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Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: May 09, 2012 03:18PM

Looks like we're getting serious about putting an 'out building' on our rural land (WI). Permits, zoning and space are not an issue. Decided on 50' long and 25' or 30' wide (whatever's cheaper). There are various companies making these steel buildings. I was looking at a kit I could assemble myself over a cement footing with partial cement and gravel floor (reduces taxes). Anyone have experience, tips, companies? So cost and ease of construction are key. I personally like the Q-Series quonset style buildings with the vertical walls. Ribs are assembled and then raised into position. Open to suggestions.
thanks!

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: clarkscorvair ()
Date: May 09, 2012 03:54PM

Quonset huts have served us very well for close to 40 years now, and we hand assembled each one.

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Leon Renaud ()
Date: May 09, 2012 06:22PM

clarkscorvair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Quonset huts have served us very well for close to
> 40 years now, and we hand assembled each one. Who do you buy your buildings from? My son and I are looking for one and were located in Thompson Ct.

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: May 09, 2012 06:38PM

Thanks Clark's!
Looks like you all have the traditional Quonset. Simple and strong. Is the #8 building a quonset as well and if so who did you buy it from?
The only other thing I'm thinking about is the height of the peak. I think 15' would be the minimum if I decide to build a storage loft.
duro span/ duro steel ebay

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: clarkscorvair ()
Date: May 09, 2012 07:58PM

Building 8 is a Butler Building not a quonset.

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: tboltkc ()
Date: May 10, 2012 01:42PM

I bought and put up my own building. I would never do it again. Erecting the skeleton wasn't hard - like a big erector set - but putting the siding on was a huge PITA. Might be better if you rented or bought the right kind of screw gun but I didn't realize that at the time.

Make sure you have some friends to help and I rented a variable reach forklift to both unload off the truck and to help lift the bigger pieces into place. That part was kind of fun.

Either way, if I had to do it again I'd just pay someone to put it up. With all the rental fees, time and pain and suffering I went through it would've been worth it. And the quality would've been better I'm sure. The siding and guttering was a lot harder than it sounds.

-Travis

'65 Corsa 180/4; '63 Convertible 102/PG; '62 Deluxe Station Wagon; '65 Monza 4DR 110/4; RUPP Chevy Jr.; Red HUFFY Corvair Bike

Heart of America Corvair Owners Assocation (Kansas City, MO)

"Beer will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no beer."
-Maureen Ogle, beer historian


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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: gmorphan ()
Date: May 10, 2012 02:33PM

When I was shopping around for buildings in 2005, I found that there were 500 building brokers but really only about 5 or 6 places that actually produced the steel building. I ended up buying from [www.steelbuilding.com] because I liked the ability to design and content the building myself. Ultimately the building was delivered from Atlanta and was right on-time. Everything was included...all steel, doors, windows, vents and insulation. I went with a 30' x 45' with 3:12 pitch and 12" eave walls. Lots of vents, windows, skylights, insulation and full interior liner panels.









Have fun! grinning smiley

Bob Manwaring, Kingston, TN

'69 500 Coupe #1432

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: daveo79 ()
Date: May 10, 2012 04:59PM

Don't buy a steel building kit. Your best option is wood framing and a shingle roof. The illusion that a steel building kit is cheaper, flexible, leak-proof and maintenance free is not founded. These companies pricing (and financing) schemes make car dealers envious - you will pay more in the long run - and you will wear yourself out putting it together.
Have a reputable local builder put up the exterior shell and have the electrical panel installed (also any plumbing rough-ins). Then you can live it up finishing out the interior if you want a project - that is plenty for most folks anyway. How can a company 1000 miles away be less expensive than local? And the thousand mile guy is long gone when you have problems.
The lowest dollar (quoted) building packages are not acceptable to most owners so you end up upgrading. Next thing you know you are deceiving yourself about the bottom line or you are thinking "what happened..." It's kind of like how some people say their new car gets more MPGs than it really does....

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: lgoodwin ()
Date: May 11, 2012 03:49AM

daveo79 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't buy a steel building kit. Your best option
> is wood framing and a shingle roof. The illusion
> that a steel building kit is cheaper, flexible,
> leak-proof and maintenance free is not founded.
> These companies pricing (and financing) schemes
> make car dealers envious - you will pay more in
> the long run - and you will wear yourself out
> putting it together.
> Have a reputable local builder put up the exterior
> shell and have the electrical panel installed
> (also any plumbing rough-ins). Then you can live
> it up finishing out the interior if you want a
> project - that is plenty for most folks anyway.
> How can a company 1000 miles away be less
> expensive than local? And the thousand mile guy is
> long gone when you have problems.
> The lowest dollar (quoted) building packages are
> not acceptable to most owners so you end up
> upgrading. Next thing you know you are deceiving
> yourself about the bottom line or you are thinking
> "what happened..." It's kind of like how some
> people say their new car gets more MPGs than it
> really does....

Dave, you make some good points, but I disagree on a couple of points.

As for cost, it all comes down to economies of scale--the more you produce, the cheaper each unit costs to make. Whether the structure has a wood or steel frame, the main factors in production cost are how efficient your process is, how many units you produce, and how many you sell (at retail or close to it). Steel prices have gone up a LOT in recent years due to so much scrap being shipped to China, and the general increase in the cost of living caused by the U.S. importing more than it exports, etc.

As for wood framing, I used to prefer wood, but the quality of wood studs is incredibly poor these days (and prices high). Steel studs are far more uniform in quality, meaning they are a) straight, and b) have consistent strength/rigidity.

As for FINDING a good steel building (kit or build to order) online, that's another matter! What a nightmare...

1962 Corvair 900 sedan1967 Corvair Monza 140/4-speed1968 Corvair 500 coupe1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0
1962 900 sedan needs a home1967 Monza 140/4-spd1968 500 coupe (now my son's)1983 Mexican Mustang 5.0

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Curtis ()
Date: May 11, 2012 04:59AM

What concerns are there about being in, or working in, a steel structure when an electrical storm comes through? I am likely building next year and am leaning towards wood construction partially because I would feel safe being out there working if a storm came through. I can't say the same for my steel shed.


Milwaukee, Wi

CORSA Webmaster: About | Chapters | Vendors | Events | Ads | Registry | Store
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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: ihscomputers ()
Date: May 11, 2012 11:08AM

Last year I actually did the research and concluded that, since I have neither the time nor the skills to construct or erect a building myself, I would need to pay someone else to do so.

At the end of the day I concluded that the steel building trumped the wood building in price as well as interior room & flexibility, especially if you plan to install a lift.

I spent a lot of time on the phone with the sales rep as well as on their website: www.steelbuilding.com (the same company that Bob Manwaring (gmorphan) used) and found them to be extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with.

Although I ultimately discovered that I didn't have enough funds to follow-through with the steel building purchase, I most definitely will choose steel over wood when I finally am able to build my dream garage.

BTW, I am quite intrigued with the Quonset hut design and will add that to my list of considerations when the time finally comes.

Dean F. Gemberling
Columbus, Georgia
CORSA Eastern Division Director

Click here for the slideshow of my '62 Rampside

1962 Rampside - ORANGE - Driving & showing it
1964 Monza Convertible - WHITE - In pieces awaiting restoration
1969 Monza Convertible - AZTEC BRONZE - Working on finishing touches

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: May 11, 2012 01:07PM

Thanks for the responses, they're exactly what I hoped for.
The downside to the Quonset hut is obvious: making holes in the side walls for windows and doors is difficult or expensive; kits can be ordered with cutouts. Objectively, they look more industrial. I would consider builing the end walls myself this summer, but I'll price them with the manufacturer. The only extra I'm set on ordering would be three skylights.
As far as electric storms are concerned, I thought lightning is more likely to go for the tallest targets regardless of material. Bonus: lightning strike won't result in barn fire!

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: flamingchariots ()
Date: May 11, 2012 02:47PM

Curtis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What concerns are there about being in, or working
> in, a steel structure when an electrical storm
> comes through? I am likely building next year and
> am leaning towards wood construction partially
> because I would feel safe being out there working
> if a storm came through. I can't say the same for
> my steel shed.

A good building inspector will require adequate grounding on all four corners of a steel-framed building. Simple enough to do. We used to Cad-weld the ground cables from the frame to the ground rods (which are sledge-hammered deep into the ground).
If you don't want to bother with that method, use ground clamps made for the purpose. Use large enough ground cables, too (at least #4 copper for a residential application).

The walls and roof of my pole barn are steel, and I've never worried about lightning strikes.
Proper grounding is the key.

Kevin
Medina, OH

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Date: May 11, 2012 07:34PM

It should not be forgotten that your local area has a lot to do with it. Over here we use "pole buildings" which rely a lot on wood (it grows all around us) with metal siding, although wooden siding is also used.

In western Oregon you will see a predominance of wooden buildings because it's the cheapest material, but many other areas of the country you'll see brick, stone or metal.

The quonset hut is one of the cheapest buildings you can put up, as it has no side walls. Just 2 end walls and a roof. Very popular during WWII.

Lon
www.corvairunderground.com

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: dedwinson ()
Date: May 11, 2012 08:42PM

with lightning on a steel structure -- Think Faraday.

Electricity flows along the outside of metalic objects and does not flow "through" them. This is why a twisted strand wire of smaller diameter will transmit more electricity than a solid wire of substantially larger size.

This same principle is what prevents people in airplanes from being electrocuted when lightning strikes a plane. The current flows along the outside shell of the plane not through it.

Properly grounding the steel building further improves safety. Our above ground pool is also grounded. I have an 8 foot long copper coated steel rod driven down through the ground with a solid copper wire attached to the pool and the pole.

I would also like a steel building, but I debate the relative flexibility as compared to a wood structure. For example, adding a door/window to a wood frame seems to me to be far easier than with steel but that my be just perception.

I also worry a bit about corrosion in the steel, and the relative ease of repair between steel and wood in the event of storm damage.

Dave Edwinson
Doing Vairly well in Minnesota
'66 Vert 140HP
www.frontiernet.net/~dedwinson

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: May 15, 2012 01:31PM

Welcome to the forum, what Corvairs do you have? Looks like Dalal is based in Lebanon with no indication that they sell to the U.S.A.

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: tboltkc ()
Date: May 15, 2012 01:54PM

One other thing to think about with a steel building (and really the only thing I don't like about mine now that it's done) is that it's harder to wire and harder to hang things on the walls. You have to run all wiring in conduit. Which is a bigger PITA than stapling romex cable where you need it. Also, there is a big gap between the horizontal members, making it difficult to hang stuff up. There just isn't anything to attach to. You pretty much have to build something like a stud wall to be able to hang much. If others have better ideas on how to do that, I'd like to hear it.

-Travis

'65 Corsa 180/4; '63 Convertible 102/PG; '62 Deluxe Station Wagon; '65 Monza 4DR 110/4; RUPP Chevy Jr.; Red HUFFY Corvair Bike

Heart of America Corvair Owners Assocation (Kansas City, MO)

"Beer will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no beer."
-Maureen Ogle, beer historian


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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: Noah ()
Date: May 15, 2012 02:54PM

Travis,
Sounds like you have a steel framed/ pole barn type. But, there's a similar problem with a quonset. Do you just shoot screws through the skin? Every hole would invite rust; best to avoid it.

Here's the quote i received for a vertical-walled quonset:

As per our conversation, please accept the following:
G30-16 Model 30’ Wide x 50’ Long x 16’ High
1. Manufactured in 20 gauge High Tensile Galvalume Steel.
2. Number of arches: 25
3. Front End Wall Open
4. Rear End Wall Open
5. (3) 24 OZ Skylights Included
6. All Necessary Hardware, 5/16” Hex Head Nuts, Bolts
7. Weather Stripping to Ensure Tightness for Each End Wall
8. Foundation & Erection Manual
9. 30 Year Written Warranty (Backed by North American Steel Factory)
BUILDING PRICE DELIVERED……………………………...…………….…$ 11,500.00
DEPOSIT …………………………………………...…………….…$ 1,500.00
BALANCE DUE …………………………………………...…………….…$ 10,000.00
Please Note: If you choose to go 2’ shorter with a G30-14 model you may deduct
$500.00 off the total cost.

Note:
Each building section uses the following pieces.
2 std. roof panels $120
1 peak panel $58
2 eave panels $99
2 vertical panels $92

Noah
Milwaukee

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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: tboltkc ()
Date: May 15, 2012 04:06PM

Yes, I have a 40 X 60 steel building from steelbuilding.com (my experience was less satisfying than the previous poster who bought from them).

The only holes I've put in the outer skin were to put it on (what a PITA that is if you don't have the right type of screw gun - which I didn't).

My conduit is all attached to the inner structure using clamps made for the purpose and self-drilling screws into the purlins (I think that's what they are called). The only other thing I have attached to the walls is a peg board for which I had to build a frame (I think I uses 2 X 2 wood), which is attached to the purlins with L brackets. I really wish I could just hang shelves and stuff like in a wood framed building. Even pictures and clocks are not easy to hang. I'd like to put some OSB up for exterior walls so I could hang stuff, but the way I ran my conduit makes that hard. I'd like to redo some of that stuff.

Whatever you do, I recommend having a comprehensive plan for all those types of details before you do anything. I did not and regret it.

-Travis

'65 Corsa 180/4; '63 Convertible 102/PG; '62 Deluxe Station Wagon; '65 Monza 4DR 110/4; RUPP Chevy Jr.; Red HUFFY Corvair Bike

Heart of America Corvair Owners Assocation (Kansas City, MO)

"Beer will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no beer."
-Maureen Ogle, beer historian


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Re: Opinions on steel building kits & quonset huts
Posted by: 63spyder ()
Date: May 17, 2012 01:50AM

Ive been using steel roofing and siding here for over twenty years , both nailed and screwed. I never have problems with rust where the fasteners made holes as they went through. But I have had both nails and screws work their way out, here and there, easy enough to fix. (wood framing)

Wayne in Glide Oregon
63 spyder conv.(wifes car finished ,owned 17 years)65 monza conv.unfinished 14 years and never driven,yet!!!.61 rampside (new toy and distraction)

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