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Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can I get someone come out to give us an on-site estimate?

Yes, most manufactures will come out and give you an on-site estimate. You can request this service with our Customer Service department. Some manufacturers charge for this service. All manufacturers will schedule this service the next time they are in the area (see delivery times below).

Most customers are not completely satisfied with the service from a manufacturer. It takes time for the manufacturer to respond and organize a time slot. The end result tends to be less satisfactory than working with DMB’s sales representatives over the phone.

(Direct Metal Building only recommends this service if you have an extremely unique and complicated install.)

2. What is a certified metal building?

A certified metal building is a design that has been approved by an engineer to meet certain snow and wind loads. Direct Metal Buildings always recommends a certified structure. A certified structure is usually required in order to obtain a permit.

3. What is difference between a certified metal building and a non-certified?

Certified metal buildings are designed with the correct gauge, bracing and anchoring to achieve a specific snow or wind load.

A non-certified metal building is designed with the materials of your choosing and meets the minimum requirements for the structure itself, not taking in consideration outside forces on the structure.

4. What is the difference in frame gauge (ga.)?

Gauge is the American standardized way to measure the thickness of steel. The smaller the number the thicker the metal. Most manufactures offer the standard 14 ga. with an upgraded 12 ga.

Industry standard frames are 2.5” x 2.5” in the 14 ga. and 2.25” x 2.25” in the 12 ga. Some manufactures offer a 2”x3” frame or a higher tensile strength 14 ga. as opposed to the 12ga.

5. Should I upgrade my frame gauge?

It doesn’t cost that much to upgrade and most factories offer a longer warranty when you do. It makes sense to upgrade. If you are in a tight budget situation, the 14 ga. typically still holds up for decades.

6. Can the metal buildings / metal carport be attached to my home or existing structure?

The manufactures will not attach to an existing structure. They will however, place it right up against the building so that you can attach it yourself. The reason they do not is because the metal buildings are pre-engineered and do not take into consideration your existing structure. The installers are also not liable for damage that could be incurred in the process.

7. How much clearance is required between another structure or fence?

This is not an exact measurement but about 2 feet is a good rule of thumb. Keep in mind that the installer will need to attach sheets to the outside of the metal building, and a ladder is often required to get to the higher points.

8. Can I buy a metal carport now, and have installers come back to put sides and ends on?

Yes, this is possible. Just make sure that you design your complete project first to make sure it can be achieved. A common mistake is ordering the metal carport too short to convert to a metal garage.

Another important factor to consider is that different companies will not install sides and ends. You must go back to the original manufacturer.

9. Can I order a custom sized unit?

Yes you can! Manufacturers have standard sizes that are pre-engineered. They can modify models to your exact specifications. They will charge you for the next standard size up. For example the smallest size that they make is a 12’ x 21’, if you need a 10’ x 15’ you would still pay for the 12’ x 21’.

10. What is the pitch in the center of the carport?

It varies slightly from model to model; most are about 3:12. A 3:12 pitch means that the roof raises 3” every 12”. Some of the manufacturers have different pitches.

11. When should I consider a vertical roof versus a horizontal roof in my metal building?

A vertical is always a better choice. It’s most important when the manufacturer max sheet length is exceeded. The max length of the sheet varies by manufacturer but is usually 31’ or 36’. If your structure is longer than the max sheet length, your roof will eventually begin to leak at the seam.

In some instances, such as an RV carport, it may not be that big of a deal for you. In the case of a metal building or metal garage a leaking roof could cost you a lot in damaged valuables.

12. Can rain gutters be installed?

Yes standard gutters can be installed on the building. The manufacturers do not supply or install gutters. If you wish to install gutters you should purchase the vertical roof since the horizontal styles drain most of the water off the ends.

13. What are the tallest legs that can be ordered?

This varies by manufacturer from 12’ to 20’. 12’ is the tallest standard height for all manufacturers and the price dramatically increases when you exceed this. It is always recommended to keep your height below 12’.

14. How tall should I go to cover my RV, motor home or camper?

Class A motor homes are usually 12’6” to the top of the A/C. So for a RV Carport a 12’ leg is fine (keeping in mind that the building pitches). If you are building a RV Garage 14’ is minimal height required to get a 12’ high door on. You should keep the height as low to the RV as possible for protection purposes.

Foundation / Slab / Anchoring

1. What size does the concrete / slab need to be poured?

Your metal building dimensions are out to out of the steel roof. The length of the building usually has an extra foot due to the overhang past the frame. So the footprint for a 12’ x 21’ structure would be 12’ x 20’. We then recommend that you increase the slab 2” on all sides so that when the installer drills the anchors the risk of cracking or chipping is reduced, but still isn’t too wide that water can run underneath the frame.

2. How do I need to get an accurate estimate on concrete?

We provide sample foundation drawings so you can get an accurate estimate on concrete.

3. Will water run under the metal building to the inside?

Water can get through any area that air can. There is no seal located between the foundation and concrete. To prevent seeping you can use a perimeter sealant at the foundation. This is not provided or done by the installers. You can purchase silicon sealant and apply yourself at the time of installation or ask the installer if they will do it for you at an additional charge. The installers are not required to do this and are not liable if they do.

4. What anchoring options are available for my structure?

There are several types of anchors available for your structure. I recommend our anchor types page for a more detailed explanation.

5. How is my structure anchored to my concrete slab?

All installers use an expanding anchor bolt for installation. The non-certified units come with a minimal amount to attach and the certified come with quite a few more. The number required is determined by your wind speed and local codes. Some manufacturers charge for concrete anchor and others don’t.

6. How is my structure anchored to earth?

The included option is the rebar stake or pin anchor, this is a temporary anchor like what would be used for a large tent. The auger type anchor is used for certified buildings and all manufacturers charge for these anchors.

7. How is my structure anchored through asphalt?

The included option is the rebar stake or pin anchor, this is a temporary anchor like what would be used for a large tent. The barbed type anchor is used for certified buildings and all manufacturers charge for these anchors.

8. Can I have a unit installed on a wood floor or deck?

Yes but, the unit cannot be certified with this type of installation. You will also be required to provide the lag bolts.

9. Will you install on a boat dock?

Some manufacturers will, at an additional cost and other won’t. If this is a service you need please ask your salesperson for assistance.

Delivery and Installation

1. The TRUTH about Delivery Times. How long will it take for my structure to be installed?

All delivery times given by any company are mere estimates based on what is typically happening at that time. Your metal building is freight shared with other orders. So when you place an order, it is placed into a file with other orders going to your area. Once there are enough orders to keep an installation crew busy for a week (about $20,000 worth of buildings) they will begin to schedule for the following week. No factory will schedule before the truck is full. So, if you order a $15,000 metal building you can expect a faster delivery. They will only have estimated dates based on buying trends until the truck is full. So if you live in a very remote area in the middle of Montana it could take a while. If you live in a state that has a high population your order will arrive considerably quicker.

Direct Metal Buildings receives weekly updates from all factories on all orders so we can give you estimates to the best of our knowledge when you structure will arrive.

Direct Metal Buildings, as a complementary service calls all factories after the order is placed to see who has the fastest delivery time and will advise of your options.

Most companies don’t want to be honest about this, because the consumer wants it now and typically goes with who promises them the fastest time, even though it is likely coming from the same factory and they do not know for sure. Do not fall for this trick. If they can deliver in 2 weeks have them put it in WRITING with a money back guarantee. It does not matter what they say, no one can promise a delivery time.

At Direct Metal Buildings we have seen deliveries take as little as 7 days and as long as several months.

2. Can I buy the metal garage materials and assemble it myself?

You absolutely can. Typically it is not worth it though. Most manufacturers only offer a 5% discount for self-install and 15% if you pick it up from the factory. You will also void any warranties.

3. What does level surface mean?

Most manufacturers define level service a as +/- 3 inches. These units are self-supported by a base rail and can be installed on just about any surface. If you service is not level, this could void your warranty.

4. What other items on the site should be checked?

Utilities, Keep in mind the installers will be on a ladder and have the right not to install under power lines. The installers are not liable for underground utility damage. Most areas have a free locator service by calling 811 or going to http://www.call811.com, if utilities are close you may want them to come back out before the installers come.

5. Should I be on-site when the building is installed?

You will want to be there when they arrive and when they finish. Direct Metal Buildings recommends being there most of the time so you can check on the progress periodically. It is much easier to make corrections as they happen rather than after they are complete.

6. What Site Access is required for the Installers?

The installers drive a large pick-up truck with a 30’-40’ trailer. They need to be able to get the trailer with in about 50’ of the site. These trailers are very heavy when loaded and the installers are not responsible for soil displacement. If your site is not close Direct Metal Buildings recommends getting a quote to hand carry, before they arrive.

7. How much room for adjustment is there to make my structure level?

There is a 3”- 4” adjustment where the leg meets the base rail to make the structure level.

8. My driveway, pad or yard slopes considerably more the 3”, what can be done?

In many instances the grade is steeper than the adjustment allows. Providing that it slope in one direction the legs can be cut to make the roof line level. You will need to purchase leg the length of the tallest point and the others will be cut. There is a field cut fee, most installers charge $10.00 a cut and this will be billed on-site.

9. Who installs my structure?

The manufacturer hires and train crews who install the structures, usually as a sub-contractor.

10. What type of truck is my garage delivered on?

The installers drive a large pick-up truck with a 30’-40’ trailer.


1. Do I need a permit?

Direct Metal Buildings, the manufacturers and the installers do advise if you need a permit. By asking the question it is likely that you do. You need to call your county or township to see when and if a permit is required. The manufacturer will not check if you need a permit or not. If the installer has stopped working due to a lack of permit, they will leave the building and materials “as is” until you get the situation resolved and they are back in the area.

Residents of Florida and Arizona will need a permit 99% of the time, with the exception of agricultural buildings. Most factories will verify that you have the permit or exception before scheduling delivery.

2. Who pulls the permit, if needed?

You are responsible for pulling permit. When pulling the permit you need to list yourself as the contractor and the manufacturer as the sub-contractor. This usually makes getting your permit less expensive and easier.

3. Why do I need a certified building to get a permit?

Certified buildings are guaranteed to meet local codes so they are the buildings that you can get engineered drawings for, which are usually required for a permit.

4. How do I get drawings so I can get a permit?

Direct Metal Buildings offers sample drawings you can show the county to determine if this type of structure is able to be permitted or zoned for your area. These are SAMPLE drawings and your building may be different.

Drawings and/or Certifications (certs) are different and will require a fee. The fee can range from $100.00 to $3000.00 and varies by factory.

5. Are foundation drawings included?

Yes, you will receive foundation as well as building drawings.

6. Are the installers licensed in my county / state?

The installers are usually licensed in your state, when required they will obtain a county, city or town license.


1. Can I lock in my price?

Yes, once you place your deposit it will protect you from price increases for six months.

2. Can I save money by buying directly from the factory?

NO, Direct Metal Buildings guarantees the lowest price on the same product period. This includes buying from other dealers or the manufacturer direct.

3. Does the price listed include everything?

Listed prices include, the metal building, options listed, delivery and installation. They only variables are some drawings and taxes.

4. Can I cancel my order?

Yes, you can cancel your order at any time, prior to scheduling. The initial processing fee / deposit is refundable for 7 days after the sale. Drawings are non-refundable.

5. Will I be charged an additional fee for different colors?

All of the standard colors are included in the price. You can choose different colors for the roof, walls and trim. Some manufactures offer and extended color chart that does have an upcharge. Some manufacturers charge for wainscot (two color walls) and others don’t.

6. What if I need to change my order or make a revision?

You are welcome to make changes to your order at no charge until you are scheduled for delivery. After you are scheduled there could be a fee depending on the status of your order.

7. If I am buying multiple metal structures, can I get a discount?

Direct Metal Buildings already offers the lowest price, Guaranteed, so discounts will not be offered. With management approval discounts may be offered for multiple metal buildings over $5000.00 each.

8. Is financing available?

Yes, we can offer several third party financing options for qualified buyers. Direct Metal Buildings does not offer rent to own.

9. Since you are an online company, why do I have to pay sales tax for building?

Since the manufactures install in every state they have a local presence and must pay local tax. Tax can be waived if you are tax exempt and can provide a certificate. Just a tax number is not acceptable. Tax will remain on the order until certificated is submitted.

10. When is the balance of my account due?

Balance is due once the building is installed. You will make final payment to the installer directly and should be made out to the manufacturer.

11. What are the accepted forms of payment?

Direct Metal Buildings accepts all forms of payment including check, certified funds, wires, PayPal, and credit cards.

Manufacturers vary slightly on what they accept. None of them will accept a personal check. If you have to pay by personal check, it will need to paid prior to installation.

See "The building is installed, what next?"

Post Sale

1. The building is installed, what next?

Immediately after the building is erected, before you make payment and sign off, check the metal building. Even though you have a warranty the best time to get something corrected is while the installers are still there.

2. Who do I contact with questions about delivery or installation?

While most companies will dump you off with the manufacturers after the sale, Direct Metal Buildings is there with you the whole way. Just give our friendly customer service a call and we can help with anything.