How much does a carport cost to install? It’s a common question customers ask us at All-American Buildings & Carports. Once we determine the size and type of carport you’re interested in, the cost often comes down to the price of steel in the U.S. market.
Most carport manufacturers import the steel they use to build carports, because steel mills in the U.S. do not make large enough quantities of galvanized steel — the type of steel used to make the metal buildings and carports sold by All-American.
Difference between galvanized steel and carbon steel
Galvanized steel is regular steel sheets that have been coated in zinc to make them corrosion resistant. Regular steel is made of iron, which rusts when exposed to moisture, either in the form of rain or ambient humidity.
Our U.S.-based manufacturers use raw coils of high-quality galvanized steel to produce their own steel tubing and sheet metal as well as fabricate, cut, bend, and weld all the components used to construct your building.
The end result for our customers? It means they’re getting a well-constructed, sturdy building that doesn’t rust, withstands all types of weather and provides long-lasting protection.
Galvanized steel produced in the U.S.
Steel mills in the U.S. do make a certain amount of galvanized steel, but most produce carbon steel, which is used in most general construction. With galvanized steel, the big-time car manufacturers and builders get the pick of the litter based on trade deals with U.S. steel manufacturers, leaving other steel manufacturing companies to bid on the leftovers in a highly competitive market.
With car manufacturers and the construction industry eating up 60 to 65 percent of the galvanized steel produced in the U.S., online carport dealers like All-American must work with carport manufacturers who more likely than not import their steel from other countries to get the best materials to build your carport.
These carport manufacturers, like all of the other industries that use steel, must now pay a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports, a price increase that went into effect in 2018. The carport manufacturers we work with move several million dollars of steel at a time to make sure we have enough supply, and they now have to pay an enormous tax to get that steel.
Tariffs on steel cause other prices to increase
While the price of steel has remained somewhat stable in the U.S. in recent years, the new 25% tariff on steel imports world-wide caused turmoil in the industry when it was announced last year.
For instance, one of our manufacturers had a shipment of steel in transit when the tariff was announced and the company shipping it cancelled it mid-transit, so they could collect a higher price. This not only resulted in delays to complete some of our carports and metal buildings, but also caused All-American to absorb some of those higher costs on jobs already in production.
In addition, companies like All-American needed to update all of its pricing and sales literature and retrain its carport dealers in multiple states, which is a massive expense for a company to undertake whenever prices change. One carport manufacturer told us they spent $120,000 on changing the pricing and then shipping the new price materials to all of its dealers.
The bottom line on your carport price
As you might expect, higher taxes imposed on the materials used to construct our buildings often end up trickling down to the consumer.
At All-American, our suppliers have done their best to mitigate those price increases by shifting our buying practices to countries like Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, Vietnam and South Korea, where some exemptions have been made. In addition, more steel mills have recently reopened in the U.S., and new steel mills will be opening in the coming months and years!
All-American believes it’s important to be transparent with our customers and explain the ins and outs of any price increases that affect our industry.
Most customers just want us to keep selling the best steel carports and metal buildings on the market, made right here in the U.S.A. For those who want more information, we’re ready and willing to share it. Call All-American today at 833-931-0590.