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How to Design a Quonset Hut

Updated February 21, 2019

Quonset huts were originally designed as inexpensive mass-produced structures for use on military bases. Today they're used as farm buildings, for RV storage, small businesses and even homes. A classic Quonset is built from a metal skin attached to metal arches. The interior can be customised for a multitude of uses. Design options like skylights and windows have expanded the function of modern huts, and Quonset hut kits come with everything you need to erect your own building.

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  1. Decide what type of Quonset hut you want to build and whether it will be placed on a concrete slab. Buildings for farm use---for tractor storage or hay bales---don't need slabs.

  2. Calculate the size of the building. Smaller huts make good garages. Some huts are large enough to accommodate a second floor. Size is determined by use.

  3. Determine the number of doors and windows you need and what size they should be. Walls at the non-curved ends of a Quonset are large enough for roll-up bay doors, but if you don't need bay doors, plan to install at least two regular-sized doorways. Leave one or both ends of the building open for farm use.

  4. Plan to install skylights to save on electrical costs if your hut will be wired.

  5. Insulate the building with spray-on foam if the contents need to be protected from extremes in temperature or if you plan to use the hut as a home or workshop.

  6. Hang interior fans from the ceiling and install rheostats or use a remote control to operate them. They'll help keep the air moving and cut down on odours. Fans can also be installed in the eaves at each end of the building to improve ventilation.

  7. Build a loft or a second story in a large Quonset. Consider whether the space will simply be used for storage or if it needs to be tall enough to allow a person to stand.

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About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

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