In my previous post, I have touched lightly on the foundation and soil profile. Here, I will go into more detail that will help you find the best foundation for a shipping container home.
To recap: you can use a concrete pier, trench footing, concrete piling and raft foundation. Each of these foundations is good for your site, and the following will give you a brief introduction to them
One of the easiest way to add a concrete pier- is to place a steel-reinforced concrete cube at each corner of the container with two supporting the outer edge of the centre.
Concrete piers are an excellent DIY project anyone can do. There are so many videos on YouTube that will show you the step-by-step guide. This foundation works great in sandy soil that has a mix of both sand and gravel.
One benefit of a concrete pier is it lifts the container off the ground.
This provides access to utilities, allows ventilation, and prevent condensation to the floor of the container. Plus, if you have to use a raft or trench foundation, water and sewage will have to be embedded into the concrete beforehand
However, with a pier foundation, you can run these lines later. The crawl space between the concrete and the ground invites pest to live, which can be very uncomfortable. To prevent this, add gravel and rocks outside to the perimeter, for additional ventilation create spaces and line them with grating.
Concrete Piling Foundation
The process of a concrete piling is like piers but it requires a cylinder steel foam driven into the ground. If your soil has a clay base, you may want to go for a piling foundation.
Piling can dig past unsuitable soil into load-bearing soil without extra measures. However, it’s on the expensive side since you must hire a pile driver, an operator, and cylinders for the piers.
Plus, it’s a messy process, and it takes a lot of water. Concrete pilling brings with it many disadvantages like the expenses, it’s time-consuming as well as cleaning uptime. But for some with crappy soil composition, it is the only option.
A raft is one of the most common foundations to use for a shipping container home. Unlike the concrete piers, it leaves no open space for pest to live.
It doesn’t require too much digging and is an excellent option for sandy or loose soil. Further, the weight of the container is dispersed across the entire concrete pad. However, you must have steel rebar across the width and length of the pad.
Before you can plan for this foundation check with your Geotech to find out how much digging needed. Also, consult your construction engineer to learn the recommended depth of the pad and the spacing for the rebar tie-in.
Raft foundation is very time-consuming because you must hook up your utility wire before pouring the concrete. With this option, the container has to be placed directly on the pad.
Finally, trench foundation, it offers a stable structure for your container home, affordable, and easier to complete compared to the other foundations I mentioned above.
A trench foundation, also known as strip or spread footing supports the entire outer edge of the container. It’s a god-sent for soil that has poor drainage because all you have to do is line the bottom with gravel and loose stone.
Finding the best foundation for your shipping container home, it’s not the hardest thing to do since they’re not too many options available. Because of this, the only problem is the expenses and man-power needed to complete your foundation.