California Man Designs Custom Tiny Quonset Huts in the Mountains

Pioneertown, California is known for being a live-in Old West movie set, but SteelMaster customer Mark P.’s  Quonset huts are the real stars of the town.

Mark’s SteelMaster buildings are tucked away in the mountains of Pioneertown. The town was started in 1946 by actor Dick Curtis to serve as a place for people to enjoy while also being a backdrop for motion pictures and television shows.

When Mark purchased the land, there was an existing 12’ x 16’ wooden cabin from 1954 still on the property.

“This part of the desert has always been a hideout for artists and musicians,” said Mark, a television writer. “We always wanted to find a piece of land up there and build a house.”

When Mark purchased the land, there was an existing 12’ x 16’ wooden cabin from 1954 still on the property.

“We had that cabin and we had the permit to restore it. But my wife sleeps late and I get up early. In a 12’ x 16’ room, I wasn’t going to be able to make coffee without waking her.”

That’s when Mark decided to look into the idea of building two Quonset huts to live in during the weekends until he and his wife get their big house built.

“I chose a Quonset hut because it was affordable, it was sturdy and the open sides allowed me a ton of freedom in terms of windows and doors.”

He and his wife plan on using a 10’ x 12’ hut as a bedroom. A winding concrete path connects to his other hut, which will be used as a studio. He also has an outdoor shower and an outdoor toilet set up.

After his home is complete, he will use the tiny hut as a guest area.

“It’s 200 yards away from the house and people can do their own thing and don’t have to be right on top of us all the time.”

While researching steel buildings, he came across SteelMaster’s website. He gave us a call and spoke with building specialist Gordon Bingen.

“I called and got Gordon, who is amazing and energetic. He and I had a ton in common; he talked me through the whole process. He had a lot of really helpful recommendations.”

Despite the land being high up in the mountains and difficult to find, SteelMaster’s delivery driver was able to drop off the building with no problems.

“I’m sure it’s probably on GPS, but the delivery driver got to the middle of nowhere on a dirt road and we made the transfer no problem.”

Mark carried the arches in a U-Haul to his site and that’s when the creative process really began. The open endwalls of a SteelMaster Quonset hut may seem intimidating for some, but as Mark puts it, “open ends are your friends!”

“I recommend framing out the ends yourself…because then the sky is the limit in terms of how you handle doors and windows,” he said in his review of SteelMaster.

Mark saved a lot of money by salvaging doors, windows and lumber that were ordered incorrectly and returned to stores by homeowners.

“The open ends allow you so much creativity. The self supporting nature of the Quonset hut allows you to side it anyway you want,” Mark said. “Basically you get one, point the endwalls towards what you want to see. You find windows and doors that serve that and you don’t even notice that there aren’t windows on the other wall.”

He says once the first hut was assembled, the second one was a breeze to put up.

“I had no experience with Quonset Huts when we started the process and now I feel like I’m an expert,” he said. “The more of these you put up, the easier it gets. You get the hang of it.”

Now, his buildings catch the eyes of many passers-by as they drive through the area.

“People we don’t know will drive the 400 yards of dirt road driveway to come get a better look at them. It’s been great hearing the comments and the interest, and the surprise you see from people who don’t know that you can make these so livable and comfortable.”

Ready to begin your Quonset hut journey? Contact a SteelMaster building specialist today to get started on the building of your dreams!

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