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What To Consider When Considering A Metal Quonset Hut

A metal Quonset hut is a semi-cylindrical structure made of corrugated galvanized steel whose design is based on the British Nissen huts used during the World War I. They were primarily made as all-purpose and lightweight buildings which can be easily assembled without using much skilled labor. Today, an arched metal Quonset hut is considered as a modular and stylish building which can serve several purposes while offering durability and ease of construction compared to making similarly-structured wood or cement buildings.

The Shape of a Quonset Hut

In the 1940s Quonset huts were popularly used as storage buildings which offered three main benefits for the military who were the ones who used them most that time; ease of assembly, lightweight transport, and easy to tear down should they ever need to be taken down. Because of its simple structure, metal Quonset huts are still widely used today and not just for storage purposes.

While Quonset huts were primarily made from galvanized steel during their early years of production, they are now available in other materials such as standard steel or steel sheets which are of high grade. They are also available in different kinds of metal sheets which are coated or treated to help ensure that they can withstand even years of exposure to the elements.

Metal Quonset huts are usually semi-circular in form and have vertical walls on both of its ends. What makes a metal Quonset hut highly distinctive is its semi-circular appearance and it is also because of this physical feature of the hut that is has become a truly advantageous building.

Because of its arched shaped, the roof is less resistant to gravity and the overall weight of the roof is more evenly spread out; this makes it have less risks of collapsing. Overall, a metal Quonset hut is a sturdy building which also promotes better aerodynamics that makes it an ideal choice for windy places such as plains or rolling hills. Because of the same arched roof structure, there is no need for gutters and the Quonset hut can withstand rain and even strong storms.

Some Benefits

Since Quonset huts are made from steel, these buildings are termite proof and pretty much impervious to any other insect problems which is one of the main concerns that builders of wooden structures face. Because these metal huts won’t suffer from termite attacks, it cuts the need for special coating as well as pest extermination fees.

Being made from high-grade metals which are treated and coated to help ensure they last for several years, Quonset huts need much less maintenance compared to most other kinds of buildings nowadays. Apart from cheap building, it also boasts of being very simple to construct and cheap to maintain.

Owing to its semi-circular structure, a metal Quonset hut can stand all by itself without the need for pillars or interior walls. This means having more space to move around with less of the usual interior structures which can become obstructions. Fitting large vehicles or pieces of furniture would be no problem and moving them around is a breeze too!

Ventilation options can also be easily added or modified in order to change these huts into more inhabitable spaces instead of just being safe and dry storage units. While windows and doors can be added, it still regains its durability and ability to protect its inhabitants because of the materials used for its main body. Personalizing a building is now easier and cheaper thanks to these Quonset huts.

Qualities to Look for when Buying

With these features and advantages, opting for a Quonset hut can indeed be a wise investment. However, it is important to check some factors first before purchasing a Quonset hut kit or building materials.

The best way to go about this is to purchase only from a reliable manufacturer, and to ask them about the quality of the sheet metals they use. Certifying the quality of the initial materials to be used for construction is essential to having a lasting Quonset Hut. Also, check the fitting of all purlins and bolts. Make sure that when a kit is purchased, all the necessary parts are included. Buying huts which come with guarantees or warrantees can also help make the purchase more of an investment instead of being a risk.

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Steel Building Applications

While these huts were primarily used for storage purposes during the World War, they are now used for more than just storage purposes. They can be made into barns, garages, cottages, offices, houses, restaurants, shops, and other commercial or personal use. Being available in several kinds of sheet metals today, they can be used to add an industrial appeal while maintaining functionality in the structure of the building.

The uses for metal Quonset huts are near limitless! Apart from being able to use a Quonset hut as practically any kind of building, it also has several other benefits that make it a top choice for modern building purposes.

Advantages of Steel:

There are many reasons to consider a steel building for your commercial or private project, but one of the best is the fact that they are low maintenance. In fact, steel buildings are so low maintenance that you could even call them “maintenance free.” Steel is incredible strong and sturdy, and will hold up great to weather and time.

  • Low Maintenance – Unlike wood framing, steel framing will not suffer from cracking or rotting. The steel will not slowly break down over the years. It will remain as strong in 5 years or in 50 as it is today. If you want a structure to last, steel is the answer.

    Are there areas of your steel building you need to worry about maintaining? Some potential problem areas include doors, windows, and flooring. Do bi-annual maintenance checks to search for issues. You may need to put some maintenance into the foundation of the building, the support structures, and any accessories associated with the building. If you have roofed your building with steel, you can also enjoy a relatively maintenance-free roof; otherwise, if you have roofed with shingles or plywood, you may also need to pay special attention to the roof.

  • Insect Resistant – Your steel construction will never become a home to insects. This means that you are less likely to have to worry about pests (unless other elements of your building are wood), and you also do not have to worry about structural integrity suffering over time because of insect-related damage. When you have a wood frame, you can actually lose your building eventually to pests. With steel construction, you never have to worry about that danger. Keep your maintenance costs as low as possible. Insect treatments are expensive for infested buildings. So is having to repair localized damage to different parts of your structure. With steel, you don’t have to do that, which means your maintenance costs over time stay incredibly low. This can justify the cost of even one of the more expensive types of steel construction. You may pay more for it initially, but it will pay for itself over the long run. You could end up saving many thousands of dollars over the years ahead.
  • Easy to Clean – Do you ever have to do anything to keep the steel itself in good condition? Thankfully steel more or less maintains itself, but now and again you might want to give it a quick cleaning. Usually rust is something you will not have to worry about, but dirt and dust can still accumulate and have the same effect on the appearance. Especially if you have a commercial building, it is essential to keep your steel looking clean and polished for a professional appearance. If you get a lot of precipitation, you still may find signs of rust buildup, so that is something to be on the lookout for with a lot of rain or snow. Remove snow buildup as soon as you can to reduce damage and stress. You do not need to remove it all, just reduce the weight as much as you can. Make sure you do it evenly so that there is not an uneven buildup in some areas.

    Depending on the type of building, you can use a pressure washer to save time, or you can go ahead and clean the structure by hand with water and mild soap. You can also try ammonia in water (about 1 cup of ammonia per 5 gallons of water). Soft bristled brushes or microfiber towels both work great if you are washing the surface by hand. If you use a pressure washer, a low-pressure setting usually is all you need to get the job done. Once you have finished washing with your soap or ammonia, rinse of the building and let it dry. If you do this about once a year, you can keep your steel construction looking like new year after year.

  • Reduced Fire Risk – The chance for an indoor or outdoor fire is lower when using steel construction than with using traditionally build materials. All steel comments and exterior finishes – metal roof and metal siding.

There are so many great reasons to choose steel—not the least of which is saving time and money. Because steel is so durable, unappealing to pests, and withstands the elements, it is easy to take care of and requires hardly any maintenance. If you take a little time each year to scrub off the dirt and the scuff marks, you can keep it looking like the day you built it for decades to come! Steel construction is an investment in the future.


Recent Pricing Steel Buildings

  • “We paid $17,300 for a building measuring 40 feet by 60 feet. That included 3 inches of insulation on both the roof and the walls as well as two doors measuring 12×12.” – Commercial farm, Shawano, WI
  • “We paid $30,000 for a steel and concrete building. This cost included the installation as well as the structure itself.” – Retail store, Baltimore, MD
  • “For $19,000, we got a 50- by 60-foot building which included four doors.” – Industrial corporation, Omaha, NB
  • $16,000 bought us a steel building measuring 36’ by 50’. This included two overhead doors, each measuring 20’. A service door was included as well.” – Agribusiness, Altoona, KS
  • “We spent $38,000 and got a steel building which included 4,000 square feet of space. The building included insulation as well as gutters, but no doors, and no installation. We have yet to put it up.” – Defense contractor, Vienna, VA
  • “I paid $18,000. My building measures 25 by 40 feet (width and length), and stands 14 feet tall. Two roll-up doors are included along with an entry door. We also have a mezzanine inside.” –Retail company, Chicago, IL
  • “30 by 40 by 18 feet in dimensions. 2 doors, 3 windows, as well as 4 skylights. Total cost? $17,000.” –Woodworking shop, Council Bluffs, IA
  • “We purchased our steel building from a local contractor, who took care of everything for us including the framework, insulation, roofing, siding, windows, doors, skylights, and installation. $26,000.” –Charity organization, Dallas, TX
  • $16,123 for 56’ x 36’. 2 doors, 3 windows, doors not installed yet. Cost included shipping. We put down 25% and have been paying the rest in installments.” –Industrial warehouse, Portland, OR

Recent Pricing Quonset Buildings

  • $21,000. 50’ x 100’. Single door not included.” –Agribusiness, Michigan
  • “I purchased a steel building for the price of $26,500. This building measures 50 by 100 feet and includes 14 feet of height. There are a dozen windows, half a dozen skylights, and three doors. The structure also includes roof vents, rain gutters and wainscoting.” –Power company, Montana
  • “I purchased a Quonset structure for a total price of $38,452. This included 60 x 80 feet of space, two door kits, and three window kits. Three openings are available overhead for doors, and the roof and side walls are both already insulated.” –Agricultural business, Craig, CO
  • $7,000 bought me a hangar for aircraft construction.” –Airplane manufacturer, Blackfoot, MT
  • “We paid $7,800 for a Quonset building measuring 30’ by 40’. This price was all-inclusive.” –Livestock company, Alamo, IN
  • “The Quonset hut I purchased cost $6,300. I purchased the structure with the goal re-selling it when it is completed at a higher price.” –Building manufacturer, San Francisco, CA
  • “For our steel hut we paid $7,000. This was just for the curved roof part of the structure only. We have no end walls and no doors or windows in the structure.” –Livestock company, Missouri
  • $7,550. 30’ x 40’. We have a wall for one end and the other end is open.” –Agribusiness, Georgia

Quotes have been edited for clarity only.

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