Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about tension fabric structures.

Feel free to reach out to us with any additional questions.

What are tension fabric buildings?

A fabric building consists of durable fabric which is stretched across steel ribs. The fabric has tensile strength, which causes the building to be stable and durable. 

Galvanized steel is the optimal framing material for fabric structures. The frame is enclosed by a tension fabric material made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or poly ethylene (PE).

Ideal uses for tension fabric buildings?

Tension fabric buildings are ideal for keeping your personnel, equipment, supplies and various other items out of the weather. They are clear span, meaning your usable storage space area will be unobstructed from poles, beams, etc. that are often required for other types of buildings.  

Various uses include:  vehicle garage, equipment and machinery storage, sports & recreation, aviation, environmental, government, hospitality & conventions, manufacturing, jobsite warehouse, mineral storage, mining, oil & gas, ports, and warehousing & storage.

What are the advantages of a fabric roof vs a steel roof?

The main advantages of fabric roof systems include speed of construction, less maintenance, and the interior environment inside the building in comparison to steel or metal roof systems. Fabric roof systems are installed within days. That is a fraction of the time when compared to the time it takes a steel or metal roof to be installed. That speed of installation saves on operating delays, labor costs, and overall project timelines. Fabric covers offer good lifespans and require less maintenance. Heavy duty PVC fabric covers are known to last for up to 15+ years, with no repair or replacement required if kept tensioned and maintained. Fabric covers let in plenty of natural daylight, saving on utility costs. They improve ventilation and airflow, are non-corrosive, and have UV protection.

What are the tax benefits fabric buildings?

If the building is purchased, the potential write-off per year is significantly higher when compared to conventional steel buildings. Because the building is able to be relocated, it can be leased with lease payments being fully written off. The entire upfront cost is tax deductible, no need to depreciate over 30
years like most buildings. Additionally, your concrete or base material, as well as installation expenses are also deductible. In addition, depending upon your jurisdiction, the portability of the structure and the modular nature of the construction may preclude the structure itself from causing an increase in your real estate tax assessment.  Of course, this varies greatly from one state or municipality.  Your accountant will be your best source of information as to which of these benefits will work for you.

Can I get a permit to build a tension fabric building?

As early in the process as possible, contact your city or county building department to find out what permits are required. It is important to note that requirements vary from city to city. 

The temporary nature of fabric buildings often excludes them from building permit requirements and tax obligations. It is however always best to check your local regulations prior to building.

Key factors in price comparisons?

The 3 factors to consider when comparing prices are:

  • The type and thickness of the fabric.
  • Distance between the arch frames
  • Whether it is a single pipe or dual truss style frame.

How long do they last?

A fabric building’s strength and durability comes down to its materials, proper installation, and proper maintenance, as well as mild vs harsh weather environments. 

The steel frame should last 20+ years, while the covers vary based upon the fabric.
Here’s an estimated lifespan of fabric before it starts to wear and may need replaced:

  • 10.5/11 oz. PE:  3-5 years
  • 15 oz PVC:   6-8 years
  • 20/21 oz PVC: 7-10 years
  • 30/32 oz PVC: 10-15 years

Can you relocate the buildings?

While it is possible to move the fabric buildings from one location to another easily, buildings should remain anchored at all times when in use.

Are there foundation requirements?

The location, climate, and applicational use for a fabric building will determine the appropriate options for its foundation. Fabric buildings can be secured to variety of foundations, providing the ground is relatively level and flat. Concrete, wood, and gravel/earth pad foundations are common, but a fabric structure can also be secured directly into the ground using an assortment of anchoring systems. Some of the most popular anchoring systems include spikes, duckbill earth anchors, lag bolts, concrete wedge anchors, and ballast bars for weight anchors. Bracing with these materials will provide the building with multidimensional strength to counteract tension.


Temporary foundation options are typically quicker and easier to install, and after disassembly and removal, will leave no lasting trace on the land. 

Permanent foundation options will stand the test of time and provide you with the most stable and long-lasting fabric buildings.

Recommended types of foundation materials:

  • Level asphalt, gravel, or Earth
  • Wood platforms
  • Concrete
  • Intermodal Shipping Containers (ISO), or Conex Boxes
  • Precast concrete blocks

How long does it take to install?

Most structures can be installed in 2-3 days and require 4 to 6 laborers. Site and conditions, as well as size of structure play a major role in determining the number of laborers and equipment needed.  Instruction manuals and all hardware needed is provided in the building crate.

SOLID WHITE COVER....why is that important?

The solid white cover is very important because the colored (usually green) ends on most of these storage buildings being offered for sale is a weak point in the cover.  The colored ends do not have the same ability to withstand UV rays as the solid white.  We have received report after report from previous owners of hail penetrating the colored ends, but not the main white part.....reports of the cover tearing at the seam where it transitions to the colored end.....& we have personally noticed excessive fading of the colored ends which can lead to premature failure of the cover.

PE vs PVC fabric

Both (PE) polyethylene and PVC are waterproof, but PVC is more so. Additionally, PVC is much more fire-resistant than polyethylene because the chlorine atoms it releases during a fire inhibit the process of combustion. Poly vinyl (PVC) is made from the polymerizing of vinyl chloride monomer. Additional stabilizers and plasticizers are added to increase its light and heat resistant properties and increase its elasticity. These properties make PVC suitable for various industrial applications. PVC fabric is durable and designed to last a long time - up to 30 years. PVC fabric is thicker than PE fabric, weighing between 20-28 ounces psf. Compared to PE, PVC fabric has a higher tear strength, making it a popular choice for buildings that are exposed to high UV rays, strong winds and other extreme conditions. PE fabric is a lighter type of architectural fabric, commonly weighing 12 to 15 ounces psf, with a shorter lifespan than PVC. PE fabric does self-clean very well when it rains and it is about 5% more light translucent than PVC.

What are the wind and snow ratings?

A wind and snow rated building is a fabric building that has been tested to withstand the power of wind and the pressure of snow up to a specific MPH/PSF. A certified wind and snow rated building has been tested and certified to meet provisions of the ASCE.  *Our Covermore buildings have not been certified.

How far apart to space the shipping containers for the container shelters?

The installation manuals show these measurements for our Covermore brand:

Covermore 2020/2040:  19 ft., 1 inch
Covermore 2640: 25 ft., 4 inches
Covermore 4040: 38 ft., 6 inches
Covermore 4040, dual truss: 37 ft., 8 inches

What are my door options (roll-up vs winch)?

Most of our smaller buildings offer a roll up door either with zippers or velcro. As you go up in size, some buildings offer upgraded crank winch doors.
Improved Winch Door Systems

Usually, the first thing that gets damaged on these building systems are the large roll-up doors.  Instead of a large flap of material that hangs down, the winch door has rails similar to that of a garage door that helps keep the door flap centered and stabilized so the winds don't blow on the door as much, ultimately causing damage.  This door system will allow you to easily roll the door up a few feet or half way and not worry about a large gust of wind causing damage.  The standard roll up door style can sustain damage if not secured properly.  This upgraded winch style door system on both ends increases the price, but is going to save you a lot of heart-ache and frustration and is going to ultimately last much longer.

Do you make custom size fabric structures?

Yes, we are able to make some custom sizes. However, due to manufacturing time, the lead time can be as long as 4-6 months. We require 50% down payment and the remainder when shipped

Cleaning, maintenance and snow build up?

Fabric buildings can be cleaned using a soft sponge without hard edges, water, and a mild dish soap. Harsh chemicals, astringent, or corrosive substances should not be used in cleaning your building and can damage the fabric material of your fabric building.

The tension should be checked every few months to ensure there is no “sagging” of material in between the arches. 

In the event of buildup, snow can be easily removed by tapping on the building's ceiling from the inside.

Customer Testimonials

What Our Customers Say


“The 30x65, 15 oz PVC replacement cover handles the weather much better, it is warmer. We would recommend this cover. It made a different building out of it.”

Jeff N. – SD

This 20×40 shelter has been a huge success for our team. It was actually used at our first project, taken down and transported to our next project and is still being used today.
It’s worked out great – highly recommend

Jake B., Project Engineer, MO

We were looking for a way to provide a covered space with lockable storage to keep our RV under while we built our house. We constructed our roof kit that we purchased from Covermore Buildings onto two 40′ shipping containers and it’s been great! We’ve been under this roof for almost a year now, and it’s held up well with no tears, rips, or any noticeable wear.

It’s worked out great – highly recommend

Ed S., Paola, KS

"I don’t have this up yet but I feel compelled to let everyone know about the purchasing process. These folks are the very definition of customer service. I live about 400 miles from Covermore Shelters so everything was done over the phone and by email. The staff was very helpful and helped me with shipping costs by allowing me to come and pick it up. When I arrived at Covermore the staff was ready for me, got me loaded right away and then took the time to show me how everything went together. They actually use these buildings for their operation so that really gave me confidence that I had made the right decision. I don’t think you can go wrong by purchasing one of these buildings from Covermore Shelters."

Michael N. – TX

“Let me say I love the Covermore Cover!! We have high winds here with no problems, it is so secure. We also have cold weather, and the roof is great!! I am 66 years years old and put this top on in a day and a half, so easy to install! It was put to good use. Thank you again for a great job on helping with the purchase and getting my cover so easy and fast”

Duane S. – NV