Our container home is going to live in a garden for the time being. Our fantastic brother and sister-in-law have just bought a little cottage on a big piece of land (1800 square metres) in Cape Town. They have generously said that we can use a corner of their garden to build our container home and live in for the next 18 months, in exchange for helping them pay the rates, and obviously paying for our electricity and water. Sounds like a great deal to me!
We cleared the brush that was in the corner and measured out the spots for where the containers would go, firstly to double-check that they would fit, and once we had confirmed that, to find just the right spot.
Once everything was measured up, we had to put in the footings. The beauty of a shipping container is that it doesn’t need a foundation because a container is made to be stacked and take all the weight of its contents in its four corners.
If you are building a container home, the footings you need will depend on the soil type and the size of your container home. Our soil is hard clay and so we could rest the weight of the container on the surface. We made footings out of concrete paving slabs and plaster bricks. The challenge was making sure that they are all at the same height so that the container sits level. But – just to be difficult, you will need a slight tilt on the short side to allow water to run off rather than dam on the top.
Once the footings were in, we were ready to roll. The containers arrived on a truck which just about squeezed up the driveway and within minutes, the containers were in place. Neil from Container Worx was there every step of the way, from the depot to the driveway, overseeing the whole process.
The containers are in place and it all feels very real all of a sudden! The next step is to cut holes and install the doors and windows. More on that coming up soon in our next blog post!