Carports are a popular solution for homeowners to protect their vehicles. Traditional carport kits that use light gauge steel tubing as their primary framing members can be somewhat unsightly and are susceptible to structural failure when exposed to heavy snow loads or high winds. This results in an expense to the owner because they have to reconstruct the carport and oftentimes results in damage to vehicles or surrounding structures.
What are tubing style carports?
Tubing style carports are constructed using light gauge (typically 15 gauge or lighter) galvanized steel tubing. They are typically anchored to the ground using a rebar anchor. In order to achieve similar ratings as post frame structures, tubing style carports must include additional framing members.
Why use post frame?
Opting for a post frame carport not only results in a more aesthetically pleasing structure, but also provides durability that cannot be matched by traditional tubing style carports without additional components. Post frame carports use solid or glulam post columns as their primary framing members. In our kits, we use engineered steel trusses to create a roof system with a live load rating of twenty pounds per square foot and a snow load rating of ten pounds per square foot.
It only takes wind gusts of 25-30 mph to create wind uplift forces greater than the weight of most traditional tubing style carports. At 60 mph, the total wind uplift force can exceed 2,600 pounds! This oftentimes results in significant damage to tubing style carports that would not be experienced with a properly installed post frame carport.
Post frame kits also provide more design flexibility. The strength provided by post columns and steel trusses allow for wider bays and less structural components. They also give you the ability to easily expand the structure in the future with little effort.
What is the cost difference between post frame and tubing style carports?
Surprisingly enough, you'll find that post frame carport kits are not a significantly higher initial investment than their tubing style counterparts and when durability and risk of damage is factored in it is clear that post frame carports provide a higher return on investment.