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Father & Sons Build Quonset Hut with Solar Panels

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A-model metal building, solar panels on roof, orange ladder leaning up against the side

SteelMaster customer Patrick D. purchased his first Quonset hut 20 years ago after searching online for a storage building. 

 “My oldest was 12 and started racing with his uncle. We bought him a race car and always had problems putting cars away, so we thought ‘Let’s look into having a building built’,” Patrick said.

 Initially, Patrick looked at constructing a brick-and-mortar building. 

  “Back then, that would have cost $100,000 so we looked into steel buildings,” he said.

Easy to Assemble

 He ended up purchasing a 30’W X 14’H X 44’L A-Model from SteelMaster and assembled it with his two sons in about two weeks.  

 “We learned and figured things out as we went along. We used one of those structural ladders you get from Home Depot–the 12-foot ladder.”

Now, Patrick’s son uses the building for storage and as an auto shop. 

Durable and Lots of Storage Space

 “We’ve got all kinds of stuff in there: a lift for a car, a collector car, a race car in there stacked one above the other, his shop is in there, he’s got heavy racks on both sides to store things.”

 The building has held up well over the years, surviving at least four hurricanes with no issues, Patrick says. 

Patrick purchased a second SteelMaster Quonset hut in 2017, this time a 30’W X 18’H X 60’L. 

“There was no question when we went to do the second building, we just called Noah and we put it together,” he said. “At that point, my son had two forklifts that we used, so the job went much smoother.”

 Because the building is self-supporting and has no beams or trusses, Patrick is able to get maximum storage space in his buildings. 

 “We’ve got a 38-foot motorhome, two boats, a forklift, four-wheelers, jet skis, all kinds of stuff. And there’s still room!”

Solar Panels for Efficiency

 When Patrick’s son purchased his home, it came with solar panels attached to the roof. This inspired him to do the same with his second Quonset hut.

 “It’s so efficient down here [in Florida]. The garage door faces the west and the back wall faces the east. That leaves one side perfectly angled to the southern side. So we decided to get the solar people to come out and get us an estimate.”

 The solar panel company had reservations about the Quonset hut being able to structurally hold the panels on top of the roof. However, the heavy-duty, commercial-grade steel structure was able to handle the weight and his permit was approved.

“There are two rows of panels the entire length of the building, all 60 feet are covered on one side.”

Patrick’s son has seen plenty of savings since adding the solar panels to the hut.

 I think for January through April, he banked a thousand dollars a month credit with the electric company. He’ll probably make it through about September before he even sees an electric bill. That’s from over $400 a month. He’s gone down to maybe $150 on average.”

 Overall, Patrick says he had a great experience with SteelMaster. 

 “Noah’s been great, everybody that we’ve dealt with at your company has been super. Everything went smoothly. We have nothing but rave reviews for SteelMaster. It was a great experience and it’s a great product, no question.”