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Author Topic: Burying conex  (Read 1541 times)

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Online trimguy

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Burying conex
« on: October 04, 2020, 09:46:15 AM »
Does anybody have any experience burying a conex ? Iím thinking of burying 2 about 15 - 20 ft apart in a bank leaving the doors exposed. I would put a roof between them ( also buried) for open storage. Would they hold up ? Would they hold the weight of the dirt , roughly about 3-4 ft at the back to about 6Ē in the front ? Iím thinking the 20í conex. I might decide to go with the 40í before I do it. Any experiences and all thoughts will be appreciated.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2020, 09:47:37 AM »
Also if I do go with the 40í it would mean more dirt on top at the back.

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 10:21:51 AM »
The roof/ceiling can handle about 330 lbs per sq ft. The sides  can handle much, much more, but the centers are much weaker. 

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 11:22:50 AM »
If you are really going to bury a container, would consider using crushed rock to backfill the thing, if you were to level the ground under the container, with a little slope so water could drain away, and then put rock against the container and on top, the water would be able to get away from the container and you should get some life from it.  Would consider painting it with basement waterproofing as well.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 11:35:09 AM »
I don't know. Corten steel that containers are made from is designed to rust so the sea floor isn't covered with them.  I have two 40' HC refrigerated shipping containers, one is my kiln.  Those are aluminum cladded with stainless walls, so better weather resistance. 
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Offline florida

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2020, 11:44:12 AM »
I think they would rust out pretty quickly. Iíve had them rust out and the roofs fall in from condensation here in south Florida in just 4 or 5 years. They are built to make one y day trip across the Pacific and thatís pretty much it. 
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 08:39:51 PM »
I wonder if youíre painted the containers with Rhino liner like they use on truck beds if it would help keep them from rusting out?
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2020, 09:50:10 PM »
I can do the drain stone. I can do the tar waterproofing. I'll have to check on Rhino lining , that might get expensive. if I do the water proofing, whats everyones thought about doing the bottom ? that might get a little tricky

Offline charles mann

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2020, 11:55:42 PM »
A guy down the road from meA, in central tx, buried a couple for storm/storage/inlaws and after 5 yrs, the roof collapsed due to rusting out. 

What is your end goal for being underground? 
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 12:18:08 AM »
If you can get them cheap enough, use it as a concrete form?  Pour a slab, set the box, erect the "outside" form and fill with concrete?  Then it wouldn't matter if/when it rusts out.
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2020, 12:54:41 AM »
If you can get them cheap enough, use it as a concrete form?  Pour a slab, set the box, erect the "outside" form and fill with concrete?  Then it wouldn't matter if/when it rusts out.
That is what i was thinking too. Instead of using the conex as an inner form, just earth form the walls and pour 4, preferably, 6 in thick and ensure to leave a 2x4Ē lip on the floor, for tar strips and same for the ceiling to help make it more water tight. 
Yes, mud and rebar is more expensive, but better longevity. 
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2020, 05:43:22 AM »
They don't recommend to bury them --just saying .I've got a 40 footer but it's above ground .It's got about 4 gallons of Rust-Oleum on it and should last me the rest of my life .

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2020, 07:39:28 AM »
My end goalóó-
I have 3 1/2 acres and itís all sloped up hill to the back of the property. I need more storage than I have, which is already 800 so ft than the ď genius commissioners of my city/ county ď think you Should have. Their rule is ď no more than 5% of the property or no larger than 1200 sq ft. When I was doing some work for an inspector , he said a farmer was taking them to court over this. He has 52 acres and they wouldnít give him a permit to build a barn, ( I donít know the sq ft but over 1200) So with having the bank I cut out  up by my shop and the county doing satellite pictures I thought this might be the best way.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2020, 07:59:27 AM »
Sounds like you need to go help the farmer win his case, then send some of those County folks to the unemployment line.  
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2020, 08:43:15 AM »
I don't think it's a good idea to use a container whose metal is designed to rust as a below ground shelter.  

I've seen many Connex rust out in the open air, and too many iron water pipes rust out underground.



  

 
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2020, 09:48:08 AM »
I'm certainly no expert on Corten steel but I think the secret with any metal is keep it from ground contact .To add to that these shipping boxes have been around for a long but when they started using weathering type steel who actually knows .The floors are treated marine plywood so they should last almost  forever. I've heard they can float on the Pacific ocean about a month full of cell phones before they sink which says a lot about the door seals .
For the math 3.5 acres is 140,480 sq feet .A forty foot shipping box is 320 square feet .

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2020, 10:08:38 AM »
I didnít realize they were design to rust . I hadnít thought about steel water pipes , Iíve had to dig up and replace more than my share. Yes if it was up to me , Iíd get rid of all our commissioners, they are all crooks and I know some stories to prove it .About the sq ft , I already have a 40í x  40í  shop and a 20í x 20í pavilion. Equal to 2000 sq ft. If the metal was protected with foundation water proofing do you think that might hold up ? 

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2020, 11:48:21 AM »
It's not the rusting out from being wet .It's the fact nearly any bare metal will eat away by galvantic reaction in soil .Blue clay is the worst .It might take a long while though depending .
Logically thinking even if you could bury it you'd have  more time and energy ,not to mention the cost involved to do so than the taxes .A forty footer goes for about $2400 .Even if you dug the excavation with a pick and shovel .
I could check on Google earth for a fly over on mine but since it's under the canopy of 100 foot trees I doubt it would show up this time of the years .If it did and they raised my taxes I'd protest it .I always have and  always will .---don't get me started on property taxes --just saying  :) 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2020, 01:16:17 PM »
You dont want to coat in anything that will actually dry.  So all these rubberized or rhino lined or painted frames.. They all have a catalyst and all harden before seeping into the joints that need the moisture displaced. Then you just grow a well hidden rust bubble that is 5x larger when it pops off a frosted flake of rhino lining.  


You want something that seeps and cures slowly.  Either NH oil undercoating or maybe an asphalt/fiberglass foundation and flashing sealer.  The container would probably need to be sitting on fairly porous crushed rock and then have it packed in between the dirt and the container for a breathable barrier.  Probably need a french drain at the perimeter.  And the dirtwork has to be finished in a way that really rejects runoff from getting down into the crushed rock.  

I would use probably 1" crushed rather than something with fines.  The more air space in there the more your moisture can be wicked out during the dryer relative humudity periods.  Wet travels toward dry.  Blocking any movement of moisture with plastics and such is a mistake IMO.. Itll just trap condensate and create mold. 
 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2020, 01:21:04 PM »
There is a part of me that says cut some holes in the container walls and weld mesh over them. That way if moisture is an issue, opening the doors and putting a fan in can be atleast some form of remedy.

A shop vac with the hose plugged into a little stub of tailpipe welded over a holesaw hole, and just blowing out the open door could really pull air and moisture through the gravel barrier and help with any water issues.  Better to have the option than not i think.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2020, 03:33:13 PM »
Most of them already have some sort of vents in them .I think mine has four high and four low .In other words low being vented out the top sides via a sealed strut closed to sea water . Mine being above ground I use a box fan on medium speed  for air movement .So far no problem due to humidity .Dry as a bone .
Funny thing about these things which are all over the world being they are in essence a giant tin can .Some might make twenty or more trips and some just a few .Mine is what they call "cargo ready" which cost me another 100 bucks .They sell these things for just about what it cost to make them brand new in China .Some of the giant shipping companies were spending 7 to 9 percent of their cost shipping these things back empty  to be reused for more cargo which is why there are so many .
I might add mine has a welded on plate with when and where it was made and who made it . As well as certain maritime authorities all over the world inspecting them periodically and approving it for reshipment .

Offline charles mann

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2020, 03:51:27 PM »
Seems more cost worthy in the long run, to get rid of the corrupt county officials. 
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2020, 07:48:49 PM »
Not sure if I would:
A.   Challenge the county.
B.  Sell stuff.
C. Store stuff outside.
D.  Store stuff elsewhere.
E.  Move.

Or some combination. But I would not bury a container.  An expensive solution that is more expensive to fix when it fails...
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2020, 09:05:42 AM »
I chose move.  It wasnt a small endeavor.  
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2020, 11:53:35 AM »
Building permits, edicts or whatever you call them are just local politics .In Ohio for example unless it's been changed does not require a building permit for an agricultural building .I for example could have any number of sheds if they are all 12 by 16 or smaller .
Although I would not do it I suppose I could plant a half dozen apple trees and sell a few bushels of apples and call it agriculture .As it is now that 2 acre plot only grows grass .Takes me about 1 hour to mow it with a zero turn Toro .I'm not required to though .I could just let it turn to weeds and there is nothing they could do about it .

BTW I did check out a satellite fly over on Google earth .You can't see a thing because that once Costco box is hidden under the trees .Plus it's painted hunter green .

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2020, 06:50:23 AM »
So, how about this? Take the cement stacking blocks ( not concrete 8 x 16 blocks ) , a guy said he thought They were 2í x 3í x 4 or 5 foot and stack them up for walls, tar of the outside with foundation coat , Put 6Ē x 6Ē Ďs across the top with steel decking and pour concrete.I would like to do about 15 foot inside of wall to inside of wall. That would be the span for the 6 x 6. I know there is a beam calculator, I looked at it Iím not really sure what numbers I need to type in. I would like to know if the 6Ē x 6Ē Ďs
Would be strong enough for approximately 4 inches of concrete and the dirt. My ground is sand and I donít know how much that weighs I can find out later today how much concrete Weighs. I will be using Southern Pine , there was different ones listed in the chart Iím not sure which one I am have. So is this as clear as mud ?

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2020, 07:24:12 AM »
Know nothing of your county zoning but I expect the farmer to win, lots of farmer right to farm groups to keep suburban and urban zoning rules from hurting farmers.  That said, 3.5 acres probably won't fall into farm use, at least around here.  You'd have to get livestock, or honey bees, or something intensive (berries, etc) to show some income from ag and the new storage would need to be ag.  What a PITA if all you want is a shop.  If you have actual steep earth banks I'd turn the shop into a bank barn assuming that the rules are related to the footprint of the building rather than the sqft.  Pour some new footings, put up some heavier posts, string across some new trusses that can handle the weight, add a second floor and have it be a earth berm up to the second floor.  Might be a bit more expensive but you'd have another 1600 of storage.  Don't do this unless your shop was grandfathered in the zoning rules ie is the shop older than the zoning rules limiting storage to less than 1200sqft.  


Other options  First move:  The good news/bad news is that areas with such zoning have seen pretty strong price appreciation so maybe moving is the better option and the property has appreciated in value enough to allow you to purchase something in an adjacent more rural area?

Second option:  put up a temporary shelter- a tent.  Usually these are exempted but check, they make some pretty stout temporary shelters.  

Third option:  Connect the storage to your house.  Do you have a home on the 3.5 acres?  Get a building permit and add a new garage, if physically connected there is little zoning wise to prevent you, just follow the rules but keep it connected.  This may increase/decrease your resale value so be careful.  

Don't try to hide a structure from you county, with the imaging available today they can literally be watching your progress (see pictometry for example -which is actual captured by planes and is available is super high resolutions to govt employees vs what we can see as consumers-which is already amazing).  If your neighbors care, and you never know, the county could enforce an order to remove the container and what a PITA that would be.  

On a side note, I use tools like pictometry to scout forested tracts, resolutions amazing and many counties offer it as part of the gis service available to public.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2020, 07:45:56 AM »
Even more to think about. Yes, ideally Iíd love to own 100 acres . I am familiar with the GIS and the pictures of the properties. Here is a picture standing in front of my shop looking back in the general location Iíd like to put this other building.


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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2020, 10:36:12 AM »
Concrete is 42 pounds a square foot at 4Ē thick.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2020, 11:01:41 AM »
About 15 years ago I saw a couple of Conex boxes buried in a hummock near Christmas Valley sand dunes in central Oregon, doors were open and I did not see any rust holes, soil sandy, area is high desert so relatively dry. In your last photo it looks like the soil may be sandy = good drainage. If soil and drainage are right go for it.  would make a good "root cellar" for you.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2020, 03:19:57 PM »
I would do the waste concrete blocks.
Set on 1 1/2 crushed stone.
Parge the outside of the blocks with roofing tar.
6◊6 16" oc with 2x roof decking.
Cover the 2x deck with rubber roof membrane. 
Then add you dirt.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2020, 05:31:39 PM »
Not knowing the loads being designed for aside, that would still be a building. I'd ask for a zoning variance.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2020, 08:07:36 PM »
Do they put a limit on how much property tax you can have or just storage space?  


Id build a nice 'for sale' sign. 
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2020, 11:33:39 PM »
I did point out to our zoning commission that I had added several million dollars of taxable buildings to the tax base in the neighboring county that they were not allowing. With what is going on with the local farmer and you, and with the advice you are hearing here to leave their fair county, it may not hurt to point out their decisions could be harming them as well as you.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2020, 07:07:41 AM »
I just donít see buying another piece of property is is in the cards right now. Ideally I would love to own a bigger chunk of land than I do now. I will ask around and see if  I can find out who to present my case to. That might give me some lee way. If I can get a variance, Iíll probably still need to put it in the bank because of the slope of my ground. Is it realistic to think the 6 x 6 Joyce would hold forward to the concrete to put the dirt on for the ceiling? If I get a variance I can do concrete walls of out of the dirt with a tin roof, but if I covered it with dirt, like a first thought I think it would help with the heat and the Georgia summer.?

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2020, 07:14:44 AM »
No, that would not even be close for the span and load. If this is to be dry storage is there some compelling reason to put the roof underground? That is not a recipe for cheap or dry. The walls are not a big hurdle but the roof would be.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2020, 07:20:52 AM »
No I guess there isnít. Thatís the way the plan started, and then I thought well it would be a lot cooler in there in the summertime maybe that part of the plan would be still be good a good idea. I appreciate everybodyís thoughts And the comments. Even if itís not what I want to hear😁 . I guess if I canít find the right person to talk to, I have to wait till Can upgrade to another piece of property somewhere else.

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2020, 07:35:54 AM »
Edit;
Just to throw a little bit out there, for a typical 40psf floor load it requires 2x12's on 16" centers to make that span and load. A 2x12 has roughly twice the bending strength of a 6x6. I do not know how much dirt you are talking about but you would need to design for a heavier waterproof deck and the weight of the dirt thoroughly saturated during a frog strangler.

Are you in the county or a town's jurisdiction? Post that here or find their zoning ordinance and commission online, that procedure should be posted there.
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Online trimguy

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2020, 07:50:34 AM »
I am in Richmond County Georgia. Itís Augusta/Richmond County, I donít know all the details, my understanding is if you years ago Augusta annexed Richmond County because the commissioners wasted all the money and Needed more tax money. 1 - 2 x 12 has roughly the same bending strength as a 6 x 6 ?

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2020, 07:59:12 AM »
No, a 2x12 has roughly twice the bending strength of a 6x6. "Deeper is cheaper".

Here are some Augusta zoning links and how to apply for a variance;
Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) | Augusta, GA - Official Website

This is a copy of your Comprehensive Plan;
https://www.augustaga.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8388/Comprehensive-Zoning-Ordinance---November-2019?bidId=

Do you know how the property is currently zoned, look at pages 1-3, 1-4 on the comp Plan for zoning designations, then deeper in the document should be listed allowable uses under that designation. If you are in an R don't mention business, this is a hobby.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2020, 08:06:08 AM »
.Iím I meant twice ( thatís what you wrote ) it just seemed at 1/3 the width the it would not have been that much stronger, to me. Wow, thank you for all the links I will try to look at them this afternoon. Maybe this is not a dead subject for me then. Thank you

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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2020, 01:02:29 PM »
You appear to be R-1 from our pm's, double check that with the county and familiarize yourself with the rules in the comp plan. If it is that, it is section 8 under accessory structures but also read the setback rules. Respect those, you probably won't get both a building variance and a setback variance. If you are running a wood business or anything other than a in home service like haircutting or tax prep in an R1 I'd abandon all hope and keep my mouth shut, you are probably already on very thin ice. For hobby there is some grace but don't expect much. Search the comp plan for sawmill language, some do understand that a home mill is not heavy industrial but most don't. The accessory language is oppressive and crazy there. Sometimes it just takes nicely explaining the other point of view to people who mean well but haven't thought through every possibility. If you do ask for variance your relationship with your neighbors is a very big factor, they will be informed and allowed to weigh in.
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Re: Burying conex
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2020, 06:23:19 AM »
I am self-employed, but my office is elsewhere. I donít sell any wood or wood products. I may be on thin ice though, because of my other shop.Thank you very much for your help in this matter.


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