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
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.
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
Luckily our tractor had no problem unloading the pallets so that sped it up
|Assembling the arches
|All arches assembled
The building kit is sold with engineered plans for the foundation. We opted for
the easiest assembly, using pre-drilled
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
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
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
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
did a great job, they even installed the garage door.