Installation checklist – preparing your site for installation

By Scott Kyles   |   Posted In: Installations

While ordering your custom metal carport or steel building is exciting, you also need to consider how you can prepare your space for installation. Following these steps ensures the installation team can properly set up your new custom metal carport or metal building.

In addition to site preparation, another important step is checking with your local authorities to see if you need any special building permits. If a permit is needed, there are some jurisdictions that have websites you can visit for all the necessary paperwork needed before the installation process. If you will need electricity or water for your custom metal building make sure you have an electrician or plumber visit the site before the installation. Generally, it is best to have all electrical lines or pipes installed before pouring the foundation.

When ordering your new custom building, you also need to decide if it will be installed on a soil foundation or a concrete/asphalt foundation. Listed below are the different steps that you will need to take before installing on any surface.


Soil Base

If you plan to install your new custom carport on a soil foundation you will need to take the following steps:

1. Remove all vegetation from the area around the site, including grass or small plants. You don’t want any vegetation present when installing anchors in the soil, it will weaken the ground.

2. Make sure to level the area. This can be done by packing the dirt or driving over the area to get it as compact as possible.

3. Keep everything clean; the area needs to be free of debris for the installation team to set up your new carport.

Our installation teams can set up a custom carport or metal structure on soil with mobile home anchors, but the space needs to be clear for them to get to the area. Once installed, we recommend covering the area with gravel or small rocks to keep the wear and tear of the soil to a minimum.

If you don’t plan on certifying your building that’s fine, our installation team can cut the leg length to match your installation surface when they arrive. Make sure that you purchase the tallest leg height when you order from Carport Central, this way the height may be adjusted on site. For further details, you may contact one of our friendly building specialists.


Concrete Base

If you plan to install your custom carport or custom metal building on a concrete foundation, you need to take the following steps:

1. Remove all vegetation from the area, you do not want anything weakening the ground around the anchors.

2. Level the area and set boundaries for the concrete slab; the slab will need to be poured true to width and 1’ shorter than the length of the custom metal building that you will have installed. For the state of Florida, the slab will need to be poured ¾” wider than the all-around width with 1/8″ grade so water doesn’t flow back towards the building.

3. If you plan to certify your custom building or carport, you need to insure the site is leveled before pouring the concrete. A 1/8” slope will need to be allowed from back to front, allowing water to follow the slope of the concrete slab and roll out rather than collect under the structure.

4. Concrete needs to set for at least 72 hours; therefore, you need to prepare the installation site ahead of time to give the concrete proper time to cure.

When you pour your concrete slab, you will also want to check the thickness. Any slab thicker than 4” will need special concrete anchors. Check out our article about anchors to learn more about the different styles and when you should use them.

Wooden Dock

If the structure is being installed on a wooden, non-floating dock or deck, please let Carport Central know when you place your order. Carport Central will provide information to our installation team so they will have the necessary tools to install a metal carport on a dock. Many of our customers use our carports to protect their boats or other water sport vehicles from the elements. Here is how you can prepare:

1. Clear the area, our installation team will need to have access to the site.

2. Will the installation team be able to pull the delivery truck within 50 feet of the dock? If not, you may be charged an additional fee for extra distance.

3. The dock will need to be sturdy enough for our installation team to drill into it.

Protecting boats and water sport vehicles is very important as the sun can do some rough damage. Contact one our building specialists to learn how we can help get you the perfect custom metal cover for your dock that will fit your needs AND budget!

Walls and other structures

If the structure being installed will be over top of an irremovable item, additional labor fees will be added determined by the structure’s length. Be sure when you order your custom carport that you order the tallest leg height necessary, as the shorter legs can’t be cut on site.

Structures can be installed on a wall up to 3’, so look at the steps needed to prepare the site:

1. Clear all vegetation from the area as grass or small plants may weaken the ground around the structure and anchors.

2. Even though you don’t have to level the site, you need to make sure the ground is firm enough for the installers to use mobile home anchors and that the wall is sturdy enough for the drilling needed to anchor the structure.

3. Will the installation team be able to park within 50 feet of the installation site? If not, there may be additional charges for extra distance.

We also recommend using gravel or other small stones as a finishing touch when installing carports to protect soil from harsh weather.

Properly preparing the sites for custom carports and custom metal buildings is crucial to a smooth installation. If you have any additional questions, or wish to know more about the installation process, check out the installation page on Carport Central. We also have a blog post on anchors that will help explain why we use different anchors for different foundations.

Let us help you find the right carport or custom metal building that will fit your needs AND your budget! Carport Central’s building specialists will be happy to answer any additional questions about installation and site preparation. Give us a call today at (980) 321-9898 to find the perfect carport for the right price!


  • Scott Kyles

    Scott Kyles serves as lead content writer and marketing consultant for Central Steel Group, the parent company of Carport Central. He’s been speaking to the metal buildings industry and its customers for over 5 years, and also holds professional certifications in secondary science education, training, and customer experience.

    View all posts

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