The couple was driving around their Santa Anna, Texas property several years ago when they noticed four sites with amazing views.
“We had some places that were perfect to build some little casitas,” Ricky said. “We toyed with what to do, how to do it for several years.”
After initially thinking about building wooden cabin-style structures, Ricky decided to go against the grain and use metal Quonset huts.
“You see big [Quonset huts] all over, people use them out in the country on farms for hay barns and stuff,” he said. “I went and found SteelMaster’s website. I had a family member draw up plans on the size–I had a specific size in mind.”
Ricky purchased the arches for his casitas, and the couple’s Quonset hut journey began. They hired a contractor and got started on construction.
“The first building went up fast, but finishing the inside took a long time. The second one has gone up quickly because the learning curve is over. Terry [the contractor] has done a tremendous job,” Ricky said.
At first, Leslie was a bit apprehensive about the unique and unusual style of the Quonset hut.
“Her question would have been ‘Why this?’ A friend of ours said it looks like a mailbox,” he said. “You have to admit, when you walk up and look at the building from outside, it’s not common.”
However, Ricky’s decision was based on more than just looks—he liked the practicality of SteelMaster’s metal Quonset huts as well.
“The upkeep was one of the main reasons. I don’t want to be painting, cleaning, I don’t want to do any of that stuff on the outside,” he explained. “This first one has been up for a solid two years and basically it still looks the same today outside as it does inside. “
He also appreciated the building’s fire resistance. Our buildings are made with 100 percent high quality, commercial grade steel that has been subjected to several rigorous tests to see how it holds up in an intense fire.
“Well, out here we don’t have a lot but we have had one close fire. The building itself is fireproof for the most part, highly fire resistant. The wind and stuff like that doesn’t affect it,” Ricky said.
Ricky and Leslie have listed their casita on Airbnb. So far, guests have left rave reviews.
“We’ve had people say it’s a jewel in the middle of nowhere, very upscale, unassuming,” Ricky said.
“Let me just say, it did not disappoint,” one guest said in a review. “Our casita was amazing, the décor was beautiful, the bed comfortable and overall ambiance encouraged relaxation. Not a detail was missed by our host. This place is a gem, book your stay today.”
Now, Ricky’s contractor is putting the final touches on the second casita, which they also plan to list on Airbnb.
He hopes to build two more casitas, with plans to start assembling the third building soon. Other projects in the works include adding a porch to one of the buildings using arch panels and assembling a carport for an outdoor kitchen.
“My mind just goes haywire on how to use that stuff. There are so many different ideas.”