I’m finishing up the last of my five week trip to Ecuador. I love Ecuador; they have such unique descriptions of things. An example, the house next door to where we are renting is for sale. We took a tour of it, and one of the features of the home was the four car “garage”. I had to bite my tongue, as in Ecuador a “garage” is most often an uncovered space where a car may be parked. Not quite the same as the North American definition.
The last twenty years has seen the proliferation of what I refer to as the “blow away” carport. While a step up from the standard Ecuadorian garage, I have to confess the step may not be a very big one.
Why do I refer to them as blow aways? The first one I ever noticed was along Interstate 90 in the Spokane Valley. After a wind storm. And it was….upside down. Hmmmm…..sounds like a way to give a gift to one’s neighbor they may not want.
Now I do have to hand it to the folks who manufacture these light gauge steel frame carports. They have come up with something which is not only cheap, but inexpensive. And they are seemingly everywhere, which tells me some good marketing has been done. Not only does every “big box” home improvement center have them for sale, but apparently so do ½ dozen or more people in every hamlet in the country.
Sadly, many jurisdictions do not require engineer certified plans and calculations to acquire a building permit. The majority of the light gauge swaged steel framework carports are unable to meet even minimal snow and/or roof snow loads. Even the best of them are generally designed for only a 20 psf (pounds per square foot) roof snow load and a 90 mph (miles per hour) wind load. And – the warranty on these buildings is generally non-existent (I was able to find one which has a 20 year warranty).
Looking for a permanent carport which can be engineered to withstand any possible combination of wind and snow loads? Look no further than a post frame (pole) building.
Pole building carports can be of any height – easily tall enough for anything which can be legally driven down the highway. They can be of any clearspan width – even up to 100 feet! And they can be of any length. Want to enclose one side to keep your valuables protected from the elements or have a “wall” to stores such things as garbage cans/bikes/ladders and the like against? No problem with pole building carports.
Plus, pole building carports can be designed with any roofing material, which makes them ideal for matching with existing or new single or multi-family homes and apartments.