How to Choose the Best Type of Foundation for Container Homes?

With more people looking for alternatives to creating more affordable homes, repurposed storage shipping containers are gaining popularity as a convenient option! If you are one of them looking to make the shift to this new normal, and wondering where to get started, here is a good starting point – how to choose the best type of foundation for container homes.

Some of the key considerations that can impact your choice of foundation for container homes include:
Weight of the container
Type of soil

Climate and weather
Budget and costs
Local building laws

Let us help you understand these factors will impact your choice as we share the 3 most common foundation options for container homeowners.

Concrete piers

This basically involves concrete cubes with reinforced steel bars. The placement of these concrete cubes at the corners and middle of the container home will form the basis of the foundation for the home. The result: A container home lifted off the ground – allows for proper ventilation and easy access to utility lines underground.

Concrete piers

Concrete piers foundation is one of the cheapest and easy to install (and even DIY) choice for container homes. It is recommended for smaller sized containers due to the shallow foundation being unable to accommodate too much weight. For the same reason, it is not suitable for soft or deep soils or areas where it rains too much which can result in then concrete cubes shifting deeper into the ground. 

Slab Foundation

Unlike the concrete piers which only support the home container on specific points, the slab foundation is layer of concrete slightly larger than the footprint of the container, supporting the whole container. 
While this provides a lot more support, suitable for larger sized containers, it is also a more expensive option. Due to the large amount of excavation required to form the slab, it costs more and takes more time. This option is usually recommended for warm climates (to prevent concrete base from cracking) with soft soils. A key consideration, however, is that utility lines under the ground become quite hard to access after the foundation is laid.

Pile Foundation

One of the strongest form of foundations for areas with weak or soft soil, pile foundations are also one of the most expensive. It involves cylindrical solid steel piles being hammered deep into the soil until they are supported by a harder surface, followed by a block of concrete over them.  
This is usually required if the soil in the area is weak or if your home container is heavy. Do check in for local building permits as this requires a significant amount of excavation works. 

Which is the most suitable foundation for your container home?

Have you learnt enough to decide on the best foundation for your new container home? When it comes to laying down foundation for your home, make sure to do your necessary research. If you need to go with the more complex options of Slab or Pile Foundation, which are not suitable for DIY, do make sure to contact your local contractor for help.

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About Peter Paul

Welcome to I've spent my career helping people upgrade their homes and improve their lives. I learned first hand about home renovation from my father, who hand-built our family home.
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