Should You Choose a Used or New Metal Carport?

After yet another summer storm damages your car with hail or failing branches, it's natural to decide to get a carport as soon as possible. As you shop for metal carports, you may find what seem like great deals on used models. However, used carports don't tend to age quite as well as most used cars. In almost all cases, it's better to buy a new metal carport than try to reassemble a used one. Here are six reasons why.  

Choosing the Size

When you shop around for a used carport, you're limited to whatever sizes local individuals are selling usually. Few metal carport companies stock used models, so they're primarily available only through personal sale. If you have enough space for a 20 by 12 building but only find much smaller carports, there's no option for changing the size of these used carports. New carports are available in dozens of stock sizes that will likely fit your space perfectly, or you can make a custom order for exactly the size you want.  

Getting Advanced Features

Used carports will always be slightly outdated compared to brand new models. Whether that means the framing is less advanced or the panels aren't fastened in the best way, there's always some missing features on older and used carports that are present on new ones. Used carports have also been customized and designed for the purposes and installation choices of the previous buyer and not you. For example, if the previous owner used a concrete slab but you plan to install your carport over gravel or dirt, there will be alterations needed to the used carport for a proper installation. A new carport will be designed for whatever conditions you have, therefore speeding up installation significantly.  

Enjoying Thicker Paneling

The thickness of the metal paneling on the roof, sides, and ends of the metal carport plays a major role in both how long the structure lasts and how much maintenance it requires along the way. Thicker paneling is generally better due to extra material to resist the weathering effects of rain, sun, and snow. Older used carports tend to feature thinner wall and roof paneling, resulting in a lot of maintenance both when you first get the carport and as it ages. New carports won't need painting or any other repair work for years after the initial installation.  

Saving Money

It's true that used carports tend to cost less upfront than new ones. However, don't just look at the cost of the initial purchase when determining the total cost of owning anything, including a metal carport. The amount of money you have to spend on installation, maintenance, repairs, and even disposal all add up to become the total cost of ownership. Consider that new carports are usually installed for free, come with long-term warranties that cover many issues, and won't need painting and sealing for 10 years or more in many areas. Once you add in all the extra costs you'll spend from the beginning on a used metal carport, you'll find it's actually much more affordable to own a new model instead.  

Adding Security Features

While it's always possible to retrofit a carport and add end walls and security features like locks and alarms, it's much easier to install these features on a brand new metal carport or building. Ordering an enclosed model instead of trying to enclose an older open carport on your own is recommended since factory fit end walls are much more secure than site-built additions.  

Painting the Exterior

Finally, buying a metal carport rather than a used one greatly reduces the amount of time you'll spend painting and sealing the structure. Today's new carports are delivered with a factory applied coating that can last anywhere from 8 to 20 years before needing recoating, depending on the installation location and weather conditions. Used carports almost always require immediate painting or coating upon installation, and you'll have to keep up with the painting schedule every few years to keep the metal paneling from rusting or corroding. The coatings used on older models just isn't as durable as the new formulas used today either.   After reading all this, you should feel comfortable buying a new carport rather than trying to find a deal on a used model.