Tag Archives: Shipping Container modification

Shipping Container Studio – Crane Delivery

Our newly modified shipping container – soon to be recording studio iso-lounge – was delivered exactly three week’s ago today. I’ve been so excited to share pics and video of the delivery, but in that three week’s time, we’ve finished mixing one record, began mixing another record, shot a music video, released a single for one of our band’s, Moxi, began PR for it, went on a cruise to Alaska and demoed our entire yard – including our driveway, patio and front porch (more on that later)! Oh, and Bobby also finished tracking a few new songs and he wrote and recorded five new cues for TV.

*sigh*…we’re tired!

So, we’re settling back into normalcy, and are ready to share all the container details. A short summary of what we’re doing here…

The big picture is this: we are converting our existing garage into a studio space, which will be wired to a shipping container that sits next to the garage. The container will be a writing lounge and iso booth. The board and gear will be in the garage space.

Simple enough, yes. EXCEPT that, we are building a new garage on the opposite side of our property, and demoing the driveway (which leads to the existing garage). And the driveway had to be in tact to get the container into the place that we wanted. So, the container had to be delivered before demo day.

We bought the container from IPME in April, and worked with them to insulate the bottom of it, and to fabricate and install steel window and door frames. We kept the existing bamboo floors because they look amazing. And that was it – we didn’t go any further with the modification, because of our time constraints on delivery. Our demo crew had a hard start date, so we had to get the container in it’s place – which will leave us to handle electrical, a/c, insulation and drywall all on site.

Delivery day finally came, and while Bobby and I were stressing about the fact that a crane was going to pick up a 7000lb+ container and lift it up and over our house and set it down a foot away from a huge slope on the side of our property, the people doing the actual work were chilled out, calm, and very efficient. In fact, the whole delivery happened so fast – we couldn’t believe it, they were done about 2-1/2 hours after they started. Here’s how it all went down…

First up, the guys (aka, serious man-men), had to get the crane into place. Driving it across our driveway took some skillful maneuvering: 

We were concerned that the crane wouldn’t even make it down the driveway, but like I said, these guys are pros. We freak out backing our little car down the driveway, which, by the way has a rearview camera…the man-men just laughed at our stress faces.

Anyway, right as the crane footings were getting into place, our container showed up on a truck…

Adding to the surrealness of the day, our neighbor, Rick, who owns a towing company, was the man-man who showed up with our container!  Apparently, these guys work together all the time, so they stopped for a quick strategy convo, and then got to it:

And then, of course, Rick had to back his truck on down the driveway (don’t worry, he’s a pro man-man too):

I have to be honest here, one minute I was taking pictures of neighbor Rick untying the container, while it was on the truck, and the next minute, it was off the truck sitting on the driveway. I have no idea how it actually got off the truck. And then one minute later, they were attaching the crane straps to the top of the crane getting it ready to go: 

It was at about this moment that we were asked if anyone was in the house…which there was. We had someone inside hanging some shelves…and of course our fur babies were hiding in the bedroom. We were gently asked to make sure that everyone come outside until they were done.

It’s fine. These guys are professionals. Don’t worry. Just a precaution. *stress*

We cleared the house, and then…it’s lift off time! Up and over the house we go:

And. Just like that. Done.  Thanks Man-Men!

And now…um…how do these doors open…?

So, here it is! Check it out…double doors and a window on the main side. This main window will face into a window in the garage/studio. And we’ll have a deck built around the footing to tie it all together: 

The window on this end looks out on the LA-Long Beach harbor and over into Downtown LA.

The existing container doors will be fixed open, with another set of double doors with windows, adding to the visual length of the container and adding more light inside: 

We. Love. It!!   Time to celebrate!

Check out some video of the crane lifting the container over our house here. eee!

Now to finish this beauty out…if you’d like to follow along and see more about this shipping container remodel, check back here.

Container Modification Progress

I stopped by IPME this week to drop off some paint samples and was able to check out the progress on the container modifications. Moment. Of. Truth.  Is this gonna work? Is it gonna be cool? Functional? Worth it????

Or is it going to just be a big metal box sitting in our yard…looking like…you know…a shipping container:

Not. Cool.

Thankfully, my fears were completely put to rest and my expectations were far surpassed. The container is amazing! It is a 20’high cube (9-1/2’high as opposed to the standard 8’high) – and with the window modifications we’re making, it already feels open and spacious.

Craig Rapoza, the COO at IPME, and Brian Tanzer, the Sales Manager, took me on a little tour and filled me in on their progress. These guys are great people to work with – full of ideas, extremely flexible, and super upbeat. Craig designed the steel doors and window frames – which will be the focal point of the space. 

Before they made the cuts for the windows and doors, the container had to be crane-lifted on to these supports, so the foam insulation could be sprayed underneath. This will help to keep the sound down inside the container:

We decided to have all of the window frames set out about 2 inches from the container and the doors – this will give a little bit of dimension and adds another solid industrial feature to the exterior. 

There will be two sets of double doors like these. One on this side as shown – which will open to 120°. And another set will be installed just inside the container doors at the end. The container doors will be affixed open at 90° and, together with a little porch that we’ll install after delivery, will add about four linear feet to the container’s length. These doors were tack-welded on so I could see what they would look like:

On this opposite end, there will be a huge picture window, with a steel frame to match the one on the side. And we also put a 6’horizontal window on what we’re calling the canyon side – so we can…you know…see out to the canyon.  

You may have read last week’s post about our flooring questions. The vote tally so far is to go with a gray linoleum with a white herringbone plank woven in on one end of the container. But since then, we found out that the existing container floor is painted bamboo.  It looks pretty great at the moment – but may be a little dark. So, we’re gonna live with it and see how we feel about it once it’s delivered. 

This next week, IPME will finish the window and door frames, install the 1/2″ glass, and then paint the exterior…everything will be painted a dark charcoal color…except for the chrome bars on the container doors and the Customs Seal…we’ll leave that as is…legit: 

And then, a simple delivery, with a crane-lifted install. Over our garage. No big deal. Unless the crane tips and falls into the canyon. I’m not nervous about it all.

If you’d like to see more about this shipping container remodel, check here.

Shipping Container Floors

We pulled the trigger on our Shipping Container Studio Space!!
Last week, we bought a brand new 20′ high cube container, which will eventually find it’s home in our yard near our old garage. Together, the garage and the container will become a great writing room for Bobby and CatBeach Music. Here is a little mock-up I pulled together:

We bought the container from IPME, who helped us nail down the specifics of the modifications we’re making, including the steel framed windows and doors they are fabricating for us. IPME is also spraying foam insulation to the bottom exterior of the container, and handling the exterior paint. We plan to finish out the container interior ourselves.

Our first decision on the interior is to finalize our flooring choice. While the floors will be the last thing installed, we have to decide what we’re using and how they will be installed now as this will inform IPME where to place the door frames.

The container comes with bamboo subfloors, which some people finish as their final flooring. We love using natural materials, so the obvious choice for us would be to go with bamboo. But we decided to do something a little different and a little more playful.

We’ve been hearing about this resurgence of linoleum, so we thought we’d check it out. We went to Linoleum City in Hollywood and learned all about this wonder product. First of all,  much to our amazement, linoleum is a raw, all-natural, biodegradable material made of linseed oil (the oil in flax), pine resin and wood flour. Who knew!?  Second, there are some new linoleum manufacturers offering modern colors, textures and designs. Very cool!  And lastly, yes, you can still find the weird dull-colors and plastic-y looking tiles that we all remember from the 70’s.  No thanks!

After looking through hundreds of choices, we narrowed our search down to a manufacturer called Forbo Marmoleum. They have some really fun colors and potential applications that caught our eye. We really like their flat sheet linoleum product called Marmoleum Walton Uni – in the color called ‘Paving’. It has virtually no texture to it, and will be applied in one sheet. Here is an example: 

We like the idea of just a gray floor that mimics concrete, but we also like the idea of doing something a little playful with the floors. The great thing about this product is that you can get super creative with the floor design. We played around with a few marmoleum tile options flowing into the gray sheet, and created some tile patterns the appear inside of the gray sheet.

Take a look at these 3 options and let me know which one you like best in the comments!




Thanks for giving me your feedback. I’ll be posting updates on the container build – so check back here to follow along!


The Emmy’s, A Shipping Container, and One Heavy Jacuzzi

Do you ever have those seasons where it feels like the whole world opens up and gives you green lights…all at the same time?

We are in a ‘go-time’ right now, and honestly, we’re just trying our best to keep up, while we meet all of our commitments and have some fun along the way!

Last weekend was no joke, but we made it out alive.  The most glamorous and enjoyable moment was when we walked the red carpet at the 2017 Emmy Awards! Bobby and his co-writer, Daena Jay, were nominated for an Emmy – Best Original Song – Daytime. This was the second nom in a row for this songwriting team. They didn’t take home the award this year, but we certainly had fun celebrating all things music and television.

But, before we threw on our fancies, Bobby and I went over to IPME, and bought ourselves a brand new shipping container. Yes, a shipping container. You know, the big steel boxes that travel around the world on freight liners. A container that will be delivered into our yard in three weeks. The yard that is right next to our house. Where the shipping container will stay forever and ever.

I’m a little timid about the idea. Does it show?

Ok, actually, in spite of my reservations, I’m pretty excited about this project. We’re modifying the heck out of the container, with custom steel windows and doors, and added soundproofing and lighting. And then we’re going to tether it to our garage – which, all together will make up a nice studio space at our house. Here is a first draft Sketchup of what we’re planning: 

More sketches and pictures of the container mod to come. But in the meantime, we needed to make room in our aforementioned yard for the container. It’s landing place was occupied by an above ground jacuzzi…so we had to find a new home for the spa asap. Thankfully, our friends Tom and Christy were looking to add a jacuzzi to their backyard. And within a matter of days, Tom brought his friend Tulio over to tackle the transport.

They had it on it’s side before I could even grab the camera…but here are some snaps of the process: 

Upon close inspection, there was some termite damage to the bottom frame. 

Tom will have to build a new frame before installing it over at their house. 

The guys stopped to have a brain storming session about how to get the jacuzzi from here, into the truck. Seems it was just a smidge too heavy to carry. 

‘Let’s back up the trailer and flip it side over side onto the flatbed:’

I’m pretty sure I was sipping on a nice glass of rose at this moment. 

As the guy’s were finishing up, I looked at the space that the 8 foot-wide truck was sitting in, contemplating the 8 foot-wide (and 9’6″ tall) shipping container that would soon fill the space. And I noticed something….

As you can see from this angle below, there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to getting the container past the roof…and not tipping down the slope. (And no, it can’t be crained in…we’ve got above ground telephone wires…thanks a lot Palos Verdes). 

Rest assured, pictures have been sent to people far smarter than I. I’m confident there is some three-armed container lift or some other monster that will handily solve this delivery problem. Right!?

The only issue after that will be for anyone who wants to remove the container…because this driveway will be long gone, and replaced with a cement patio that sits about 3 feet higher than the ground.

Nothing to worry about here. Just breathe. It will be fine. 

And with that…off goes the jacuzzi to Tom and Christy’s for a new life! 

Well, obviously, going to the Emmy’s was the best part of the weekend, but still, there was something thrilling about pulling the trigger on the container, and beginning to get the space ready for it.

I have a feeling the next few months are going to be a site to see….stay tuned!