A building or structure is only as solid and stable as the foundation that it sits on. And this doesn’t just apply to your home or shed, if you plan to place a shipping container anywhere on your property —whether temporarily or permanently— it needs a strong, flat foundation to sit on.
Shipping containers are made out of steel which makes them quite heavy, and regardless of what you are going to use the container for, from extra storage to office space or even a hobby area, you need to prepare a solid and stable foundation for the container to rest on.
Here we share some suggestions on how to prepare a foundation for your shipping container…
Location, Location, Location
Before we even discuss ground preparation, you must have a location for your shipping container that allows enough access for the delivery truck to maneuver it into position. If the container can’t be successfully delivered, then there is no point in preparing an area for its arrival.
While on the topic of accessibility and location, it is important that you have enough access space around the container once it has been delivered. Keep in mind what you are planning to use the container for. Is it a storage unit for expensive equipment? Is it a ground-level office? Generally, you want to plan for unimpeded access to and from the container.
The last thing to keep in mind when choosing a location: sidewalks. The city loves them, our trucks not so much. We can’t drive over sidewalks as they will get crushed under the weight. The containers weigh upwards of 5,000 pounds and the concrete can’t withstand the pressure. Save yourself the repair money and pick a place on your property away from the sidewalk.
Ready to install a shipping container on your property? Call A American for a quote today at 813.740.1911! And don’t forget, we are equipped to do many modifications including adding electricity, adding windows, insulation installs, and more!
Preparing the Foundation
If your shipping container is going to become a more permanent fixture on your property, and there isn’t concrete to place it on already, it might be beneficial to get a reinforced concrete slab laid. Keep in mind that you may need to pull permits for this and is an added expense.
Say you are converting a 20-foot steel container into a ground-level office at your job site. If the container was set directly on dirt, over time with heavy Florida rains, your office might start to sink. And it only has to sink a small amount at one end for your entire office to become unlevel!
Any permanent shipping container structure, whether a ground-level office, an art studio or storage unit should rest on a strong foundation.
If you are using your shipping container for temporary storage, a block foundation can be an easy way to give your shipping container a proper foundation. Blocks can be made from 6 inches by 6inc by 8-foot long pressure-treated wood, cut into 4 sections by your local hardware store. Anything that will hold on temporarily will get the job done.
Arrange the blocks before delivery, and when the container arrives, it can be positioned onto the blocks. Just be aware, wherever you place your blocks should be level and flat to prevent uneven installation.
Preparing and Leveling the Ground
Whether you plan to lay a concrete foundation or not, you will want to level the ground. This might need to be done with a bobcat or small excavator, but don’t worry, the effort will be worth it!
Now, this might be overkill if your container is only going to be used for a few weeks or months, but for anything more permanent, level ground for your shipping container to sit on is imperative.
Once the ground has been leveled, it is a good idea to compact it down with a ground compactor so you have a nice firm surface to lay a permanent foundation or place blocks on for your container’s arrival.
To lease or to buy? Our pros answer: Should I Rent Long-term or Buy a Shipping Container?
Before the Delivery
Before our team at A American delivers your shipping container, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The ground should be level
- The ground needs to be solid and dry, trucks and containers are heavy, and can become stuck in the soft or muddy ground
- Stay away from sidewalks. We can’t drive over sidewalks or we will crack them and they’ll need to be repaired on your dime. For delivery, always know what’s under the ground like lift stations and septic tanks as they could be damaged due to the weight
- The area should be clean of debris
- The route to where the container will be located should be a minimum of 12-foot wide
- Overhead clearance of the route should be at least 14-foot high
- Overhead clearance at the point where the container will be offloaded needs to be at least 20-foot high
A Reliable Source for Shipping Containers
Whether temporary or permanent, your shipping container must have a firm foundation on which to rest. This will help save you from potential problems or damage due to unstable ground which in turn will save your business money!
If you are unsure of what kind of foundation that your container needs, call our friendly customer service team at A American Container, and we will help you decide!
How can we help you think outside the box? Get a free, no-hassle quote to lease or purchase a shipping container today!