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10 Cool Quonset Homes and One Really Ugly One

Updated on April 5, 2016

What the Heck Is a Quonset Hut?

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In this poor housing market, Quonset huts are popular with new homeowners as well as with retirees looking for an affordable way to move to a warmer climate. A quonset hut is a type of arch-style, semicylindrical steel building that was used in World War II for equipment storage. Since then, Quonset huts have been used for inexpensive equipment storage in commercial and agricultural settings. In today's housing market, Quonset-hut homes are a popular option, mainly because they're less expensive to build or buy than other types of homes and can be built in less time.

The Coolest Quonset Homes

See how an ordinary Quonset hut is transformed into a home!

These past few years, people have gotten really creative when building a Quonset home. Check out the cool ways people have turned their ordinary steel Quonset buildings into homes that would make even Martha Stewart swoon. Well, maybe that's stretching it a little... :)

New York Cabin

They don't appear to be roughing it.
They don't appear to be roughing it. | Source

Keeping the Arch Theme Going Strong

Another SteelMaster hut home
Another SteelMaster hut home

The Indian Summer Lodge

Cool Quonset hut:  the Indian Summer Lodge in Houston
Cool Quonset hut: the Indian Summer Lodge in Houston

The Indian Summer Lodge in Houston is a quirky Quonset hut that has been featured in Playboy photoshoots and can be rented for parties. You can also get married here ... awkward. Anyway, it looks pretty cool.

Almost Blends Into the Landscape

Double Quonset Home in Arizona
Double Quonset Home in Arizona | Source

Cute Quonset Garage

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Nice Cat—I Hope That Child Has Other Talents to Rely on ...

Ugly Quonset Hut
Ugly Quonset Hut

Surprise! You found the really ugly one. :/

Cool Interiors of Quonset Homes

If you think the inside of your home will look like a steel tube, think again. Check out the creative ways that people decorated the interiors of their Quonset-hut homes.

Graced by an Architect—Papazian Strikes Again

Interior of the Eyebrow House
Interior of the Eyebrow House

Check out the modern interior of Papazian's Eyebrow House.

Kodiak Home

'Wood' you like to live in this Alaskan home? I wonder if a hollowed-out tree was the inspiration..

Rose Cobis purchased this Quonset hut from the city of Kodiak, Alaska, and made it her own. I think Rose has a thing for wood. She's probably reading a book about wood.

Would you live in a quonset hut home?

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A "Well-Rounded" Library

I love unique ways people use shelving in their home—and the library in this Quonset hut living room is definitely unique!

'80s Quonset-Hut Bathroom

Quonset-hut bathroom
Quonset-hut bathroom

Stay gold, ponyboy! Here's a Quonset-hut bathroom renovated in the '80s. Lookin' goooood. I like that they chose light-colored wood over the dark wood that most people decorated with in the 1980s. It really brightens up a small space.

More About Quonset-Hut Homes—And How to Get One of Your Own!

Whether you have a Quonset-hut fetish or are dreaming of erecting your very own hut home, here's a list of the best places on the web to find inspiration, pictures, and information about getting your own Quonset-hut home.

What Do You Think About Living in a Quonset-Hut Home? Comment Here!

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    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      That's pretty cool if it is decorated well. Some are pretty amazing.

    • knit1tat2 profile image

      knit1tat2 6 years ago

      Wouldn't mind it a bit, the greener the better! If I could, I'd put one up here!

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      Phenomenal lens! You did an excellent job on content and presentation. I am nominating you for a Lotd.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 6 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Some of these look really great.

    • smccormick profile image
      Author

      smccormick 6 years ago

      @I-sparkle: Wow, thank you so much! I really enjoyed researching and writing about this odd type of home :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      No thank you. If it was a HUGE rich man's quonset home in Hawaii, where the temperature is always mild all year, so that it would not need bulky insulation... it could be futuristic looking, and fun. But one that "I" could afford to heat and cool, anywhere else, would just end up looking like a small, squaty, ugly, shack that pigs are housed in. I get depressed thinking about it.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      Ya know... my husband and I looked into this a few years ago and couldn't find much, so we kind of forgot about them. So cool that i found your lens! Gonna pass this on to my husband. YAY

    • smccormick profile image
      Author

      smccormick 6 years ago

      @kathysart: I'm glad this inspired you! I enjoyed writing it. :) Good luck!

    • profile image

      RocketSteelBuildings 6 years ago

      I work for a company that builds these quonset structures and they are incredible affordable, easy to heat, and durable against everything including super high wind and rain!

    • journey103 profile image

      journey103 6 years ago from USA

      I actually grew up with a next door neighbor who had a quonset hut for their home. It was somewhat like a tiny mobile home, except it had a dirt floor basement. The only one I've ever been in and I haven't seen another one since. Nice lens, these are interesting!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Affordable housing for free spirits for sure. I think they're great!

    • profile image

      beardvc 5 years ago

      nice something to thing about

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I recently bought a quonset home from the 1940s & have been trying to find out the history. Like your site.

    • smccormick profile image
      Author

      smccormick 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • profile image

      mzareen 5 years ago

      Looks nicer than the little trailer we are renovating.

    • Staceysk profile image

      Staceysk 5 years ago

      I've never heard of them before. They look kinda cool.

    • profile image

      virgoansun 5 years ago

      Loved every second of this - what a fab lens. Thank you.

    • smccormick profile image
      Author

      smccormick 5 years ago

      @virgoansun: Aw, shucks! Thanks!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      I think I'll be looking for one

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @RocketSteelBuildings: Do you know which design is best for a home?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Planning rite now on gettin' one extremely kool krib Like to hook up w/others into the Quonset way of living.Have a happy holiday! Randy Chesson

    • BusinessSarah profile image

      BusinessSarah 5 years ago

      What a quirky, unique living situation! They look right along the lines of my someday-dream, which is converting an old ship. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      my only comment is that I have a Mac and don't enable cookies. couldn't see any pictures at all. very disappointing!

    • mannasugar profile image

      mannasugar 5 years ago

      Pretty cool Lens'....

    • Steph Tietjen profile image

      Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I think it'd be great to live in one. I love alternative housing. Great lens. Thanks

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      It would be great to live in such a beautiful house!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My Husband and I are putting 1 up right now. So excited about it. It's going to be 40 wide x 80 long. Looking forward to it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I lived one summer in a Quonset hut made by Great Lakes Steel Company which had been adapted to be the guest wing of an Episcopal monastery in Three Rivers, MI. The neighboring chapter [meeting] room was also a quonset hut. The rest of the monastery consisted of a wooden modernist chapel, an old wooden farmhouse, and a pole barn refectory, which were all connected by a tunnel like library on one side and a more conventional passageway on the other. I had a small room inside of the Quonset guest quarters. Since the sides had conventional windows it was quite nice and not inconvenient in any way. I've been fascinated with Quonset huts ever since and would like to live in my own out in the desert some day.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am a WWII historian and would love to build one to look just like the living quarters of a WWII era service residence. If you saw "The Pacific", there is a scene depicting a Pacific island where a naval or marine base was located for a marine who was being treated for PTSD. It would be really swell to live in one.

      M. Sandall Templeton, Ca.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am interested....but need to know about financing and insurance. How available are both for this style home. My email address is donrutland@yahoo.com. Thanks for your response.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We just put a bid in on a nice piece of land and ourvplan is to tear down all the existing structures and erect a qounset hut to live in. I want 2 stories with 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, a study, and a large open living/kitchen/dining area. I want to stop the roof along 1 side, leaving the exposed steel girders as support to creat a porch and a well shaded wall of windows underneath. I plan to set 1 end in far enough on the first floor to create a covered parking area below a balcony. We love the clean lines, industrial look, and durability of these structures! Since this is Texas, we are wondering if, to maintain the look we want inside and still be well insulated, has anyone ever done 2 layers of steel with something like foam insulation in between the layers? Input is appreciated... As are pictures of your Quonset homes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: So how's it going? Are you going to live in it?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello

      My husband and I moving out west and are very interested in putting up a Quonset hut. How did your experience go? we remodel our 100 year old home so I think we are up for the challenge. It's hard to find useful info. I'm curious how you insulated the walls and roof.

      Any help would be really appriceated.

      Thank you

      Sherry Hoke

    • Mussarat LM profile image

      Mussarat J Moghal 4 years ago from Ontario Canada

      They look cute.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We live in one. Have been in it for almost 8 years now. It is 45 X 80 X 17. We originally planned to build a house at a later date, but have recently decided to just tear out what we have done and re-do it and are looking for design ideas. Any pictures/links would be appreciated!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I grew up in Alaska and have always wanted to live in a quonset hut. That just wasn't done back then -- I'm talking in the 1960s. But now that no one tells me what to do (I got divorced), I may finally do as I please, and get one built! I hope I can paint it yellow. . .

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My family actually lived in a Quonset hut when I was about four years old but I don't have any real clear memories about how it looked. I wish I did because I am currently writing a book about my family.

      Right now I live in a renovated garage house...four rooms and perfect for me! I love it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been looking to rent or buy a Quonset for years! talk about "open concept" living! I did live in one temporarily, the coolest one ever - It had a stall and paddock for my horse in the back end, didvided by Plexiglas, and I could see my horse 24/7. I should have bought it.

    • CraftyandClever profile image

      CraftyandClever 4 years ago from everywhere but mostly Cali

      When can I move in?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am retiring and would love to live in a quonset hut built as the 1940s models. I would like to know if there is anyone in the New Engand Area or elsewhere that builds reproduction Quonset huts?

      I toured an old one a year ago and fell in love with it. It has such space and design possibilities.

      Please let me know if anyone knows of builders or contractors that build, replicate the old Quonset House Design for people on their land or property?

    • GeckoShack profile image

      GeckoShack 4 years ago

      Quite a few of those in Malta, especially in the craft village, although they're somewhat more basic. Just a corrugated tin shell with some tables and display units inside. Some really cool digs here, though.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I want to build an earth home, or at least partially in the earth.

      Does anyone know what I'd need to add to the Quonset hut for support. My mom is buying 12 acres with a cabin built in 1880. And I get to build what I want. LOL not to bad.

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I'm familiar with quonset barns. And while there are many barns i'd say i'd live in, i never thought about a qonset house. Hmmmmm..... Nice lens! Thanks.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 3 years ago

      I'd never heard of them before but as one who rails against the mass-produced garbage that threatens out world, I am into ANYTHING that is salvageable. The challenge of making one of these into a home is appealing. Loved this lens.

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      lance-cole-180 3 years ago

      @anonymous: You would first need to rent an excavator and dig the placement base location, careful not to get too deep or you will dig deeper than the water table, and constant seepage will flood your home, unless you want to set up a bilge to keep it forever 'bailed out'. Next, you would have a contractor come in and pour the concrete foundation and reinforcing walls to prevent side wall dirt cave-in later. From overhead, these walls look like sun-rays extending out from the building. You would end up with a 3-sided box (preferably on a hillside) where you have berm-walled the dirt, built the building, then partially filled dirt into the area between the dirt berm wall and the building wall, making sure to watch for any potential water-table shifting as a result. Make sure to dig and lay all incoming electrical cables and water and sewer lines before you pour the concrete base foundation!

      Best bet is to find a contractor who has built 'partial sub-surface dwellings' before, and has been successful at it, and then have him show you some pictures first.

    • profile image

      HighwaterJane 2 years ago

      My parents lived in a little Quonset hut village in the early 1950s on a college campus in the Midwest. It was housing for young families and married students. They made life-long friends there.

    • profile image

      mandy 2 years ago

      Anyone know where they have builders? We're near Denver and my co-worker is super interested. :-)

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      karolhere 2 years ago

      Right after my dad got out of the service, my parents were married in 1943 & started married life living in a quonset hut home, in central Illinois, that they ordered and my dad and all the relatives put the kit house together on top of a full block wall basement. As the family grew, they built onto the hut. I was born and raised in the original 1 bedroom complete with the wall arhes, watched my head as I grew taller. After my parents passing, I moved back home with my family and we are just now completing some remodeling while covering up some of the arches but leaving the majority of them as they originally were installed. I am fortunate to have pics of my dad and relatives putting up the hut and how it looked sitting on top of our big hilltop complete with basement. They are insulated very well and adapt to temp changes, warm when cold, cool when hot, cost friendly and comfortable with plenty of room. What began as a one bedroom, kitchen, living room, dining room & bathroom is now all those plus 2 bedrooms, family room, front room and seasonal patio room. Love the hut that is now our center hub of our wonderful built onto home.

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      Skycatcher53 2 years ago

      Love these ... !! Love the "earthier" cave-like feel, and all the softening arches, curves & circular design elements of quonsets ... makes me immediately think "hobbit" *lol* After looking at all the many awkward & silly (IMO) & very squarish "tiny house" designs, I'm actually making plans to set/bolt/weld a smaller one of these traditional quonsets onto a 20' x 8.5' flatbed trailer as a different shape & sort of tiny house :) ... The prefab steel quonset kits are surprisingly inexpensive, can be cut to order, are easy & quick to assemble, are very safe & sturdy with no additional load-bearing beams or supports required, lightweight (good for towing), exceptionally strong and durable (earthquake/wind/fire/rain/snow/rot/bug & critter-proof), easy to insure, AND are considered "green" in that they are recycleable and very energy efficient ... !! Wish me luck ... !! :)

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 18 months ago

      I think I would like one. My husband and I talked about building a Quonset hut home before we bought the “damned” underground house. I mean that literally because the house has to be damned. Anyway, I’m curious about the insulation. I suppose one would insulate with the amount needed for the area and then wall over it like in a conventional house. Thanks for the information. Oh, the ugly one, the folks were just trying to beautify a plain Jane the best way they could. Living in an ugly home myself, I sympathize.

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      Alf Manzer 13 months ago

      I am a Designer and have some specif ideas for the Quonset Shape..... I also love the idea of having a Secure Place for fabricating and tool storage early on

      during the project.

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      Nat 10 months ago

      I am buying a quonset home by the end of summer, I would appreciate ideas and designs. Can't wait to be on top of the hill with my dome!

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      kim 10 months ago

      i'd like to post a compliment to the artistry of the child ...

      maybe you'd ( author ) would like to state why you felt compelled to insult

    • profile image

      Kathy 9 months ago

      I also thought the child did outstanding artwork on that hut. The insults should be deleted.

    • profile image

      Mike 9 months ago

      Actually, we are renovating one and will be living in it next year. The main problem we have so far is sealing the sides, where they meet the foundation. But there are real advantages. Essentially, we have a house that is inside another building.

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      Alan 7 months ago

      I really like the idea of a Quonset home. I liked the look of the wooden one with the woman who was probably reading the book about wood. You could do alot worse and I have lived in apartments that weren't as nice as that. Insulate the heck out of it and it would be very quiet, comfortable and easy to keep warm or cool

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      Naes.M 6 months ago

      with all the war parks-aka-closed bases around new England...there should be a few still standing....I knew of one in Norwell, MA & it was nice.... now these days you need land, permits by epa & etc... some former missle silos are now homes & companies do make kits you can assemble but as I said , you need land, permits,etc....damn shame/red tape snafu strangling people who want to build them...

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