While you didn’t buy your RV to store it, there are undoubtedly going to be times throughout the year when it might go unused for prolonged periods of time and need to be protected from the elements. Even if you don’t live in an area of the country that is ravaged by winter snow and ice, your RV investment deserves to be protected from the sun, rain, and critters. In many areas, indoor RV storage facilities are not readily available and when they are monthly rents can be in upwards of $1,000 a month for larger RV’s. For many RV owners, building a RV garage on their residential property makes economical sense, adds value to their property, and allows them the benefit of being able to keep a close eye on their investment during the off-season.Building a metal garage to house your RV is no simple task though, and there are some things you want to keep in mind.
Always check first with your county’s building department to make sure that there are no restrictions with allowing you to put up a garage on your property and if you will need to pull permits for your project. Also check with your HOA to see if they have any restrictions. Some building departments and/or HOA’s restrict the use of steel panels on the exterior of your metal garage and require stucco, brick, clapboards, or other approved exterior finishes.
It seems obvious, but before rushing to get quotes on your metal building project, take a little time to sketch out a floor plan or layout of your garage. Think about how much space you want to have around the RV when it’s inside as well as other storage needs for RV related equipment storage. Carefully note rollup door, walk-door and window size, quantity, and location. This information is critical in the engineering of a metal building, has a direct influence on price, and will insure that the quotes you obtain accurately reflect what you want.
As you begin to search the internet for metal building companies to obtain quotes from, you are going to quickly realize that there are hundreds of companies vying for your business. Proceed with caution as many metal building companies are simply metal building dealers that use high-pressure telemarketing sales tactics to take advantage of inexperienced metal building customers. A good way to identify the telemarketers is that they are likely to immediately focus on your budget and timeframe – rather than the details of your project. Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers as a professional metal building company will be eager to share their experience and knowledge with you – and will be asking you a lot of questions about your project. Before requesting a quote from any metal building company, perform individual searches on the internet using the companies name followed by the terms: complaint, rip-off, lawsuit, attorney general. Avoid dealing with any company whose name appears over and over again in the search results!
One of the most difficult tasks in any metal building project is comparing the quotes obtained from different companies. Immediately discard any quote that is identified as a “one day only special offer” or a special deal on a “cancelled order” as these are common sales practices of telemarketers. Study the remaining quotes carefully and make sure the codes/engineering information listed is the same on each one. Differences in wind load, wind exposure, live load, snow load, and other engineering details could result in large price differences. Also, make sure that the quotes include the actual doors and windows and not simply framed openings for doors and windows that you will have to supply yourself. A properly designed quote should have the items included with the building listed in one area – and any “options” listed separately in another.
The metal building telemarketers and dishonest metal building companies will often price your building with engineering requirements LESS than your local building codes require – simply to quote you a low price. Once your non-refundable deposit is received, they advise you that your building is in-fact much more money due to modifications needed to the original design to meet your local building codes. At this point, you have to decide to walk away from your deposit or pay more to proceed. This is commonly referred to in the industry as “The Bump”.
If you decide to embark upon a steel building for your RV storage needs, we invite you to review our Steel Building Buyer’s Guide which includes a wealth of tips and advice on the process.
About the Author
Seth Hymes is a travel lover and head of the digital marketing team at Buck Steel, a company that designs and engineers high quality steel buildings for a variety of uses – including RV storage.