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Old 07-04-2010, 05:53 PM   #16
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


I would dig a basement that the container can sit directly on, then bolt it right down at every couple feet. That way you still get a basement. You'd cut part of the container floor for the stairs, I guess.

How much does a shipping container go for anyway? I would imagine this must be a cheap way to build compared to typical stud home, and is probably able to survive very big storms too. You can get quite creative in the stacking method too.

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Old 07-04-2010, 06:04 PM   #17
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


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How much does a shipping container go for anyway?
depending on the size and condition, I have seen them priced from about $1200 up to over $2k. $1500- $1800 for a 40 foot container (8X8x40) in decent condition seems to be the norm around me.

since you mentioned cost compared to a typical stud home;

don't forget that you will still have to have something to attach the electrical boxes to and a gap that you can insulate. Need to make division walls, attachments for sinks and tubs and plumbing.

remember, these are simple sheet steel sides and top so screwing something to the wall means you will see the screw from the outside.

If you have never been in a semi trailer in the middle of summer out in the sun, let me tell you, it is freakin' hot. It is actually like being in an oven.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:21 PM   #18
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


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depending on the size and condition, I have seen them priced from about $1200 up to over $2k. $1500- $1800 for a 40 foot container (8X8x40) in decent condition seems to be the norm around me.

since you mentioned cost compared to a typical stud home;

don't forget that you will still have to have something to attach the electrical boxes to and a gap that you can insulate. Need to make division walls, attachments for sinks and tubs and plumbing.

remember, these are simple sheet steel sides and top so screwing something to the wall means you will see the screw from the outside.

If you have never been in a semi trailer in the middle of summer out in the sun, let me tell you, it is freakin' hot. It is actually like being in an oven.

Yeah for sure, still need indoor stud walls and all that, and yeah guess by the time you do all that, the savings is not THAT big. You'd still want stud walls on the outside for insulation, electrical, and so on. And probably an oversized AC unit lol.

But these must be way stronger though. If I lived in a hurricane prone area I'd probably look into this myself.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:35 PM   #19
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


for a DIYer, the best part of it that I see is you start with a weatherproof way overbuilt structure, so you don't have to worry about rain or colapse.

I was kind-of thinking weld tabs to suport some 2x2 studs spaced out from the wall, then spray-foam behind and around.

as far as heat, (not a problem for me) there are some real good reflective paints that give an equivalent to R-30 to the sun.

they become saunas if you leave them sealed, not if they are open. I've gone into several semi trailers in baking hot heat, they are only stiffling when they've been closed off, and/or have hot cargo (much of what I was hauling was fresh from heat treating)
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:15 AM   #20
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


Not sure if a container would support the lateral force of wet earth pushing in from the sides. How long would it last underground before it rusted through? In this country I'm sure you would need an engineer to get involved. No local government would issue a permit without one. In foriegn countries this does not always apply. This is why so many building fell in Hati during the earthquake.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:38 AM   #21
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


shabba1985, you need to go through your local Building Control. They will also advise you on the type of foundations required,
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #22
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In this country I'm sure you would need an engineer to get involved. No local government would issue a permit without one. In foriegn countries this does not always apply. This is why so many building fell in Hati during the earthquake.
the buildings colapsed in Haiti because they were all concrete with little or no rebar.

All the talk of building codes and such are often just guidlines outside of big cities. A container house probably would be clasified as a temporarry or mobile stucture and not need to meet any codes some places or just mobile home anchoring requirements were they exist. you can do whatever you want to a camper trialer without a building permit, because it isn't a permanent structure.


I remmeber my Dad saying "I like to make sure my projects look like they took less than $500 to complete so I don't have to bother with building permits."

no permit, no inspector. no inspector, no codes.

This talk of consulting an engineer is foolish in many cases. those containers can take tremndous loads without a wimper I'm pretty sure thier floor ratings are such that they can handle more than 10,000 lbs forklift, and they have a total weight capacities of over 60,000 lbs.

they get stacked 9 high loaded then get smashed around at sea.

just make sure any foundation you use has a big enough footprint, and you'll be fine.

rust may be a concern, but it would be pretty easy to pour a thin concrete wall outside of them if you want. a building engineer probably won't know mutch about corosion of shipping containers, but also remember they are ment to be exposed to the salty sea air too. I bet they don't rust all that easy.

Last edited by forresth; 07-05-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:34 PM   #23
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


Quote:
All the talk of building codes and such are often just guidlines outside of big cities. A container house probably would be clasified as a temporarry or mobile stucture and not need to meet any codes some places or just mobile home anchoring requirements were they exist. you can do whatever you want to a camper trialer without a building permit, because it isn't a permanent structure.
Once you make a permanent connection to power, water, and sewer, it becomes a permanent building. Unless the OP is going to power the house with a plug in cord, hook up a garden hose for water and pump a sewage holding tank, it will be considered to be a permanent building.


Quote:
I remmeber my Dad saying "I like to make sure my projects look like they took less than $500 to complete so I don't have to bother with building permits."

no permit, no inspector. no inspector, no codes.
but, since in many areas the fine for not obtaining a permit is a standard twice the cost of the permit PLUS you still have to purchase the permit and have the walls, electrical, plumbing, foundation, etc. (with walls already closed or foundation already buried) inspected. I have had an inspector demand sheetrock be removed so he could inspect the wiring I put in and the yahoos that rock didn't listen when I told them not to rock the walls. It could get real ugly real quick.

On top of that, many localities will not allow you to live in a temp building as a permanent building. In my area, you need a permit to set a temp building for living purposes and you have 2 years to build the permanent home. The temp home better disappear or the new home better show some serious progress to being finished.



Quote:
This talk of consulting an engineer is foolish in many cases. those containers can take tremndous loads without a wimper I'm pretty sure thier floor ratings are such that they can handle more than 10,000 lbs forklift, and they have a total weight capacities of over 60,000 lbs.
what the floor takes is meaningless actually. It is what the roof can take and actually how the building is attached to the ground. Any building department I have ever worked with will NOT permit such a building unless you have an enfineers stamp stating the building does in fact meet or exceed the same requirements any other building is required to surpass.

btw: if you want to see what they can't handle, go to a coastal city that loads those on ships and look at some containers that didn't quite make it to the ship. They crumple pretty easily actually. They are not designed as a building. They are designed to hold the 60k+ lbs when supported properly (which is by the 4 corners btw) for a temprorary situation. Planning on using them by setting them on the ground for 20+ years is way outside their design parameters.

Quote:
they get stacked 9 high loaded then get smashed around at sea.
actually they don't get smashed around at sea. They are secured very well least they will get smashed and cargo damaged.

Quote:
just make sure any foundation you use has a big enough footprint, and you'll be fine.
and you have the training to determine what is a big enough footprint? That is where the engineer comes in and the engineers report is what the building department is going to demand to see before giving their approval.

Quote:
rust may be a concern, but it would be pretty easy to pour a thin concrete wall outside of them if you want
aren't we now defeating the purpose of using the container?

.
Quote:
a building engineer probably won't know mutch about corosion of shipping containers, but also remember they are ment to be exposed to the salty sea air too. I bet they don't rust all that easy
.[You might want to start checking the ages on some of the containers. They are designed for a limited lifespan.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:06 PM   #24
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


The following link shows a clip from Modern Marvels. It is an excellents example of what storage containers can be used for.

A 20 ft container is about 6500 lbs a 40 ft is about 9500 lbs. I am not certain what foundation would be needed if these were stacked three high. Try looking up architects that do container designs-they should know the specs you'll need. I have more container specs (inside & outside) at:

Recently I seen clients convert 40' containers into homes for Haiti and housing for crew working the Gulf oil spill. In the past we have converted them into office space, evidence lockerstrainig facilities for firefighters-you name it!

Found this for you!

http://www.runkleconsulting.com/Ship...r%20houses.htm

Shows a three high container house and explains the foundation used.It is well done.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:29 PM   #25
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


Used sea cargo containers are usually 20' or 40'. There are other sizes, but these are most standard. Price is determined by a few things. Location is one. The best prices are around port cities or major trasportation hubs. Market prices are affected by all types of things-the price of steel, availablity (Haiti & the Gulf Disaster have taken many in the SE) and how frieght is moving. There are other factors-but I don't want to bore you to tears.

BE ADVISED-Shipping containers are great for storage, but be sure you know what your getting and who you are dealing with. Try to find a local, established business. Ask a friend or neighbor.

Containers are pretty cheep to rent. Our market runs from about $65.00 to $95.00 per month.

You can expect to pay for delivery based on milage or time.

I have worked in this industry for years and will gladly answer any questions-even if you are not in my service area
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:32 AM   #26
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Hi, I am currently stationed in Afghanistan. And there are many 2,3, and even 4 container high 'apartment buildings' here. One of the 2 story 'container buildings' i've watched being built has 8 containers side by side on the first floor and 8 more stacked for the second floor, and the foundation is two footer/concrete wall foundations running the length of the building. The concrete was only under the front two and back two corners. James
thanks for the information, I am trying to collect as much as I can, as I about to talk to council about building a container studio/home at the rear of my house in Melbourne, Australia, something they have not seen a lot of, so I am trying to get ready for any possible questions, "not the norm" here could throw them into a tail spin .... it will be particularly difficult for them especially coming from a female who has limited knowledge of engineering. I am about to almost re invent the wheel here!

are there any photos that you know of available of the footings? I expect to only go 2 levels, so I may not need the footings to be as strong as the ones you are referring to. Now thinking of adding a container pool in the courtyard area!

best wishes Deb
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:43 AM   #27
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Container homes, what foundations does it need??


We modify containers into offices and set them directly on the ground- but they are single stacked. I did some two high outside of a Macy's for storage with stairs-just placed in the parking lot.

Consider these are designed to stack. Go to u-tube and type in container city. Modern Marvels has a clip about an entire condo complex built out of containers.

Someone else mentioned rust-yes these rust. They are steel. I suggest you acid wash (power washer), buff down rust and paint with industrial enamel. We have used Sherwin Williams-they have great products. A fresh coat of paint looks better and prohibits rust. I would not paint a light color-like white, it looks terrible in no time. The best long term color is a rust-brown-red. We also use tan and gray.

I am currently trying to talk my husband into a camo inspired paint job for our hunting club. We just joined and need a camper to stay overnight. We have discussed modifying a 40 ft container. I'd like to have 30 ft of living space and 10 ft of storage. I have some 40 ft combo-storage-office units out on lease. If one of these is returned, I might use it. I will just need to add a little restroom. I will have to take photos & post latter!
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:48 AM   #28
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I contacted 3 different companies about the completed containers. SeaBox.com was the main one. The prefab container homes: $54000 for the 40ft completely finished kitchen/ it is wired, plumbing, one bedroom and bath. Super nice.

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The U.S. D.O.D. has multiple contracts now for companies which turn these containers into "apartments" for two (2) servicemen/women stationed at remote post such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine being there and being assigned to live in a big tent, then getting one of these to live in, even with another grunt. I'd call them Heaven if it were me. They come completely wired, plumbed, and furnished. Just set them, hook up wiring, plumbing, etc., and hand over the keys. There stacked two-story high with balconies running the length of ten units with stairways. Not bad for our service people in my opinion. The Officers get single occupied units--of course. David

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