Quonset Hut Metal Buildings : Which Style Should I Choose?

30x40 Arch steel building

The original design of the Quonset hut was based on the Nissen Hut developed by the British during WW1 (learn more about the history of the quonset hut). They are now common worldwide as inexpensive, sturdy solutions for all sorts of uses. Quonset hut manufacturers now provide three separate options depending on the needs of the consumer as well as structural strength requirements and space considerations.

  • The "Q" Model. This is the traditional Quonset hut metal building design - the price is the most economical, construction is sound and it presents the most cubic footage of storage space. Favored by the military as well as farmers seeking to store hay, grain or even house small livestock, the half dome "Q" model is an excellent choice for cases when side clearance is not an issue. Available Widths: 20 feet - 100 feet. 
  • The "S" Model. This version features the domed roof, but the front and back present a straight wall face. This model is ideal for vehicle and equipment storage or for use as a barn or workshop. It is not quite as strong structurally as the "Q" model, but still withstands snow loads and intense winds well. Available Widths: 16 feet - 60 feet. 
  • The "P" Model. P Quonset buildings deviate from the traditional dome shape, having straight walls and a pitched roof instead. These are commonly used as standard type garages, workshops or even small warehouse/office buildings. Available Widths: 16 feet - 30 feet. 

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Quonset prices will depend on the manufacturer, the height and length of the building chosen and what additional features are ordered. A "Q" model will generally yield the highest footage for the dollar ratio, and is unbeatable for grain storage. Since the sidewall strength is immense and requires no bracing, every inch of space can be filled making this a highly efficient choice.

An "S" model does lose some space but presents a cleaner look and allows the buyer to have doors and even windows easily installed. This is probably the most popular style of Quonset hut price per foot may be a little higher, but there is less wasted space. The straight walls in front and back also allow the building to be more easily subdivided if desired into stalls for use as a cattle or horse barn.

Quonset hut metal building manufacturers offer the more mainstream "P" series for instances when footer space is an issue and a more traditionally shaped building is needed. The same high quality materials and ease of assembly apply, but structurally the building is not as sound as a "Q" or "S" model. However, for use as a small garage or in cases when the building needs to be constructed alongside another structure, a "P" model may be the best choice.

Quonset buildings are extremely durable and require only basic maintenance - a properly erected and cared for building can last several decades. Selecting the correct model will ensure that the most value is gotten for the price. Use our price comparison tool.

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Author: Conrad Mackie