Discovering the metal carport design that perfectly fits your specific needs can make you excited to get started on the installation. However, rushing through the installation steps can lead to skipping something important and dealing with long-term issues. Stay on track and complete every step in order as you prepare for the installation of your metal building with this checklist. Print it out and cross out each step as you complete it so you always know what to do next.
Request Your Permits
In most parts of the country, your local building authority will require you to request a building permit for adding a metal building. Even though these buildings are pre-engineered rather than being built from scratch, they must still comply with any relevant building codes for safety. A permit ensures the building is inspected after installation so the local authority can verify you've complied with all their rules and codes. Permits can cost anywhere from $20 to a few hundred dollars, and you may need to bring along floor plans or engineering diagrams of your future structure as part of the application process.
Choose Your Base
Before you can prepare the area for your new metal building, you should decide what kind of base will hold the building up. For simple open metal carports, you may only need to clear away vegetation and level the ground. Metal buildings are the most secure and long-lasting when installed over a concrete pad. However, this does add an extra cost to installation and may result in the need for a second permit just for the foundation.
Prepare the Ground
Regardless of the base you want, the ground needs thorough clearing, leveling, and possibly grading in preparation. Metal buildings rely on level and flat ground below them, and concrete pads can't be poured over uneven ground with good results. Stumps and roots must be removed rather than ground to the surface since they will rot with them and leave a gap behind in the soil.
(Optional) Pour the Pad
If you've decided to go with a concrete foundation for your metal building, now is the time to bring in a concrete contractor to excavate and pour it. The concrete will take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to fully cure. It's best not to build or even walk on the concrete pad until it cures, even if it seems hard and dry to the touch. Curing is a chemical reaction that allows the concrete to reach its full strength by forming internal crystals, so installing a metal building before curing completes will lead to a pad that is more likely to split, crack, or spall.
Wait to schedule your delivery and installation from the metal building supplier until your concrete pad is cured or the dirt base is cleared and leveled. Free installation offers tend to depend on the installers being able to get to work immediately upon delivery rather than coming back a week or two later.
In most cases, you'll just need to sit back and watch as the professional installers put together the metal building for you. If you've decided to choose a DIY kit instead, give yourself a week or two to complete the project if you're working alone and can only progress on the weekends and after work. Professional installation rarely takes more than a few hours, so consider professional installation whenever possible since the experienced team will handle it much more quickly than a single individual.
Undergo Final Inspection
In areas where permits are required, you'll need a final inspection of the building before you can use it. The inspector will point out any code issues so you can fix them if necessary. If you choose a pre-engineered design that is already customized for your area's requirements, you shouldn't have any issues during the inspection that would interrupt your use of the structure. The metal building supplier should work with you to ensure you're meeting all local codes and requirements from the beginning.
With this checklist, you're ready to plan out your metal building installation process. Keep in touch with the manufacturer of your carport or shed throughout the steps to ensure they're ready to deliver at the most opportune moment. If you have any questions about the steps required for installation, make sure you get answers before starting the process so there are no surprises along the way.