6 Questions To Answer Before Buying A Metal Building

Our Building Specialist - Before Buying (800) 313-2046In order to get the right metal building or carport for your needs and avoid hassles before buying a metal structure, we asked a 15-year veteran, Ron Clark, to give us some advice. Ron has seen the pitfalls that can result when you don’t follow the rules for adding a metal structure to your lot. Here are some questions and advice he gives his customers about buying and installing a metal structure whether it is a shed, carport, garage or barn.

Have you checked out your local building codes yet? You want to find out before buying a metal building if installation will be allowed and will you need a building permit. Your local municipality may have certain size restrictions or ordinances involving how much space you must have between the carport and your home. There may also be other factors depending on whether you live in a city or in a rural community.

Do you have utility lines or underground objects where you would like to place your carport? You’ll want to check with your local utility companies to be sure there are no power lines, gas lines or pipes directly underneath the area where you will build your carport. Digging into these areas can be very dangerous and installation of your metal structure may involve digging several posts to anchor the carport properly. You’ll also want to be sure you don’t install your metal structure over your septic system if you have one. The weight of storing cars in that location can damage your system.

What size do you need? If you will be using your metal structure for vehicles it is very important to get the right size for maximum protection. Also, pay close attention to clearances between vehicles if you are planning to house 2 or more vehicles. There should be enough space between each vehicle to allow the vehicle doors to be opened without hitting the other vehicle. As a general guideline small to mid-sized vehicles will fit under an 18′ wide carport. Full-sized vehicles may require 20′- 22′ width. Be sure to measure your vehicles from front to back, side to side and top to bottom and have this information handy when you order.

Is your site level? Be sure to check the area where your new metal structure will be installed and assess whether the area is level. Normal metal structure installations allow for your site to be 3-4 inches out-of-level. If the ground or surface is out of level more than 4″, the legs of the carport might need to be cut to help level out your carport. The installer can provide this service for an extra charge.

What is the total cost of your new carport? When comparing prices for your metal structure from one company to another, take all the price factors into consideration including materials, installation costs, sales tax and delivery fees. You’ll want to compare apples to apples before buying to be sure you get the best deal. Also, don’t base your decision to buy on price alone. Many companies undercut their prices but don’t offer the same quality of other companies with higher prices. Be sure to check the materials that go into your metal structure and compare accordingly. For example, use at minimum 14-gauge galvanized steel framing and 29-gauge steel sheeting for strength and durability. If you upgrade to 12-gauge galvanized steel framing, make sure that all price comparisons are for 12-gauge.

Do you need any special features for the climate in which you live? Different areas of the country offer vastly different weather conditions, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. If you live in areas where high winds are prevalent, you’ll want to get a carport built
to withstand high winds. If you live in an area where you receive a lot of snow each winter, you should choose a carport built to withstand high snow loads. Be sure to ask your sales representative about features they recommend for the climate where you’ll be installing your new metal structure.

Ron Clark is a 15-year veteran in the metal building industry, and the owner of American Steel Carport Sales and Texoma T-n-T Metal Buildings.