LIVE CHAT: Why should you build a Quonset Hut?

We’re taking your questions and today is all about the Quonset Hut!


Good afternoon everybody. Welcome back to SteelMaster Facebook Live. I’m William Swafford. I’m one of the design specialists here at SteelMaster and this is Scott Matthews and we’re going to be answering some questions that you might have. We’re going to have a few that we are going to start with and then hopefully some live feeds will come in and some questions will come up. If there is anything we can do, if you have any questions or concerns or you want to talk about any topic about the SteelMaster buildings or arch type buildings in particular, please feel free to do that and hit us with some questions. I think Scott’s got one he wants to go ahead and start with. Real quick I’m going to say hi to Kristin, Mary, Denny thanks for joining us. Kristin asked a good question about building a house to code compliant and what’s the best recommended method for doing that, but there’s some homework that you have to do on your end where you have to make sure your plumbing, your electrical meets code, your county is going to require a certain r-value to meet code. If you’ve got bedrooms that can’t access the end walls, you’re going to have to have an egress out the side for safety fire, you have to have an egress out the side of the building, but a lot of those questions have to be answered prior to us talking about a specific building. I hope that answers your question. It’s also a good opportunity for you to maybe take the counsel of an architect or possibly a general contractor. A lot of times if you’re going at this yourself, you might not have experience with the building code permit offices in your town where your local contractor may have an arrangement or a liaison or a connection if you will down there where he’s getting permits for the jobs he’s doing and things of that nature. Also, any architect in your local market should be able to address the questions of the egress and what the actual code compliance is. If you want this thing to be permitted and legitimate, you’ll have to follow all those all those regulations and they’re going to be different for each town they’re going to require like Scott said an egress for certain things, you’re going to have to have windowsill heights and things that are required. You’re going to have to have a certain amount of insulation and things of that nature to build an inhabitable residence that’s legitimate out there. Let me address one other thing we got a question on which was collateral loads. This is a very common question because you are going to build this home and you’re going to have to hang some things in there. You’re going to have to hang insulation, you’re going to have to hang lighting or some people want to hang their duct work in the ceiling. Some people do and some people don’t. If you do plan on hanging anything in this structure, that’s considered a collateral load. It’s now a load hanging on that structure and putting a little more weight there and it’s going to make a difference in the way we design the building upfront. To know that information up front helps us to get the snow loads designed properly, wind loads designed properly and make sure that we’re getting the building designed and to you in the proper gauge that we can actually put our stamp on for our engineer so that you can get those permits so any items that you think you’re going to want to hang in there, you need to kind of have a sense of how much they weigh, where in the structure you plan to hang them and then a sense of how you want it to look. And then we kind of help you with that. If you’re planning on lining the interior with a wall panel or a board or something of that nature, everything you hang in there obviously has some weight and needs to be considered as we’re designing the building. And to add to what William just said, there’s enough collateral load in most of the buildings for insulation like conduit, but another thing you have to consider is something on the exterior. If you plan on putting the solar on the roof, you have to consider the weight per square foot. All that has to be calculated and to figure out what gauge of steel you need, all that collateral. And then Brian asked a question. Brain Champion, what if I go with no insulation, how will it affect moisture and sweating? I mean it just depends on a lot of factors. If you’re going to condition the space, heat, air conditioning, you absolutely want to insulate the building. But there are people that use these buildings for workshops that are in mild climates in either direction, hot cold. You just have to make sure you ventilate the building properly so you have air flow. And then a lot of people do not have moisture problems once they do that. That’s the really big trick. If you don’t insulate, you have to ventilate it. You have to get air moving through it. Even when you do have insulation it’s a good idea to let air in and out of the structure to keep the moisture down. You’re going to have that change between the interior and the exterior and that’s going to be a thing that will definitely cause you problems if you don’t. So we got a question here. What’s the first step to consider when you’re considering a Quonset home? Again, in my mind, the first thing you really want to be realistic about is your timeline. You want to get a sense of, for us anyways, we need to know. I need to know if this something you’re doing this year, is this five-year plan. What exactly you’re doing. Of course you need to know where you are going to build this home. And again that goes back to the loading questions knowing about the wind and snow load considerations and of course it also lends itself to whether you’re going to be able to get other materials and how cost-effect the entire project is going to be. Sometimes way out in the boonies, concrete is a lot more expensive than it is in the in the city or even getting trades out there to do the plumbing and electrical. Those things might make it more difficult. These are things you’ll need to consider. There’s a huge list of things that you’ll need to consider but I think timeline and the location are the two big starters. And then of course what size building. What what are you trying to accomplish? How big is it? Is it a two bedroom house? Is it a one-room cabin? Is it two stories interior? Is it going to have balconies, lofts and garages? Is it multiple buildings? There’s so many things that you kind of have to put on the table and we usually encourage you to kind of dream that dream. And I tell my customers to come to me with the dream. This is the dream home. It is 40 wide and 60 long. Okay, and if we can’t get there price-wise, then let’s start figuring out how we can budget into the dream and still get as close as we can. But you really want to have all these things kind of figured out. Is there a local contractor that has experience? Do you have somebody in that realm that you can work with? Are you considering an architect or are you planning on doing the entire project all by yourself as a general contractor, a true do-it-yourself deal which is what most of our customers like to try and do. So I would always start with the dream. Get the idea down of who what when and where and then give us a call and see if we can help kind of point you in the right direction towards answering some of those questions at least regarding the shell of the structure. Craig Becker just asked a great question. What effect will tariffs have on building prices and when do you expect that to happen? President Trump has not identified anything specific about who those tariffs will be applied to. And the United States and Canada exchange a lot of steel across the border so there’s no telling what’s going to happen but we don’t expect that to happen with Canadian steel, but until the president defines it, it’s a non-issue right now. And these are typically marginal increases when we see these kind of increases. These steel increases are typically small enough where it won’t generally throw off a project of this size away because if you’re talking about a ten-thousand dollar building, we’re talking a five percent increase. It’s not enough money to really make it a huge detriment but of course we we’re always constantly looking at the steel markets. If the market moves a little bit, we have to move to adjust with it. It’s usually not something. A lot of times we absorb those costs and don’t pass them along. It’s a tricky business when you’re working in commodity, but that’s something that’s going to affect anybody and everybody that’s working with steel across the board so it won’t affect us any more or any less than it affects our competitors or people that are making cars or anything else that’s using steel to sustain itself. A lot of people want to know what Quonset homes are or where the word ‘Quonset’ comes from. Quonset was a town in Rhode Island where they first came about designing these buildings and they mainly designed them for the military starting in World War Two. Some of these buildings are still standing. A lot of them had internal framing, the same shape but with internal framing weren’t quite corrugated like the buildings we make today and the steel we’re using today. Every component across the board of the steel we’re using today is far stronger and just higher quality components than what they were using back then. Alright I just got a new question here from Josh Davidson. Josh is looking to build a garage and he’s curious about what’s the best way to insulate that. I’m wondering if he should try a spray on or if he should be framing the interior, the insulation not insulating with fiberglass. It’s an excellent question, Josh, and thanks for asking. That’s really a personal preference such as, if you’re building a garage and need to hang things on the walls. What I typically recommend is a spray-on regardless, but you might consider framing that first seven or eight feet of wall anyway so that you can hang board on it and put a pegboard or hang tools or do whatever you want there but usually the spray-on is the quickest and easiest way maybe not the most cost-effective but it typically is a little more durable, stays in there better, and it really does a great job of sealing the building up and eliminating issues of leaking and things like that they could be a potential down the road. I would contact my local insulation contracting outfit and see what they recommend. And for a steel building, they usually have a couple of different products that they would offer to you. Different thicknesses will get you a different r-value so you can spray it on in certain thicknesses to get that r-value that you’re looking for. You might just be for a garage maybe just put an inch on to take the edge off if you’re going to be out there working all through the winter and you need t to be warm you’ll consider it more than that, but again that’s a question for the insulation guy, but we have a pin and clip system if you want to use fiberglass. But we have a system where we can sell you the pins and clips or we can actually sell you the rolls of a vinyl backed fiberglass insulation like you would see in most houses or in a lot of steel buildings but spray-on are obviously the other option there. Kristen Green asked another question. How can I build a wall assembly within a Quonset Hut that contains insulation, prevents moisture from entering the assembly, and incorporates an aesthetic while covering, while still maintaining the beauty of the arch shape structure? I mean you can build a free-standing wall system within the Quonset Hut which many people do, not everybody attaches walls to the Quonset Hut itself so you have both these options that are available. So people do one story, two story houses stick framing the entire inside of that building out, so that’s possible to do. And then some people actually cover up the insulation of the Quonset Hut with fur and strips and liner, dry wood or drywall I’m sorry and then wood paneling. And I think the question that she’s also considering there is a vapor barrier and of course the vapor is going to be important. The vinyl back insulation that’s what that vinyl is that’s a vapor barrier and you’re going to want to create obviously a vapor barrier in that construction. Again, we’re going to go back to your contractor or whoever is doing that work to decide what’s the best way to handle that and we’re going to let you use the best local construction practices for that we don’t we don’t sell a vapor barrier, we’re not that’s not part of the package again we’re selling the shell and having you handle handle that construction locally, and that’s really going to be your best bet. Kristin to address your question about the pin clip system, there is a heavy white vinyl face on the insulation and the back does have a foil back that impedes mold and mildew so that’s your vapor barrier on the back of that insulation, yes it does. Alright, I got a new question here from Jared. Jared’s asking about framing out the interior of the structure and curious if we have drawings for that. We don’t have a specific set of drawings that details exactly how you would frame the system out. We do have some instruction information, some typicals for referring and doing those kinds of things and we certainly would help you understand how that works but it’s the building is bolted together with numerous bolts. The easiest thing to do is to come in behind one of those bolts with a coupling nut on the tail and then run threaded rod through the depth of the corrugation and pick up a furring strip that way and then you from there can attach whatever you want. We do have some details on some of this stuff and we we actually have a construction consultant in-house or you can typically call your sales rep like myself or Scott or whoever you end dealing with when you buy to get you that information to help you understand how that happens and you can best take care of that for yourself. , and so also a lot of people want to know just a basic arch design. We have two arches. A standard arch which is seven and a half inches deep and then we also have a commercial or a large arch which is nine point seven five inches deep, with the same gauge being equal and both of those that large arch is twenty five percent strong it just allows us to make much wider buildings and a lot of people in this industry I’m not aware of any other company that has that large arch. So the holes in those panels are all pre punched and over one size nut and bolt and that’s what make it a huge success as far as DIY kits go. Alright I got another question from Kelly. Hi Kelly how’s it going? Hope you’re having a great day. Kelly asked what are realistic timelines for design order and delivery. That’s an excellent question a lot of people call us in all different phases of this whether it’s their first call and they’re two years out or they’ve been working on it for two years and they’re two weeks away from from placing an order and getting started on the building. Typical of building design part it depends on again is it a custom building that we’re doing from scratch as like a one-off or are we going to work with one of our standard models, but the basic design timeline is a couple of weeks. , once we have an order in place and we all understand what we’re what we’re ordering and selling, then that information goes to our engineering department. Engineering usually has about three weeks to get it through the process, make sure they code comply check make it everything for your county where the building is going make sure they understand the loading and then make sure that the building is designed to meet all those environmental loads as well as the collateral loads that you may add to it and then get the drawing stamped and on their way to you. You usually have those in hand about three weeks after we’re contracted. From there it’s really a matter of when you’re ready and you approve your drawings and we usually will get you on the next truck that’s heading to your region and that usually takes somewhere in the neighborhood of three to four weeks so typical six to eight weeks from start to finish if it’s pretty clear and simple. If there are revisions to be made of course if we send the drawings out and you want to change something that kind of starts over again and we could have worked on projects that took two years to develop. I’ve worked on projects that were turned around, sold, and delivered within a month. It really is going to depend on each and every project. We always encourage you to call in sooner rather than later. You can never have too much information and never be too far out in front of this thing. If you have a tight deadline, call. We get a lot of calls saying need this thing in three weeks. Well it’s not really possible to do that. It’s very very difficult. We’ve done it but it’s very difficult to get it all right and get it all to you and that quickly so we like for you to be prepared, we like to understand what it is and be able to help you get exactly what you want and that obviously requires a little bit of time so good question Kelly. That’s one that we we we deal with a lot. One more question? Okay here’s a question from Craig. Again see Craig when do you receive the foundation’s plans in the process? the plans usually come within the first month or so of of the order so once you have the order in place you’ll be like I said you will when the engineering gets done and then those plans get out to you and that’s an important question because our plans aren’t the end-all be-all for this. If you’re doing a home, you’re likely going to have to wrap those plans into your architect’s plans to go get your permits. You might need to show all the details of the interiors of. There might be a lot more involved in it so our plans are going to be the structural plans for the shell beyond that you’re going to have some interior detailing the mechanical electrical plumbing all these things that need to be co-compliant that we’re going to have to get wrapped into it. Again something you’re going to have to find out from the county and the permit office is what you need to submit to get your permits and do you actually need to have a contractor or an architect they can help you do that. Any more questions before we wrap this up? I guess not. Thanks for joining us. Follow us on our social media for photos, customer stories, DIY tips and dates for the next live chat. And also be sure to visit us at SteelMaster USA. You can find all the information we covered today and deals on different kinds of buildings. We’ll see you next time. Have a great day. Thanks.