Key Benefits of Steel Carports

Steel carports provide durable, customizable shelter for vehicles, storage, workshops, and more. The sturdy steel construction offers advantages over wood or fabric options in terms of strength, longevity, and minimal maintenance needs.

Durability and Longevity

Properly constructed steel carports stand the test of time, with an expected lifespan of 20-30 years or more. The stable steel framing and roofing resists deterioration.

Withstands Weather Extremes

Steel holds up well to sun, rain, snow, and wind extremes without warping, rotting, or breaking down over years of exposure.

Resists Rust and Corrosion

Galvanized or powder-coated steel prevents rust damage. Overlapping roof panels shed water and prevent moisture seepage.

Low-Maintenance

Steel carports require little ongoing maintenance compared to wood structures. You’ll save time and hassle for years to come.

No Painting or Staining

Steel won’t split, crack, or need repainting every few years like wood. Set it and forget it.

Easy to Clean

Simply hose down the steel frames occasionally. Steel won’t harbor mold or mildew either.

Customizable Design

Steel carports come in standard or custom sizes with options like complete enclosure, doors, and lighting.

Variety of Sizes

Choose from small single-car sizes up to large commercial-grade structures. Dimensions can be custom.

Options for Enclosure

Fully enclose some or all sides with roll-up doors, hard panels, vinyl curtains, and more.

Popular Steel Carport Design Elements

Steel carports share common components that can be customized to match your preferences and property. Consider these key elements during design.

Roof Styles

Many roof designs are possible, each with pros and cons. Think about the look you want and snow load capacity.

Gable Roof

This peaked design sheds snow well. More complex trusses raise the cost but allow higher storage lofts.

Lean-to Roof

Simple single-sloped option that’s economical yet provides good rain and snow runoff.

Curved Roof

An arched design creates a striking appearance. Snow can accumulate, so reinforce framing.

Roofing Materials

Choose roof panels that complement the structure’s style while providing durability and waterproofing.

Metal Panels

Corrugated galvanized steel, aluminum, or copper panels are lightweight and weather-resistant.

Corrugated Steel

An economical option, galvanized steel panels feature ridges for strength and drainage channels.

Aluminum Sheeting

More expensive but lighter than steel and resistant to corrosion. Withstands high winds.

Framing and Supports

The structural framework must be sturdy to support roof weight and wind forces over the span.

Steel I-Beams

I-beams provide excellent strength-to-weight ratios for carport roof framing and columns.

Square Steel Tubing

Used for columns, cross-bracing and connection points. Offers durability at lower cost than I-beams.

Steel Cable Supports

Tensioned cables stretched between anchors create open-air designs without vertical posts.

Adding Enhancements to Steel Carports

Beyond basic coverage, you can upgrade steel carports with walls, doors, storage, and electrical. Enhancements customize functionality.

Partially Enclose Sides

Protect additional sides from rain and wind without fully blocking views or breezes.

Sliding Barn Doors

Leave one or both ends open and add sliding barn-style doors for adjustable ventilation and privacy.

Roll-Down Shutters

Operable steel shutters allow quick opening and closing of side walls as needed.

PVC Strip Curtains

Inexpensive vinyl strips help block wind and debris while allowing airflow.

Incorporate Garage Doors

Treat it like a garage with roll-up doors on one or both ends for vehicle access.

Include Storage Solutions

Take advantage of the covered space by adding shelves, cabinets, lockers, and other storage elements.

Shelving Units

Free-standing or wall-mounted shelves provide organized space for items.

Lockers and Cabinets

Secure gear, tools, or supplies in metal storage units with doors.

Electrical Wiring and Lighting

Properly wired lights extend usage hours and enhance safety.

Interior Lights

Brighten the interior workspace or parking area with LED shop lights.

Exterior Security Lights

Illuminate surrounding areas with floodlights or wall sconces.

Professional Installation of Steel Carports

While DIY projects are rewarding, steel carport assembly is best left to experienced contractors given the structure’s size and weight.

Hire Experienced Installers

Choose a reputable company that specializes in steel carport installation. VerifyExperience installing similar sized structures.

Verify Credentials and Reviews

Check licenses, insurance, and online reviews. Look for responsiveness to issues.

Ensure Proper Equipment

Confirm the contractor has necessary lifting equipment, tools, and crew size.

Permitting and Code Requirements

Most areas require permits and inspections to meet zoning setback laws and wind load standards.

Meet Zoning Setbacks

The installer will ensure required setbacks from property lines are maintained.

Obtain Necessary Permits

Let the contractor pull all required building permits for the project.

Lifting and Securing the Structure

The heavy steel parts require expertise to position, align, and securely anchor.

Use Crane for Heavy Parts

A crane or boom truck is ideal for lifting trusses, beams, and roofing into place.

Anchor Securely to Foundation

Hurricane anchors fastened to the slab or footings resist wind forces.

Ongoing Care for Your Steel Carport

While steel carports require little maintenance, periodic inspections and upkeep will maximize longevity.

Inspect for Damage

Check for signs of wear or loose parts on framing, roofing, doors, and anchors.

Check for Leaks and Rust

Look for holes, separated seams, or rusting especially on roofing. Address quickly.

Ensure Structural Integrity

Verify sturdiness of members and connections. Reinforce or replace if needed.

Clear Debris and Dirt

Keep Roof and Gutters Clean

Remove Leaves and Branches

Re-Tighten Connections

Anchors and fasteners can loosen over time. Snug up any loose hardware.

Tighten Anchors as Needed

Use torque wrench to check and re-tighten anchor bolts securing structure to slab.

Replace Degraded Fasteners

Replace severely rusted screws, bolts, gussets, or parts.

Conclusion

Steel carports deliver strength, durability, and longevity unmatched by fabric, vinyl, or wood structures. With professional installation and periodic maintenance, a steel carport will provide decades of reliable vehicle and equipment shelter with minimal upkeep required. Work with knowledgeable contractors to create a customized steel carport tailored to your property’s needs and style.

FAQs

How long should a steel carport last?

Properly maintained steel carports typically last 25-30 years. Galvanized steel resists corrosion and stands up to weather extremes.

What size anchors are needed for a steel carport?

For strong winds, use 1/2” – 5/8” diameter steel anchors embedded 2-3 feet into concrete footings. Lag bolts fasten framing to the anchors.

What is the best roofing for steel carports?

Galvanized ribbed steel panels offer durability and weather resistance at the best value. Aluminum panels are lighter but more expensive.

Can I turn a steel carport into a garage?

Yes, you can add garage doors and fully enclose the sides to create garage-like functionality while still enjoying the openness when desired.

Do steel carports come with floors?

Most steel carports do not include concrete slab flooring. You prepare the gravel or concrete base that it gets anchored to. Some offer modular flooring options.