Getting Your Site Ready for a Metal Building Installation

By Jay Lara   |   Posted In: Installations


Planning to have a custom metal building installed?

That’s a great call, especially if you choose to partner with a pro like Carport Central. Metal buildings are fantastic solutions for a wide range of storage, residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial needs. Our building specialists are experts at facilitating the entire process from building design, to purchase, to financing, to custom manufacturing, to installation. We really work hard to make the whole experience as smooth and pain-free as possible for you.

But one of the first things to decide is where you want to put your building. You’ll also need to take some basic necessary steps to make sure your installation site is ready to go. Keep reading to learn more about these important considerations.

Important considerations for building planning and site preparation

What are you planning to do with your building? Are you looking for metal garages, or any other types of metal building kits? Whether it’s a barn, barndominium, warehouse, or some other metal building for sale, each specific application has its own particular set of considerations when it comes to needed space, required access points, etc. Here’s a helpful checklist:

• Land-to-building ratio

It’s not just about coming up with a building square footage estimate. If your land-to-building ratio is too high, you might not be using your lot space to its full potential. And if the land-to-building ratio is too low, you might not be able to accommodate all of your building needs, and you could also be limited in terms of future building expansion. Land-to-building ratios are commonly used for commercial and industrial building applications, but they’re also very helpful for residential buildings, or pretty much any type of metal building project.

• Zoning requirements, building codes, and property particulars

For starters, don’t confuse building codes with zoning requirements. Local building codes must obviously be followed, but you can’t legally install your building in a place that isn’t zoned for it, either. Zoning types usually fall into residential, commercial, and industrial categories. Each has its own stipulations for acceptable building height, density, etc. And if you’re planning to install more than one metal building on your property, you’ll need to make sure your local zoning ordinance allows for it. Zoning regulations will also help decide where driveways, parking, fencing, and signage will need to go.

In addition, you’ll need to decide whether you want to add on to an existing structure, or plan to install a free-standing building. In either case, you’ll need to obtain any metal building permits which may be required in your area.

• Property lines and setback regulations

When it comes to property lines and specified setbacks, it’s possible that you don’t have as much lot space available as you may have first assumed. Consider how close your immediate neighbors are, as well as how close they might be able to build adjacent to your property. If privacy or noise issues are a potential concern for either party, then you’ll want to provide ample space between your new building and your existing property line.

You’ll also need to factor in any applicable setback regulations that may apply. Most cities and counties are permitted to use up to 10 feet of your land for road widening or utility work. For that reason, you might want to give your building a little extra area of cushion away from any nearby roads or other rights-of-way.

Measure out your projected building footprint on your lot

If you’ve gotten to the point of deciding your building width and length dimensions, it’s a good idea to go ahead and stake out where your building will sit on your lot. And if you know you’re going to order or have ordered your new building, you should use a line level to see how to level your land actually is. This is something that’s relatively easy to do on your own; here’s a helpful video tutorial that guides you through the process. Should you determine that your building site is too far out of level, you’ll need to take steps to make sure it’s made level before your scheduled building installation date arrives.

A few more handy site prep tips to get ready for your metal building installation

Here are a few more things you should plan to take care of before your scheduled metal building installation:

  • Make sure to obtain any necessary building permits that may be required in your area.
  • Ensure that your site is level. How level is level when it comes to metal building installation? The site must not be more than 3” off level, in order to avoid any cut leg fees, additional labor fees, or return trip fees. Also, note that most metal building providers (including Carport Central) don’t provide any groundwork or site preparation as part of their building installation services. That’s something that will be your responsibility to take care of, if needed.
  • Mark any existing utility lines around your building site, and make sure they’re plainly visible for the installation crew. If you’re not sure about the exact location of your utility lines (like water, gas, and electricity), you should be able to call 811 and ask for a local official to come mark your lines for you. This is a service that’s typically offered to property owners free of charge.
  • Clear any trash, debris, or overgrowth from around your installation site. This makes the site much easier for installation crews to navigate and can also help you to avoid incurring any sort of build-over fee. Installation crews generally require at least 3’ of clearance on all sides of the immediate building site in order to properly install your metal structure.
  • One benefit of choosing to partner with Carport Central is that we’re able to install on most any level surface, including concrete, asphalt, gravel, and even plain level ground. You’ll just need to make sure to communicate your chosen foundation surface to your metal building provider ahead of time, usually at the time of order. If you do intend to pour a new concrete slab or asphalt slab for your building foundation, make sure it has time to set and cure for at least 72 hours before the scheduled building installation.
  • What about poured pad measurements? In most states, your pad should match the exact width of the building to be installed and should measure 1’ shorter than the length of your building’s roof. Florida installs are a noted exception to that rule. In Florida, they require a concrete pad to be ¾” wider than the building, and the pad length should match the length of the building exactly.

Get your best metal building solution from Carport Central!

Having a custom metal building installed is a significant investment. We understand that metal building prices matter to you, but it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting the best product from the best metal building provider, to begin with. And that provider is Carport Central!

We deliver and install in 46 states at NO extra charge. We also provide custom-designed metal building kits you can pick up and install yourself for a discount. These metal building kits come with all the needed building materials for installation, including framing, paneling, trim, fasteners, and anchors.

Oh, and we also have the best metal building financing and RTO solutions in the industry! Get in touch with one of our friendly building specialists today at (980) 321-9898, and experience the Carport Central difference! We don’t just sell metal buildings; we’re here to provide shelter for your way of life.


  • Jay Lara

    Jay Lara is COO of Carport Central, and brings nearly 20 years of metal building industry experience. He’s worked in every aspect of the business, ranging from engineering to design to fabrication to installation to sales, and he’s passionate about bridging the gap between B2B and B2C for the metal buildings market.

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