“Ronin’s Reconstruction” Tips

16 Nov

Welcome to the fray!

I get email. Hoo boy, do I get email…

And although a lot of it is just character assassination and accusations about the alleged depth (of lack thereof) of my gene pool…

Mother(Thanks… MOM.)  This coming from a woman who turned “40” about 12 freakin’ times… OY!

Anyway… I get email from “readers”… “demanding” answers!

Like I “owe” them answers for some strange reason… It’s not like I’m doing this for a living… As if… 😉

So, I’m gonna take one  email question a week, and answer that question here.

We’re gonna call it; “Ronin’s Reconstruction And Recycling Rodeo…”

Or… “RRRR” for short. It’ll be easy to remember. It’s that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, every time you tune in here…  🙂

So, let’s just jump right in there, shall we?

After all, the water can’t be that deep…

Q. “Ronin, you’re a moron! The walls of a Shipping Container are M-E-T-A-L. If I put the insulation on the OUTSIDE, like you suggest… How in the hell am I supposed to run power lines in the rooms? I mean… where do you put electrical outlets on that kinda stuff? This is just Corten Craziness!”

A. Ronin’s Electricity 101;

Here’s how to do Corten Castle Electrical… Guerrilla style.

You’re building a container home and you can’t figure out how to install electrical outlets for all your crap… after all, that lava lamp has to plug into something, huh? So, what better way to vent your frustration, than to whine at ME… Oy, you have  a lot of nerve…  🙂

Well, you trouble-making, demanding, cry-baby… I’d like to take about three paragraphs, and just … um… er… never mind.  I got blood pressure problems enough already, thaaaaaank you very much…  😉

But… in keeping with my “kinder, gentler philosophy on life in general…” the solution to your power problem is really quite simple.

Run your flooring to within 5″- 6″ of the walls.

Now… run your electrical and your outlets down in that created “gap.” Why? Because now you have a trough between your flooring, and the wall, right? Just make sure that it’s deep enough for your box, and the plug sticking into it.

Drop some recycled rain gutter material into it if you want. You can find it salvage for almost nothing.

Now… Cover the area over the top of it with some metal grating.


You can find it on-line, or in a catalog. If you do this, you have an affordable (and attractive) application that;

  • (a) saves you money…  (from all the flooring you “didn’t” install…)
  • (b) versatility in your use of outlets and location, and…
  • (c) gives your room a really cool contemporary look…

All “without violating the sanctity of the wall surfaces.”

You’ll easily save a few hundred bucks on flooring this way, and you gain the ability to change things whenever you want. There are literally hundreds of styles to choose from.

Just make sure that your plugs will fit through the grating cut-outs.

The idea is to run your cord straight down, and into the outlet, through the grating. That trough is even gonna be large enough to allow you to tuck a power strip or surge protector into it.

And, when you decide to completely rearrange your room, it’s pretty easy to move the outlets around, if you need to.

And, the by-product is that NOW you can push stuff up against the walls without having to allow those extra inches for the freakin’ power cords and those plugs… Man, that drives me crazy! 🙂

FYI: You can frequently find this “grate stuff” in recycling bins, or even salvage yards. If you’re up to doing a little bit of “clean up and restore” elbow grease, you can achieve something really spectacular,  for a little bit of change.

It’s a great way to add some character to a project.

See, that wasn’t so hard.

Okay… next chump… er… um… question?

Stay tuned.

The Renaissance RoninNo innocent drywall was harmed in the production of this blog post. However, that last house “I” did? Hoo Boy, that drywall was screamin! Your mileage may vary. Why? Because some of us drive V10s, and some of us ride bicycles… Your Momma tells you not to run with scissors.  Know why? She wants to be the one to make you suffer… Wait… that’s just Jewish moms… Never mind… Milk does a body good… unless somebody is drowning you in it, or they hit you on the head with the bottle… Ain’t you got anything better to do? Go on! Git!

7 Responses to ““Ronin’s Reconstruction” Tips”

  1. Madrigorne November 16, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    I was thinking about my cats – and how much YUCK could get into that grate – but it would not be that difficult to clean that out either. Yuck gets into everything, and I am scrubbing it away all the time. Besides – how hard is it to bolt/jbweld/epoxy conduit to the inside walls should you want to? Methinks not so hard, though having never tried – its still just a theory. Were you able to get land to build on, or are you still fighting the fight just to get them to approve the house plan?

    • renaissanceronin November 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm #


      Intimidate the sanctity of “corten steel siding” by gluing pipe to it? ARGH! 😉

      You can do that if you want. In fact, if you sheetrock over the interior steel siding, you can just run outlets like you normally would. I just like the idea of leaving the walls alone. Let their “industrial strength beauty” roar! 🙂

      And, it gives you plenty of extra places to check, for that lost earring! 😉

  2. G November 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    that is a VERY VERY VERY good tip, I would never have thought of this myself alone.. while so ideal for servicing and also change where the plugs are..

    Smart, smart, Smart

    • renaissanceronin November 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

      And, it’s easy, too.

      Just get some old gutter and make your “power trough” wide enough to allow the gutter to cover the interior. Once that grate goes over it, you’re styling!

      Remember to put some insulation UNDER that trough, to avoid creating a “cold spot.” 😉

      It’s “green,” lean, and not very mean! Unless you use “grumpy” grates…

      I love the way it looks, too. 🙂

  3. clarkscottroger November 17, 2009 at 11:37 am #

    I didn’t want you to think I forgot that I was going to help you get this little paradigm-shifting project moving…

    (we left off at the fact that everything from sliced bread to apple pie must be ‘sold’ before it is accepted.)

    When it comes to selling it helps to know what goes through the mind of your ‘prospect’ (‘up’ in the parlance of the timeshare business, as in ‘What a long day today! I had to haul 5 ups before I closed a single deal).
    Before I get into the motivation, let me give you a truth that applies to all sales:
    ‘People buy on emotion and (then) justify on logic’

    Back to my original point, things must be sold, no matter what the value or benefits, if you lose sight of this fact, people will look and ask questions and admire and compliment your idea.
    And then go and get sold something totally different.

    We will come back to the basics of sales later, when someone formulates an intelligent question.

    But that secret, the core motivation behind all sales, selling etc:
    Fear of loss
    Hope of gain

    Use this knowledge, everything else will follow

  4. Rusty March 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm #


    Might you have more photos to show better how to go about the power trough concept? Feel free to email or post some in a new blog article.

    • renaissanceronin March 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm #


      As you probably already know…

      I’m releasing a book on Container Home Building, in the next few months.
      (It’s release has been delayed by family illness, and a little terrorist named “Joshua.”)

      The specifics (details) for running your electrical in your radiant slab will be found there, as well as a lot of additional information aimed at helping you create an affordable ISBU based home for your family.

      Watch the site for “book release” information.


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