Can Container Homes have Basements?

Can Container Homes have Basements?

In recent years, people are turning shipping containers into container homes.  What’s all the buzz around a container home and what makes it so appealing?  If someone wanted to have a basement, aka a man cave, would it be possible?

Why a Container as a Home?

Pricing is good.  As listed, a shipping container can be had for a nice price of 20 thousand dollars.  This would consist of a 20-foot container, just about a studio size for one person who is single.  

Up scaling to larger containers will cost more but just one container can offer a good amount of space.  

There are people who have spent upward of 100 hundred thousand dollars to have their container home custom made into a 6 thousand plus square foot living space that cost four hundred ninety thousand dollars. 

The final product was a three-story container home.  It contained four bedrooms, a double garage, gym, art studio and a swimming pool.  

So with a price range like that, it’s most definitely possible to build a container home with a basement.

It’s eco-friendly.  Every time a container is converted into a home, it’s helping save 7 thousand pounds of steel.  This also helps to save money on materials such as bricks or the use of wood.  

It is stylish.  Many people like the style of container homes. They find these homes to be pleasing to the eyes. Because of their modular design, they can be made into whatever you dream of.  

Living off the grid.  One possibility that people like with container homes is that they can take it off the grid.  Just think of it like a cabin without having to build the cabin.  

Shipping containers can be purchased and delivered.  Once it’s delivered to the preferred location, it can be worked on as a DIY project.  If that is not your strength, then a hired contractor can turn the container into an off the grid living home.  

Faster building time.  A container home takes a shorter time to build than a conventional home. Here’s an example, 73 shipping containers were used to build a block of offices. This took them only 8 days to install.  Using traditional block of concrete would take much longer. 

Steps to Having a Basement Container

So, can you have a container as a basement?  The short answer to this is yes!  Containers are already compartmentalized into a room so using one of them under ground is most definitely possible.  

Let’s look at what is needed to accomplish this task. The first step is to decide what size container is preferable.  The size will determine how large a hole will be needed to fit the container.  

If you have the knowledge to handle this DIY dig project, you can save approximately 12 thousand dollars.  

The other option is to hire a licensed contractor to handle the dig from start to finish; which includes getting the proper equipment, the digging, leveling, addition of peat and gravel, etc.  

A licensed contractor may be necessary depending on what type of foundation is needed due to the soil.

Foundation Types

One option is to use is concrete piers.  This is the cheapest option for building a foundation and it slightly elevates the container to keep moisture from building up underneath the container.  

Another foundation available but more costly than concrete piers is making a concrete slab to put the container on.  This option would be used on softer foundation soil.  This option also provides no hollow spaces in the foundation and is less vulnerable to termite infestation.  

Pile foundation is used when the soil is too weak to support a concrete base.  Piles are cylindrical steel tubes.  These are hammered into the ground until they reach a more suitable ground that can support a heavy load.  After all the piles are in place, concrete caps are secured on the piles creating a grid system of concrete caps.  

Piles are not recommended as a DIY project.  This type of foundation work needs a licensed contractor due to the type of equipment and installation necessary to fulfill all of the requirements. Hence, this type of foundation is the most costly.  

How to Get The Container in The Hole?

There are different methods an owner can use to have their container transported to them. 

One such method is to hire a septic tank company to haul the container.  Keep in mind this is just a 20-foot container that I’m referring to.

A larger container might need other methods of hauling.  There are various hauling services that can help with this.  Search around your city for the different options and prices.  

How to Get Into The Basement?

After the container has been set, stairs can be made leading to the front of the container. 

Steel beams can be set from the top of the container to the beginning of the stairs.  

Than cement walls can be made to create a hall path to the door of the container aka basement.  

If the access point is to be within the container home, then the access point needs to go through the top of the container leading into the container above.  They can use a ladder to go in and out, or create a staircase; it’s ultimately up to the owner. 

Yes, a Container Home Can Have a Basement!

Shipping container homes have taken off, and so are other creative ways of using them.  A container basement is just another innovative and practical idea.  

Whether it’s a DIY project or there is a contractor involved, it just takes some time, planning and know how to execute this construction.  So, yes, it’s very possible to make a container into a basement!  

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