Before a metal building is purchased, it is important to know some of the language associated with the type of building needed. Terminology can change from one part of the country to the other and can cause some confusion when ordering a metal structure. Some words like carport, garage, awning, lean-to, barn, combo-unit, or cover can be confusing. In this quick article, I will explain the difference in each metal structure to help you as you explore your parking and storage options!
Basic Definitions for Metal Structures
- Carport, Awning, Car Cover, Shed: Usually are generic terms that can mean anything from a simple roof to a fully enclosed structure with doors and windows. When ordering a carport, it is wise to know that this generally refers to a simple roof with the option of adding as much metal on the sides as you like. Additionally, two full sides and a full back can be added to make it a 3-sided carport.
- Garage: Start with a carport, as described above, and fully enclose it with doors, usually roll up garage doors. This structure also offers options such as house doors, windows, and insulation.
- Lean-to: A-lean to is exactly as it sounds. It is an additional roof, connected to the side of a carport or a garage. The lean-to posts are either 3’ or 4’ shorter than the main structure that it is attached to and are typically no wider than 12’. Lean-tos can be added to one or both sides of the main structure. The lean-tos can be a simple roof or be partially or completely enclosed with doors and windows.
- Barn: A barn is a carport or garage, as described above, with lean-tos, also described above attached to each side. A barn can be fully enclosed, fully open, or anything in-between! Stalls and tack rooms or utility rooms can be added as well.
- Combo Unit: A combo unit is a carport with a fully enclosed utility room under the same roof. The utility room is the same width as the carport and can be 5’, 10’ or any other increments of 5” in length. It can have house doors, garage doors, windows, and insulation installed as well.
- RV Cover: An RV cover is a carport with taller legs! Most RV covers are 12’ tall at the lowest point with a peak of about 14 feet. For those that need side posts 13’ or taller, posts can be doubled for added strength.
Extra terms that may come up that are helpful to know are listed below.
- Posts: The metal square or rectangular tubes that are the frame of the structure. They are typically 2”x2”, 2”x3”, or 2 ½”x2 ½” in size. Standard carport posts are generally 6’ tall, but extra height can be added in 1’ increments up to 16’.
- Gable: A gable is the triangular metal piece that spans the top of the metal posts to the peak of the roof. Gables can be placed on the front and/or the back of the structure. They offer extra strength, but also reduce clearance under the carport.
- Vertical, Boxed Eave, or Regular style roof: The rounded roof has rounded edges, and the boxed eave is an A frame style roof. The ribs in the metal on both styles run from the front of the building to the back. The vertical roof is an A-Frame style, but the metal runs from the peak of the building down the sides, reducing the possibility of leakage.