The tube steel carport industry has been booming. There has been so much demand that VersaTube Building Systems opened a new plant in Elkhart, Indiana, in early May 2020 to help meet that demand. “Establishing our roots in Elkhart was an easy decision for us to make. Not only is it a thriving manufacturing hub and the RV Capital of the World, but Elkhart offers an experienced workforce pool and puts us in closer proximity to the four major Menards Distribution Centers, giving us the opportunity to reduce lead and delivery times,” said company co-owner and vice president Bruce Ostrander. “We are proud of our new facility and look forward to building a strong, lasting presence within the community of Elkhart.”
VersaTube manufactures tube steel framed building kits that are assembled with a patented slip-fit connection system. The company sells directly to the consumer through its website, it sells limited product offerings through mass merchants like Lowes, Home Depot and Menards; it also sells through a network of dealer/distributors. Their product offering includes clear-span building kits measuring as little as 10’ wide by 7’ tall up to 60’ wide by 16’ tall. The length is unlimited. The true DIY kits are 10’-30’ wide; anything over 30’ wide becomes too heavy for two men to handle without lifting equipment.
Menards is one of the company’s biggest mass merchant customers. The retailer sells carport and building kits to its customers, sourcing the framing system from VersaTube, and coupling it with their sheet metal and trim, which Menards roll forms internally.
Throughout the pandemic, VersaTube has done well. Ostrander said with more people being at home with more time for DIY projects, there has been a lot of demand. “People are finding carports are what they want to put up. They’re a little less expensive, and they are easy for do-it-yourselfers to put up,” he said. “Single and double carports and garages are most in demand,” Ostrander said. “We’re doing more carports with Menards than anything.”
“Most end users are not able to erect a traditional post-frame or red iron building,” said Peyton Cascio, National Sales Manager for VersaTube. “But they are able to put up a VersaTube building due to its componentized design and interactive user guide that we provide with each building kit design,” he said. “It’s an instructional guide of how to erect it, identifying every component, and placement of that component within in the building kit. As well, any local contractor without prior experience with our product is qualified if the end user prefers to have someone else put it up.”