PICTURED ABOVE: Quonset building retrofitted with a Diamond Door.
From the 1950s to 1970s, steel quonsets, and wooden arch rib buildings became increasingly common on farms. They provided easy storage and were readily available, easy to build using pre-assembled kits, and extremely durable.
Over 50 years later, many farmers and private pilots still use some of these same quonsets as storage or as private hangars. They have lasted the test of time and are usually structurally sound.
Like any building, Quonset huts are subject to the wear and tear of regular use and harsh weather. Without proper care, they start to leak and let in pests. In extreme cases, the foundation may crack, or the frame may rot.
Still, leaving these buildings empty is hard when they could be sheltering your equipment. If you have a Quonset on your yard waiting for restoration, here are a few things to consider that might help you get started.
As you know, the foundation supports the entire weight of the building. This makes the strength and integrity of the foundation very important. If you are considering a restoration of your old Quonset, be sure to inspect the foundation first.
If your quonset has a concrete foundation, you’ll want to inspect it for cracks, flaking, or separation. These can indicate a shifting building, which you want to correct before restoring the Quonset. With both a concrete foundation and a dirt foundation, you should also check for a sinking building.
The repairs for these issues depend on the severity of the problem. An experienced concrete professional can often make these repairs relatively quickly and inexpensively. More extensive damage may require a new foundation for your Quonset.
Inspecting your quonset frame is equally important. Quonsets have either a wood or steel frame, and the design varies. For a wood frame building, check for rot. If it is a steel frame quonset, check for rust.
If the Quonset has been poorly constructed or is just that old, the roof may have started to leak along the seams. Check for rot or rust anywhere moisture may have accumulated – the frame along the seams and near the foundation is especially vulnerable.
Be sure to also check the joints for stability and strength. If anything shifts, it needs to be repaired!
Without a strong roof, your quonset won’t do much good. As the tin on the roof of the Quonset ages, it may start to rust, the seams may leak, and it may start to pull away from the building.
Depending on the issue, it may be possible to patch the roof. Otherwise, you’ll have a larger, but no less doable, project on your hands.
The Quonset poses a unique challenge to doors mounted directly to the frame of the building, such as overhead doors. Raising the overhead door’s height reduces the door’s width and vice versa.
Sliding doors solve this issue by extending the door frame past the side of the Quonset, but that leads to other issues, as mentioned earlier. That’s where bifold doors make a great option.
Bifold Doors for Quonsets
The bi-fold door has an advantage in creating a larger clear opening than other door types. Where an overhead door is limited in width and height, a bifold door can cover the entire face of the Quonset, extending past the roofline to maximize your clear opening. Innovative bifold door features like a self-supporting header make this possible.
Self-Supporting Header for Quonset Doors
Self-supporting headers are beneficial for older buildings that need extra support and for uniquely designed buildings that do not support a traditional door frame. The Quonset fits neatly in both of those categories.
With the self-supporting header, the door can be mounted above the roofline and extend to the edges of the Quonset. This significantly increases the size of the clear opening in the quonset and lets you move larger equipment into your building.
If you are concerned about the weight of the bifold door, the self-supporting header erases all doubt. It transfers the weight of the bifold door directly into the ground and provides additional strength to your quonset by bracing the building’s frame.
A Door Designed for Better Protection and Low Maintenance
Older quonset doors, especially sliding doors, do not seal against pests and harsh weather. A Diamond Doors bifold door offers a stronger seal to protect your equipment using various door features such as J channel tracks and column followers (to hold the door firmly against the door frame), and weather seals (to protect against pests and harsh weather).
Diamond Doors are designed to reduce the time needed for maintenance, with fewer moving parts and easier access to parts that need more regular upkeep. Diamond has also eliminated the need to maintain several key parts of their door, like hinges and lift cables.
More Convenient Features From Diamond Doors
Diamond Doors equip every bifold door with a variety of convenient features. These features protect your equipment, ensure your door is easy to maintain, and make your building look sharp.
Most Diamond Doors can be built with a pedestrian door inside the frame. If your quonset door will cover the entire face of the building, this is a great option for you. It allows quick access to your quonset without opening the bifold door.
Whether you spend your day on the field or in flight, it is nice to have a door that opens at the push of a button. With an upgrade to the convenient auto-locking system, the Diamond bifold door does just that. Open your quonset doors from the seat of your tractor or your plane and drive (or taxi) right in.
For extra protection against the cold, each Diamond Door can be fitted with a custom insulation package. Because it is installed on the exterior of the door frame, the insulation package protects every inch of your door against the cold. It’s a smart choice to help reduce your heating costs!
Diamond Doors also offer customizable trim and cladding options for every door. They cut each sheet to length and make it ready for installation when it arrives on-site. Diamond Doors also provides a detailed cut list to make ordering your cladding and trim easy if you prefer to order elsewhere.