The arched top style comes in three different shapes.
The Q-model is basically an arch all the way from the base and across the roof to the other side (like a half circle). This is the least expensive of all steel buildings and comes in sizes ranging from 20 feet wide to 100 feet wide.
The S-model is similar to the Q-model, except that the side walls are straightened, leaving the roof in an arch or curve. This is a good application for warehousing or storage, as the straight walls add space for stacking and shelving that the Q-model does not. S-models are slightly more expensive than the Q.
The P-model has a gable-style roof (like an arch with a pinch in the center). The side walls are straight and tall compared to the S- and Q-models. The attractive shape of this building makes it a popular choice for installing in the backyard – such as a garage. The P-model is more expensive than an S-model but still cheaper than a similar sized straight walled building.
Quonsets were created for military purposes in 1941. The Fuller Construction Company near Quonset Point, Rhode Island, produced them for the navy. Originally, they were 16′ x 36′ with curved steel T-ribs. The floor was tongue and groove and its exterior was galvanized metal. At the time—the World War II era—they became popular for both military and civilian uses.
They came to represent the postwar economic and demographic boom. Some are even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the plains, these buildings were commonly used for machine sheds, yielding to somewhat more refined commercial steel buildings as time went on. They also appeared on college campuses as administrators were faced with exploding demands for higher education, thanks to the veterans’ educational benefits in the GI Bill. The Quonsets helped to house students and sometimes even faculty. Some were obtained from military surplus distributors but some were new.
Today they’re being produced and used for storage sheds, especially on farms and ranches; for garages, particularly for large vehicles; and workshops. They are ideal for storing and protecting grain, livestock, and all kinds of farm and ranch equipment. Because they are much stronger than I-beam buildings or pole barns and easily expandable to any length, they have been popular on farms and ranches for over forty years.
See the various design options on our Quonset designs page