With a dome-like shape, Quonset hut style homes have a unique look, and their quick building time makes this metal building a popular choice for adventurous homeowners.
If you’re thinking of turning a metal building into a home, you may be wondering what advantages the Quonset style offers and how these buildings are erected.
What is a Quonset Building?
Quonset huts are prefabricated steel buildings that are lightweight and have a semicircular design. The style was developed in the United States, and is modeled after the Nissen hut introduced in World War I by the British.
The name comes from the first manufacturer of these buildings: Quonset Point.
Hundreds of thousands of these buildings were produced during WWII, and the surplus was sold to the public.
Quonset huts were first introduced in 1941, when the U.S. Navy needed a lightweight building that could be transported and assembled anywhere in the world. No skilled labor is required to erect this style of building, which is still part of the appeal today.
While you’ll still find these buildings in commercial settings and as garages, it’s not uncommon to find a Quonset hut for sale in residential neighborhoods.
The Advantages of Quonset Hut Home
Quonset homes offer a number of advantages, and many of them are similar to what any other steel building would offer. In fact, the only real difference between rigid steel building kits and Quonset hut home kits is the shape.
Quonset buildings are arched, while rigid buildings are typically rectangular.
As far as benefits go, Quonset buildings have plenty:
#1 – Weather Resistant
One of the main advantages of choosing a Quonset home (or a steel building home in general) is that it can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Unlike a conventional stick home, a Quonset home can withstand hurricanes, blizzards and even earthquakes. Even when faced with heavy winds and snow loads, these buildings stand strong.
This type of structure was originally designed for rugged applications, and its design is exceptionally resilient. The rounded roof and angular sides allow air to easily pass over the building, which minimizes the risk of wind damage and structural leaning.
The shape of the building also allows for structural stability without the need for pillars and beams.
Quality Quonset huts are built with galvanized steel, which is incredibly durable and rust-resistant.
#2 – Versatile and Customizable
Quonset huts can be manufactured in virtually any size, making them highly versatile and customizable. The width, length and height of the building can be tailored to your needs, so you can live comfortably.
#3 – Plenty of Usable Space
In a conventional home, space is wasted on floors, stairs, hallways, and walls. Quonset style homes allow you to maximize your space by offering a completely open layout. You’ll find that most Quonset hut homes floor plans are wide open, with virtually no walls or formal rooms in sight.
And because there are no beams or pillars, you can truly make use of nearly every inch of interior space.
#4 – Cost Effective and Quick to Build
Part of the appeal of metal building homes is their affordability. But among all metal building types, the Quonset is one of the most cost-effective choices.
While Quonset building prices vary from one manufacturer to another, the overall cost is still significantly lower than most other metal buildings – and sharply lower than a stick-built home.
Most huts will cost between $1,500 and $15,000 on average, depending on how elaborate and large the hut will be.
Quonset buildings are also incredibly quick to build, and no special skill is required. You don’t need construction experience or heavy equipment either. Depending on the size and floor plan, it may only take a few days to erect a Quonset home.
And if you buy a kit, you can build the hut yourself to save even more money.
Most huts are built on concrete slabs, so you’ll need to check your local zoning requirements to make sure the hut complies with local regulations.
#5 – Easy to Maintain, and Comfortable to Live In
With a Quonset home, you never have to worry about heavy snow causing the roof to collapse. Rain and snow just slide right off. You don’t have to worry about replacing the roof or painting your home either.
Maintenance is easy and cost-effective with a Quonset hut.
Worried about staying warm and comfortable in your hut? Don’t be.
These buildings can be insulated just like any other, and they stay warm and cozy all winter long. In fact, researchers use these buildings in some of the coldest regions of the world.
And with the addition of lofts, dividers and other creative techniques, you can make your home feel just like a conventional home, with private bedrooms and wide open living areas.
#6 – Multiple Uses
You may be planning to use your Quonset building as a home, but these huts have many other uses as well.
They’re commonly used as warehouses and storage facilities. You’ll also see these huts used in industrial encampments and for mining exploration. If that’s not proof of the hut’s durability and longevity, I don’t know what is.
Outside of commercial and industrial applications, these huts can also be used for:
The possibilities are endless.
Cost-effective, versatile, and customizable, Quonset huts are a good option for alternative storage structures. With their cost-effective design, these huts fit into virtually every budget.
Quonset Huts vs Steel Buildings
Although Quonset huts and steel buildings are similar in nature, their architectural styles are very different.
Steel buildings have rigid frames
Quonset huts have arch-style frames
Steel buildings generally have taller interior walls, which is beneficial for storage.
Quonset huts generally come at more affordable prices, and construction is DIY-friendly. These structures are self-supporting and pre-made, which makes them easy to assemble even without building experience. No interior columns are required either.
Because you can assemble a Quonset hut on your own, you can save money on construction costs.
Metal buildings, on the other hand, are more complicated to build and typically require skilled labor to construct. Depending on your location and property, the assembly could increase the price of your building significantly.
Both types of structures have their advantages, but a Quonset hut may be better for some uses than others.
Where To Buy Your Quonset Building Kit?
If you are looking for top quality, we recommend Earl Parson of Clever Moderns. He is the most knowledgeable person for constructing Quonset’s we have come across.
The nice gallery above features of his work.
If you are looking to go the DIY route, eBay is a decent source for wholesale pricing on Quonset huts.