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An Excellent Guide for Shipping Container Home Foundation

Shipping container homes are famous for their affordability, mobility, and durability. 

But one of the most significant benefits of container homes is their ability to be built anywhere.

If you live in a mountainous area, there are shipping container home foundations that will work for you.

Does A Container Home Need A Foundation?

If you’re building your own container home, it is purely up to you whether or not to use a foundation. 

The most common type of foundation uses concrete or composite decking to support the weight of the building. 

This is how people construct their containers: they build their foundations and place their containers on them. 

However, some companies sell prefabricated foundations for your container home.

If you’re buying an existing container home with no foundation, you may want to put one yourself.

You can also hire someone who knows how to do this work if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself.

There are three types of places where you can keep your shipping container homes:

  • They can be on the ground.
  • They can be on a foundation.
  • They can be on a raised platform.

Types Of Shipping Container Homes

There are three shipping container homes: standard homes, high-cube homes, and refrigerated homes.

Standard Homes

A standard shipping container home with a beautiful surrounding

These are the most basic types of shipping containers. They have a low ceiling height of about 7 feet. They are also made from corrugated steel panels that have been welded together. 

Standard shipping containers are designed to be used as storage containers for furniture or food products.

The interior walls are made from plywood, and the roof is usually corrugated steel sheets. The floors are generally made of wood, so they can be easily cleaned when necessary.

High Cube Homes

These homes are similar in design to standard shipping containers but have a higher ceiling height of about 10 feet. 

You can make the walls of these homes from styrofoam insulation panels. They also have a roof made out of corrugated steel sheets. 

This type of home is completely insulated with spray foam insulation. This provides better thermal protection than traditional insulation materials like fiberglass batts or cellulose insulation boards (C-foam). 

You can use high cube homes for temporary housing solutions. This is because of their size and ease of installation over existing buildings.

Refrigerated Homes

Refrigerated homes are great for persons who desire to live in less-than-perfect weather conditions. 

There are numerous refrigerated homes available, including mobile and modular houses.

Portable refrigeration units are installed in areas where it is not possible to have a permanent home installed. These are places with extreme temperatures or a lack of electricity. 

The cost of these units varies widely depending on the size and type of unit purchased. 

You can build modular refrigeration units in existing buildings or connect structures to electrical outlets. You can also provide additional space for living quarters. 

These units usually have all necessary plumbing, heating ducts, and installed wiring. 

They are also more expensive than portable models because they require more labor during construction and installation.

Can You Put A Shipping Container Directly On The Ground?

There is a company that specializes in building homes with shipping containers. 

They’ve been doing it for over ten years, and they’ve developed several different foundations that allow you to place your shipping container directly on the ground.

The best foundation for a shipping container is designed for your container’s specific weight. 

If you’re starting with this type of building, we recommend going with one of our lighter-weight models. 

These are perfect for indoor or outdoor use and will help protect your container from damage from heavy snowfall or strong winds.

What Is The Most Effective Method To Place A Shipping Container Home On The Ground?

If you’re building a container home with no foundation, then it doesn’t matter where you put it, as long as it’s on solid ground. You can place your container directly on the floor, but if you do that, it will be tough to ensure that your foundation is strong enough for your home and its contents (like furniture). 

See also  How To Best Build A Shipping Container Home From Scratch

If there are problems with the soil around the container, or if there’s an issue with drainage in your area, then putting down concrete will ensure that your home is as reliable as possible.

However, if you’re building a container home with some foundation already in place, it might be best to find out what kind of foundation works best before deciding where to set down your shipping container home.

Two main foundations are used for shipping containers: concrete slabs and poured-in-place reinforced concrete (PIIC). Each has its pros and cons, but both are strong enough for most applications.

What Is Best To Sit A Shipping Container On?

To construct a home out of a shipping container, it’s essential to know the available foundations. There are two main types of foundations: concrete and wood.

Concrete is the most common foundation for shipping containers, which means it’s what we recommend for most projects. 

However, if your project requires more space or higher levels of stability than concrete can provide, you might want to consider a different foundation material.

 Wood foundations are also an option, but they are more expensive than concrete and don’t have as much experience with shipping containers as concrete companies.

You’ll want to choose the proper foundation for your project and budget. If you’re unsure what kind of foundation you need or how much it will cost. 

How Many Piers Will I Require For A 40-foot Shipping Container?

The best way to get started with your shipping container home foundation is to know how many piers you’ll need.

Piers are the concrete footings on which you will stand your 40-foot shipping container home. Piers are often round, but they can also be square or rectangular. 

The width of the pier should be a little bit wider than the width of your 40-foot shipping container; for example, if you have a 40-foot-wide shipping container at home, then your pier should be about 42 inches wide.

To figure out how many piers you’ll need, multiply the width of your 40-foot shipping container by two (in this case: 40 x 2 = 80). 

Then divide that number by the length of your shipping container, in this case, 80 40 = 2.3. So if you have a 20-foot-long shipping container home, you’ll need three piers—one for each corner and one at the center of each side.

When calculating how much concrete you’ll need for your foundation, keep in mind that concrete is heavy! If you’re planning on installing your foundation on top of an existing driveway or patio area, ensure enough room beneath it.

Shipping Container Foundation Cost

Shipping container foundations can be a great way to build your home cheaply. 

However, it is critical to understand that not all shipping containers are made equal, and some are better than others at providing the necessary foundation. 

The cost varies from size to size and the material used.

First, let’s talk about what makes a good foundation:

  • Durability: A shipping container should be made of solid materials and have plenty of support beams for stability.
  • Ease of Assembly: Shipping containers are often large, so they must be easy to put together on your own.
  • Cost: Shipping containers are cheaper than other options, like poured concrete foundations.

Factors That Determine Your Foundation Type When Putting Shipping Container

Soil Type

One of the most important variables in deciding the foundation that would work best for you is the type of soil on your site. 

If you have heavy clay soil, then it is likely that a steel or concrete foundation will be the best option for you. 

You may need a brick foundation if your soil is more sandy or loamy.


Before deciding which type of foundation is appropriate for your needs, you should consider how much money you want to spend on your shipping container home. 

If any extra costs are associated with having a particular foundation installed on your property, then those costs may outweigh any potential benefits of another option.

Comfort Level

Another factor to consider when choosing between different types of foundations is whether or not being able to alter the design of your container house would make it more convenient for you and your family members who will live within it over time, or at least during their initial few months.

How Thick Should A Shipping Container Concrete Slab Be?

We recommend a 3-inch minimum thickness for a concrete slab. This is so that the shipping container’s home foundation will be strong enough to withstand the weight of the cargo and its contents.

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Can You Cover A Shipping Container In Concrete?

Yes, you can cover a shipping container with concrete. These benefits are apparent, and it’s important to note that not all shipping containers are identical.

First, any container you choose must be made from steel or other non-reinforced materials. The more reinforced the container is, the more likely it is to crack when you try to cover it with concrete.

That being said, if you do find a shipping container that is reinforced and will work for your needs, here’s how to go about building your home foundation:

  • First, dig out an area big enough to fit the entire container (including the base). This will allow you to use the space underneath as storage for buckets and cement mixers.
  • Next, put a layer of sand on top of the concrete or asphalt where you’ll build your home foundation (this gives it more surface area).
  • Then pour enough water so it’s saturated with water but not flowing freely – this helps keep things level as you work (it also prevents cracks from forming between layers).
  • Once everything has been set up for 24 hours.

How Do You Anchor A Shipping Container To The Ground?

We have a few ways to do this. You can use concrete and rebar or steel straps that are welded onto the container’s sides. 

Using both methods at once is best to ensure that your container foundation is secure.

The most important thing is that the straps stay in place and hold, which is why they’re composed of high-quality nylon with extra-thick seams and welds. 

You also want them to be able to handle strong winds and snow loads without bending or breaking.

Suppose you’re using concrete to anchor your foundation. In that case, you’ll need some rebar (the cylindrical pieces of metal used as reinforcement in concrete) and sandbags or bags filled with gravel so that they can be used as footings for the structure’s corners and other vulnerable points.

If you’re using steel straps instead of concrete, you’ll need rebar rods (essentially large nails or bolts) so that they can be hammered into place through holes drilled into each side of your shipping container foundation.

Types Of Foundation For Shipping Container Homes

Concrete Slab

The concrete slab is another foundation type that uses a foundation system of concrete slabs. 

These slabs are typically placed vertically to create an even surface on which to build your shipping container home. 

Unlike other foundations, which require at least one vertical support piece, this type requires only one row of vertical supports per row of floor areas, so if you’re building your shipping container home on level ground and want an even surface for each floor area! 

The four foundation types for shipping container homes are concrete piers, concrete slabs, strip foundations, and pile foundations.

Concrete Piers

The foundation of a shipping container home can be made from concrete piers. Concrete piers are like the main pillars of a traditional house. 

They support the weight of the building above them and ensure there is no wobble or shifting in the structure. 

Concrete piers are made from either reinforced concrete or cast-in-place concrete. 

Reinforced concrete is more substantial than cast-in-place concrete and will last longer if exposed to weather conditions for an extended period. 

Cast-in-place concrete requires more work to install but has fewer issues with rot when compared to reinforced concrete.

Strip Foundation

A strip foundation consists of a concrete strip attached to the ground with rebar or other support means. 

One benefit of this type of foundation is that it doesn’t require any support structure, all you need is a flat piece of land! 

It also has less risk of settling than other types of foundations because there aren’t any metal pieces involved. 

This makes it easier to build on top of if you want to add another layer later down the line (For instance, if you wish to include a second story.).

Pile Foundation

A Pile foundation is the simplest of all foundations. It consists of a pile of soil dug into the ground and interlaced with rebar. 

The earth is then covered with other materials such as gravel, concrete, and stones. 

This type of foundation is widely used for tiny homes or cabins in rural areas where there is no construction equipment available.

Pier Foundations

A pier foundation is one of the most common foundations for shipping container homes. This foundation is solid and durable, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. The walls are built in a V-shape to support the weight of the containers and protect them from damage. The walls are made from concrete blocks or steel pipes, which are set together in such a way that they resemble a pier.

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Stem With Spread Foundations

A stem with a spread foundation combines a pier and beam foundation. It’s often used on sloping land because it provides stability where there may not be enough space for a full-fledged beam foundation to work correctly. 

The wall linings are typically made from wood planks or metal sheeting and attach to steel beams that support the wall above them.

Turned Down Slab Foundation

If you want a simple, easy-to-build foundation, it’s worth looking at the Turned Down Slab Foundation. 

This foundation is designed to be simple and straightforward and to let the structure do its job. 

It’s not all about looks—it’s about function, too. The Turned Down Slab Foundation has a low profile, so homeowners don’t have to worry about their houses being dwarfed by a giant box. 

And even though it’s flat, it also has a slight slope to help drainage issues which are often familiar with this kind of foundation.

Advantages of Shipping Container Homes

But what are the advantages? Let us look at a few of them:

Save Money By Living Small

Shipping container homes are built to be affordable and eco-friendly. Because they’re made from recycled materials and components, you’ll save money on your monthly bills. 

You can also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you’re doing your part for the environment.

Save The World By Living Eco-friendly

Shipping container homes are an excellent way to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. 

Not only will you help out the environment by building your home with recycled materials, but you will also be recycling your trash!

Save On Stress By Building Quickly

Shipping container homes can be built quickly, so you won’t have to wait weeks or months before moving in. 

You won’t have to put up with construction noise or stress while waiting for your home to be built, you’ll get it done in just a few days!

Insofast Shipping Container Insulation Panels

The InSoFast shipping container insulation panels are made of high-quality materials, which makes them very durable. 

These containers are ideal for shipping, storage, and even construction projects. 

Because of the insulation panels, your home will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 

The U.S. Department of Energy has tested them to meet standards for energy efficiency and environmental impact. There are several different styles of InSoFast shipping containers available, including:


These models have a flat roof and no windows or doors. They can hold up to 2,000 pounds and are perfect for construction sites that require a lot of heavy equipment, such as cranes or forklifts.

Double Wide

These double-wide models have two doors that open up on both sides of the container, making it easier to access your belongings while moving around inside! 

They also have more space inside than regular models do because they are more comprehensive than most single-wide models are tall (about 4 feet instead of just 2 feet).

Disadvantages Of Placing Your Shipping Container Home On The Ground

Placing your shipping container home on the ground has some disadvantages.

When you place your shipping container home on the ground, it is more difficult to move when you want to relocate. 

You can’t simply grab the container and move it because it will probably weigh too much for one person to move. 

If you have a truck or trailer that you can use as a dolly, you can move the container house yourself. It’s still relatively heavy, so be careful not to hurt yourself or damage the container during this process.

Another disadvantage of placing your shipping container home on the ground is that water can get inside if there are holes around the bottom edges of the walls or flooring. 

This would mean fixing any leaks quickly before they cause significant damage or mold issues within the home itself.

The most significant disadvantage of placing your shipping container on the ground is that it can be difficult to repair any leaks in your roof or walls because they are not easy to access when buried underground!


Shipping container homes offer a unique and economical way to build your dream home. 

The quality and care that goes into making these structures are evident from the first moment you look at them, but they are only part of the story. 

These homes display an attention to detail and an eco-consciousness that is becoming increasingly popular among builders today.

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