome our customers to come to our facility and watch the build process.  You can see the fabrication and welding shop, our paint process, framing practices, how we insulate and what insulation we used, our mechanical/electrical/plumbing processes, and how our fit/finish/weatherization details all come together. 

Site Prep and Installation

While your building is being constructed in our indoor facility, site preparation can be (and should be) completed on your property.  Site-prep costs vary depending on the size of the project, but in general we use the rule of thumb of $25,000 to trench and run water/septic/electric, and set a basic foundation.  The more containers the project includes, the more involved the site-prep will be, of course, but as we know, however – no form of construction is more versatile than Containerization – and foundation requirements are minimized.  

We typically set our container on concrete piers.  We certainly CAN set your containers on basements, crawlspaces, steel beams and assemblies, or any manner of foundation system required -- but concrete piers are usually the most cost-effective foundation.   One of the many attributes of a container building is that the container is engineered to be its own structural support system, and doesn’t require as extensive a foundation system as most other types of construction. Whatever your site and conditions dictate, our container homes and buildings are versatile enough to go virtually anywhere.

As alluded to above, the ideal scenario is where your container building is being constructed in our climate controlled facility WHILE your site is being improved with foundational work and utilities. That way when the building leaves our facility, it is largely completed and can be set in place as soon as it arrives on-site,.  This needing only minor finishing work to be done once the building is set in place and hooked up.  This is as close to a plug-and-play construction solution as there is.