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Which to Choose: An Aluminum or Steel Carport?

By Carport Charlie   |   Posted In: Carports

Metal for Carport

If you are in the market for a quality metal carport, you already know there are a wide range of metal carports for sale with a variety of customization options to choose from. There are also different materials used by carport manufacturers. One common question potential carport buyers ask is “Which is a better option for me: an aluminum or a steel carport?” This is a great question, and the answer will depend on your individual needs including the size of your carport, where you live, and other factors.



Both metals have their advantages depending on the purpose for which they are being used. If you are ready to purchase a metal carport or metal carport kit, here are some things to consider before buying:


Aluminum weighs only about one third of the weight of steel and is generally half as strong. While it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, the thickness (gauge) would have to increase significantly to make it comparable in strength, leading to a higher cost than you would find with a steel building. Many experts recommend going with steel if you want a carport or other custom metal building that is in an area prone to high winds or hurricanes or if you want something wider than a single vehicle carport, especially if you live in an area prone to heavy snow loads due to its weight bearing properties. Steel is a harder metal and is more heat resistant than aluminum, so if you live out west where there is a possibility of brushfires, a steel carport is your best bet.


Both of these metals are very low maintenance. Aluminum is highly rust resistant and has a high oxidation tolerance. However, if oxidation occurs, aluminum will get a chalky, white appearance over time and can even develop pitting. Steel, when galvanized or coated, is also rust resistant. However, if the coating becomes scratched, rust can occur if the proper maintenance isn’t done. If you live in an area where saltwater will come into contact with your carport and you do not experience hurricanes, aluminum is often recommended.


Aluminum and steel carports are both durable, but there are some things to consider when choosing the best metal carport or a metal carport kit for your home or business. Do you have children? Large pets? A stubborn lawn tractor? A teenage driver? Steel carports take the trophy in these instances as they will hold up better against wayward softballs, the occasional “tap” from a lawn tractor, or even a car bumper.

There are a wide array of metal carports for sale in steel and aluminum. Ultimately the choice is yours, so be sure to consider the above factors to find the best metal carport for your needs. Keep in mind the quality of materials when you are shopping carport manufacturers. Carport Central is a leading provider of high-quality custom steel carports across the United States. We offer metal carports and custom metal buildings catered to your needs and budget. Contact us today with any questions or to get started on the purchase of your new metal carport.