How to Build a Quonset Hut

How to Build a Quonset Hut
Feb 2021

Quonset hut buildings are easily recognized and well-loved across the country as they offer a reminder of the way Americans responded during World War II. As well as being a monument, these buildings are quick and easy to build, will not cost the earth, and offer a space that can be used for a variety of needs.

The History of the Quonset

Quonset buildings took their inspiration from the British Nissen huts that were successfully used in WWI. They are now used across the globe and have a reputation for being sturdy and cheap, making them great for a huge number of purposes.

These steel huts have now evolved into three specific designs that you can choose from depending on your needs and your budget:

The Q – this is the most traditional building out of the three and offers the cheapest solution. It is typically found in military camps and on farms and is best for land that has no side clearance issues. If you were to install one of these on your land, you could use it for farm storage, feed storage, or a livestock shelter. The width of the Q tends to be between 20 – 100 feet.

The S – with the iconic domed roof, the S comes with a straight wall face and tends to be chosen when people are looking for large vehicle or machinery storage areas. It can also be used as a workshop, and while it is not as strong as the Q, it will be fine in areas that experience heavy snowfall and strong winds. It comes in widths between 16 and 60 feet.

The P – rather than the traditional domed roof, the P offers a pitched roof with straight walls. Most people choose this version for garages, offices, workshops, and warehouses, and they come in widths from 16 to 30 feet.

Tips, Tricks, and Considerations Before You Begin Building

Whilst steel Quonset huts are cheap and easy to install, there are still some important considerations you must address before you start to build:

  • Avoid fabricating your own metal arches unless you have an extensive understanding of metallurgy.
  • When it comes to building the most durable and protected Quonset huts, you should always choose heavy-gauge, galvanized steel panels.
  • If you are building in an area that is prone to heavy snow, you will need to place your metal arches closer together to get the optimal amount of strength from them.

Like the sound of installing one yourself? Check how you can build one of these Quonset buildings on your land here:

  • Purchase the metal arches at the right height and width for your project. Remember that the arches are semi-circles, so the height you need will be one half of the width of the arch.
  • Install your foundation ready to place the Quonset hut on – typically, these are concrete or wood. However, if you are building it as a barn or storage area, then you may not need a foundation floor.
  • Install your arches – make sure you carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this part. Each arch will typically be spaced from 3 to 5 feet apart.
  • When your arches are installed, move to your roofing panels next and put them on horizontally across each arch. If you want to get the best weatherproofing, then use self-tapping screws and rubber washers.
  • With everything in place, work your way around the panels and seal them at the overlapping points with the best silicone sealant that you can find. This will add to the weather protection.
  • With everything in place and fully sealed, it is time to paint your Quonset hut with a specialist paint that will help seal and protect the building for many years to come.

How Do I Insulate My New Quonset?

Once your new hut is installed, you will need to install your insulation before you move on to decorating and furnishing your new space. Firstly, you need to decide whether you need insulation or not. For storage spaces, Quonset garages, and barns, you may not need to insulate unless you are trying to keep the area above a specific temperature. Remember that steel buildings are made to withstand the most extreme weather conditions!

If you do decide to insulate, then you will need to find a product that is not affected or does not cause condensation – such as Rockwool. The best insulation comes in batten or blanket and can be cut to fit your specific space, giving you the perfect finish. If your insulation is going to be exposed, then you will need to also install a layer of scrim to help it offer greater durability and avoids damage.

Quonset Hut Kits
Quonset Hut Kits

How Quonset Hut Kits Can Help

It is no secret that Quonset hut buildings were and still are an affordable solution. In fact, they are so popular that they are now used for a wide range of purposes – farm building, homes, businesses, and storage. When it comes to getting yours installed, it may be a good idea to choose from the number of Quonset hut kits that are currently available to purchase. With customization options welcomed, these kits come ready for you to install and offer the solution that you have been keen to get.

Common Customization Options

When it comes to choosing the best steel Quonset huts, you are sure to want to personalize it to your individual tastes. Some of the most common customization options include:

  • Size – when you are clear on the usage of your new building, you need to work out which size suits you best.
  • Doors and windows – you can choose as many doors and windows as you like and even choose roll-up doors for carports or skylights for buildings with two stories.
  • Lofts and second floors – make the most of the huge amount of headspace by installing a second floor or a loft for storage.

The Many Uses for Quonset Buildings

Do you like the sound of installing a Quonset hut but do not know what to use one for? Check out some of the most common usages below:

  • Stylish new home – Quonset huts are becoming more popular for people who own a piece of land and want to install a beautiful home in extraordinarily little time. With so many customizations, you will be able to create the home of your dreams.
  • Homeworking – if you work from home but need a space away from the main house, then Quonset buildings are a great way to build an office quickly.
  • Guesthouse – want somewhere to put your guests up? Build a simple guest hut with a stunning interior and enjoy seeing the people you love without having to give up your bedroom.
  • Hobby area – if you love to craft or make, then building a hobby hut will give you the space you need to enjoy yourself without messing up the house every time.
  • Home storage zone – do you have things stored in every corner? Building a home storage building will help you to keep the things you love and have a clutter-free living area.
  • Garden storage area – if your garden is your pride and joy, build a space to store all your tools and machinery so that you are ready to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Business space – want to run your business from home but need a separate space – these buildings will help you maximize your profits in no time.
  • Warehouse – store your stock in a space that can be enlarged as your business needs to grow.
  • Barn – provide your animals with a home or store hay or feed in a dry location no matter what the weather is like outside.
  • Garage – keep your vehicles safe with a customized garage space that will take RVs, machinery, and cars with ease.
  • Community space – if you are a homeschooler or need a space where the local community can gather, then a large Quonset building may be just what you are looking for.

What Can I Expect to Pay for a Quonset?

The price you pay will be dependent on the size building you order, the customizations you select, and the design features you need. Many kits cost between $1500 and $15000, and installed buildings cost between $3000 and $100000, meaning that to get a more specific price, you will need to arrange a quote.

If you are looking for a clearer idea, then imagine paying between $5 and $10 per square foot for the most basic and traditional style huts.

Remember that while the huts are very affordable, you will also need to factor in the foundation, electrics, plumbing, and insulation, as well as delivery and installation. Make sure you budget for everything so that you do not end up with a nasty surprise!

Why Powerbilt Steel Buildings Offers the Best Quonset Buildings

If you are keen to buy your new Quonset building, then choosing Powerbilt Steel Buildings is the obvious and best choice. As the number one manufacturer of Quonset building structures in America, you can look forward to getting the highest quality building, delivered quickly, and customized to suit your needs.

We take pride in making long-lasting structures that will work hard for you as the years progress. Why not get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and choose your new Quonset hut? Call today at +1 (800) 547-8335, and arrange a no-obligation quote.

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