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Shipping Container Basement?

 
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evance



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:52 pm    Post subject: Shipping Container Basement? Reply with quote

I haven't seen any discussion of using Shipping Containers to build a basement. Can it be done? Links or references to container basements would be appreciated.

I've read suggestions to buy new(er) shipping containers that don't have dents (and other blemishes) to improve the apperance from the outside (or make it cheaper to make look nice).

My question is...couldn't I buy a bunch of bad looking (from the outside) containers and make a large basement and not worry about the look from the outside?

I've always thought it would be cool to have one pretty small room on the first floor and then a large basement. most of the roof of the basement would be the lawn around the house. How would that work? Any thoughts or ideas?

Thanks,

Eric
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lavardera



Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 708
Location: merchantville, nj

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The underside of a container is waterproofed, and painted, but between the floor framing is the underside of the plywood deck.

Now that you know this do you still want to put that down underground as your basement floor?
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dirtykj



Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turn the container upside-down?
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evance



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dirtykj wrote:
Turn the container upside-down?


That's an interesting idea. Any reason that wouldn't work?

Well, I might not want to grow a lawn on the wood floor either.

There must be some easy way around this problem.
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dcross



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 91
Location: SC, FL

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, remove the problem i.e. the wood floor. This takes forever and a day especially the older the containers. You will have 360 some odd bolts to breakout, these were not designed to be removed and it the most awful job ever. But if you do, you are now looking at steel cross members at 11.25" centers (or you may view them as preinstalled rebar) Pour away to your hearts content and enjoy your new concrete floor while sipping cocktails nursing your two sprained wrists. I have had to remove the floors on 25 containers and it ranks up there as some of the most thankless work in the world.
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evance



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dcross wrote:
OK, remove the problem i.e. the wood floor. This takes forever and a day especially the older the containers. You will have 360 some odd bolts to breakout, these were not designed to be removed and it the most awful job ever. But if you do, you are now looking at steel cross members at 11.25" centers (or you may view them as preinstalled rebar) Pour away to your hearts content and enjoy your new concrete floor while sipping cocktails nursing your two sprained wrists. I have had to remove the floors on 25 containers and it ranks up there as some of the most thankless work in the world.


I'm definitely open to the work. Though I'm not sure the basement idea would really achieve the results I was looking for (that being reduce cost by buying cheaper containers). If I have to dig the hole, hire a crain to place the containers in the hole, and pour concrete floors...I might end up working more and paying more than just building it at ground level.

Am I right about that?
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sailboatescape



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen (and been told) that many of the floors are teak. Have I been misinformed or only looked at veneer? IF they are teak, it is the most rot resistant wood available and I don't think there would be a reason to remove it, though I hadn't thought about a basement. However, I had thought about setting the containers closer to the ground than what is permitted by residential building codes for non-rot resistant wood and then doing some backfill around the exterior.
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Michael



Joined: 09 Sep 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Kauai

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Shipping Container Basement? Reply with quote

Containers are designed to have some air circulation under the floor. They spent their life†on concrete, asphalt, steel chassis or other containers. Not usually on the dirt or especially under the dirt. If you put the bottom in dirt the moisture would make the bottom a mold/rot pit in no time unless you live in the desert. I wouldnít invest in a home built on a rotting foundation. I think most codes would require a crawl space under a wooden floor.

Turning upside down ...... I donít think that's a good idea. The deck is incredibly strong, made for heavy forklift to drive on, the roof is very weak. In my opinion the more you modify the box the more you miss the point of cheap, strong shelter.

Removing the wooden floor is a major project and now you have to do something about the rusting steel. I think I remember seeing solid teak flooring in the 70ís but after, various hardwood veneers (plywood). I havenít seen teak veneers in a long while, but current model still have some beautiful hardwoods.
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