Building Quonset Hut Homes 101: Consider These before You Make One

11 min read

There comes a day when you don’t have to roll up a log or mixing up cement just to build a house. Well, guess what? That day might be today. While a traditional house-building is tiresome, you may as well move to Quonset hut homes for a better solution. The prefab facility was initially built for a camp during the WW I, but who knows it can offer an infallible solution for modern housing?

A Quonset model is popular for its practicality and durability against extreme weather. You don’t have to be an expert in constructing to make Quonset hut homes – as long as you know the basic rules, you’ll be fine. Its characteristics are suitable for any types of shelter, be it a house, garage, barn, or workshop.

Build your own Quonset hut homes by following these guides for a perfect housing solution:

1. What is a Quonset Hut Homes

Quonset hut homes design is no longer an object of the past. With its semi-cylindrical or semi-arch model, the construction is considered less costly and surprisingly stands out aesthetically. Once found in the Rhode Island, Quonset model was simplified to provide the maximum storage space like the agricultural stock.

Building a house using this type of material will save you both time and bucks. The unique design creates a massive strength to withstand even the cruelest wind and most massive snow loads. Remarkably, thanks to its strong characteristic so you’ll have a peace of mind while resting during the peak of every season. I’m not saying that this is the strongest building ever, but you’ll feel safer as the next Katrina hit the ground.

Quonset hut homes design has two most popular models, which is the “P” and “S” one. The “P” shape is the more traditional-looking one, as can be seen in most garage or workshop. It has the typical Q-model style with straight walls and swished roof.

The “S” mould, on the other hand, is considered stronger by some people. It has a domed roof type and a straight sidewall which is mostly used as workshop or barn in areas with extreme weather. While the two has distinctive characteristics, both are ideal for residential homes as they offer a maximum amount of livable space.

Quonset hut homes model can be made of aluminum or metal steel, but the metal one creates a more favorable option. Decorating the space is not a hard work since you can tailor it with custom end walls, windows, or adding a mezzanine.

2. The Advantages of Quonset Hut Homes

While some of you are still reluctant about building a Quonset-type of a house, there are at least 5 reasons of why Quonset hut homes can make your life easier.

  • Pocket Friendly

The most notable feature of Quonset hut homes design is its low cost. Here’s the calculation: a traditional house-building will need approximately 2000 sq. ft. of land and it cost about $150 per sq. ft. In total, you’ll need to spend at least $286,156 for a single building.

On the other hand, a Quonset hut homes start as low as $5 per sq. ft. With the same amount of living space, how much buck can you spare? Do the math.

  • It’s among the Strongest Building Ever

If you reside in Florida, North Carolina, or Louisiana, having a Quonset home is most beneficial. The states are among the most vulnerable place to be hit by strong winds in the U.S., and this particular type-of-design house can help you to deal with the natural disaster.

Quonset hut homes have a long-lasting design to keep up with reliability. You see, some of them are made of PVC with galvanized steel, which makes it highly resistant to wind, hurricane, storms, snow, even fire. It is ridiculously hard to destroy a Quonset hut house once and for all.

  • Removing the Hands of Expert

What I meant by that is, setting up Quonset hut homes is quick and relatively easy. This is also the reason why Quonset homes are more favorable to build: because it sets apart the labor cost and the need to complicate things. Most of the effort can be done only by using basic tools and a little prep work.

  • Customizable Living Space

Creating an open space for a more relieving area is possible with Quonset homes. The semi-circular design comes in various lengths that are suitable to meet any residence requirement. Making separate rooms is also available by putting the partition in anywhere you want.

Quonset homes are also highly customizable. They can be ventilated, insulted, or installed with various house equipment. The rolling top shape has the aerodynamic quality that allows air to pass and over the draft; this is why Quonset hut homes have minimum structural destruction due to the wind.

  • Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly

You can’t say a word about saving the environment if you keep chopping out woods to build storage. This way, Quonset hut homes make a wiser option. You can go about and find most of the designs are made of recyclable material, particularly those that use steel and galvanized coating.

Since the structure is suitable for quick setup and easy teardown cycle, pretty much without issue that makes less waste for the landfill. A beautiful covering can protect your house from prolonged UV rays and damage from the weather.

3. Quonset Hut Vs. Pole Barn

When building a spacious storage is your goal, choosing the right material is indispensable. Nowadays, Quonset huts are famous due its reliability and durability, easy to assemble, and cheap. But should you consider another option?

Most people are used to the idea of simple engineering thanks to the prefabricated housing design available in the market; pole barn is one of them. The term is used to explain the use of poles or wood beams as the primary support of a construction house. Some include the wooden material for the support beams and metal shell for the outer part.

We know all the specs of Quonset hut homes for all-around great building criteria, but have you been made aware of what’s inside the pole barn kit? In case you’re wondering, let’s go the two battle the fight.

  • Price

If you’re planning to build storage for less than 40 ft. Wide, a pole barn is a more suitable option. However, as you span over 40 ft., the cost starts to get expensive. Quonset hut offers a more reasonable price for a long-term investment. Its sturdy material comes with a different range of price, depending on the model you choose.

  • Construction

How fast is each model built? Pole barn kit usually comes with a more complicated structure since you need to have the ability as a raw lumber. It requires fabricating the truss and cord bracings. Time wise, a prefab steel building like Quonset hut homes take halftime of conventional construction method.

  • Durability

Even the slightest minor advantage can beat the other contender. I think it’s obvious that Quonset hut wins this round. Thanks to its sturdy metal steel. Pole barns, which made of wood, are heavy enough to withstand the England weather. Life expectancy for Quonset hut homes is around 80-100 years, while pool barns can last to 40-60 years.

  • Storage

The clear spans of pole barns are not as wide as the Quonset hut. It offers interior poles and truss system, but that’s that. A Quonset house gives every corner of the room a possible storage system. The partition is quite flexible as you can put the barrier up to the ceiling.

4. Quonset Hut Home Kits & Price

It’s likely most of you expect the Quonset hut home kits come in peanuts. However, some factors can affect the expense, and you may as well calculate the number first before getting to spend.

Some basic rules to remember; the bigger the hut, the costlier it will be. So, be sure to check the following Quonset hut homes kit & price and see how much will you cash out on the project:

A small to medium Quonset hut kit used for storage or garage measuring approximately 144 square ft. costs about US$1,500 to US$15,000. The price comes without installation cost and foundation. If you wish to include both in the package, suppose you have to pay almost double the number.

For example, a 24’x24’ double car garage kit has estimated a total of US$7,900, which includes US$6,200 for the base building, US$ 1,200 for accessories, and US$500 for delivery. The foundation and installation are considered an additional cost.

A medium-to-large Quonset hut homes kit is estimated at the price of US$ 5,000 to US$35,000, depending on the size you order. For instance, 30’x40’ medium size storage for 1,200 square ft. has the price starts from US$13,000.

A complete installation for a large residential purpose will require some cash amounting between US$30,000 and US$400,000 or even more.

If you wish to build the foundation yourself, the price will likely be less expensive. However, grading the site, creating a foundation, and installing home equipment such as electricity, plumbing, etc. can cost between US$1,000 to US$30,000. Please note that a complete and professional foundation-making and installation will cost from US$10,000 to US$50,000.

The price of Quonset hut homes kit varies due to the dimension, location, and what’s included in the package. Remember that the kit arrives with the easy-to-assemble construction plan. The basic kit consists of panels, a bag of bolts, customized fasteners, and a user-friendly installation instruction with pictures.

5. Quonset Hut Home Floor Plans

Just like any other predesigned homes, Quonset hut homes come with a fixed structure. If you have any floor plan ideas, it should be balanced with the size of the kit.

To help you divide the rooms well, here are some of the most popular Quonset hut floor plans:

  • 24’x24’ (about 576 square feet)

The small space is quite popular in modern design, purposely utilized as a double car garage. In other cases, the size is suitable for a single person, fitting one bedroom, one bathroom, a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room. Due to its small measure, this particular house is cheap and practical.

  • 40’x30’ (about 800 square feet)

Similar to a house measuring approximately 74 m2, this type of floor plans for Quonset hut is popular to provide adequate livable space. One master bedroom and a smaller bedroom plus two bathrooms should be enough to accommodate your small family. Add a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room for a more functional Quonset home.

  • 30’x40’ (about 1200 square feet)

This type of floor plan is favorite for large Quonset hut homes; you can even create mezzanine to double up the storage. With such size, 2 master bedrooms, and 2 smaller bedrooms are possibly the best you can get. Add to that, a kitchen, a multipurpose room, a dining room, and a living room is expected to make your living space livelier.

Plotting your floor plan before buying a set of Quonset hut kit will give you a better result. Remember that different company offers different sizes, so it’s better to consult with them about your idea and ask for an expert’s suggestion.

6. How to Build a Quonset Hut

The fabrication of Quonset hut may be simple, but it can be a precarious process if you don’t know what to do or where to start. Building a Quonset hut doesn’t require many complicated steps. The half-tubular arch design can stand out. Thanks to its A-class quality.  Before constructing one yourself, here are some considerations to put in mind:

  • Understanding Your Quonset Hut Material

Originally, Quonset hut material was made of aluminum with interlocking arches for multipurpose shelters. After the war, the most popular Quonset hut homes material kit includes the metal steel frames, metal panels, and paper insulation. It wasn’t long ago that Quonset hut is also available with wooden arches design, typically created during the war (that’s just because steel was in very high demand and expensive).

These days’ Quonset hut homes material is dominated by corrugated galvanized steel that produces a linear grooved pattern. Don’t be tricked by the use of “metal,” since the object is lightweight, easy to transport, and easy to assembly. A modern Quonset hut is made of steel sheets, beams, and steel columns.

  • Quonset Hut Insulation

One important process in building a Quonset hut is creating a proper insulation. Ideally, the metal shell itself is designed to be watertight, weather-proof, or moisture-free. Well, guess what, even the well-planned project can be hit by a cruel reality. If you don’t attach the sheet well, the cold breeze may slap you in the face during the winter, or the heat stroke will affect the nature of metal construction.

One simple choice is to insulate your Quonset house using a super metal sealant and double-sided tape, round it from the ground part, up to the top, and back down. The option is down to give your shelter a radiant barrier, vapor barrier, and reflective insulation.

Another great option is using the closed-cell spray foam to insulate the exterior shell of the arched building for moisture insulation. To prevent it from degrading due to vicious sunlight, you can apply UV protection spray on the coating shell.

  • Quonset Hut Interior Design

A traditional small-spaced Quonset hut doesn’t require anything complicated to make it look aesthetically pleasing. You can have a fancy interior design by choosing the right furnishing and get the most comfortable shelter ever.

With the arched characteristic, decorating your bedroom with eclectic bed can be more elegant. For the kitchen, try to combine the rustic nature of Quonset hut homes with contemporary steel cabinets, marble countertops, and stainless steel appliances to make it look more modern.

Quonset hut homes interior design can fit almost any built-in and freestanding furniture. However, the built-in ones are more favorable due to the arching style. A bench-style sofa can fit snugly against the wall and create compact living space.

If you wish to find the perfect interior design for your Quonset hut homes, look for inspiration available out there.

  • Quonset Hut End Walls

When you opt for customizable end walls for your Quonset hut, the following ideas may give you a great solution:

Steel end walls or custom end walls for an open-ended building is a great option, whether you want to aim for sliding door, sectional door, or a walk through the door.

Adding windows and ventilation makes a plausible solution to provide maximum airflow, and they can be easily installed into the end walls of the hut. A skylight is another option to custom Quonset hut homes end walls that may act as a light panel. The V-shaped configuration can create different-angled lights for a more refined shine through the house.

Many people also choose to build their own custom end walls with a block, brick, and wood to make the hut looks more “traditional.” However, you may need the contractor to advise on a particular customizable design, so it’ll pass the building inspection.

  • Quonset Hut Sliding Doors

The last thing you need to add end walls to your Quonset hut homes is adding a door. For this type of building, sliding doors are more of a convincing method to create larger space.

This type of door offers a low-cost and secure solution for a metal hut, simply because of its quiet manual operation, easy to install and provide total clearance. Sliding doors slide sideways and don’t take the entrance space unlike the roll-up and sectional doors.

Apart from its low-cost, secure entry, and easy installation features, sliding doors are also highly durable, comes in with insulated or non-insulated model, use less moving parts, and easy maintenance.

7. Residential Quonset Hut

More and more people are turning their head into Quonset hut homes, mainly because the price of traditional home-making is continuously climbing to its peak. Despite its more affordable nature, Quonset huts are also sturdier and offer spacious living space for a long-term investment.

It may look less like a conventional house with terrace and wooden and chimney and everything, but that doesn’t mean you cannot expand the space. Quonset huts are suitable for small and growing families, as they come in various sizes and highly customizable.

8. Military Quonset Hut

We can never separate the history of Quonset hut-making with the military. During 1941, providing an adequate shelter for the military logistics and supplies was a frustrating task. The U.S. Navy demanded something light yet durable and suitable for sort of all-purpose space that’s quickly built.

Among the first pioneer of Quonset hut homes maker is the George A. Fuller company, which then fulfilled the military request. The metal steel construction has come a long, long way – 75 years – to be a prefabricated structure that rules the commercial and industrial demand nowadays. It offers a versatile, sustainable, and durable solution for all-around building requirement.

9. Quonset Hut Garage

When building a garage in your mind, you might as well order a Quonset hut kit to provide a stable shelter for your cars. Made of durable steel, the construction is considered an excellent protection for your vehicle from being rusty.

Instead of spending an expensive budget on a traditional contractor, you can build your own prefab metal house for cars with the ultimate do-it-yourself instruction that comes handy. This way, the structure is more durable and adjustable in case there’s an additional member in your garage.

10. Quonset Hut Workshop

quonset hut homes

Whether you wish to work on some serious projects or just a weekend brew, a large workshop is where you want to be. There may be a lot of complicated tools here and there that only a Quonset hut can accommodate. Its extensive design will provide you with enough room to swarm together with your partner and go around without getting a bump.

11. Portable Quonset Hut

quonset hut

You may not be familiar with this particular feature, but some designs come with great portability. The portable Quonset huts are made of sturdy metal framing tailored with coarse PVC fabrics. Just like the other models, the compact Quonset is easy to assemble, requires minimal site preparation, and comes with excellent insulation. Rest assured as the hut is strong enough to withstand humidity, wind loads, and high/low temperature.

Quonset hut homes design is available with vast arrays of model and sizes, which perfect for any constructive purpose. Thanks to its low-cost and versatile nature, the pre-engineered building provides a strong and more excellent protection from the Mother Nature’s unpredictable rash.

If you are looking for a spacious shelter, highly durable, and affordable, there’s no better solution than the Quonset hut homes design.

One Reply to “Building Quonset Hut Homes 101: Consider These before You…”

  1. I have a quonset hut on 1.3 acres of land in northern nj for sale. It has been used as residential since the early 50s

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