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I worked a few seasons in them in Alaska. I have vivid memories of my last days in one of them... it snowed four feet overnight and it got a bit nippish inside, even with the oil heater blazing away. Two days later, blizzard was over, then it got a bit cold, 20 below... was cooking supper that evening, and my head started getting stiff... looked over at the mirror, and my beard had frozen stiff as a board. {I know, it's hard to imagine :teehee:}

It was very hard to keep varmints out. If they didn't come through all the openings, they'd chew their own hole... Squirrels, voles, mice... had a bear brush against the outer wall, it heard me and figured it'd leave... It was very difficult to keep warm. If you were paying for your own heat, you'd best have bales of money to burn, or really like sleeping in sleeping bags. Real bags, not the el cheapo slumber party kind they have at Wally worlds.
 

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Quonset huts are structurally very sound, and cheap to build...hence the Army's use of them in WWII. I grew up during WWII (near a VA Hospital), and quonsets were common in the area. One very large one had been converted into a movie theater. I watched many a movie there, but will never forget the one when a hail storm hit...have you ever lived inside Gene Krupa's drum set?

If you can find a very small one, they make an ideal open-pastured hog shelter...seal off one end (straw bales) and you are set for some good eating next winter!
 

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It's typically pretty difficult to make house-type things fit into that curved wall very well.

It's hard to insulate real well on the curved wall - again standard building materials don't fit so well.

Depends if it is wood framing, all steel, if the ribs are spaced on 2 foot, or real wide, or the type with no actual rib backbone at all but just deep-ribbed siding as the whole frame.

I don't mean it's a bad idea; just need to know what you are starting with, and where you need to go with it. You could put more $$$ into it than a regular house if you don't think those parts out...

--->Paul
 

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Some are still in use in S. Korea on a few US military facilities that date from the Korean War or shortly thereafter. Looks like they shot foam on the outside and then stuccoed over that. Don't know when the foam went on but most of them that are left have a good coating of moss on top so it has been awhile.
 

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A quonset hut is basically a steel building, made famous in WW2 and found great acceptance as a farm building as well, made my a number of manufactures,

A Quonset hut is a lightweight prefabricated structure of corrugated galvanized steel having a semicircular cross section. The design was based on the Nissen hut developed by the British during World War I. The name comes from their site of first manufacture, Quonset Point, at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville (a village located within the town of North Kingstown, Rhode Island).
first as with any building, there are positives and negatives,

as with any steel building one most likely needs some type of insulation, many of the military buildings were little more than strong barn type tin on a light steel frame, most did not have insulation, just one sheet of tin to protect one from the elements, the great advantage of them was they could be shipped in a small container, set up by relative unskilled labor, and be done very fast, usually with a concrete floor but I think ply wood floors were used in some of the true huts as well,

TO day there are manufactures that are selling steel house kits,

and many have converted steel framed and wood framed pole type buildings into Churches, schools, businesses, and homes,

even steel grain bins have been converted in to homes,

I do not like the "quonset" building is the curved walls and roof, not the best use of floor space and difficult to work with on the inside, so I would prefer a straight walled building to work with, (the military changed to what was called the Butler hut, in the late 60 early 70's and it was just a small Butler steel building, which has straight walls and was easier to insulate and utilize space,

I would use a steel building for a home with the proper insulation and walls on the inside, many in our area are siding and roofing with tin, and there have been a few steel homes built in our area, but instead of the shape of a farm building they were in the shape of a home, they used red steel frame work and then lined with light weight steel studs and insulated and drywalled and look like most any other home,

one person place was kind of joked about, a steel house and a wood barn,

but to use one of the old true military quonset hut I think would be a poor place to start, as they are old and would need a lot of repair, before one would even start on the inside.

so a search of steel buildings and look at some of the manufactures sites and what they are being used for today,
 

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I have stayed in them in the military and as everyone has mentioned they are hard to insulate and the curved walls are a problem. We used to use small coal fired stoves to heat them and what remember most besides the coal dust getting on my uniforms was that they would be hot as heck around the stove and colder than a well diggers behind at the ends of the building and by the walls; including the ones sprayed with the foam like SilverbackMP mentioned (and I think those have asbestos in the foam or are extremely flamable as they stopped letting us sleep in them a few years ago).
 

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They were used as married student housing at Iowa State University for many years.I had friends and relatives live in them.No major complaints from anyone.I would live in one.
Same at Purdue, they were used for returning vets on the GI Bill after WWII, then the huts were turned into giant chemistry labs. Spent one semester in a quonset hut lab. First use of CCTV. The professor in charge would have a five minute speech over the TV for the lab assignment, then the hoard of grad assistants took over.

Also, a neighbor set up an Allis Chalmers dealership in one. Never had a part when you needed one--"but I can order it for ya....."

geo
 

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If it was on a concrete foundation with a heated slab and ceiling fans to circulate air I imagine it would be quite comfortable. Some of the construction could be tricky, like if you wanted to frame dormers into the sides.

I live in the loft of a gambrel roof building I really enjoy it, the stereo sounds great in there.
 

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I built one for a shop, custom built end walls to match my garage and house. Bought it from-http://www.steelmasterusa.com/, they have several that have been designed into homes on their website. Very sturdy buildings and pretty simple to install. I think they have endless possibilities.

I have insulated the first 6' (straight part) of the wall's and getting ready to insulate the rest of the building. There just is not enough time in the day to get everything around here done. (money either)
 

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My good friend's parents have live in a quonset they converted many years ago and it's a beautiful and very elegant home. They constructed the interior walls on the main level like anyone else's home and the bedrooms upstairs strike me as no different than someone living in an A frame or those that have converted their attics to loft type bedrooms.
 

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I lived in a good old fashioned quonset hut in Fla.
It was fantastic! I had the front half.
It was raised up off the ground and under huge trees.
It stayed wonderfully cool in the inland Fla heat.
I was a great space, but hard to hang stuff on the walls... at least things with frames.
 

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Someone built a small one a few miles down the road. They poured a concrete slab and appeared to be doing the work themselves. The flat end faces the road and has windows up high. It looks okay on the outside. The strange thing to me is that they're putting up a six foot privacy fence around the sides and front. This is w-a-y out in the country, so they must really be into privacy.
 

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There were several at the park where I worked in AK. Mine was uninsulated, the others insulated... we couldn't tell any difference 'misery wise' for the coldness factor.

One 'interesting' thing about the uninsulated ones... if you have neighbors, close by, they can 'see' what your doing inside *lights inside... get between the light and the wall, and your neatly shadowed*.

They were a giant step up from backpacking tents. When I was there I had the choice of a Quonset tent to myself, or share a cabin about the same size, with a stranger. Obvious which one I wanted!!! :cool:
 

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I seriously considered this when I moved to this new property:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Inexpensive-DIY-Quonset-Home.aspx

Here's another link: http://www.steelmasterusa.com/steelmaster-35k-green-steel-home-featured-in-mother-earth-magazine

Using spray-in foam insulation solves the "difficult to insulate" problem. I ended up going with a doublewide, which I am fairly happy with, but would have loved the airiness of this kind of house. There is one in a neighbouring town that is quite elegant looking (brick front, lovely back porch, cathedral-like interior.
 
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