Business owners and consumers across the United States are constantly in search of that cost efficient outdoor storage solution. Fabric structures have become one of the most popular outdoor storage alternatives when compared to the traditional wood, sheet metal, or vinyl storage buildings. Common applications for these flexible fabric structures include equipment, industrial, vehicle, warehousing, and agricultural storage. In addition to the above uses, fabric structures are used by contractors, landscapers, utility companies, manufacturing companies, and government agencies for a variety of applications. Below are some highlights and details that we hope to find helpful to our customers regarding these beneficial outdoor storage shelters.
There are a number of advantages fabric structures offer when compared to conventional buildings. Cost, flexibility, and portability are a few of the benefits that need to be examined when considering a structure. When comparing the cost of a wood, vinyl, or metal shed, a woven polyethylene covered fabric structure is a fraction of the cost. This is especially true with larger fabric buildings when the cost gap widens significantly. Flexibility is another key benefit as these structures can be quickly constructed on any surface including concrete slabs, blacktop, dirt, gravel, and even wood post header walls for added height. In addition, these structures traditionally do not require permits for building approval, however, it is recommended to consult with local zoning agents prior to purchase. Portability is another significant advantage. Fabric buildings can be dis-assembled and constructed at another location rather quickly.
Fabric structure frames are manufactured from round structural steel tubing which offers a galvanized or painted finish for excellent corrosion resistance. Most manufacturers utilize swaged tubing for the frame design. Swaged tubing consists of two pipes in which the end of one pipe is “reduced” in diameter and inserts into another pipe of the original size. The two pipes are then fastened together using machine screws, bolts, or other fasteners. A variety of other fastening hardware such as brackets, connectors, and clamps are used to completely assemble the frame. The combination of the frame and components provides a rigid structure when completely assembled. Fabric structures are typically freestanding in nature which allows them to stand freely without the use of outside support. Although these structures are freestanding, anchors are required to secure to a mounting surface.
Fabric covers are manufactured from woven coated polyethylene which is heat welded at the seams for a water tight seal. Some manufacturers utilize poly vinyl chloride (PVC) for the protective fabric cover. Regardless of the cover material that is utilized, these materials can offer years of protection with proper care and very minimal maintenance. Covers are tensioned tightly to the frame utilizing a rugged tension system that uses ratchets and straps. Pockets are fused into the cover on both sides extending the length of the structure. Steel pipes are fastened together and inserted into the pockets on both sides of the fabric cover. Straps are wrapped around the steel galvanized pipe by carefully placing a slit into the pocket which has been welded to the inside of the cover. The straps are then inserted into durable ratchet buckles that are fastened to the bottom of the frame or wall the structure has been mounted on. Tightening the ratchet buckles places tension on the fabric cover in every direction. It is vital to keep the cover tight to the frame as this will provide for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Loose covers can cause water and debris “pooling” on the cover which can reduce it’s longevity. Colors options include green, white, tan, and gray. All fabric structure covers have white interiors for added inside illumination, however, the covers are not transparent.
Anchoring the fabric structure
Due to the basic design of fabric structures, it is important to properly secure it to the mounting surface. Steel auger or twist anchors are used for dirt, gravel, and asphalt type surfaces. The augers can be “twisted” into the dirt or buried upon completion of digging a hole in the dirt. Auger anchors can be fastened to the structure using cables, brackets, or turnbuckles. Most manufacturers require the anchors to be fastened to the inside of the structure. The majority of fabric buildings have flat base plates mounted on the bottom of each leg. Flat mounting plates provide “anti sink” characteristics when placed on soft or unstable surfaces such as dirt and gravel. Mounting base plates typically have predrilled holes which can be utilized to fasten the fabric structure to concrete pads, header walls, concrete blocks, and steel railings.
Most structures have fabric end panels and vertical steel end frame kits available for a completely enclosed structure. Steel end frame kits and panels typically have available door options such as steel doors which provide added durability and zipper panels for a cost efficient entry option. Entry doors are typically also available with the steel end frame kits. Depending on the model and design, a crank handle opener is available in situations where the zipper door height extends beyond the human reach.
Each product includes an easy to understand assembly manual. Smaller structures require common household tools such as wrenches, step ladders, cordless drill, and pliers. Larger structures typically require an extension lift or scaffolding in addition to the items mentioned above. If the information in this article is not sufficient, please contact us for additional details and a custom quote to fit your needs.
These units can be delivered directly to the customer via LTL freight. Products are shipped in boxes or wooden pallets depending on the model. We invite all prospective consumers to view our large selection of fabric structures which are conveniently listed by size and category on the site.