Tom and Kim’s SteelMaster Quonset Hut Lake Home


Hi, my wife and I decided to raze our summer cabin and build a quonset home. Inspired by Quonset houses found on the internet we contacted SteelMaster Buildings. 

Our property is located on a large recreational lake in the midwest that has some very interesting architecture. 

Construction of our Quonset hut lake house

We started construction in the fall of 2017 and except for a few minor things,  finished a year later in late 2018. We love the open floor plan and the efficiency of such a modern structure. Many boaters would take pictures during the construction phase and in fact during the making of this video a pontoon boat with about seven people stopped to ask questions about the house. 

One question we seemed to get often during construction is how did the contractors handle the round part of the house. Well actually, the house is fairly traditional and on the inside of the Quonset hut shell where the drywall and car siding was hung turned out not really be an issue whatsoever. 

There were times however when a carpenter had to get creative. We nicknamed these areas “roundisms”. The first issue to come light was supporting the second floor because the upper floors end, due to the curvature of the outer wall, in the middle of the room below, the architect had to be creative. I suggest you consult a professional about the interior floor plan and support system. More on roundisms later. 

Why we chose this style of Quonset

There are many shapes and styles of quonsets. We chose the most rounded style because it gives us the most headroom on the second floor without having to use a riser wall. Also, because our lot is a walk out to the lower level with nine foot ceilings, we wanted to reduce the outward pressure on the end of the foundation walls that are so high on the downhill side. This shape produces more downward pressure than outward pressure on the foundation. 

Construction nuances of our prefabricated home

This is the system we came up with to hang the drywall and car siding. It was quick and easy to set up the grid and made the hanging of the drywall and siding very easy. There’s no need to countersink any nuts or bolts, you just cut off the all-thread when the 2×4’s are all in place.

Once the endwalls were completed and the house was enclosed I inspected the inside during two separate heavy rain showers. I wanted to make sure none of the bolts were leaking before we insulated. 

One of the issues we had the transition between the siding and the metal was what to do with this gap. We finally came up with a solution of using garage door siding trim, which is available at any big-box store, hardware store, in a variety of colors usually in 50 ft rolls for about eight dollars. And it turned into a very easy solution with stainless steel staples, makes for a very nice transition. 

Another item we did to kind of help the appearance was on this edging, where the overlap occurs, we used stainless steel rivets, three of them, to bring the two pieces together and make it just a little crisper rather than having them separated by a little bit on each one. 

“Roundisms” and creative solutions we love

More roundisms, is floor trim on the second floor that was a ver, very compound miter cut. Cabinets and appliances such as clothes dryers will not sit flush against the outside wall. Ceiling fans cannot be mounted too far down the curved wall. We think this just adds charm to the house. 

Doors that open inward towards a curved wall will hit the top before opening all the way required creative solutions in doorstops. Mirrors and pictures need to be hung with care. 

This is an idea I had to take a piece of the car siding and rip it on a table saw, out the back, and then put ribbon LED dimmable lights along the siding on the loft and on the dome so that we have one on each side shining up and then a strip in the middle at the top shining down both sides. 

Thanks for watching and we hope you enjoy your Quonset home as much as we love ours.