Rain. Snow. Hail. Bird poop. The sky may look pretty from time to time, but it is no friend to your car. And that’s not to mention the sun. If you’ve noticed the way the sun can dry out and prematurely age your skin, just imagine what it’s doing to the paint job on your car. That cherry red color you loved in the showroom won’t be half as attractive once it’s a pale mottled pink. Cars, like people, need protection from the worst the weather can throw at them.
Once you start thinking about it, the benefits of a car shelter quickly become apparent. If you live in a cold climate, wouldn’t it be nice not to have to sweep snow off your car every morning? If you live somewhere hot, think about how much cooler your vehicle will stay on sunny days. If you have a lot of trees, imagine not having to constantly wash bird droppings off your vehicle before they eat through the paint. A carport can do wonders to protect your car from the elements. The car you drive says a lot about you. Look after yours, and keep it looking new for longer.
Why Having a Carport is better than Building a Garage?
There are several benefits of choosing a carport over a traditional garage when it comes to protecting your car. We have broken them down like its 1991:
There is nothing cheap about building a garage. The simplest one-car type can cost you $10,000, and a larger model could be more like $20,000 or more. Ouch.
Compared to a garage, even a high-end carport is ridiculously cheap. You could spend $2-$3000 and be done, or spend significantly less on a more basic model.
If you have the skills, you may want to build your own garage. Otherwise, you’ll be hiring a contractor. Either way, expect to spend many hours of your free time on this project. However you choose to go about it; it’s going to be a weekend-consuming slog until it’s done.
On the other hand, you could build a carport yourself in a single day. Or you could hire someone to do it, and have it done within a few hours. No wiring or lighting or heating or digging required.
Permits and Regulations
Depending on your legal jurisdiction, you may find you can’t simply build a garage on your property. Before you know it, you’ll be up to your eyeballs in red tape. You’ll need planning permission, building permits, schematics, environmental assessments – satellites have been put into orbit with less paperwork than some local authorities will ask of you.
Carports, however, are not seen as living space, so they do not need to conform to the same standards used for constructing homes. Therefore, the guidelines are less stringent, and most of the cities do not require any kind of planning or paperwork whatsoever.
Unlike a garage, a carport can also be moved and used as a canopy for events like BBQs and weddings. It can also go with you if you move house.
A garage looks imposing and can make your space look smaller, especially when it is constructed along with the house, as an addition. It can easily ruin the aesthetic beauty of your house.
On the other hand, a carport can enhance the beauty of your house as it comprises an open structure and thus, doesn’t look very heavy with your house. You can also decorate it with hanging or potted plants, wind chimes, fairy lights, etc., to add more charm to its appearance.
What to Look for When Buying a Carport
If you’re sold on the benefits of a car shelter, you may already be browsing for the best one online. But slow your roll there: there’s a little more you need to think about. Here are a few suggestions inspired by WOE Magazine on what to look for when choosing a carport:
Think carefully about what you will be using your carport for. There’s no sense in purchasing a carport that’s 15 feet long when your vehicle is 20. Leaving half your car hanging out of the shelter not only defeats the purpose of sheltering the car in the first place, but it also ensures your neighbors will be having a good laugh at your expense.
Also, make sure your carport is big enough to open the car doors once inside. You don’t want to have to climb in and out of your sunroof every time you want to go somewhere.
Are you trying to protect one car or two? Is it only cars you’ll be storing, or do you have other possessions that will benefit from being protected by a carport? (Mowers, tools, kid’s toys – the options are almost endless). All of these considerations will affect not only the size of the carport you require but also the style.
Snow has a way of accumulating and adding a lot of weight to any structure it lands on. You’ll need to consider this if you live in a climate that gets a lot of snow. Likewise, rain presents its own challenges. People living in the wetter parts of the world need to think about how all that water is going to be directed off their roof and away from the house.
Those whose real enemy is the sun will have different requirements again. Understand the challenges that the weather creates for you, and choose a style of carport that takes account of the climate where you are.
Permanent vs. Portable
For the ultimate in durability, you will want a permanent carport. Fixed in place, these are solid structures that will last for years. And because they are permanent, they can be custom made to fit in with the aesthetics of your home so that they look like part of the building.
Portable carports are cheaper and are exempt from any planning permission. They are also far easier to set up. They can be moved around and used for purposes other than vehicle storage, providing shelter wherever it is needed. But they don’t look as nice or last as long as permanent ones. Think about your needs before you decide what type is best for you.
Before you fall foul of some obscure law from 1796, it’s a good idea to check with your local authority as to what kind of permits you may need. Carports are often classified as temporary structures which are therefore exempt from the need for planning permission, but not always.
Printing off this article and waving it around in court will not be much of a defense if you get into a fight with city hall. Make sure your carport is allowed to be built before you spend any money on it.
Carports – even relatively substantial permanent ones – are simple structures, and it’s entirely possible to set them up yourself. But when deciding on what kind of car shelter to buy, think about how and where you plan to set it up. What looks like a great deal might not be once you factor in the cost of the time it takes to set it up.
Summing it up
Carports are a great way to protect your car without the expense and hassle of a full-scale garage. Your car is one of the most expensive items you may ever buy, and it makes sense to try and protect it as much as possible from damage. A carport offers a way to do that at a price that’s far more realistic for most of us.
The benefits of this method of vehicle storage make it well worth spending the money on a car shelter. Hopefully, this article has given you some great information about carports and also ideas on what to look for when choosing a carport. Proceed with total confidence and find the carport that’s just right for you.
Conor Twomey has been a gearhead ever since he was doodling cars on the last page of his notebook in school, something he continues to do till date. He doesn’t just ‘like’ or ‘love’ cars; he eats/sleeps/breathes cars. He is also a complete nomad and prefers the open road to being cooped up in an office or at home. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram.
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