Starting off the new year and a new decade by investing in a steel carport or metal building to protect your valuables? Good on you for choosing an affordable and effective storage option for your vehicle, RV, boat, farm tractor, and much more. 

Before prepping your site for carport installation, check with your local city or county planning departments to determine whether you need a building permit to construct a metal structure on your property. While obtaining a building permit is typically the customer’s responsibility, you can ask the friendly experts at your All-American Buildings & Carports dealer if they know whether a permit is needed for your locale.

Need electricity or water running to your carport or metal building? Ask an electrician and plumber to inspect the site prior to installation. They can tell you where electrical lines or plumbing pipes should go,and most contractors prefer doing that infrastructure work before the permanent foundation gets constructed. It’s also a good time to Call 811 so utility workers can mark any existing gas, electrical or water lines buried underground.

Much of the groundwork you must do to prep your site before our crews arrive to install a steel carport or metal building depends on the type of foundation you choose to place it on. Our professional installers can place carports on bare ground (soil), gravel and stone, concrete slab or an asphalt pad.

Now, you’re ready to  tackle the final steps before carport installation. The more you do before the building crew arrives, the more smoothly your installation process will go on the big day.

Level the Site Before Carport Installation

It’s important to clear the site of any debris or growing vegetation that might interfere with installing the different types of anchors into the soil. Then, make sure the site is properly leveled. If the site isn’t even, the panels and beams of your carport may become unbalanced and top heavy, making it more vulnerable to damage from a strong storm.

The amount of leveling required for each job site depends on your foundation. The type of foundation and anchors used to secure it to the ground determines the long-term stability of your carport. Choosing the right foundation can make all the difference as to how well your carport protects your precious vehicles or equipment when the weather gets dicey.

Carport with Dirt Foundation

For a soil-based foundation, make sure the ground is as level as possible and the area is clear, including space around the site to give our crews plenty of room to work. We typically use mobile home anchors to secure the metal structure to the soil. 

While a carport with a dirt floor costs less to install, keep in mind you may still be dealing with standing water and mud when high winds and pouring rains naturally erode the ground around the site.

Carport with Gravel Foundation

Gravel or crushed stone offers a cost-effective and slightly more stable option when building a foundation for your carport or metal structure. Again, make sure the area is completely cleared before work begins, and ensure the ground where you plan to place the stone is level before dumping a load of gravel on the site. 

Gravel and stone moves and slightly shifts over time, so regular maintenance to re-level may be required. You can help keep water and critters out of the structure by adding a buffer of gravel and stone around the perimeter of the structure.

Carport with Concrete Foundation

If you want to keep your vehicles, tools and other outdoor storage items well protected — both clean and dry, and safe from damage — we think carports with a concrete foundation are your best option. You’ll need to hire a concrete professional to pour a concrete slab before installing your carport. 

Poor quality concrete work — performed when it rains or the temperature is too extreme, or isn’t completed by professionals who know the importance of joint placement and sloping it slightly to shed water — can be costly to rip out and redo. If the concrete slab isn’t up to standard, you risk creating an unstable base that may eventually crack and crumble beneath your carport.

It’s important to note the following dimensions when planning for a concrete foundation: the length of the roof and the length of your base. The building footprint sitting on the slab will measure 1 foot shorter than the length of the roof. Keep this in mind as you prepare your site’s foundation and have the foundation installed to lessen the likelihood of water seeping under the base rail of your building and undermining its stability.

Watch this video, made by one of our most trusted manufacturers, to learn more about installing the perfect concrete slab for your metal building so you can be prepared and know what to expect.

Carport with Asphalt Foundation

Asphalt is traditionally cheaper to install than concrete, but larger metal buildings may still require more-durable concrete for additional support. An asphalt foundation can last for years, but just like an asphalt driveway this material must be sealed on a regular basis to protect it from deterioration caused by wear and exposure to the elements. 

Need Help to Prepare for Your Carport Installation?

At All-American Buildings & Carports, we know our way around a metal carport building site and how to best prepare for installation so your high-grade, rust-resistant steel structure stands the test of time. Contact us today at 469-405-1575 and we’ll be happy to help you navigate the building process!