Quonset

Finished Quonset
Finished Quonset
We needed indoor storage for the tractor, quad, tools and equipment. Our land zoning allows two sea-cans (used shipping containers), but those would be too small.

So we figured we'd build a quonset: a metal arch building. We bought a Pioneer steel alpine kit for a  50' x 32' x 18' (15 meters long, 10 meters wide and 5.5 meters high) building.

Foundation dug out
Foundation dug out.
The building kit is delivered on pallets loaded onto a semi trailer. You better have a forklift or tractor with a front-end loader ready to lift the pallets off the flatbed trailer; the driver told us he sometimes helps customers offload all the individual pieces one by one when there is no loading equipment available.
Luckily our tractor had no problem unloading the pallets so that sped it up considerably.




Assembling the arches
Assembling the arches

All arches assembled
All arches assembled
The building kit is sold with engineered plans for the foundation. We opted for the easiest assembly, using pre-drilled industrial baseplates on a flat concrete floor. The plans called for a slab-on-grade construction with rebar straps running under the slab. Most contractors here had never heard of that kind of slab, so CMR Contractors suggested changing it to a beam-on-pile foundation. We went ahead with 12 foot piles supporting grade beams on the perimeter of the foundation. The 4 grade beams make a square which is then filled with gravel and 6" of concrete.
This won't work: using a scaffold.

Next, we assembled all the arches. We had, I believe, 23 arches to assemble. Unfortunately we did this in July and it was very hot; it took us the better part of a week to get it all assembled.

According to the manual, TV commercials and the pioneer steel website, you can erect a metal building using a simple scaffold, some ladders and bunch of two-by-fours. From experience, I can tell you that it is impossible to do that for an 18 foot tall building.
This did work: a telehandler
We tried, but after 5 hours of trying to get the first arch on top of the scaffold, we saw a warped and bent mess. I had to hire a contractor who used a crew of 5 guys with a telehandler to get the job done in about 4 days. Du-al contracting did a great job, they even installed the garage door.

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