Living Safely in a House of Steel

When everything that has to do with real estate is off the charts, thinking way outside the proverbial square box is necessary. How about going with an arch?

An arched steel building is a future home against wind and wildfires.

Q Cabin Steel House
The Q Cabin

The other night I re-watched one of my long-time favorite movies. “Wind” is a fictional documentation of an America’s Cup race in the early 1980s. Some of the characters in the film live in a partially derelict airplane hangar in the Nevada desert. For me, this was a future dream home.

Arched steel prefabs are a fraction of the cost of a traditional wood home.

Curvco Steel Building
Curvco Steel

It’s doable, but a little difficult to live in an airplane hangar—especially if you don’t own or fly a plane. However, the search for hangars for sale brought me to several companies that build and sell steel arched buildings. These buildings can be used for everything from garages and agricultural buildings to offices and even residential (and tiny) homes.

They also come in many sizes.

Steelmaster shed
Steel Master

If you have the land and space to install one of these buildings, they come as prefabricated structures that last a lifetime and require very little maintenance. Much of the time, the buildings are also made from recycled steel.

American Steel Span sells Galvalume steel buildings for residential applications. The homes are safe from wildfires, mold, rot, and high winds. They come in a variety of custom sizes and can be made to look like traditional wood homes.

The homes can be built to look like a traditional home with wood siding.

American Steel Span
American Steel Span

Another company, Arch Buildings, sells customized prefab arched homes. The arch shape is an ancient form that is nearly impervious to weather, wind, and snow loads. Each of the homes from Arch Buildings can be engineered to any type of finished look–including wood.

Steel companies around the country have many concepts and designs to choose from.

Arch Steel Buildings
Arch Buildings

Other companies who provide residential steel prefab kits include Curvco Steel Structures, Steel Master Building Systems, and Q Cabin Kits. A recent Q Cabin Kit was built in the area devastated by the Camp Fire in California. Each company also uses the arch for its strength and beauty.

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

2 thoughts on “Living Safely in a House of Steel”

  1. I read about a family that had an extremely well-built steel shed on their property to store their keepsakes (photos, etc.) to protect them from fire. Wildfire did hit their property, and when they returned, the shed was still standing. Unfortunately, upon opening the doors, all the contents were ash. The hot steel ignited the contents and there was nothing left. So I guess a steel building is great if all you need to preserve from fire is the building, or if you are willing to live with only concrete furnishings…


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