Cantilever Carports & Snow Loads

Absolute Steel’s diverse selection of commercial carport structures (most-commonly referred to in the industry as cantilever carports) makes it easy for you to select the right style for your property or project. More important, however, is what carport design is going to meet or exceed the Design Loads of your local building department. Form follows function – you need to make that determination first then look at styles or designs.

There’s a variety of load criteria that each environment/location has, it’s not just the snow load.  No matter where you are in the US, a building or structure’s integrity should address each of those elements. They are:

  • Building Code (applicable year)
  • Roof Live Load, Snow Load, Wind Speed & Exposure
  • Seismic Group & Design

Cantilever carports are broken into three main categories:

All have a single column design and can handle about any Wind Speed & Exposure. In fact, for a project in Puerto Rico our cantilever carports met Wind Speed requirements in excess of 160 mph sustained winds. Meeting Wind Speed requirements is usually just a matter of a deeper and sometimes wider concrete foundation to hold it down from the high winds.

If you are in serious snow country, IE exceeding 35 PSF, none of the above will work for you; when you have one post and a flat roof not allowing much runoff of snow, or even an accumulation of it, those two design elements have their limitations. For those areas we refer to as a heavy snow area we recommend you consider the  “Pi-Cantilever”.  Remember the Pi symbol you were taught in math class?  We named it after that symbol because the column layout resembles that symbol from a side view: π. This dual-post design is recommended for most anything over 35PSF snow loads.

Cantilever Carports & Snow Loads

Does this cost more? Yes it does and so do the footings/foundation that your building department may require.  To nail your costs down further, you need to talk to someone knowledgeable.


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