Buying a Quonset hut and getting it erected is undoubtedly an interesting time.
There are a few things to consider before purchasing your steel building. This includes various matters such as whether Quonset hut kits are right for you, which model type, the size, meeting any relevant regulations and more.
Whilst the process is relatively straight forward, it still makes sense to ensure you have all the facts to hand.
So, if you’re considering a Quonset hut, this guide is definitely a must read.
Let’s get started!
A Quonset hut refers to a prefabricated metal building with an arch-configuration that was developed in the US in the 1940s for the military. They were built for a variety of uses including offices and medical facilities. After the war, military surplus put for sale their Quonset hut stock, to the public. Whilst the Quonset hut may have started out as a military building, nowadays is it commonly used for hundreds of different uses.
Quonset hut buildings which are based on an arch configuration are more affordable, almost indestructible, quick to construct and offer 100% usable space. This is due to the clever design!
There are two main elements to a Quonset hut: (1) the arches; and (2) the end walls. The arch comes in various widths and heights with each arch having a standard depth (length) of 0.6m. This means, by bolting rows of arches together, steel arch buildings can be unlimited in length, increasing in 0.6m increments. The arches and end walls are delivered to site in small individual panels that are easily and rapidly bolted together.
Quonset huts are prefabricated buildings which typically results in savings for the end-user, when compared to traditional buildings. It is a uniquely simple manufacturing process, with less individual parts to manufacture when compared with traditional alternatives.
Thanks to the arch structure requiring no structural framework, the buildings have no beams, trusses or posts and allow for a complete use of interior space, meaning the Quonset is a full clearspan building. The building features a unique corrugation that acts like thousands of reinforcing steel beams, resulting in great strength and durability. As each arch-panel overlaps, it simulates having a steel beam every 0.6m down the length and similarly simulates having a steel reinforcing plate wherever the panels bolt together. It should be noted that in models with the circular arched shape, there is some loss of space in the head space. Finally, because Quonset huts have no trusses, this means there is no place for birds to perch and nest. With regard to Quonset arch homes, this results in wonderfully open spaces within the property.
Whilst Quonset huts are indeed made of steel, they are generally made of a superior US Galvalume Steel®; a special steel alloy developed by the US steel industry to provide lifelong durability, with a limited rust-through perforation warranty on the AZ55 Galvalume® panels. Only prime Galvalume® steel is used, made of a specialised patented alloy coating on the metal virtually invulnerable to corrosion and seven times more rust resistant than galvanised. It is the finest quality commercial steel. The buildings are virtually maintenance free as the Galvalume Steel® requires no regular painting or maintenance.
Quonset huts are made of high-grade heavy-gauge steel, unlike cheap alternatives that are easily damaged in harsh conditions. Buildings are almost indestructible as they are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions with wind and snow loadings suitable for any part of the world. This includes heavy snow, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, cyclones and even earthquakes. Buildings are also completely fire resistant, containing no combustible wood. As well as this, because Quonset huts are many times stronger than traditional steel buildings, including portal frame, they are completely vermin proof.
As already touched upon, the quality engineering of the Quonset hut features the impressive corrugation that performs like many reinforcing steel beams, giving huge strength. The simulation of a metal reinforcing plate, located where panels come together, results in no sagging or warping as well as there being no termites or wood rot.
Quonset huts are leak proof which makes them ideal for safe storage of sensitive and valuable items. The reason the buildings are waterproof is because the last section of the panels overlap and fit nicely together. Some companies have panels that are crimped at the end and therefore require caulking to ensure waterproofing. Other companies have this section of the panel smooth to allow the panels to fit together without requiring caulking. Naturally, this lack of caulking makes assembly considerably faster.
Below is a simple breakdown of a typical specification of a Quonset hut arch and end wall panel. The key takeaway is a demonstration of the strength of a Quonset building.
Virtually maintenance free: Quonset hut kits are completely steel, therefore meaning they are virtually maintenance free due to the absence of gutters, downpipes and other troublesome exterior fittings. These aren’t required due to the arch-configuration channelling away the rain and snow. As well as this the Quonset hut requires no painting.
Unlimited lengths: Thanks to the arch configuration, buildings can be unlimited in length. This is because the length of the Quonset hut is increased (or decreased) by adding (or removing) a 0.6m deep arch section. This is as simple as bolting arches together to alter the length of the building.
Future size increases: Buildings can be easily expandable anytime in the future, as owners can increase the length of the Quonset hut by adding more arches. This is a highly simple and cost-effective process of expansion.
Permanent or temporary: As well as being permanent structures, buildings can also be suitable for temporary use, being engineered to be portable if they need to be moved for industrial or commercial purposes. They can be easily moved/transported.
Note: The Quonset hut is sometimes referred to as a Nissen hut and sometimes misspelled as a quanset hut, kwanza hut, quansit hut and even kwanzaa hut!
At this stage you might know that you want or need a Quonset hut, but you've not quite arranged the finer details within your mind. This chapter should help you get a clearer picture and understanding of your specific needs and requirements. This part of the process could be described as the 'brainstorming' phase.
The fact that you're reading this suggests that you're interested in a steel building and perhaps considering a Quonset hut as the building of choice. If you are a business owner, a custom structure for agriculture, retail, or industrial operations maybe you're looking to improve your productivity. If residential, maybe you need more space for storage or a new garage for extra vehicles. Or perhaps you think it would be nice to have a workshop or even just a carport. Fortunately, steel buildings are durable, low-priced and meet a huge amount of these needs.
These structures are quick to construct and less expensive than traditional construction techniques. They quickly expand your useable space and can be adapted to a variety of applications. They keep your assets secure and give you an area where you can work out of the elements. They also resist wear and require virtually no maintenance.
Steel buildings are often thought of as being used for industrial and commercial needs, and serve such uses well, but can be used for many other applications. Although Quonset huts for sale aren't traditionally used for homes, they can indeed fill such a purpose and are becoming increasingly popular as technology grows and people recognise the advantages metal buildings can offer over traditional stick built designs. This is especially true of arch homes. There are some more common uses for steel buildings which are widely recognised typically as commercial, industrial, agricultural, and residential outbuildings.
With all this in mind, it's time to begin the process of making your building a reality.
Idle thoughts pass, but great ideas stick in the mind. Perhaps the thought of a steel building started as a simple daydream or a wish for more space. Now it’s all you can think about. Daydreaming passes the time, but it doesn’t get your structure built. You need to organise your thoughts and define a concept.
Begin with a little brainstorming session. Jot down notes and ideas as they occur to you. Your objective at this point is to clarify your goals. You’ll work on putting those ideas in order later. Try to answer as many of the following questions as you can:
Answers to these questions clarify your objective and create a framework before proceeding. Your goal at this stage is to start developing a plan that will help you complete your project. A good plan focuses on your budget, schedule, and desired outcomes.
In this chapter your Quonset hut will become more of a reality. You will take steps to ensure you have every you need in order before purchasing a Quonset building.
Start by dealing with planning issues. Enquire about the requirements for your property. This is often the most frustrating part of the entire project. Fees cost money, and building regulations can restrict your options.
Fortunately, there are some advantages too. Advice and information helps you to clarify some of your ideas. For example: In some areas, it is illegal to place a structure too close to another building for fire and safety reasons. Knowing this information ahead of time saves you unnecessary expense and aggravation later.
Once you have an idea of what is permissible, estimate the footprint of your new metal building by creating a perimeter.
If you intend not to use a contractor, perform an inventory of your tools and consider your skill level. Many metal buildings can be erected using simple hand tools and a ladder (or small scaffolding on slightly larger buildings). A crane or lift is unnecessary, but an extra pair of hands is essential. Calculate expenses for acquiring necessary tools and hiring a helper.
While Quonset huts are easy to create, there are some tasks you may not be skilled enough to handle on your own. For these, you should rely on the expertise of a contractor. If you plan to install electricity or plumbing in your building, hire an expert to perform the work.
Decide on a foundation next. You may have an existing area that is already perfect for the building to be located on top of or maybe you require a new permanent concrete slab. A contractor experienced with foundation work can help you create a foundation that will last. The slab must be poured correctly and fit the plans of the structure.
Shop for quotes on parts of the project that you are uncomfortable performing yourself. Remember to ask about scheduling and project completion dates.
There are various available models of Quonset hut to choose from. These differ in profiles, widths, heights and also suitability for the intended type of use. Widths start from 3 metres and all with unlimited lengths.
There are various Quonset buildings for sale and they are organised by model type. Below are the different models with a brief explanation of the characteristics, specifications and popular uses.
At this point you pretty much know what you're wanting from your Quonset hut. It's now time to make sure the building you order is exactly what you need it to be and meet your specific needs. Then it's simply a case of ordering it!
You're at the point where you are ready to order your Quonset hut. Whilst there are several Quonset buildings for sale to choose from, you've finally made your choice! It's important to make sure your quote includes everything you need and that the building you order is right. Here are some of the main things to be aware of:
This is where the exciting part begins. You've already ordered your building and you're waiting for it to be shipped to you. Whilst you wait for it to arrive, there are a few things to take care of to ensure things run smoothly.
While you wait for your Quonset hut to arrive, there is time to complete your preliminary work. Get these chores out of the way so you are ready to assemble your structure:
Ideally, your groundwork will be finished before you start working on assembling your building. It is true that metal buildings are easier to relocate than traditional structures, but they still take up space in the yard. Minimise the hassle of sliding your structure around during assembly. Level the terrain ahead of time, and put your foundation in place.
If you have decided on a new concrete foundation, make certain you have the plans for your building before you pour. The mounting points on the slab must line up with your structure. Making an error with the foundation costs money to correct and wastes time.
When your kit is finally delivered, inventory your shipment to verify that the entire assembly has arrived. If parts appear to be missing, contact your supplier right away. When everything appears to be in order, you can begin bolting your structure together.
A Quonset hut can be erected in a matter of days with a few workers and therefore requires no skilled labour. There is also no need for heavy lifting gear (such as a crane) or specialist tools required due to the simple pre-drilled bolt-together construction.
As already mentioned, there is no skilled labour required for assembly or any heavy lifting gear (such as a crane). Also Quonset hut kits can be rapidly bolted together and erected in a matter of days with a few workers, therefore resulting in construction costs being significantly less than conventional building construction (potentially saving thousands of pounds). These advantage are thanks to the arch-style and prefabricated design.
Some other things to note are:
Your building is up and now it's time to actually start using it. The good news is that there's not really much else to concern yourself with at this point, especially as there is virtually no maintenance required. However, here are a few final tips and recommendations.
So, you've erected your Quonset hut and it looks amazing! Now it's time to make it work for you. However, there are still a few items worth noting.
The good news is that once a Quonset hut is up, the hard work has already been completed. One of the great features of a Quonset hut is that it is effectively maintenance free. One reason for this is that the special coating doesn’t require regular painting or maintenance, as is the case with traditional buildings.
As well as this, because your Quonset hut is 100% made of steel there’s not really anything to maintain! There are no downpipes, gutters or other exterior fittings (which are usually the weak points that get damaged and weather-worn over the years). The Quonset’s clever arch design channels away the rain and snow, so these items simply aren’t required.
Quonset huts are designed to be both permanent or temporary structures. If you intend for your building to remain in place permanently, the good news is that Quonset huts are designed to be almost indestructible and deal with various severe conditions. Whether that be a snow storm in Scotland or severe wind in the south of England. If a building remaing in place for many years to come is your goal; you've definitely made the right decision with a Quonset hut.
On the other hand, if you intend to relocate, Quonset huts can be easily taken down, transported and erected again at a new location. Another benefit of this type of building is that it is manufactured in relatively small parts and therefore is much easier and cheaper to transport.
Your building should give you many years of reliable service. However, in the unlikely situation where there is an issue with your building, it should be covered by a warranty. Choosing a company that offers a good warranty will give you the comfort of knowing you're covered.
Finally, be sure to enjoy your Quonset hut. This form of building is indeed a wise choice and will give you functionality and enjoyment for many years to come.