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Securing Shipping Containers to the Ground

Now that the shipping containers are in place, Kevin’s next task had to do with securing the shipping containers to the ground. Kevin has completed a large amount of the welding work. I’m pretty sure our new house won’t budge whether it’s hit by earthquake, hurricane or tornado!

Quick Recap of Previous Work

If you’re just joining us here for the first time on this blog, this is the preparation we completed in order to prepare for securing the shipping containers to the ground:

Securing the Shipping Containers to the Ground by Means of Welding

Now with all of the above complete, Kevin could finally weld the containers to the metal plates on the footings. He could also weld the containers to each other.

securing shipping containers to the ground by welding the corner castings to the metal base plates on the footings

Before every weld, Kevin cleaned the area. He wanted to ensure that the areas were free of old paint, dust, mud, rust or anything else. Contaminants will weaken the weld.

Kevin then welded the containers to the metal base plates on the footings. As you can see, he had some awkward angles to contend with!

corner castings of shipping containers secured to the ground by welds
The corner casting are welded to the metal plates on the footings. Angle-iron in the corners attaches the containers to each other.

Securing the Containers to Each Other

He also needed to attach each container to the others it touched. In the corners he used angle iron.

In one of our previously used shipping containers, a previous owner had put a small window in the side. This pushed the container out by 25mm, so there is a gap between that container and the next. Kevin cannot weld across a gap that big. Therefore he put in a piece of 25mm square tubing to bridge the two containers. He welded the containers to the 25mm square tubing.

The small window that caused the 25mm gap

As you probably know, there are several types of welding. For all of these welds, Kevin decided to use stick welding. He chose this type of welding because it is one of the stronger types of welds. He also chose it because it is not affected by wind which would blow away the shielding gasses. The last reason is because his stick welding equipment is the lightest and easiest to move around the house as he completes the welds.

(Left) angle iron bracing the corners and painted with red oxide paint for rust prevention
(Right) 25mm square tubing used to bridge the gap

Problem Solving


Our shipping containers are arranged in a box shape. So, you might ask, how did we get through the containers into the central courtyard?

The shipping container with the window, as mentioned above, has a door cut into it. However, the door is on the inside of the rectangle we created with the containers. So, if you were in the inside courtyard area, you’d be able to access only this blue container.

From the outside, you would be able to access the other blue and white container, as this one has a door previously cut, on the outside. You could also access the yellow container as its doors are still facing outwards.

The red one is wedged between two other containers, so you cannot access it. And the green one is stacked on top of the yellow one, so you cannot access that one either.

To solve this problem, Kevin has cut a door into the outside of the blue and white container that has the doorway into the courtyard. Through this container, we can now walk from the outside, through the container, right into the courtyard.

Our current entrance

The red container that is wedged between two others, will be used as our entrance hall, office and laundry. Therefore, Kevin cut away a portion of the side panel from the inside. He then pushed it inwards to make the new wall for the laundry area. We can now access the cement bags we have stored in the red container.

We have some awesome plans for our entrance hall. I’m very much looking forward to sharing our ideas, so watch this space!

What will be our entrance hall (not yet complete)

The Lost Generator

When we moved the containers into position, we forgot that we had stored the generator in the green container. This wasn’t very clever of us because that container was always destined to be stacked on top of another container. This was a problem because we really needed the generator to complete the welding. Our current electricity supply is not powerful enough to run the welders.

Kevin cut a door into the side of the container, which we can access from the top of the red (entrance hall) container. We would be adding doors to the side of this container anyway. Kevin has has just cut it a little earlier than anticipated. From here, Kevin has been running the generator. The generator is safely out of the elements and the container now has an opening too that will let exhaust fumes blow out.

From here, Kevin could prepare for the next exciting step – the roof installation!

4 thoughts on “Securing Shipping Containers to the Ground

  1. It must be very exciting seeing the shape of your house starting to crystallise, doors, inner walls, windows and all.

    1. It is exciting! It is lots of fun discussing our ideas for finishes. 🏠

  2. Wow. For a guy as big as Kevin getting down that low must have been an effort. Did he get down that low on his knee when he proposed to you? 🙂
    Now get a move on. I want to see some progress seeing that the hard work is done. O:)

    1. There’s lots happening, we promise! 😀

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