A steel carport is an excellent addition to any home or property. Versatile and affordable, carports offer homeowners or business owners many benefits.
A well-built carport can protect your vehicle from the elements and harsh weather conditions. The sun, hailstorms, wind, and rain can all damage your vehicle and lead to costly repairs.
Carports make unloading your vehicle easier with some overhead protection. You can also use a carport as a place to entertain guests or family. Weather is less likely to ruin your plans since a carport provides the perfect cover throughout the year.
Before installing your carport, consider your carport’s location, size, weather conditions, and material. Building permits may also be required in your area, depending on where you live.
Leveling an Area Before Installing Your Carport
It’s essential to set up your carport on level ground so it’s stable and strong. Neglecting to level the installation site will lead to many headaches and frustrations down the road.
While many people choose to install their structure on a concrete slab like a driveway, there are other options. Gravel, river rock, decomposed granite, dirt, or grass are all acceptable surfaces for a stable carport.
If you choose concrete pads as your base, ensure that it is fully cured before installation of the carport. If you choose wood, you may want to set your posts into the ground before laying your concrete for added support.
If your installation site isn’t level, you’ll need to either level the ground, build it up, or pour a concrete slab.
- To level an area of your property for a carport, you first need to:
- Clear the area of trash and debris.
- Call 811 to verify the location of underground utilities.
- Place stakes at each of the corners of your carport’s site.
- Use twine or string to level the sides.
If you’ve hired a contractor, you can save some money by leveling the carport site yourself.
What Carport Size Is Best For You?
In addition to your carport’s location, you also need to make sure you choose the correct size. If you’re parking your car or truck, make sure you have enough room to open the doors on both sides of your vehicle. Whether you have one vehicle or two, you should consider the size of your carport as you make your decision.
What’s the best material for your carport?
The choice between wood and metal mostly revolves around installation, longevity, and aesthetics. If you choose wood, you will most likely want to dig holes for the posts. In areas with high wind or snow loads, it may be worth your time to install a metal carport.
No matter what material you choose, call 811 Dig to be sure you can dig in the area you have chosen.
Do You Need a Permit For Your Carport?
A building permit may or may not be necessary before you build your carport. It’s best to contact your city or county inspector’s office to make sure you’re complying with zoning codes and regulations.
If a permit is necessary, you’ll need to fill out an application and pay a fee. Make sure you don’t schedule any work until you have the permit and are ready to go. Once you have received permission, you’re ready to install your carport.
The installation process for carports is relatively easy. If you’ve ordered carports or metal buildings from California All Steel, we can install your carport at no additional charge. We can also help you with the permitting process, if necessary. After you’ve received any necessary permits, it’s time to build your carport.
How to build your carport
An understanding tool, material, and component requirements in advance will make for a smoother installation. The tools required for building a carport can include a shovel, hammer, string line or twine, anchors, spirit level (“bubble” level), and a ladder. You may also need power tools like a circular saw, angle grinder, rivet gun, nail gun, and hammer drill.
Keeping safety in mind is extremely important. Make sure you identify and prepare for any potential hazards, and wear protective gear during construction like gloves, ear protection, and eye protection.
Planning out the perimeter
Once you’ve cleared the site, calculate the measurements of your new carport and drive stakes to mark each corner. Then, insert hurdles next to each stake and stretch string from each hurdle to form a rectangle. After planning out the site, you’ll want to dig holes or pour concrete to secure the posts of your carport.
Constructing your carport
Most carport manufacturers provide manuals with their products that show you how to set up and install your carport. Base rail, legs, truss, carport anchors, panels, trim, and roof need to be well planned. Make sure the base rails are firmly attached to the foundation since this affects the strength of your carport.
Follow these 3 tips to maintain your carport
Maintaining your carport is essential to making sure you get your money’s worth from your investment. Here some quick tips:
- Monitor the foundation
- Inspect the walls or posts for rust
- Clean your carport’s roof
The foundation is an essential part of any structure. Inspect the foundation of your carport at least twice a year to ensure its integrity.
While inspecting the foundation, pay attention to the base rail and posts. Look for damage or rust and repair, if necessary. Three times a year, inspect the roof, and before and after a season. The roof experiences the most exposure. Even small holes can cause damage to vehicles inside the structure.
Even though a carport seems like a small building project, it’s important to think it through from start to finish. A well-thought-out plan makes for a better experience. Ultimately, a good carport installation will provide you with peace of mind from start to finish and beyond.