Carport kits | metal carports: your available choices (1 of 3)
Buyers have three primary choices for metal carports in the United States. Those choices are Do-It-Yourself Carport Kits, Carports offered as kits with the option to purchase installation and carports that include free delivery and installation in the price. Having been in the metal carport and garage business for more than eleven years, my goal is to share with you the information that I have learned over the course of that time in order for you to decide on the right choice that is best for you and for your application or use. In this 3-part series, we will cover the three items listed above, starting with the DIY products.
Do-It-Yourself carports or DIY carports
Do-It-Yourself carports or DIY carports that have both metal frame and exterior metal sheeting are offered by one primary company and you can find them online fairly easily by searching ‘carport kits’. At the time of this writing, this company offers carport kits through:
- A few large national retail chains. A couple of those retail chains have the basic carport kit systems on site, while the other chains offer made to order products and those ship from the manufacturer to your specified location. Almost all garage systems are made to order and ship to your location.
- A network of dealers to which the manufacturer supplies metal frame systems. Those dealers generally buy their steel sheeting for the roof and side panels and their trims locally.
- Direct order through the manufacturer. The kit is complete with framing system, anchors, screws, and instructions.
- First, the quality of their product is excellent. The grade of tube used is outstanding as it has clear UV protection on the galvanized tube to help prevent rust and the metal panels used for the sheeting is also of excellent quality. The materials used to create your carport or garage is the top-of-the-line. If you are looking for the best quality materials for your carport and garage system on the market, without question, they have it and there’s no comparison on the quality of the product.
Installation of Metal Carports Kits
Also with their product, there’s rarely an installation issue. Since it’s a DIY product, you or someone locally that you hire will erect and install the building. If there’s an issue, you or the installer you selected are the problems! You won’t have an issue with the product though. You have the peace of mind knowing that you did the job yourself or someone you hired did it and if there’s an issue, getting the problem resolved quickly is a fairly simple process. Rest assured, there’s rarely an issue with the product itself.
The installation instructions are clear and concise. Along with those instructions are illustrations that make it easy to understand for even the novice do-it-yourselfer. There is the list of suggested tools that are needed in order to install the carport kit.
With all of those positive points, one might think that they are the top provider of carports, garages, and other metal buildings in the United States. The truth is, they are nearly at the bottom of the provider list in volume. Here are a few reasons why:
- Most people do not want the hassle of putting up the unit themselves. More and more, consumers want a turn-key solution and with DIY kits, that’s just not part of the package.
- The company has a very small network of dealers that buy their framing systems. Without question, if you can even find one of their local dealers that will install the unit for you, the price you pay will likely be lower because those local stocking dealers buy framing, sheeting, and other components in bulk, which keeps freight costs lower and in turn, keeps your price lower.
- All of their tubes are made in the United States and to our knowledge, it is not sourced outside the US. While it is admirable that their commitment is to always provide US metal products to the American consumer, keeping more Americans in jobs, it also means that you likely aren’t getting the best possible price but that depends on the market price for steel.
- Freight cost and delivery hassles are an important consideration with DIY carport kits. Because of the sparse network of dealers, it’s likely your kit will have to be shipped to you using an LTL (less-than-truckload) freight provider and that’s expensive. The other factor is the hassle of delivery. While you may be able to unload a small carport kit at your site, larger units and garages usually require a dock and forklift to unload the product. How many homeowners have access to that? Very few.
Metal Carport Kits Quality
Without question, their product is probably the finest in the marketplace. When it comes to quality, theirs is “Mercedes-class”. Along with the high-end class comes a high-end price. When you factor in the sourcing and the quality of the tube, the quality of the sheeting, the freight costs, and lack of local volume dealers of their products, and the lack of their purchase power related to volume, your end price will be higher, much higher.
Most of us want a quality product at a reasonable price. We all may have the desire for Mercedes-class products but when our perceived value is telling us that we perceive that this product is 10% better than another supplier’s product, yet the price is 20-35% higher, then it becomes a choice. If you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer and you want a Mercedes-class kit that is priced on the high-end, and you buy 100% American made and American sourced products, then this product, without question, is the right choice for you.
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