Carports come in a variety of shapes sizes and uses as well as materials. Depending on your usage, steel carports are often the best choice, they are not the cheapest, in fact they are often the most expensive but they last the longest and ultimately provide the best value in the long run. Typically it is understood that carport steel is the best choice over aluminum carport material which often is a lot lighter and generally of cheaper quality due to being a thinner and weaker metal.
There are different types of steel as well but the key thing to look for in terms of carports is getting a carport made with galvanized steel. These carports are often much stronger and much more resistant to the elements as well and make for a better carport and investment. Steel carports kits can also be made with different colors as well which typically fade much less if at all over time versus aluminum which often does not keep the color integrity as well. The fact is there are different alloys and metal combinations that can make aluminum stronger then steel and vice versa, but in terms of carports, galvanized all steel carports generally have a better price to performance ration then there aluminum counterparts.
Steel carports are the heaviest of the bunch so be sure that the spot where your building the steel carport is solid and can hold the carport because unstable muddy ground would simply lead to a lopsided and poorly stabilized carport. Make sure your steel components have at least zinc or other anti corrosive materials so that your carport receives minimal weather based wear and tear. Price can always vary from a thousand or so dollars to many thousands for multi car style carports to the very large steel carports that are made to house RV’s, Trailers, and other large valuable equipment. Seeing how expensive these can be make sure you ask your reseller or distributer about financing and warranty costs as these can make the difference between you owning a quality steel carport and not. There is a basic checklist I recommend you go down before making you final purchase, and some of these would include things like,
Do I need a permit? Is it possible to get a basic model and have additions like sides made later? Who will be doing the installation? if not yourself Can it be attached, or do you have options for attachment to buildings? Do they provide rain gutters for any or all of the models? What are the payment options, including financing? And what is the return and refund policies?