Have you been dreaming about building your own steel Quonset Hut™ home, but you’re confused about where to start? Award-winning architect and Quonset Hut™ aficionado Earl Parson is offering a helping hand to anyone who has flirted with the idea. He is offering free home plans, coaching services and he’s documenting every step of his own journey in an effort to educate future Quonset Hut owners.
Earl has been busy hitting the road between his current home in California and his future home in northern Arizona where he is currently building a collection of Quonset Hut structures which he affectionately calls the “Quompound.”
Earl says he plans to build four different steel Quonset Huts on the property including a home and a guest house. Right now, he is working on a steel workshop building and a Quonset Hut garage . These buildings are 25’ by 28’ and consist of 14 steel arches each. After these two structures are completed, he plans to start working on the guest home and main house, which he plans to be even bigger and more spectacular.
Earl purchased 9.6 acres of land in Northern Arizona where he is surrounded by majestic beauty. He has a distant view of the northern rim of the Grand Canyon, the Bill Williams Mountain can be seen from the south, and he can enjoy a view of Mt. Floyd (Pointy Peak) from the west. Once the sun sets creating a picturesque scene of brilliant colors, it slowly fades revealing an uninterrupted view of the night sky generously peppered with bright, twinkling stars.
Inspired by his grandfather’s creativity, Earl dreamed of building his own home, but he did not want a typical straight wall building. Growing up in rural America, he became fond of the look of agricultural steel buildings. Classic Quonset Huts were typically used on farms as barns, hay storage, equipment storage, or animal run-ins. Now modern Quonset Huts are more versatile and are being used in so many creative ways. Some people have used them as storage sheds, garages, carports, container covers, and now they are choosing to use them as custom homes.
For the last 20 years, Earl has been working to help others make their visions a reality; now he finally gets to work on his own project. He purchased two Quonset Huts from SteelMaster in 2017 and embarked on his DIY journey. He could have hired a construction crew to erect the buildings, but he wanted to do the work on his own with some help from family and friends.
After he poured the two concrete slabs for the Quonsets, he and his crew were able to raise the steel arches for the main home and the guest house in just a few weeks. He and some family members and friends drove out to the site for what they called the “Quonsetpalooza.” During this time, they were able to get much of the initial work done to secure the arches to their foundations. After the arches were raised in the summer of 2017, Earl has added steel endwalls, windows, plumbing, and now he is starting to work on the electricity and framing the inside of the buildings.
In order to ensure his buildings are done properly, Earl has also worked with longtime Senior Design Specialist William Swafford. William has helped architects and large companies all over the world build some of the most spectacular Quonset Hut designs in the industry. He was instrumental in the Sloss Furnaces project, the New York Art Farm, the City of Austin’s No-Kill Animal Shelter, The World Resource Company in Taiwan, HEB Grocery, the American Energy Partners’ newly designed fitness center and the Hodgdon Powder Company just to name a few.
Not only is William one of the leading specialists in the field, he is also LEED certified. The primary mission of a LEED professional is to select appropriate products that comply with targeted credits for LEED certification. Having this certification will make the buildings even more energy efficient and will save tons of money in the long run.
While on his DIY journey, Earl has also created and maintained a blog for his newly formed company Clever Moderns. On this site, he offers future home builders a wealth of resources that will help them choose the right home plan for their Quonset Hut structure. His blogs cover every detail of the building process thus far. He talks in depth about the tools he has used, shortcuts he has discovered to get the job done more efficiently, and the wonderful feeling he’s experienced watching his dream take shape one steel arch at time.