Metal carports are affordable and easy to install thanks to the wonders of pre-engineering and kit construction, but the one downside to this process is the tendency towards a standard look. If you’re a homeowner who prefers to march to the beat of their own drum, owning a carport that looks just like the neighbor’s may feel like a little disappointing. Don’t underestimate your options for customizing your carport. With just a few additions, you can have a complete metal structure that is unlike anything else out there.

Increase the Lighting

All man-made structures tend to be a little dark on the inside, and metal buildings are no exception. Add a few extra windows or even a skylight to your building while still in the design phase. If you’ve already completed the building but still need some more light, try energy efficient fixtures that are rated for outdoor but unexposed use. Even open carports are safe places to use these fixtures that won’t react to ambient air humidity or other conditions like indoor lighting.

Add Some Custom-Built Shelving

Storage in general is one of the most uses for metal buildings, so it’s unsurprising that custom shelving is one of the most popular options for customizing these structures. Custom-built shelving may sound expensive, but it’s easy to DIY today with the help of modular sets designed by reliable manufacturers. Combine fixed wall units and cabinet sets with rolling carts and other moveable pieces to organize a workshop, garage, or storage building the easy way.

Decorate with Paint

Painting the interior of your metal building, or even it’s concrete slab floor, can transform the space from plain into amazing. Make sure to use paint designed for sheet metal or concrete floor use for the best results. You likely won’t need a primer if you choose a self-priming metal paint for the walls, but concrete floors are most durable when primed before painting. Try a stencil or mural design to really make your metal building one of a kind.

Install Ventilation Fans

Increasing the ventilation of a carport, garage, or workshop makes it a lot easier to enjoy in the summer time. Even if you don’t plan to add air conditioning, a few large fans and some extra vents in the roof can help move hot air out and bring cooler air in. Try a large attic fan designed for home use to circulate the hot air that gathers at the top of the building and smaller portable fans at the floor level for optimal comfort.

Build a Lean-to Addition

If the space inside the original metal building isn’t enough to hold all your family heirlooms or seasonal clothing, consider a lean-to addition off one of the sides. Fully enclosed buildings work best for this idea, but even open floor plans can be adapted to create space for a lean-to. This is a great idea if you plan to use most of the metal building as work space or a garage and still want separate storage space that won’t be exposed to fumes or sparks. For example, you wouldn’t want to weld next to a box full of family photos. Separate what’s going on in the main building from delicate stored items with a lean-to shed. If you prefer a free-standing option, an a-frame metal carport is also an affordable option.

Get the Look of Wood

Metal carports are made with steel because it’s strong and more durable than wood. Yet if you just can’t get enough of natural grain and the warm color, you can always add decorative wood beams or posts to give your carport a more rustic look. Thin pieces of oak, cedar, or any other wood you prefer are easily attached in a square around each metal support post. No one will get your carport came from a pre-engineered design. They’ll wonder how you managed to add a wood structure so quickly to your home, and it’s up to you if you share your secrets.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when dreaming up big ideas for your metal building. With these ideas and a little creativity, you can customize your metal building to look any way you want.

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