Metal carports and garages are extremely versatile. You can install them almost anywhere, and they protect your vehicles and property from all sorts of weather and environmental damage. But to ensure that your steel building can do its job 100% effectively, you need to install it in the right location.

Metal Carport 

Though a metal carport or metal garage can be installed on virtually any surface, each one offers advantages and disadvantages. To help you make the best decision for your home, we’ve gone through and examined the major pros and cons for each.

Dirt or Grass

Installing your metal building over bare dirt or grass is a very common choice, especially with open-sided carports or for those used to cover seasonal vehicles like boats or RVs. The biggest advantage of placing your carport or garage over bare ground is the cost - it’s basically free. At most you’ll have to do some leveling of the ground before installing your carport, but in most cases even that isn’t necessary. 

However, installing a carport on bare ground can have some disadvantages. The biggest is that dirt can shift or degrade more than other materials, which can cause problems with durability and stability later on. Also, bare earth doesn’t offer much protection to the items stored under your carport or inside your garage. Water or mud can pool underneath them more readily, and tires on boat trailers or RVs may degrade faster. 


Gravel is an excellent intermediate option between bare earth and concrete. With a gravel surface, you gain drainage and extra protection from pooling water or freezing earth. If you’re going to be keeping anything under your carport for a long period of time, or you plan on using it to protect your daily driver, gravel is a great choice.

The tradeoff is that gravel is more expensive than a bare floor and requires more preparation. You’ll have to dig out a level area for the gravel bed to rest upon, and you’ll also have to buy and spread the gravel (or pay someone to do it for you). And gravel won’t protect your carport from the ground shifting underneath it, which can be a problem if your property is built on softer soil.


A concrete foundation is the ultimate in durable and usable surfaces for your carport or metal garage. It offers the highest level of protection from the elements, and it’s much less susceptible to shifting or settling than other surfaces.

Of course the downside to concrete is, like gravel, price and preparation. Having a concrete foundation installed can be expensive, and installing it yourself takes a lot of work. Concrete must rest on a well-compacted gravel bed, so you’ll be doing a lot of digging and filling. You’ll need to make sure both the bottom surface and the concrete itself are level, and you’ll have to think much harder about where the loads of the building and your vehicles will rest in order to avoid cracking the foundation.

Asphalt or Blacktop

A less common choice for carport or garage installation is on asphalt. Usually this means that the carport is going in over part of the existing driveway, but sometimes people will install new blacktop or extend their existing drive to use as a foundation. Installing a blacktop drive is almost always cheaper than installing concrete, and if you already have a blacktop driveway it’s only natural to keep the same look.

However, blacktop has several disadvantages as well. It doesn’t last nearly as long as concrete does, and it also softens in high heat - an important thing to consider given our hot Oklahoma summers. You’ll need to seal it every few years, and it’s less durable overall in the face of weather damage. Blacktop can be a good option, but consider carefully before making the choice.

No matter what surface you choose to install your carport or garage over, you’ll still get a metal building with legendary durability and extremely low maintenance needs. If you want to learn more about how a metal building can save you time and money over a traditional carport or garage, contact us at Bargain Barns USA today! You can also follow us on Facebook Google+ or Twitter for special offers and updates!