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Nov. 12, 2017, 12:17 p.m.

Metal carports vs. conventional construction: what should I know?

22x26 Boxed Eave Roof 2 Car Carport
22x26 Boxed Eave Roof 2 Car Carport

It’s very common now that many homeowners across the United States are choosing to go with metal carports to shelter their cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles. They are quite durable, they are constructed quickly, and they are very affordable. If you are considering a metal carport, it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages before you select yours and what you need to know before making a decision to buy.

Without a doubt, car ports that utilize a steel frame and steel sheeting are generally more durable than conventionally built wood post and frame carports.With the steel support frame, you certainly don’t have to worry about termite infestations in the frame or exterior sheeting and because the unit is inherently fire resistant, you don’t have to worry about the unit catching fire. Also the steel frame won’t warp nor rot like conventional wood construction. The roof panels are built to last and in extremely hot conditions, won’t break down like asphalt shingles.

Not only are metal carports durable, they are low maintenance compared to conventional construction. The best metal carport is constructed with a galvanized frame system, making the need to paint the frame virtually non-existent. The roof panels and other exterior panels are made from steel coils that have the finish baked on so you can expect to have a finish last at least ten years before any mid-grade maintenance has to be done. In many cases, it’s 20 years with normal maintenance and care. Wood is a far less dense material and has to be painted every few years.

The biggest advantage of going with a metal carport compared to a wood carport is cost. Most metal carports are modular, meaning that they are fabricated at the manufacturer and when they arrive at the job site, most components fit together quickly without a great deal of on-site modification. Because of the modular design, installation crews can transport more material to the job site.

Because of the reduced construction time, customers love the fact that they are inconvenienced far less than they would be for a conventionally constructed carport. Homeowners could expect a construction team to be on their property from a few days to a week or so with a wood frame carport. With metal carports, typical construction time is a matter of an hour to a few hours, depending on the size.  The typical construction time for a 22’ wide x 26’ long carport is less than four hours, start to finish.Very little material is wasted and the construction time and labor is far less than conventional construction methods. The modular construction, reduction in wasted materials, and substantially lower labor costs, result in a huge savings to customers that buy those metal carports. As a general rule, metal carports are 60-70% less expensive compared to wood-frame carports.

While metal carports have many advantages, there are some things to consider before selecting a conventionally constructed wood frame carport or a metal carport. You need to know your area’s building requirements. Some metropolitan areas will only allow conventionally constructed carports in the cities. There may be other restrictions such as set-backs from property lines, size of the unit allowed –which can apply to both wood and metal carports, and other restrictions. Your new carport, whether wood or metal, may have to meet certain wind load and snow load requirements.  If you’re in a homeowners’ association, they may require that your unit be of conventional construction and the exterior may have to match that of your home. That’s the main advantage to a carport built of wood construction.

There are other considerations before you select which type of carport is best for you. There are many advantages to metal carports and that’s why so many are utilized by homeowners across the US.  Our advice, as with any construction related project, is to plan ahead and know what questions to ask to ensure you know what is required and to avoid any delays or surprises.

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