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Storage Container Foundations: Wood Beam, Part 1

07.12.2020 - Posted by Updated On 07.12.2020    

Once you've decided to purchase a shipping container and convert it into a storage unit, it's important to decide where it's going to be placed. A solid foundation for your container isn't an absolute requirement for your container; however along with making keeping it stable and square, it can greatly reduce your storage units exposure to moisture and the corrosion that follows. Depending on your budget and the length of time that you expect the container to remain in it's place there are several options available to you. The three most common are: wooden beams, concrete slabs, and concrete footings. In this article, we will discuss wood beam footings.

This article provides a general outline for building a suitable foundation. Before you undertake a project like this on your own it's always important to check with a professional to make sure that there are no environmental or other issues that must be considered in your planning.

Wooden Beam Footings

Materials Required:

  • Rail road ties, treated 4"x4" Wood beams, or similar skids.
  • Loose stone or grave for a gravel bed.
  • Spade shovel, gloves, etc.
Wooden beam footings are the least expensive, easiest to install, and the better than leaving your storage container rest on the ground. With minimal site preperation they can be installed shortly before your container is delivered. Before you start, you'll need pressure or oil treated rail road ties or skids, and loose stone or gravel; both of which can purchase from most local lumber yards or at Home Depot. Since steel containers get their support from their frame, you'll only need enough material to support in the four corners. If you'd like extra stability, you can also place support at the middle points on the long side of the container. Shipping container foundation, railroad ties


Begin to build your foundation by laying out your area and digging a 4" to 6" gravel bed at each end, the length of the end. The gravel bed will provide necessary drainage to keep the beams dry and prevent any premature rotting. Once the gravel beds are in place you can lay out your beams accordingly. It's best to have your container at least 6" off the ground to allow for air circulation. Skirting or fencing can be installed later if you are in an area where there are small animals that may decide to take residence under your storage unit.

Once your container arrives the lift or truck can place it on the ties, however it may require some adjustments to keep your foundation in the proper place.

Part 2: Concrete Footing Container Foundation

Part 3: Concrete Slab Container Foundation

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