What Foundations Should my Shipping Container Have?

One of the major advantages of shipping containers is that they are mobile and can easily be moved to a new location. If you plan on moving your container regularly, then it is unlikely that you will need to create a new foundation each time. You simply need to ensure that your container is placed on a sturdy, level surface. Nevertheless, there are occasions when your shipping container will require a foundation, i.e., if you are constructing a container home. Below, we are going to discuss when a foundation is required and compare the different foundation types.

When is a foundation required?

As mentioned, if you plan on keeping your shipping container mobile, then it’s unlikely that you will need a foundation. That being said, you must ensure that your container is placed on a flat, stable surface. If the ground is not level and sturdy, then you will need to add a foundation before placing your container on it.  If you plan on keeping the container at your site long-term, i.e., for longer than one month, then you should also place it on a foundation. Finally, you should also consider creating a foundation if your container starts to look unlevel.

What foundation can I use?

The main purpose of a foundation is to keep your container stable and to protect it from extreme weather such as heavy rain. Generally speaking, you have four options when it comes to choosing a foundation for your container. We are going to discuss these in more detail below:

1. Slab foundations

Slab foundations are made from concrete and offer a strong base for your container. This type of foundation is typically used when the ground is especially soft, as it offers the most support. Keep in mind that you will need to hire a specialist team to lay a slab foundation. This type of foundation is the most labour-intensive and thus has a higher cost.

2. Pier foundations

A pier foundation is usually created by embedding concrete blocks into the ground at each corner of the container. Additional blocks are sometimes added in the middle to provide extra support for a large or heavy container. In most cases, a pier foundation can be done DIY without the help of specialist builders.

3. Strip foundations

Strip foundations are similar to slab foundations, but they are cheaper and less labour-intensive. To create a strip foundation, you place concrete blocks around the outside of where the container will be placed. Digging is required, but you may be able to lay a strip foundation without hiring professionals.

4. Pile foundations

Pile foundations are the least commonly used, as they are the most expensive type of foundation and require specialist tools and workers. To create a pile foundation, solid steel tubes are inserted deep into the ground until they are stable. These poles are then filled with concrete before the container is placed on top. Pile foundations are only used when the land is extremely unstable and cannot support the shipping container.

How can I find out more?

In many cases, shipping containers do not require a specialist foundation. However, there are some circumstances when your container will need a foundation, i.e. if you plan on keeping the container at your site long-term. In this situation, choosing the right foundation for your container is essential to ensure that it is stable and protected from damage. If you are unsure whether your container requires a foundation or would like to find out more, then get in touch with our team of experts.

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