ArticlesBlog

Foundation of our Shipping Container House – Site marking, levelling, excavation, footings – Ep. 001

Foundation of our Shipping Container House – Site marking, levelling, excavation, footings – Ep. 001


Hi. Hello. If it’s your first time here I’m Duca. I’m Roberta. And we are a Brazilian couple that’s about to start building our own Shipping Container Home. If you are curious about small living spaces and do it yourself construction, make sure to subscribe to our channel and to come back every week for our weekly episodes of Living Tiny. Where we are gonna post every week the progress of us building our own tiny house. So, let’s get to it. Yeah. Hi. We are back. Finally. Day 1. What are we doing today? Today we are going to mark some points in the land to do the foundation, to put the containers. Yeah. Actually today is a really important day because the place we decided today is the place our house is gonna be for a while, at least. And we still need to approve with the owner of the land, if he allows… His dad. Yeah, my dad. But, still. It’s his land. So, we kind to need to tell him where we wanna put the containers. So, he approves and say: it’s ok. And I told him in 2 days we are gonna be done with the location. So, let’s get to work. I never turned this on in my life, ever, in my life. So, let’s see how it works. Step 1. Hold here. Step 2, here. Step 3. Well, what was supposed to take 2 days, ended up taking a lot more than that. But, I guess that’s normal when we are learning and we have never done this before. So, let me try to explain the process. In order to start the site marking and excavation, which was the first step on the process of building the shipping container footings, Duca prepared a few pieces of wood, that were used to represent each corner of the containers, and also to attach a nylon string that represented the sides of the containers. Well, this was the first mistake. But, let’s talk about that later on. Yep. Now we have all the wood we need. Hammer. Yep. Time to mark the land. It’s funny how sometimes a task can become so much more complicated on practice if compared to the theory. Placing the first string was really simple. We basically needed to decide the location of one side of the container, and that didn’t take too long. But, after this first simple task, things started getting confusing. The main problem was: how to create a perpendicular line, or in other words, how to locate the other side of the container. After discussing for a while, we gave up and decided to search for a solution on youtube, and, of course, we found one. One way of doing a perfect 90 degrees angle is to create a rectangle triangle with known distances. We decided to use the 3, 4 and 5 meters. That means, if the sides of a triangle are 3, 4 and 5 meters, in theory, the angle between the 3 and the 4 meters side will be a 90 degree angle. I say in theory because on the field is not as easy as it seem. So.. What do you still need to do? One more line to measure. Yeah. We have just one more straight line from there to there, and one from there to there, and we are done. And we have exactly the size of the house and where the house is gonna be. That’s good. So, we are almost there. Excited. First labor accident (Portuguese) What? First labor accident. First day, done. That’s it. I guess it’s gonna look good. We are excited. I mean, at least now we know where our house is gonna be. So.. We think. Yeah. No. This episode is not over, yet. That’s just the end of the first day. So, make sure to stick with us, because there is a lot more to come. Let’s get to work. Do you remember when I said we are learning? I was NOT joking. This is the second day of our shipping container home construction, and guess what? We needed to do the footings marking all over again. One of the reasons was the decision of changing the location of the house. We decided to move the house almost two meters towards the south part of the land. But, that wasn’t the main problem. Let me give you an advise. If you intend to mark a site using wood sticks and a nylon string, make sure to use extra long sticks. In the end the sticks we used were too short, and it was not possible to attach the string on level, as in the west and in the north part of the land the ground level is 30 centimeters lower. To be honest we also didn’t really liked the results we had on the second day. So, as you guys have seen this before, I guess we can skip this part and go straight to the day we started getting things right, the fourth day. But first, one explanation. The first big mistake we did when we tried to mark the container footings, was positioning the nylon strings. Basically, the big mistake was that we used this little wooden sticks to mark the corner of the container, and we used a nylon string to connect them and mark the sides of the container. And that… in the future is gonna become a big problem, because you can imagine how can we excavate each footing without taking the wood of place. So, that means, it just like not a good solution. So… this was a big mistake. If we did it right, that’s the way it should look. So, the wood sticks are far from the corner of the container. All the corners are free, so we can dig on the ground here. So, now we can dig the corners, so we can place the footings. So, let’s get back to the beginning. But first, let’s take off the old marks. Just to be clear, we said we didn’t want to pay for someone to build the house for us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get any help. This day our friend Petinati stopped by to give us a hand. So, we started by placing the reference line, that in this case is the east side of the house, and this time with longer sticks and using a water leveller to make sure we have the same level on both ends of the nylon string. In order to achieve a better precision on the perpendicular and parallel strings, this time we used the triangle method in a different way. Well, let me try to explain. Basically, we got 3 different line with 3 different colors. And then we get one of the lines and measure 3 meters. That’s the blue line. Then, we get the orange line and we make a knot crossing with the blue line and measure 4 meters. We get the 4 meters and do another knot with the red line and measure 5 meters. With another knot where. So, basically, if the red line is 5 meters the blue line is 3 meters and the orange line is 4 meters, That means, we have a perfect 90 degree angle. So, what we did, we actually got the lines and did exactly this on site, And after that was done, we were sure that the line that we just did like this and like this were perpendicular. So, we could get our wooden sticks and stick on the ground, stick on the ground and stick on the ground. And that’s how we finally got the angles right. Well, you guys must be curious about this big precast concrete pieces spread around the site. So, let me explain what is going on. We had the idea of searching for pieces of precast concrete wastes and to use them as part of our footings. And that’s what our shipping container footings are going to be made of. With the help of a friend that owns a big truck, we transported 14 precast pieces measuring 20 centimeters by 30 centimeters by 92 centimeters each. This other small pieces were not necessary, but they were too cute not to be used. So, we still need to to find a use for them. We actually got all this pieces as donation, and that became a new challenge: to find a solution for the footings using this batch of pieces. After a few attempts we came up with this layout for the footings. The 2 containers together will form an L shape, and for that, on this specific land, we decided to use 4 individual footings, that are these ones, and two double footings, that are there ones. In order of levelling the site ground, we decided to dig a square hole with bigger dimensions if compared to the precast footings, and a second dipper round hole on the center of the footing. After that, it was time to start cutting the rebars. Before I forget, that guy helping me is Fábio, another friend. Actually, he was the one that came up with the idea of using the lines to fix the angle problems. He also has his own YouTube channel. So, if you are into fitness, make sure to check out his channel, the link is on the description below. Fits perfect. Well done, guys. So, I guess for now it’s done. Let’s go for lunch. Yey, best part. Lunch time. Well, after a lunch Fábio had something else he needed to do. So, now, by myself, and with the proper safety gear, it’s time to finish the rebars. With all the mesh rebars done, we still needed to cut some extra rebars for the center holes. After that we attach them together using annealed wire. So, tomorrow we come here, make the concrete and put the concrete. And that is it? Well, not really. At this point we still needed to do 2 more things. First, to make sure the mesh rebar wouldn’t touch the ground, we spread some rocks in between the mesh rebars and the ground. Second, we still needed to do some form work in a few places where the footing needed to be over the ground level. Now, just to make sure. It’s good enough. It’s not a 100% perfect, but good enough. With all the form work done, it was finally time to start producing concrete. I first put some water into the concrete mixer. Then, I added gravel on the recipe and after that it was time to add cement, sand and some extra water. I let it mix for a while and the first batch of concrete was done. What we are doing here is trying to make sure there are no bubbles on the misture, otherwise it will have empty spots inside, in other words, weak spots. Well, we thought this step would be quicker, but after repeating the process a few times, we realized that it would take much longer than we planned. So, we decided to divide this process in 2 days. But to make sure we were doing the right thing, we took a day in between to check the results of the first day. Yep. Perfect? Yep. Next one. Yep, we did a good job. But, as this is a slow and heavy step on the building process, for the second concrete day we invited 2 friends to help. Maycon was the responsible for the mixture of the concrete while I carry the loads. André, our other friend, was responsible for flying the drone and Roberta was in charge of a really important step of the process. She was responsible for making sure all the footings were on the right level. Well, like always, this was just the theory. In order to get the job done, in the end, everyone was doing everything. I don’t know if it was possible to understand 100% of the solution we used for the containers footings. So, I hope this drawing makes helps. This is how it will look like. In the end, all we are gonna see are the precast footings and the containers on the top. Well, I guess now, we just need to be patient and wait for the containers to arrive. So, see you guys next Monday. So, today is day 1. What are we doing today? We.. I don’t know. You know, it’s day 1 and we have English problems already.

Comments (69)

  1. Muito bom, casal. Espero que os percalços do início passem longe dos próximos episódios. Vai ficar demais essa casa (o local é demais!).

  2. Looks good so far. Subsribed. Greetings from Croatia!

  3. Great! Hope everything goes perfectly right during the process! Count with my help when possible. =D

  4. Awwwwwwwww u guys are amaziiiinggg!! I just loved it and had to watch it one more time while breastfeeding hahhaha! So proudd and already waiting for the next episodeeee

  5. Looking forward for the next video mate! Awesome!

  6. Olá Roberta, conta pra mim em que cidade está sendo contruída a casa? Sou de Curitiba e também estamos em processo de projeto de uma casa container…

  7. Muito massa! Vamos q vamos, quero ver logo o próximo

  8. I cant believe it!!!!! Love it!

  9. Congratulations!! Welcome to the shipping container home community!! Not that it matters, but I am a Portuguese descendant born in the U.S.A. and now living in Mexico, where I too am in the process of building a shipping container home. Fortunately, I am doing it in an RV park where the local government regulations do not have any say in my endeavor. The home is being made so that it can be declared as portable and moveable, like a trailer. If I were to build it on a piece of land in town, on a permanent foundation, like yours, it would never pass the local building codes. Have you taken that into consideration? It is possible that in your area, you do not have to conform to building codes, but many areas require building permits when building something that you would be living in. It is a good idea to remind your viewers to check with the local building codes before they start investing in their new home. I have heard stories from others that they had to stop their work because the town would not let them continue. Anyways, best of luck in your work. I look forward to watching your progress.

  10. Hi Duca! I don't know if you remember me. I'm Marc, we met in Sydney and we worked together for Deliveroo. I'm really happy to see that you've came back to Brazil and things are going well to you. I have just subscribed to your channel. It's amazing that your builing your own house with two containers, I really like this idea, living with less stuff. I'm going to follow you for the whole seasone. Good luck

  11. 👍👍🇭🇷🇭🇷⚒🗜🔩📐🔧

  12. Comecei assitir show!

  13. By far the best conversion video on YouTube- Hello from Australia

  14. muito legal esse projeto de vocês parabéns!!
    ao mesmo tempo que pego as dicas da construção aproveito para treinar e aprender um pouco do inglês.
    já vou deixando a minha "voadora no like" como fala o youtuber tizão77 lá do japão.

  15. good job guys greetings from uruguay

  16. awesome guys. hoping to learn a lot for you.

  17. this guys need to get extra like for speaking english !!

  18. je suis francais et je suis sur ce projet avec ma compagne de construire notre maison container… merci pour toutes vos videos qui vont m'aider^^^ +1 abonné

  19. good work .. looking forward to the rest of the build 🙂

  20. I love the video. Im plannig to do a countainer house and I will follow you guys to learn how to do it.. congratulations..

  21. Where can i find the whole episodes thanks Gary

  22. odd life crafting muito obrigado por compartilhar!! Descobri o canal de vcs hj. Acho que terei uma maratona de videos neste fim de semana haha Mais um inscrito. Grande abraco!

  23. Wowwwww… I just found your channel and I'm very, veeeeeery, veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery much interested in the series. I already knew the houses in containers, but this week it looks like a lightning bolt fell on my head. I finally realized that it's an easier and cheaper way to have my own home! Really? I will start watching the series TODAY and hope to have your valuable tips! My God … you are Brazilian! Que legal!!! Um grande abraço de Sérgio, from Brasília-DF.

  24. Hey Guys vcs são de mais muito bom! ganharam mais um inscrito, nosso projeto de construir a nossa casa container homemade e vcs irão ajudar muito! let's funny!

  25. Shooooowwww demais!!!!! Parabéns!!

  26. but at the end of the day your living in your parents back yard

  27. Geometry. What is it good for?

    Or: How to be a stick in the mud!

  28. this is cute. Not many have a dad with land to give away w/o code permits etc

  29. I love it the way you both work well together and helping us

  30. Muito bom trabalho.

  31. Thank you for speaking English in this series.

  32. So I found the beginning and loving it. As one probably the age of your parents, I forget how one must learn to apply yourself and your "learning" when you start to "actually" live. Thinking and doing for yourself is the best recipe for success, teaching others and getting help along the way is what makes us human ;D

  33. New subscriber. I saw your comment on Life Uncontained and came over to take a look.
    I like this series so I subscribed.

  34. Everybody talks about price but leave out the price of land I know that's not free!!How much for land?

  35. Great video guys and looking forward to this build. Keep 'em coming!! Cheerio!!!

  36. Best to keep you left hand behind the chain guard (just hold the handle). It is designed that way so that if the saw kicks back your wrist will trigger the chain guard and stop the chain hopefully before it contacts your upper arm / body or face.

  37. Roberta, are you from Brazil?

  38. I m very interestedly, I want to try to build in my country (Indonesia), I have been following your channel.

  39. Eu amei o canal de vocês!! Sou estudante de arquitetura e estou fazendo meu TCC sobre casas contêiner. Esta série de vídeos estão me ajudando muito. Obrigada por compartilharem conhecimento! Gratidão! ♥

  40. Are you building this in Brazil? If so do you mind me asking what part of Brazil?

  41. I learned from the mistake that you did. Thanks for explaining that because I would have made the same mistake marking out the angles. Many vlogers  would have edited out their mistake and nothing would have been conveyed to the viewer.

  42. Honestly, it's a pity that you did not put a second container because you would have more space and more space.

  43. 很棒的分享!拍攝剪輯都是專業的水準..重點是內容相當淺顯易懂!感謝你們..

  44. advice is to get the same kind of container, if you get high cube then enough space for insulation and ceiling

  45. Hello from canada , love your videos and looking forward to more .

  46. U guys owesom..u deserve millions of subscriber

  47. Ola, uma duvida a respeito do terreno, Vcs tiveram que comprar ou eh algo tipo EUA como os "mobile homes" onde tem certos lugares que vc aluga o terreno?

  48. New sub, so to watch now from Day 1:🇦🇺

  49. Where did you get a Storypark t-shirt from?

  50. Hahahahahah que diferençaaaaa… Tá tocando aqui desde o primeiro 💖💖💖

  51. Ganharam um inscrito com a entrevistada no canal letrajota. To gostando dos videos, parabéns!

  52. Vim pelo canal do Leandro Letrajota. Qual o primeiro vídeo de vocês, da casa contêiner?

  53. Vim pelo canal do letra jota , incrível eu moro em Floripa no norte da ilha fiquei feliz saber q São daqui.
    ri muito do começo dessa saga parabens quem sabe um dia desse façamos uma visita.

  54. olá também conheci o canal de vocês através do letrajota eu comecei a ver e pretendo acompanhar todos os vídeos desde o primeiro parabéns a maneira detalhada que vocês explicam é fantastica penso em construir a nossa casa de contêineres e estes videos são sensacionais para aprendermos e nos animar a fazer também fiquem na paz e sucesso para vocês

  55. There's a video elsewhere on YouTube made by a designer who also built a mini-house out of shipping containers. By the time he was finished it had cost him significantly more than if he'd built the mini-house using conventional methods and materials. He admitted that it was just a funky experiment/gimmick, and not really an economical or sensible way of making a small house.

  56. I don't know how you both seem so genuine, but I've never seen a couple with more love and friendship between them than you two. You are willing to make mistakes and bare them to us, live as if tomorrow were the last day on earth, and show the world what it's like to live an alternative life style. I hate big houses and that's all that builders want to create. I love your approach to life and your practice of philosophy into reality.

  57. Comecei hoje e já me sinto super inspirado, parabéns pelo excelente trabalho, espero chegar um dia nessa fase.

  58. So cute when you put the level on the concrete.. Concrete always finds its own level.🤗

  59. Thanks God finally I found this interested channel. You are awesome couple. Yes, I Will do my own container house! Just because of you, its look simple way to do this

    Thanks a lot!
    Salam dari Indonesia..

  60. Another way to build a 90 degree angle is :

    You make an alignement with two points, the middle off this alignement should be the corner ( practical if you dont want to report the line)

    from the extremity of the two points you draw a circle with a ray superior at the mid size fo your alignement, from the intersection of those two circle you get a point , this point is a on line 90 de degree from the middle of your alignement 😉

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Mediatrice_compas.svg/440px-Mediatrice_compas.svg.png

    practical if you dont have a meter

  61. Opaaa como vão vcs? onde vcs compraram OS containers e o transporte ate o local ficou caro?

  62. Hey, guys. I love what I've seen so far (I started by watching your sailboat channel). Kind of late in the game I realized that I was on Tiny episode 17 (binge watching is abnormal for me) and had not hit the like button on anything yet so I went back and did so. I do have a couple of questions. First: when you placed the containers, did you fasten them to the concrete supports or are you using gravity? Second: when you place the sliding windows to access your outdoor areas, did you seal the bottom of the doors as you did the sides and top?

  63. This is like a guide, thanks for sharing, next week i will buy the land and i want to do the same as you did here!
    You are awesome 👏

  64. 😂 cement too cute… it can be interesting,useful, purposeful, but cute? Never thought of cement that way before. I will see cement in a whole new light from now on.👍

  65. Love the Videos I watch them ok my TV all the time I just realize that you can get a thumbs up on the YouTube on my big TV I thought you had to do it on your phone my kids Showed me how so now I'm going to re watch all the videos and give them all a thumbs up .😀😀😀

Comment here