Modern quonset homes have come a LONG way since Sears once sold them through their catalog. Today’s quonset movement has captured the spirit and imagination of a new generation of architects and home buyers, who together have championed a variety of modern modular dwellings that challenge preconceptions about “quonset” homes as cheap, cookie-cutter structures of last resort. No longer are they boring boxes with no life, now they are gorgeous and affordable homes that can be as unique and customized as you want. From pop-up architecture and shipping container homes one thing is for certain they do not have to look like a double wide trailer.
quonset housing does not have only one definition. Modular, panelized or precut, manufactured, and mobile homes are all types of quonset housing. The common thread through them is that each delivers a pre-engineered product that has been built in a factory on an assembly line, protected from the elements. Because these homes are factory-made, measurements are precise ensuring the house is sealed tightly to conserve energy and potentially save a homeowner thousands of dollars every year. Many modern quonset dwellings meet or exceed the U.S. government’s Energy Star standard, which typically means they use at least 20% less energy than regular new homes.
Advances in building technology have made construction easier and more cost-effective than ever. These advances also point out how modern consumers expect customization and aesthetic creativity. Companies have recognized this and realize they cannot expect people to accept age old boundaries of quonset technology.
Some modern design ideas include, solarized floating homes, cliffhanger homes, sloping hillside homes, suspended homes, quonset igloos, and pod houses.
Panelized or precut quonsetrication are the most do-it-yourselfer friendly.
A panelized quonset is like flat pack furniture. The floor, walls, ceiling and roof are all built in the factory. Each panel has the framing, insulation wiring tunnels and plumbing set in place. The interior and exterior skins are added. Each panel is precisely fitted for easy assembly at the building site. Once finished the panels are carefully stacked on flatbed trailers for transport to the home-site.
Using a crane the floor panels are put in place on the permanent foundation. The foundation can be a slab, crawl space or even a full basement. Next the wall panels are fitted in place and the roof and ceiling are put on.
Within a matter of days the “dry shell” is complete and all that is left to do is complete hooking up utilities and finish work. There is no need for specialized contractors, in fact a hand DYI’er could handle the job with a bit of help.
Modular and Manufactured quonsets by design are a bit more specialized. Whole sections are built in the factory, complete with electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation, and interior and exterior skins. The sections or modules are transported to the home-site and lifted by crane into place on their permanent foundation. A knowledgeable DIY’er can successfully tackle Modular and Manufactured home installation. Like Panelized homes the tricky part is operating and directing the crane, which should be left to professionals.