SteelMaster Buildings, Steel Master Building
SteelMaster Carports
Sometimes what you want, is exactly what you need.

When Tina Winnett realized she desired somewhere other than her exposed parking space to store her brand new, shiny white vehicle, she did what most of us do when we need facts with pictures from an infinite source of wisdom. She “googled it”.

SteelMaster’s designs and prefabricated steel and metal arched buildings and carports are plastered all over the world-wide web, so Tina had little problem honing in on what she wanted.

Tina summed up the reason she chose SteelMaster by saying, “I recently purchased a new vehicle and realized I needed to protect it from bird droppings, sap and debris where I park under an oak tree. I Googled carport images on the internet. The minute I spotted the SteelMaster carport, I knew I had found the look I wanted. I immediately went to the company website, and was impressed by the affordability, quality and sturdiness of the steel, the warranty, and finally by the conversation I had with SteelMaster’s Senior Project Specialist, Michael Suozzi. I learned that that upon completion, the carport could even withstand all types of weather conditions. Michael told me about some customers in Alabama with SteelMaster carports that withstood the devastating tornadoes of April, 2011. After going through three hurricanes here in Lakeland, Florida in a six-week span in back in 2004, and a recent tornado that dropped trees and snapped a power pole in my back yard, I decided this was the carport I needed.”

“Although it can be easily assembled, I decided to hire a contractor to erect the building. When he first started assembly, he had some reservations about the sturdiness of the carport because the bolts had to remain loose up to a certain point. Once he began tightening everything up, he was very impressed,” said Tina.

“I love the look of the carport and have received many favorable comments from friends and neighbors. Obviously, it serves the purpose for which it was purchased, and I am convinced it will withstand whatever mother nature sends my way in the future,” Tina added confidently.

"SteelMaster buildings are engineered for life,” said Michelle Wickum, SteelMaster’s Director of Marketing. “Our Steel Arched Buildings are designed to meet the wind loads of their destination whether located in Florida, Alabama or the Caribbean. Our buildings are made with consideration given to climatological factors in order to provide protection from water, freezing temperatures, fire, and even hurricane-force winds.”

“Statistical weather data plays a huge role in each customer’s design process,” adds Michelle. “Our company’s use of Galvalume Plus Coating not only provides our carports with strength and superior corrosion resistance, it also makes SteelMaster Buildings maintenance-free for life.”

Each SteelMaster prefabricated design kit comes with a 30-year mill-backed warranty by ArcelorMittal (NYSE MT). Through common ownership, SteelMaster owns the ArcelorMittal factory where its buildings are engineered, designed, and manufactured , thus allowing the company to set the most stringent quality standards for Steel Buildings in the industry.

SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including carports, just like the one Tina Winnett now enjoys. SteelMaster designs also include projects for homes, farm buildings, garages, workshops, agricultural storage, Quonsets, airplane hangars, RV storage, roofing systems, carports, military buildings, commercial warehousing, and industrial storage as well as a wide variety of custom building applications including athletic facilities, retail stores, churches, bus stops, smoke shacks, doggie dorms, and correctional facilities.

This month, SteelMaster is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. With more than 40,000 satisfied customers with buildings throughout the United States, located in more than 50 overseas countries, and on six continents, SteelMaster is a stand out, and remains the leader in Steel Arched Pre-fabricated Buildings world-wide.

SteelMaster Product Guides
Want to learn more about SteelMaster buildings and all the applications that they can be used for? SteelMaster Buildings offers our customers a full library of product guides that help determine which building is the right one for any project.

SteelMaster offers steel building products guides on a variety of applications such as Garages, Pole Barns, Hay Storage, Steel Canopies, Container Covers, Portable/Liftable Buildings, Aircraft Hangars, Salt Storage Facilities, and so much more!

Be sure to download your Free Steel Building Guide below to learn more about our steel building options.
The Sway of the Arch Design
If a child born and raised in the United States is asked to draw a house, more likely than not, there is going to be quite a few hard right angles in it-just like the typical home found throughout the country.

Ask Kent Thieman of West Des Moines, IA to draw his home, expect to see lots of curves and arches because his humble abode is a Monolithic dome.

The earliest form of monolithic dome structures could be considered to be the igloo. The dome-like shape of the igloo exhibits the two major advantages of a dome-shaped structure: great strength, and good insulation. The strength is due to the natural might of the arch, and the insulation is due to the minimal surface area of a spherical section.

“Based on the fact that Mr. Thieman already understands the many positive qualities of the arch design, it’s not surprising that he chose SteelMaster Buildings when he wanted to cover the front entrance of his home and create a covered patio on the back.”

For more than 29 years, SteelMaster Buildings, which is located in Virginia Beach, VA, has manufactured, designed, and supplied pre-fabricated arched steel structures to 40,000 customers located in every state of the United States, in 40 countries, and on seven continents around the world.

With all of the companies out there that make steel buildings, what led Thieman to choose to buy from SteelMaster?

“I learned about SteelMaster buildings from magazine ads,” says Thieman. “I chose steel because of durability, and I chose SteelMaster because of the website.”

Wickum says that there is a difference in SteelMaster’s buildings than others that exist in the marketplace—quite a few differences, actually.

“Our buildings are affordable, especially because people that want to construct it themselves can—they were designed with that in mind—and that saves money on hiring a contractor,” says Wickum. “SteelMaster also uses a top-of-the-line steel that is made through complex chemistry resulting in an unheard of tensile strength. We use a mill that produces metal where the tensile strength is so strong that no one else in the world has it. Also, every one of our buildings is mill coated with Galvalume Plus steel coating which provides a dry-coated, maintenance-free finish that also keeps the building cool in the summer and easy to heat in the winter. Best of all, all SteelMaster steel buildings include lifetime engineering and a 30-year warranty backed by its factory and the ArcelorMittal Dofasco steel mill.”

Thieman purchased both of his SteelMaster products in the fall of 2010, and chose to hire a contractor to do the projects.

“The most difficult part of the project for the contractor was getting the SteelMaster arches joined to the dome so that rain would be diverted,” says Thieman. “The completed projects look like I expected them to look. We like the arched appearance. We chose to make both asymmetric, that is one side of the arch is higher than the other. The covered patio has a table, four chairs, a BBQ grill, and several planters. We like both the front entrance and the back patio very much.”

In addition to structures like those purchased by Thieman, SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including homes, farm buildings, garages, workshops, agricultural storage, Quonsets, airplane hangars, RV storage, roofing systems, carports, military buildings, commercial warehousing, and industrial storage as well as a wide variety of custom building applications including athletic facilities, retail stores, churches, bus stops, smoke shacks, doggie dorms, and correctional facilities.
The Sway of Steel has a Ripple Effect
In 2002, a pebble of sorts was dropped in the town of Warm Springs, VA causing a ripple effect that swiftly carried resident John Pound out to sea before plunking him down in the Bahamas.

The “pebble” in this case was the steel building Pound purchased from SteelMaster Buildings, located in Virginia Beach, VA, to store his tractor and Corvette and also use as a workshop. Initially planning on constructing a stick-built building, Pound was swayed toward steel after looking at his friend’s SteelMaster building.

“I was very impressed with the look and usefulness of his building and the quality of the materials,” says Pound. “I called SteelMaster, and they sent me a booklet with different types of buildings and different options available. One of the company’s engineers drew up a set of plans and sent it to me, and then followed up with phone calls explaining the warranty, the two different types of base plates, and how to erect it. When he gave me a quote—including shipping—it was a much better building for the money than the stick-built ones and beat the competitor’s price and quality of building by a long shot.”

From there, a small ripple formed when one of Pound’s co-workers professed an interest in a building as well, and after Pound shared what he had learned from SteelMaster, the co-worker bought the same building.

“We placed our orders together, and it took a short time-three to four weeks-before the buildings arrived,” remembers Pound. “We used that time to lay out our sites and pour the concrete footers and floor.”

When it came time to build, Pound’s neighbors and friends showed up to lend a hand. It just so happened that a couple that helped were on the market for a storage building and were so impressed with the SteelMaster that they bought a building from the company as well.

“While their building was being made and shipped, we all went to my co-worker’s house and put up his building,” says Pound. “Then another friend of mine decided he wanted one, so he purchased one as well. He now has three SteelMaster buildings and wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

The concentric circles formed by that Pound’s purchase broadened considerably throughout the next year as people interested in buying a SteelMaster building often showed up on his doorstep requesting a tour.

“SteelMaster has me on a list, and if someone who lives in my area is interested in looking at a finished building, they are more than welcome to look at mine,” says Pound. “In 2003 I had the most referrals for the company, and a lot of these people went on to purchase a building, so I won an all-expense-paid, five-day cruise to the Bahamas.”

In fact, since 2002, Pound estimates he has shown his buildings to between 75 and 80 people.

“I really like my building and look forward to showing it off,” says Pound. The best things I can say about it are that it’s a well made building, everything fits without having to make any alterations, there are no surprises when you receive and start erecting your building, and it has plenty of room and really looks nice. It’s within sight of my home, and it’s something I’m very proud of. I would highly recommend anyone interested in building something that will last, appreciate in value, and is top of the line to talk with SteelMaster.”

In addition to storage buildings and workshops, SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including Garages, Workshops, Carports, Quonsets, Airplane Hangars, RV Storage, Military Buildings, Commercial Warehousing, and Industrial Storage as well as a wide variety of Custom Building applications including Athletic Facilities, Retail Stores, Churches, Bus Stops, Smoke Shacks, Doggie Dorms, and Correctional Facilities.
What Is a Quonset Hut
Around SteelMaster, we talk about quonset huts frequently, but what exactly is a quonset hut? The semicircular steel buildings were made popular by the U.S. military during WWII. In 1941, the U.S. Navy needed an all-purpose, lightweight building that could be shipped anywhere and assembled easily without the use of skilled labor. The steel building was first erected at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Quonset huts were valuable to the military because of their flexibility. The clear-span interior allowed for them to used as barracks, latrines, offices, medical facilities, isolation wards, and bakeries. In addition, the Navy also discovered that the rounded shape of the corrugated arch is one of the strongest structures in architecture.

That clear-span interior and strength of the structure are two of the main reasons why quonset huts are still popular today. Steel quonset huts have been used for a variety of applications. SteelMaster customers have turned quonset huts into, indoor pole vaulting facilities, homes, office buildings, and agricultural storage just to name a few. The possibilities are truly endless.




Partners in Steel New Member in Alaska

Do you own a SteelMaster steel building and love telling your friends about it? Sign up to become a member of our Partners in Steel Referral Network!

All you have to do is register with us, then start showing off your metal buildings. When a building purchased by one of your referrals is delivered, you will be mailed a check from $100 – $250.

Our newest member of Partners in Steel just finished construction of his 30’ x 54’ S-Model in Kasilof, Alaska. Check out construction pictures below.


For More Information About Steelmaster Buildings Visit Steelmasterusa.comDo you own a SteelMaster steel building and love telling your friends about it? Sign up to become a member of our Partners in Steel Referral Network!

All you have to do is register with us, then start showing off your metal buildings. When a building purchased by one of your referrals is delivered, you will be mailed a check from $100 – $250.

Our newest member of Partners in Steel just finished construction of his 30’ x 54’ S-Model in Kasilof, Alaska. Check out construction pictures below.


For More Information About Steelmaster Buildings Visit Steelmasterusa.com

Offering Affordable Steel Buildings is Only the Start
Seventeen years ago, James D. “Danny” Hendricks of Woodland, GA was leafing through farm and home magazines when he came upon an advertisement for a company in Virginia Beach, VA that sold steel buildings. Since he was scouting out options for a workshop, Hendricks called to request literature on the buildings and established a rapport with the director of marketing.

“I was fortunate to talk with David B. Adams, who at that time was the director of marketing with SteelMaster Buildings, and after speaking with him, I was convinced that this was the building that I needed because it would fit my needs from a quality and durability standpoint,” says Hendricks. “He was very informative from my first conversation with him, and we became very good friends.”

For more than 29 years, SteelMaster Buildings has manufactured, designed, and supplied pre-fabricated arched steel structures to 40,000 customers located in every state of the United States, in 40 countries, and on seven continents around the world.

SteelMaster prefabricated workshops have been used by all types of hobby enthusiasts including wood workers, metal shops owners, classic car professionals, as well as numerous types of businesses around the globe. The company’s workshop kit, prefabricated workshops, and metal shops provide 100 percent unencumbered, usable space to organize, store, and protect valuable tools and machinery as well as provide comfort, security, and durability against fire, snow, and hurricane-force winds. People who own a SteelMaster workshop have the flexibility to truly customize the inside of their building because the unique clear-span design allows them the opportunity to hang lighting, run conduit, build shelving, add a loft, insulate, and heat/cool the building.

Three years after Hendricks bought his workshop, he purchased a second building for machinery and hay storage. Then three years later, he bought yet another building to use for storage of lawn and garden equipment. He says that part of the reason he continued buying from SteelMaster was because of the level of customer service he continued to receive after he first started communicating with Adams.

“On one occasion after the purchase of my first building, a stranger drove into my yard,” says Hendricks. “As this man stepped out of his car, he said, ‘I am David Adams with SteelMaster Buildings, and I was passing through your area and wanted to stop by to meet you and see your building.’ We had a very good visit, and our friendship lasted.”

According to Michelle Wickum, who is currently the company’s director of marketing, SteelMaster has always taken this approach with its customers.

“Our company was founded with a mission to be the best in the business, and we are,” says Wickum. “To be the best, that doesn’t just mean delivering the highest quality buildings at an affordable rate, it also means going the extra mile for our customers and touching base with them after their building is constructed to make sure that it is everything that they need it to be. We genuinely care about the people we serve.”

Hendricks says he believes in SteelMaster and its buildings so much that he hasn’t been shy about spreading the word to others.

“I appreciate that the ease of which I have been able to assemble and construct my buildings as well as their durability, quality, and the fact that they blend very well into my farm layout and the landscape, says Hendricks. “As a result, I have helped SteelMaster sell numerous buildings in this area of Georgia. The picture that is shown in the Georgia section of the SteelMaster website shows the back side of my three buildings. I am proud of my buildings, and I appreciate them being a part of the company’s website.”

SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including Garages, Workshops, Carports, Quonsets, Airplane Hangars, RV Storage, Military Buildings, Commercial Warehousing, and Industrial Storageas well as a wide variety of Custom Building applications including Athletic Facilities, Retail Stores, Churches, Bus Stops, Smoke Shacks, Doggie Dorms, and Correctional Facilities.
Letters from Our Customers – XV
Once you are a SteelMaster owner, we invite you to join our Partners in Steel referral program. The program is designed to encourage you to refer friends, family and neighbors to SteelMaster that are interested in purchasing a steel building. In addition, we will contact you if we have someone in your area that would like to see your building and speak with you about your SteelMaster buildings. The letter below comes from Francis S. in Recluse, WY when he signed up to be a member of Partners in Steel.

The super structure is up. It is by no means finished as we are in the dead of winter right now. The interesting part of this building is that I for the most part completely assembled this building by hand, one piece at a time. I constructed a temporary scaffolding system that I used to get to the high parts. I had help with the first two sections but that was it. Since I had to do this myself I came up with some interesting techniques. I bought a 5 pack of aligning tools. I used several welding type vice grips and clamps. A 3/8 air impact also was an important part of the assembly. I think the reason I was able to do this by myself was that I am 6’-5? tall and have a long reach. Without being able to reach around each section I don’t think I could have started each nut and bolt, therefore I would have had to wait until this year when help arrived. It took me about 21 days to complete one piece at a time. I still have to install a bout 100 nut’s and bolts. Then spend a day or so with a little help to double check the entire building’s nuts and bolts. I poured footers only instead of an entire slab. The slab will come in the spring, close in the ends, grout the bottom of the panels, install electrical/lighting and at that point I should be finished. I certainly will buy another in the future.


Virginia Beach Companys Steel Storage Building

'Best Value, Best Security, Best Warranty'

Written by Brenda H. Welch
Brenda is a freelance writer and editor living in Hampton Roads, VA

Thanks in part to the U.S. Air Force, Dot Pantone is flying high with her decision to buy a steel storage facility from SteelMaster Buildings, which is located in Virginia Beach, VA.

As director of the Wiregrass Emergency Pregnancy Service in Daleville, AL since October 2009, Pantone saw the necessity for additional space to store cribs, mattresses, stroller, bathtubs, bassinettes, and the like for the women who are helped by the organization.

“Because our office is located on the 2nd floor of the Daleville Knights of Columbus building, not only did we need extra storage space for certain items, we also needed a solution to carrying heavy things up and down the stairs,” says Pantone. “I presented the request to the governing board at the April 2010 board meeting, and now the building is being used on the property in back of our office.”

“SteelMaster steel prefabricated storage buildings are perfect for equipment storage, multi-purpose farm buildings, steel barns, storage sheds, and grain or hay storage,” says Michelle Wickum, the director of marketing for the company. “Our build-it-yourself prefab storage buildings are affordable and offer 100 percent usable space with a clear span design that eliminates beams and trusses. SteelMaster prefabricated storage sheds are easy to construct and provide maintenance free use for a lifetime. Reaching widths up to 150 feet and lengths as long as needed, SteelMaster prefabricated storage buildings provide the most durable, highest quality and most economical Steel Arch Buildings on the planet.”

Because SteelMaster’s Storage Building Kits are pre-cut and pre-drilled, they are easy to assemble in just a few days. But when the man who had volunteered to construct the new building for Pantone backed out at the last minute, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do. That was until Senior Airmen Ashley Chappell stepped in. “She volunteers with us on Monday and Tuesday and is amazing,” says Pantone. “She always finds time to help out our clients above and beyond the call of duty, and when she heard that we needed someone to construct the building, she asked her Air Force coworkers and leaders to volunteer.”


The team put the building up in approximately 10 hours, not including prep work like moving dirt and pouring the concrete foundation.

“I also love the amount of space available in the building as well as the 30 year warranty-in this part of the country we can count on occasional tornadoes and high winds from hurricanes, so durability is a must.”

According to Wickum, SteelMaster steel buildings are engineered to meet the wind loads of their destination whether that’s in the middle of the country or on the coast of Florida where hurricanes are common. “As opposed to wooden structures, SteelMaster buildings remain maintenance free for a lifetime because we use Galvalume Plus Coating which offers strength, superior corrosion resistance, and an attractive bright appearance that provides excellent heat reflectivity,” says Wickum. “Each SteelMaster building also comes with a 30-year mill-backed warranty by ArcelorMittal (NYSE MT).”

All of these factors added up are why Pantone says she decided to buy the building from SteelMaster. “They offered the best value, the best security, and the best warranty,” says Pantone.

With more than 40,000 satisfied customers, including buildings located in every state in the United States, on six continents, and in more than 40 overseas countries, SteelMaster takes pride in knowing its steel buildings have earned the favor of people like Dot Pantone.

SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including Garages, Workshops, Carports, Quonsets, Airplane Hangars, RV Storage, Military Buildings, Commercial Warehousing, and Industrial Storageas well as a wide variety of Custom Building applications including Athletic Facilities, Retail Stores, Churches, Bus Stops, Smoke Shacks, Doggie Dorms, and Correctional Facilities.

Quonset Hut
'A Form that Will Always be with Us'

Jon Kovash is a man that appreciates both form and function, and last year he set about incorporating both aspects when building a garage for his rental property in Taos, NM.

Kovash shunned the premise that his garage had to fit any of the current stereotypical suburban molds and instead chose an archetypal Americana building—the steel Quonset hut.

He chronicled his reasoning for this decision as well as his experience constructing one in a yet-to-be-published article, and he also was chosen as a runner-up for his photo of the building in a contest held this fall by the company that sold it to him—SteelMaster Buildings, which is located in Virginia Beach, VA.

Kovash begins his article by writing:

"The Genesis of the Quonset project was based in my skepticism regarding the current "alternative” building fads: mud walls, dirt bag walls, straw walls, tire walls, compacted trash walls, ad infinitum.  My standard rap, which falls on deaf ears because it is free advice, goes something like this: You are using techniques appropriate for a third world village in an American (suburban) context. Construction estimators have long held that walls constitute only 15 percent of the cost of most houses. You are not saving money; in fact you are likely spending more money.  You’re not even saving trees or concrete.  All those two-foot thick walls add up to significant extra square footage, which results in bigger foundations and bigger roofs.

And what do all these PC ramblers have for roof structure?  Big, thick old growth timbers and wood planks!

I pray as fervently as the next hippy builder for the end of balloon framing, which is a ridiculous waste of trees, but I don’t expect the now fashionable eco castles to become the new prototype.  That’s why this old wood butcher thinks more and more about concrete, cinder block, and steel. And steel brings us back to “Quonset” huts.”

SteelMaster Corrugated Arch Style Steel Buildings are fashioned after the buildings named after the town of Quonset Point, RI where the first manufacturing site for a Quonset was located.  A Quonset hut is defined as a lightweight pre-fabricated structure made of corrugated galvanized steel or iron.

In 1941, the United States Navy decided that they needed an all-purpose, lightweight building that could be shipped anywhere in the world and assembled quickly and easily to support the troops in WWII.  The Quonset design was modeled closely on the World War I Nissen Hut engineered by the British.  The Navy found that they were able to maximize the flexible interior space of these structures since the building was an open clear-span design.  In addition, they discovered that the rounded shape of the corrugated arch is one of the strongest structures in architecture which provided the shelter they needed during the war.

In the late 1970’s, SteelMaster engineered and designed a new, stronger structure based the historic designs of the Quonset hut.  SteelMaster evolved the Quonset into a new structure that combines the architectural strength of the arch along with 20th century technology which allows the buildings to be designed and engineered to handle all types of climates and conditions.

"Over the years, we continued to develop the original Quonset design and engineering to meet the same primary goal:  provide all-purpose prefabricated steel buildings and roofing structures that can be shipped anywhere in the world and can be constructed quickly and easily,” says Michelle Wickum, the director of marketing for SteelMaster Buildings. "SteelMaster buildings are engineered for life and built to meet the wind loads of their destination. They remain maintenance free for a lifetime thanks to the company’s use of Galvalume Plus Coating which offers strength, superior corrosion resistance, and an attractive bright appearance that provides excellent heat reflectivity.”

For Kovash, the best attributes of the building are simple to identify. “…low maintenance, durability, big and unhindered interior space, and a good alternative to cutting old-growth timber,” says Kovash.  “I can’t believe how solid it feels when you walk on top. I installed the building on a slab using SteelMaster’s welded steel base plates, and highly recommend those choices. I rented a large hammer drill for the bolt holes in the concrete. A rolling scaffold was indispensable for installing the arch segments. We worked the outside from extension ladder and rope.”

As for the photo of his building being selected as a runner-up in the SteelMaster fall photo contest, Kovash says, “I feel honored to make the top five – it’s obvious from the pictures by the other entrants that many people are doing creative and well crafted variations of the classic S building. Like the old Airstream campers, it’s a form that will always be with us.”

SteelMaster’s steel and metal pre-engineered buildings are designed for a broad range of residential and commercial applications including Garages, Workshops, Carports, Airplane Hangars, RV Storage, Military Buildings, Commercial Warehousing, and Industrial Storage as well as a wide variety of Custom Building applications including Athletic Facilities, Retail Stores, Churches, Bus Stops, Smoke Shacks, Doggie Dorms, and Correctional Facilities.

SteelMaster Batting Domes Offer Year-Round Training
It feels as though winter has just begun, but spring will be here before we know it. For all the baseball fans out there, that means spring training is right around the corner. While most teams wait until the weather starts to warm up before they start training for the upcoming season, several local high school teams here in Virginia Beach have found a solution that allows them to practice year-round, rain or shine.  SteelMaster batting domes offer the baseball teams a clear span design that is ideal for batting cages and pitching lanes. The buildings are flexible in design and layout, even offering space for multiple locker rooms or a weight room. For more information on SteelMaster Batting Domes, visit www.BattingDomesUSA.com   or view feature projects below.
Add a Chimney to Your Steel Building
Get ready for a visit from Santa this year with a chimney for your SteelMaster buildings. Although steel buildings are designed to stay warm throughout the cold weather, a wood stove is a great way to add extra warmth. Check out the pictures below…

Steel Carport Unlike all the Rest
In almost every town self storage units can be found for those who are looking. While the buildings themselves typically appear to look basically the same, Joan Lucas of Denver, CO knows that just because you’ve seen one self storage unit, doesn’t mean you’ve seen them all. Differences abound, and include the way the buildings are constructed, what materials are used, and the quality of those materials. The same can be said about carports.


As the past president of the Colorado Self Storage Association, Lucas is aware of the importance of building any structure with an appropriate, sturdy, durable material. When she decided to add a carport to her home driveway six months ago, she set about researching which company delivers the best product and decided upon SteelMaster Buildings in Virginia Beach, VA. What follows is a Q & A with Lucas where she explains the Who, What, Where, and Why’s of her newly built carport.

Why did you feel like you needed/wanted a carport?
 I was tired of shoveling snow off of our cars.

How many vehicles do you have that you park under the carport?
 We have two vehicles, but only park one under the carport.
What led you to buy a carport from SteelMaster Buildings in Virginia Beach, VA?
 Since I work in the self storage industry, I asked some of the suppliers which companies were good.

Did you put the carport up yourself or hire someone to do it?
I hired a contractor.

How long did it take for the contractor to complete the carport?
It was finished within one week of when he started construction.

How has your experience been with the carport?
Excellent.

Is there one particular instance that stands out in your mind where you were happy that you decided to add a carport?
As soon as we put my car under it the first night!

How was your experience working with SteelMaster?
Excellent – Truly Excellent!

According to Michelle Wickum, the director of marketing for SteelMaster Buildings, excellence is the standard the company works diligently to maintain. “SteelMaster Buildings has been in business for 28 years, and during that time we have amassed thousands of satisfied customers, including buildings located in every state in the United States, on six continents, and in more than 40 overseas countries,” says Wickum. “Our customers deserve the best that steel has to offer, and that is what we deliver.”

Wickum says that the SteelMaster prefab carport is unique to other carports on the market due to its ability to withstand all climate weather conditions while utilizing technology and the simplicity of the design perfected with the company’s buildings.  Their carport features a clear-span, single radius, low-profile arched structure that is supported by a 14 gauge beams and posts system and is available in sizes from 12 feet wide up to 20 feet wide and 18 feet to 40 feet in length.  Height for the steel carport varies from 9 feet to 15 feet depending on the width and length of the selected carport. SteelMaster also offers carports that are completely customizable to a customer’s specific needs. In addition, SteelMaster buildings and carports never have to be treated, painted, or maintained due to a Galvalume Plus coating.

The SteelMaster standard carport has been used for traditional application such as car shelter, truck covers, RV and tractor coverage, and farm equipment protection.  However, the company has designed steel carports for a variety of custom applications including bus stops, tram covers, smoke shacks, metal walkway, and boat lifts.
What Would You Keep in Your Steel Building

For example, why does this 76-year-old man keep a fully functional, one-person helicopter inside of his steel building that sits in the backyard of his home in Tickfaw, LA?

The short answer is simple-building and flying helicopters are hobbies of his. The long answer is much more interesting and involves travel, intrigue, high flying adventures, duty to country, and loss.

As a young adult, the Marine Corps taught Abadie how to fly, and after his four years of service were finished in 1960, he knew he wanted to focus his career around flying. He was due to rotate back to the states before his discharge from his post in Okinawa, Japan, but he accepted an offer from the CIA to work for Air America, doing various covert operations during the next 15 years in places such as
Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. After the company disbanded in 1975, Abadie came home to Louisiana and finished earning his college degree in professional aviation.

From there he worked for various companies during the next two decades and lived in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Kwajalein Island, Abu Dhabi, and the Bahamas before returning to Louisiana where he retired in 1996.

“When it was time for me to retire, my wife and I were quite happy to come home to Louisiana and settle down here,” says Abadie. “Our three sons were grown and out of the house, so we were ready for a slower pace of life.”

When Abadie’s wife of 30 years died in 2007 after battling thyroid cancer for six months, he realized that the best thing he could do was keep his mind and hands busy, so returning to flying was the natural choice for him.

“I bought a helicopter kit and built a rotary wing gyrocopter, but I soon found out that it was too difficult to fly it out of my yard,” says Abadie. “I sold it and then built a Helicycle instead. I wanted to move it out of my garage, and that is when I bought my SteelMaster building. I wanted something durable and something easy to put up. SteelMaster was it.”

For more than 29 years, SteelMaster Buildings, which is located in Virginia Beach, VA, has manufactured, designed, and supplied pre-fabricated arched steel structures to 40,000 customers located in every state of the United States, in 40 countries, and on seven continents around the world.

“SteelMaster Aircraft Hangars provide clear span buildings that are both economical and durable, making the steel structures world-renowned in the field of aviation,” says Michelle Wickum, the company’s director of marketing. “The unique design of SteelMaster’s metal buildings allows spans up to 150 feet in width, with unlimited lengths. With no need for interior supports, people can maximize the use of the space in these steel Airplane Hangars. Whether you have a single, twin engine, or commercial jet, SteelMaster steel buildings can accommodate your needs.”

Now that Abadie has his own helicopter and a proper building to store it in, where does he want to travel?

“Out of all the places I have been, I’m more than content to just fly around here for fun,” says Abadie. “I’m comfortable here-Louisiana is where I belong.

Increase in Steel Salt Storage Buildings

Despite the warm weather here in Virginia Beach today, winter is just around the corner. As transportation officials prepare for the cold and snow, salt quickly becomes in high demand to keep the roads passable for travelers during the winter months. In fact, in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that approximately 11 million tons of salt are used on roadways throughout the U.S. every winter.

The salt is effective for two reasons. First, it helps prevent ice from forming in the first place as salt water freezes at a lower temperature than pure water. Second, the salt bits can help break up ice that has already formed. When a car or truck drives over the salt bits, the weight of the vehicle pushes them downward and backward. These physical forces crack and shatter the ice. The friction also melts the ice and snow, allowing more of the salt to dissolve.

Tennessee DOT Salt Storage ShedIn the past, highway departments stockpiled salt outdoors during the winter months. In recent years, environmentalists and scientists have determined that when a salt pile gets wet, the run-off finds its way into nearby streams and lakes or seeps into groundwater supplies. Because of this, salt must now be stockpiled indoors in industrial storage units.

For the Abbruzzese Brothers - a landscape management company in Hilliard, Ohio - and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the need for a salt storage unit led them to SteelMaster Buildings, a provider of steel buildings and roofing systems located in Virginia Beach, VA.

Their decision to use a steel building to store their salt was based on many factors. Steel does not rot, warp, shrink, or split, and it’s non-combustible. Steel is also easier to handle, stronger, and less expensive than any other common building material and weighs up to 60 percent less than wood members, which allows for easier transport and assembly.

Although salt is an extremely corrosive material, steel buildings manufactured by SteelMaster offer 100 percent usable space with a clear span arch design that eliminates beams and trusses, thus allowing for enough room to store a large, high pile of salt. The use of a stem wall foundation provides a raised platform for the walls, which helps create even more space for the salt, keeping it away from coming in contact with the steel structure. Flashing and gussets are also used to prevent the passage of water into the steel structure from any angle - an important component to help ensure that the salt stays dry, as dry salt is not nearly as corrosive as wet salt.

Anthony Moore and his brother Wayne own A & W Leasing Corporation in McKenzie, TN and have seven years experience utilizing SteelMaster steel buildings for salt storage through contracts awarded to them by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

In 2003, they bought six SteelMaster Buildings for TDOT and built them themselves, a process Anthony says was not difficult at all. “SteelMaster buildings are priced right, made of top-quality steel, and are easy to construct,” says Anthony. “Since we began building salt storage buildings for TDOT in 2003, we have put up eight SteelMaster buildings altogether for that purpose. Each building stores 2,200 tons of salt, and there is plenty of room for the dump trucks and front end loaders to get in there to dump the salt. I had a person from Pennsylvania call me back in August who was interested in buying a SteelMaster for the same purpose and wanted me to share my experiences with the buildings. I told him that we are very pleased with our eight salt storage units, as are the people at TDOT.”

Fabric Salt Storage Sheds - Times Photo by Lucy SchalySteel structures for salt storage are becoming even more popular due the recent problems with other types of structures. Last year, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that 112 of their 146 salt storage structures must be repaired or replaced. The Beaver County Times reported that the steel-framed, engineered fabric building vendor that sold the structures to PennDOT advised that their buildings so not be used during severe weather including snow, sleet and high winds, all common weather elements for Pennsylvania during the winter. The Harrisonburg Patriot News reported that PennDOT would be tearing down and replacing the 112 storage structures because they may be in danger of collapsing.

As opposed to other structures, SteelMaster’s steel buildings in particular remain maintenance free for a lifetime thanks to the company’s use of Galvalume Plus Coating which offers strength, superior corrosion resistance, and an attractive bright appearance that provides excellent heat reflectivity. Each SteelMaster Buildings also comes with a 30-year mill-backed warranty by ArcelorMittal (NYSE MT). A SteelMaster building’s strength also resists fire, earthquake, and hurricane damage. In the spring of 2010, SteelMaster launched its new models that are stronger, better, and cost less than anything else on the market. With these new models, customers benefit from a stronger design that allows for the buildings to withstand higher wind and snow loads in a lower gauge, which allows for significant cost savings.

With thousands of satisfied customers, including buildings located in every state in the U.S., on six continents, and in more than 40 overseas countries, SteelMaster takes pride in knowing its steel buildings have earned the favor of not only the Abbruzzese Brothers and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, but also the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard, Departments of Corrections, Transportation and Defense, FBI, Public Works, DEA, and the Army Corps of Engineers.