Steel Carports vs. Aluminum CarportsBy: Carports, Tents and Sheds Staff Writers
If you have narrowed down your search of carports to some type of metal carport, then you may be wondering whether steel carports or aluminum carports are best. While these two carport styles are somewhat similar in looks because they are both constructed from a form of metal, you will find a number of advantages to steel carports as compared to aluminum carports if you are looking for a sturdy and long term solution.
Steel carports are one of the most durable and strongest types of carports that can be built. This is because steel is such a strong and heavy duty material. They are similar in durability to wooden carports, but unlike wood, require virtually no maintenance. Steel carports are definitely intended to be long term vehicle storage solutions, not temporary ones. Steel carport prices, however, reflect that strength and durability. A steel carport is typically more expensive than most other carport types.
On the other hand, an aluminum carport is made from a lighter weight material. This is still a good option for those that are looking for a more portable carport or that only need a small carport and don’t need the type of strength that a steel carport provides. Aluminum carports can be stationary or portable. They can also be constructed from all aluminum, or as is often the case, the support structure can be aluminum and the carport canopy can be made from a heavy duty canvas or vinyl.
Steel carports are not typically made to be portable because they are much heavier and more cumbersome to move. Most are constructed of all steel, as opposed to having a canopy of canvas or vinyl. All steel carports are permanent structures that are made to withstand years of use and can handle almost any type of weather. There are some types of portable steel carports, but they are not as easy to transport and to put up and take down as aluminum models are, due to their weight. If you plan on using a portable steel carport to travel from place to place, you may be in for quite a haul.
Steel frame carports can be freestanding or they can attach to a home or building. Aluminum carports, on the other hand, are only used as freestanding units, since they are not strong enough to be erected into a permanent structure that is attached to a home. A steel frame carport can also be built to just about any size needed to house any type of vehicle, whether it is a large truck, boat or RV. A steel RV carport, for example, offers the height needed to fit an RV underneath and typically has a steel carport canopy that can wrap around the top exterior of the vehicle, providing maximum protection.
When it comes to steel carports, you will most likely want to purchase one that is installed for you rather than building one yourself because they are more difficult to build than other carport types. Steel carports are often used for more industrial needs or are constructed in larger sizes to house large vehicles, so you want to make sure you find a reputable dealer to construct and install your carport. You can search online to find dealers of steel carports in order to compare prices, quality, and structures. For example, one company, American Steel Carport Inc., sells their carports nationwide. One benefit to ordering an American steel carport, in addition to their high quality, is that they offer free shipping and installation, which can otherwise add up rather quickly.
If you decide that you want to build a steel carport on your own, however, you can find companies that sell steel carport kits to make the job easier. The steel carport kits contain everything you need to build the carport on your own and all that you need to take care of is the actual installation (though that is still a major project). For those that want to tackle the job of building a steel carport completely from scratch, you can find steel carport plans online, but you should not tackle this job unless you are well equipped to handle a major construction project.
Whether you decide to buy a steel carport online or to build your own all steel carport, you should consider the quality of the steel that makes up the steel shelter. Carports made from galvanized steel are the highest quality and you also want to find out the gauge of steel that is used. A galvanized steel carport contains a coating on the exterior of the steel that will resist rusting and wear from the elements, so it will last longer. Also, the higher the gauge of steel, the stronger the steel, and therefore the stronger the steel carport will be.
You can find steel carports for sale in a variety of price ranges, although they are generally more expensive than all types of aluminum carports. The price of steel carports will depend on factors such as the size and style of the structure, the gauge of steel used, whether it is a galvanized steel carport or not, and other factors, such as the distance the carport has to be shipped or delivered and the location of the installation.
While steel carports and aluminum carports may resemble one another and each has its distinct advantages, when it comes to a heavy duty or large size carport structure, nothing beats a steel carport. If you are looking for a portable carport, then an aluminum carport is a better option.