Deciding to live in a shipping container unit is bold decision to downsize many things in your life. Less space in your home, a lower monthly payment on it (if any), smaller kitchen, smaller bedrooms, etc...
One thing that does stay constant is using a concrete foundation. While not all of our customer us a concrete foundation (some just place it on the ground directly) you will see in this post why we recommend placing your home on some sort of foundation!
This is one of the most critical steps in building your container home, because if you do not have a solid and sturdy foundation it can damage your new home and end up costing a lot more to repair it / rebuild the foundation correctly after the home has been placed on it.
Unlike a traditional home, which is typically built on a concrete slab, there are four types of foundations to choose from.
They are: Slab, Pier, Strip, and Pile Driven. Each has different applications and situations where one is more appropriate over another one.
Factors include budget, structural requirements depending on the type of home, size, etc., local soil type, and local building codes and requirements.
In this article we will discuss the different types of foundations, which one you should consider and why, and what to look for in your specific location where you are thinking of putting your new home.
Do I Really Need A Foundation For My Container Home?
Soil is unpredictable. Rain, ground water, wind, erosion, earthquakes, these can all contribute to soil becoming unstable and then the risk of the Container home moving, sinking, rising, or sliding can occur.
Most of the time we take soil for granted and see it as stable, however it can shift under the right condition which would then cause a lot of potential problems for your home from being unlevel, to actually becoming damaged and unsafe to live in.
A foundation will provide for a solid and stable platform for your new home and will help decrease the risk of structural damage happening to your investment. This will also increase the lifespan of your Container home.
The soil that we typically see is called top soil, which may or may not be made up of all the same material. As you dig beneath the top soil you can come across a variety of different materials such as hard rock or soft clay, or even a combination.
With weight distributed across the ground, settling will occur and the elements that we listed above can work its way into the deeper levels of soil and over time cause the home to shift due to the uneven material. This can result in quite a few problems, such as doors and windows becoming out of square, which means they will not open or close correctly.
A well-built and sturdy foundation will secure the home and will distribute the weight of the home evenly. It also ensures that if erosion does occur your home will be well secured and safe.