- Posted: March 12, 2021
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A carport doesn’t have to just be for your car. Carports can be a great idea to add storage and functionality to your property without much extra cost. Whether you want to DIY a simple carport or have someone else come in to install it, these creative carport storage ideas might make you consider getting one even if you don’t have a vehicle.
What is a Carport?A carport is a structure that generally has a fabric or steel roof with steel post supports. They are strong and sturdy, typically meant to hold up against rain and snow, and require very little maintenance. They can also provide good shade coverage for the summer months. Carports typically don’t include doors or walls, though some can be fitted with add-on wall kits. They provide overhead shelter and allow you to effectively protect anything that you can fit underneath from the elements. Depending on the type of carport you choose, you can also assemble them virtually anywhere. To learn more about carports, check out our what is a carport blog post.
Why Do You Need a Carport?Carports are incredibly versatile and useful, so they are great for any family looking for a little extra storage room in their home. Carports are great for keeping cars protected from the elements in all seasons, but even if you don’t have a car, they can still add value to your property and be incredibly useful for storing other outdoor equipment.
How Much Does a Carport Cost?If you’re willing to DIY your carport or get a kit that you construct yourself, you can find quality carports for under $900 like the free-standing Arrow Carport for $879.99. If you want a larger carport or to have it custom-made or preconstructed on your property, it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 or more. However, given the amount of coverage and value that the carport provides it might be well worth it especially in areas with extreme weather like hail or intense sun. Plus, because they do not require a foundation, most municipalities do not consider it taxable property so you won’t have to pay extra property tax if you get one. For specific details on taxes and permits for getting a carport in your area, we recommend checking with your local authorities for specific laws and policies because each place will be a little different.
Carport TypesThe two main types of carports that you can get are free-standing or wall-mounted carports but you can also choose different design types for sizes such as single bay, double bay, or tandem. Both free-standing and wall-mounted will provide coverage for your car or other outdoor storage needs, but have different benefits. Depending on your house location and structure and the surrounding outdoor space, you may find that one design is more desirable for your needs.
Free-StandingFree-standing carports are exactly what they sound like — they stand on their own without support from a pre-existing structure. These carports have four steel beams and are fully self-supported so you don’t need to worry about making sure you have space close to your house or garage to add it. Freestanding carports are best for when you have a lot of land on your property or know you want to be able to move your carport to different locations. Freestanding carports are typically the most versatile and open-aired option. Unlike wall-mounted carports, these will generally not have a wall on one side meaning they are fully open to the elements on all sides unless you specifically invest in a wall on one side.
Wall-MountedYou may know wall-mounted carports as lean-to or attached carports. These are linked to another building like a shed, garage, or home. The carport structure will typically have at least two supporting beams on the side away from the building so it can take on more weight in the case of heavy rain or snowstorm.
Single BayThese carports are simple, one-spot shelters for just enough room for one car. They can either be attached or free-standing.
Double BayDouble bay carports are large enough to allow for two cars to park under the carport next to each other.
TandemIf you want the space to cover two cars, but don’t need them to be next to each other, this option might be for you. A tandem carport has room for two cars to park one behind the other. This is ideal for properties with less space.
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is whether you’ll buy a metal carport or a fabric carport. Check out this blog post about the pros and cons of metal and fabric carports so you can make your decision with confidence.
Creative Carport IdeasProtecting your car is far from the only way you can use a covered carport. Check out some of these inventive carport ideas that are actually attractive and useful.
Patio or Deck CoveringCreate a modern outdoor kitchen under an attached carport for year-round coverage and a comfortable place to host friends and family in the fresh air. Even if you don’t want to construct a whole new outdoor kitchen, you can also use a carport as a freestanding patio cover further away from the house as well. With larger carport options, you can have a large space even in the winter months that can be fully protected and available for you to use outside. The carport will also protect patio furniture, your grill, and other outdoor comforts that you enjoy on the patio.
Backyard Picnic PavilionSimilar to the patio covering, you can also use a carport to cover a picnic table or eating space. Along with practical coverage, this can look stylish and is ideal for summer lunches to avoid overheating or sunburns.
Cover Playground EquipmentUse an extra tall carport to cover a small play structure or move sandboxes and other potable playground equipment under a standard carport to shield it from rain and snow. In the summer months, this can also be a great place to let your kids play without any worry of sunburn.
Outdoor Meeting Area...Is your workspace starting to feel a little cramped? Do you want the luxury of holding your in-person and virtual meetings outside in the fresh air? A carport-covered outdoor meeting space is just the thing you need. Set up a seminar table or some comfortable chairs to create a charming, business-read
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Looking to store and protect your vehicles without constructing an add-on garage to your home? When you need unmatched durability and protection from the elements...
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If you need an extra space to store your items or vehicles, and you're unsure of the advantages of a carport vs. garage, look no further. Both carports and garages offer convenient and practical added space to store cars, tractors, or other motor-powered equipment - but both structures are different. In fact, there are several factors to consider when choosing between a carport and a garage including what you need to store, your space limitations, and where you plan to use your unit. Find out more about these distinct structures, and which will be the best option for you.
What Is a Garage?A garage is a completely enclosed building with walls, roofing, and a doorway or entrance. Speaking strictly about detached garages, they are typically made of fabric or steel and can be portable* or permanently fixed. A detached garage can be secured with a lock and key, making your items less vulnerable to theft. Both fabric garages and metal garages are easy to assemble and conveniently use on multiple outdoor surfaces. A portable fabric garage is both useful and convenient. They are constructed with sturdy steel frames and ripstop-tough covers that are built to last. A portable garage is a multi-functional storage unit that you can use to keep anything from garden tools to small vehicles. A portable garage also offers flexibility: you can move it from your driveway to your backyard and back again, depending on your needs.
LEARN MORE: Are fabric garages durable? Do fabric garages resist fire? How do I clean my fabric garage? The answers to these questions, and more, can be found in our Fabric Buildings FAQs. Learn More →Metal garages are designed to stay put. They can be used at the end of a driveway or anchored to a concrete slab. They have traditional pull-up garage doors for easy access to your vehicles and other stored items.
COMPARISON: Fabric Garage vs. Metal Garage
Garage-in-a-Box ShelterTube SOJAG Everest Frame Material Steel frame with a powder-coated finish, which prevents chipping, peeling, rust, and corrosion Heavy duty square-tube frame with a powder coated finish for extra protection Made with top-of-the line galvalume steel: an aluminum, zinc, and silicone plated steel for exceptional corrosion resistance. Cover Material Triple-layer, ripstop Polyethylene cover is waterproof and UV-treated Upgradable cover options available: choose from Heavy Duty 14.5 oz, and Ultra Duty 21.5 oz. ripstop-tough waterproof covers Tough, unique all-steel panel profile design reinforces the overall strength and stability of the garage Accessibility Includes a zippered door and a solid back panel Front and back zipper doors for drive-through access Traditional roll-up front door and wide, secured rear door for easy access Size Options Choose from our standard 12 ft. wide Garage-in-a-Box, 18 ft. wide double Garage-in-a-Box, or the Garage-in-a-Box SUV available in either 11 ft. or 13 ft. widths Configurable shelters available in an array of size options. ShelterTube are sturdy 12 ft. wide shelters that can be configured in lengths between 20 ft. to 100 ft. Configurable garages available in an variety of sizes. Choose from a wide range of size options in 12 ft. wide garages. Can be ordered in lengths up to 100 ft. What We Like Best Can be used as a permanent backyard shelter, or moved from one location to another based on your needs*. Our Garage-in-a-Box units have been designed for easy set up and take down as needed. Easy assembly, portable and heavy-duty. ShelterTube are tough, wind and snow rated shelters available at a great price. Wind speed ratings of 80 mph, and a snow/ground load rating of 43 PSF.** Stylish and modern design made to reliably store and shelter your items. A durable, all-steel wind and snow rated steel garage with a snow load of 35 PSF and a wind speed rating of up to 100 MPH** Learn More Learn More Learn More
Where Can You Use a Garage?Detached fabric garages and metal garages can be used for a variety of storage needs at home, your business, and within the community.
Increase Your Storage Space at HomeNaturally, a fabric garages or metal garages are the perfect at-home protection for the vehicle you drive every day. But you can use a portable garage for a variety of household purposes. They are practical for storing heavy equipment such as walking mowers, ride-on mowers, and snow blowers. They also make great a workshop space for the do-it-yourself Dad: you can include a ShelterShelf in your fabric garage or shelving kits in your steel garage to keep tools and other equipment within reach. Garages can be used as a get-away, too: they make great man caves, playrooms, she sheds, and more.
The anchor you choose may depend on your foundation! Our anchor guide provides customers with useful recommendations to help them choose the anchor that’s best for their storage structure. See the Guide →
Add Additional Storage to Your Work SpaceA portable garage can also be used as office space for your small business, warehouse space for carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and more to store parts, and for landscapers and contractors to store snowplows, landscaping equipment, power tools, and more. Handymen and carpenters can also use a portable garage as workshop space to make repairs, cut tile and wood, and more.
Reliable Storage for the CommunityFrom the highway department to the parks and recreation department, there are many ways that a community can use a portable garage. Fabric garage or metal garages can be used by the highway department to store small trucks, maintenance vehicles, and other heavy equipment when it’s not the season. Parks and recreation departments can use them to store sports equipment, machinery used to line and maintain fields, and more.
What Is a Carport?A carport is a semi-covered structure that typically consists of a fabric or steel roof supported by steel posts. These strong and sturdy open-style structures are very low maintenance and complete any outdoor space. Carports come in a variety of styles and may include attached carports (similar to a lean-to carport), or freestanding carports that can be assembled virtually anywhere. Depending on the material of your carport, it may offer a level of protection against rain, snow, ice, and UV exposure. Let’s check out these options:
Monarc Patio Cover/Carport Arrow Carport Frame Material Steel frame with a powder coated finish Vinyl coated heavy duty galvanized steel Steel tube frame with a premium powder coating Cover Material Ripstop-tough polyethylene cover Vinyl coated heavy duty galvanized steel Built-to-last painted galvanized steel Ease of Assembly Easy to assemble DIY assembly Easy to build straight out of the box Footprint/size Comes in 9 X 16 ft. and 10 x 18 ft. options Available in 10 x 10 ft. and 10 x 20 ft. options Customizable in 5 ft. increments from 10 ft. to 20 ft. wide and from 15 ft. to 100 ft. long What we like best Nice-looking portable canopy for the driveway or backyard and complements most home finishes and backyard aesthetics Use as a traditional carport to adequately keep vehicles covered, or attach it to your home for added outdoor shade Versatile: great for sheltering vehicles at home or providing shade and protection anywhere outdoors: the home, office, or municipality Learn More Learn More Learn More
Where Can You Use a Carport?Carports are easy to assemble and use just about anywhere, require minimal maintenance, and provide a simple shade and storage solution with plenty of benefits for everyone. There are several ways you can use a carport at home, at your business, or in a community setting:
Carport for the HomeA carport can be placed on your driveway, patio, or backyard space to help protect your vehicle from Mother Nature when you don’t have an option to store a vehicle indoors. Instead of exposing your car, truck, or boat to potential exterior damage, a carport will provide protection from rain, sleet, snow, and sun. But carports are so much more than just a vehicle storage solution. Carports can provide an attractive shade or awning over your deck, patio, yard, and more. These structures are versatile and attractive enough to incorporate into your outdoor space without looking bulky or unnatural.
A Carport for WorkWhether you work outdoors or in an office, there are many ways that you can use a carport. Contractors can use a carport to create an outdoor workspace. Whether you work on cars or in construction, a carport can provide a shaded and weather-protected workspace for your outdoor endeavor. A carport can give your business location or an office park a much-needed shaded area where employees can enjoy their lunch, coffee breaks, or host an office party outdoors.
A Carport in the CommunityFrom apartments and condos to parks and schools, a carport can serve a variety of community uses. Carports can be used to provide shade at parks, beaches, schools, and residential communities. For example, carports can be used to shelter picnic pavilions, playground equipment, and spectator seating areas. They can also be used in private and public parking lots to create protected parking areas. Whether at schools, parks, airports, or on city sidewalks, municipalities can also use carports to shelter bus stops and other transportation pick-up and drop-off areas.
Carports vs. Garages: Factors to ConsiderNow that you understand what each structure consists of and can be used for, let’s look at some key factors and benefits each structure provides to find the best options based on your needs:
Carports Garages Uses Use a carport for shelter over your deck and patio, outdoor workspace, as a DIY pavilion, and more. Both garages and carports make great shelter or storage solutions for more than just vehicles. A portable garage is great for equipment protection, bulk storage, or offseason gear storage. Both metal and fabric garages make great workspaces. Protection and Durability While carports offer a more open-style structure, they can still provide vehicles with a level of protection against rain, snow, ice, or sun exposure. Based on structure style alone, a garage typically offers more coverage, concealment, and protection of your vehicles. Durable metal garages include lockable doors for ultimate theft protection. Property Lines and Space Available If you live in a trailer park, apartment, or anywhere property lines may be tight, your best option may be a carport. A carport can be anchored to the f
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Aside from your home, your car is probably one of your most expensive and valuable investments. Without proper protection, you expose that investment to weather...