Oct 18, 2021 / by Zach Pyers
If you’re planning to build any structure, it’s important to ensure you level the ground or it might affect the structural integrity of the finished project.
For metal garages or carports, it will not be an issue if the site is less than 3 or 4 inches out of level as the installation crew will be able to make minor adjustments. However, if your site is off level any more than that, it’s necessary to level the ground before any installation works take place. It is important to note that most garage providers and installers would not be equipped to dig and level the ground as this would take too much time, manpower, and extra equipment for this task. You may even risk incurring additional costs and fees for companies to transport the materials back.
Consequences of Building on an Off Level Site
If the ground is not level, the unit will end up leaning to one side and might even pull the anchors of the unit up during strong windstorms. It’s important to level to the ground if you are building fully enclosed or vertical carports or garages to ensure that the roof, sides, and ends are aligned properly. If not, there might be enough space on one side for rodents or snakes to enter the enclosed space and have free access to any important items you may have stored there.
How to Check if the Ground Is Level
First off, you should be checking with local utility companies to make sure you are not going to dig or hit any water or gas pipes. You should also remove any shrubbery that might get in the way of installing the garage or carport.
- Use a measuring tape to measure out the space where your garage or carport will be installed and make an allowance for some extra inches.
- Once this area is measured and marked out with spray paint, use ground stakes to mark each corner.
- Tie a string connecting to each stake. Pick the highest point and adjust the string to be four inches from the ground and adjust all strings to what appears to be level to the highest point.
- Use a string level to check, adjusting the string on the lower point until the bubble of the string level rests in the center, indicating that the string is level.
- Measure the lower point and compare it was the highest point of four inches and you’ll be able to find the difference and determine if your ground needs to be leveled.
- To level the ground, you would either have to add or remove dirt from each point.
Types of Bases for Garages and Carports
While you can use the ground as a base for your garage and carport and anchor your unit to the soil, mud might be a potential problem during rainy weather. Alternatively, there are several other hardier materials you can use as a carport or garage base such as asphalt, concrete, gravel. Each material has a different cost, and its suitability depends on your needs and budget.