You need to set your container on something, and I've tried basic kinds of foundations:
- Pier and beam: the beams are essentially built into the floor of the container, so one can support the container by placing beams at the corners. You can see my shoddy attempt at this below; it's literally just cinder blocks at each corner, sinking into the ground due to the weight of the container.
- Slab: much easier is to simply set the container on concrete slab, poured and leveled just as you would with any other building foundation. We did this in Kenya: easy, cheap, and thus far (1 year) very stable / level. I'm doing the same thing at American Steel: we simply set the container on asphalt.
Aspirationally, I want to try the following:
- Proper piers, lofted container: dig 8' holes for the piers, as you would with piers for a pier-and-beam-house. extend piers 8' above ground. Rent a crane and place container on top of piers. Build spiral staircase to access your container in the sky. Optionally, fence in ground-floor workshop:)
- 20' base, 40' loft. My dream home + shop is a 20' container base with a 40' container centered above it. 2 containers = 480 square feet interior space, 3 decks, and 2 shaded areas:)