Most houses in our area sit on a pier and beam foundations. We think it’s best for the swampy area that we live in, as everything is constantly moving and settling with rain and droughts. Basically, the piers are concrete, and the beams support the house, like you see below. Our container home won’t need the beams because they’re built into the steel box, but it will be on piers.
image from The Odd Group
Many people put a skirt or barrier around the foundation so that you can’t tell the house is on blocks. This probably helps keep critters from finding a way under your house, but it can also keep water under there and it can make it difficult to adjust your foundation when the time comes (again, because everything is always moving here). See the wood at the bottom of the house below? That’s a skirt.
image from Cook + Fox Architects
In a meeting with our contractor and developer recently, our contractor suggested skirting the house. Since this adds additional money and possible issues, our developer suggested that we just paint the piers black. She said they would really just disappear below the dark house anyway, giving the house a floating appearance. And it’s true! Check out the photo I took of the Cordell house a couple of weeks ago–I bet you can’t even see the black pier under the corner of the deck:
Here’s another example of a “floating” house:
image from Jetson Green
I think this was one of the easiest issues we’ve solved to date!