If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to protect your car, a metal carport may be the most affordable solution.
They’re easy to set up, affordable, and highly durable.
The question a lot of people have though is what kind of carport to get.
Use this guide to help narrow down your choices by choosing between the most common metal building roof designs.
How to Choose
When deciding on a carport roof there are several important features and needs to look at. These are panel orientation, maintenance and drainage, size, and whether it is enclosed or open on the sides.
You have to think about what you’re planning to store under your carport as well as what you’re protecting it from. If you live in a climate with lots of rain or heavy snow loads you’ll need a proportionally sturdier structure.
The first thing to think about is obviously size. If you’re just looking for somewhere to park your daily driver you’ll need much less space than for an RV. Depending on the height, width, and length you need you’ll be limited in the style of roof you can use.
Boxed eave and regular style roofs work up to about 30′ wide. Vertical style roofs can be expanded even farther than that. If you need a very large carport you’ll probably have to go with a vertical style roof.
The orientation of the roofing panels is something else to look at. Metal buildings are basically just steel braces covered with a thin shell of metal paneling. You can get either vertical or horizontal panels. Horizontal panels run from the front of your building to the back.
Because the panels run front to back they don’t drain as well as a vertically run panel would. The vertical panels provide a smooth surface all the way from the ridge cap to the eaves. This prevents water from pooling and damaging the surface.
Maintenance and Drainage
Maintenance is another big concern. All metal buildings are lower maintenance than traditional structures. If you’re looking for the longest lasting and lowest maintenance structure your best bet is again going to be the vertical roofed building. The way they’re designed protects against the few issues metal buildings experience.
Drainage and snow load is a major factor to consider. Smaller buildings without reinforcement will have a tough time in climates with heavy snow or rainfall.
Common Metal Building Roof Designs
When looking at steel building roof options there are three roof styles that make up the majority of the market. These are regular, boxed eave, and vertical roofs.
Each style has pros and cons that make them suitable for different conditions. These design factors are inherent in the way these roof styles and their underlying structures are built.
The regular roof design is one of the most popular forms of carport roof because of its affordability and utility. The name itself is a good tip-off to how popular these roofs are.
Regular roofs are made using bent galvanized stainless steel braces covered with horizontal metal panels. The panels actually roll down over the sides of the braces. This adds additional strength to the structure and can help prevent rain from blowing in on the sides.
You can even get regular roofed carports that have paneling going all the way to the ground, with a roll-up door at the front.
The regular roof style is popular for a reason. It’s easy to make and very affordable. You can use less bracing material for this type of roof as the panels themselves are part of the support structure.
These carports are also very easy to assemble. All you have to do is erect the steel braces and then attach the panels to them. After they are attached the structure is complete.
It uses fewer materials and fewer structural supports than other roof designs. Because the panels are actually part of the support structure it’s less able to stand up to high winds or heavy snow loads.
The horizontal roof orientation also can hinder full drainage over the long term. Because water has to drain out of the front and back of the roof there are many opportunities for small pools to build up. Over time this can lead to corrosion.
A boxed eave roof is something of a middle point between regular roofs and vertical roofs. They have A-frame structural supports but use horizontal roofing panels.
Boxed eave carports match the appearance of most house roofs. This style of roof sits on a welded steel frame that has a straight sided wall to roof transition. The frame is sturdier than the regular roof carport’s and stands up better to snow, ice, and water.
Boxed eave roofs are a more expensive option. They also still use horizontal paneling. This provides all the same drainage issues that regular carport roofs do.
Vertical roof design carports provide the greatest strength and largest potential size. They use an A-frame style bracing, vertical panels, and a ridge cap.
The vertical roof is overall the strongest and longest lasting type of carport roof. The internal frame is sturdy and can be made wider than those of other carports.
The biggest improvement of this carport is the vertical arrangement of the roofing panels. By adding a ridge cap at the apex of the roof the panels are able to effectively drain down their sides. This prevents any buildup of snow, ice, or water.
The only real con to vertical roof carports is their cost. They require more and stronger bracing as well as a ridge cap. They are also more difficult to assemble than other roof varieties.
Always Think About the Future
A metal structure will have a long life when properly cared for. Make sure when you’re choosing between metal building roof designs you take into account your future needs.
If you would like to learn more about metal carports or place an order, contact us here.