What is a Carport?

These days, vehicles are expensive, and it’s important to protect your investment by safeguarding your vehicle from the elements. Those who have the luxury of having a garage built into their homes might not need to worry about it, but for the rest of us, a carport is a great investment.

This article will go over what a carport is, the benefits of owning a carport, the different types of carports on the market, and what you should look for when buying a new or used carport.

What is a Carport?

A carport is a structure that typically features a roof supported by beams or posts. There are a few different types of carports, and we will go over those in a minute, but for now, just know that a carport is an outdoor structure that protects your vehicle from the elements; it's like an outdoor garage without the door.

The Benefits of Buying a Carport

If you don’t have a garage, then there are many benefits of buying a carport. Not only can a carport protect your vehicle from wind, rain, snow, and UV rays, but it can also increase the value of your home and provide a versatile space for storage or other purposes. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of having a carport so that you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

What is a CarportWhat is a Carport

Carports Can Protect Your Vehicle from the Elements

The biggest benefit of having a carport is that it provides a good amount of protection against the elements so that your vehicle is much less likely to be damaged by the forces of nature. Of course, extreme weather events can still damage your vehicle, but that’s true of vehicles in garages also. That said, for the most part, carports do protect your vehicle from the following things:

Rain

Heavy rain can damage your vehicle in a number of ways. Not only can heavy rain damage your vehicle's paint, but it can also cause rust, and in the worst-case scenario, water can even cause mechanical problems, such as when water gets into the crankcase, compromising vital engine and transmission fluids.

With a carport, you won't have to worry when a thunderstorm blows in; you'll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is covered and protected from the rainfall.

Snow

Like water, snow can also cause significant damage to a vehicle. Snow causes rust which can make your vehicle unattractive, and fixing rust damage can be time-consuming and is therefore very costly. Snow can also cause damage to your windshield, requiring expensive repairs.

A carport will prevent the bulk of the snow from ending up on top of your vehicle, which can prevent damage and save you a ton of money on costly repairs every winter.

Hail

Although hailstorms are not a frequent occurrence in most places, they do nevertheless happen on occasion, and it only takes one hailstorm to badly damage your vehicle. Hailstones can smash your windshield, rendering the vehicle unsafe to operate, and in some cases, hail can even dent your car severely, requiring extensive bodywork that won't be cheap.

Other than a garage, a carport is the best way to protect your vehicle from falling hail. Because the carport is covered, the hailstones will hit the roof of the carport rather than damaging your vehicle.

UV Rays

Another important benefit of carports is that they protect your vehicle from the suns' damaging UV rays, which can severely discolor your vehicle's paint and even destroy the roof by causing dents and cracks to appear.

A carport can shield your vehicle from the worst of the sun's damaging rays, protecting your paint job and preserving the integrity of your vehicle’s roof.

Carports Can Increase the Value of Your Home

Although weather protection is certainly a major benefit of having a carport, it is not the only reason to consider investing in one. A carport can significantly increase the resale value of your home because interested buyers will see the value in being able to protect their vehicles or even turning the carport into another type of space, such as a storage space or outdoor room.

Carports Are a Versatile Storage Solution

Many people who do have garages built into their homes still buy carports; only instead of using them to protect their vehicles, they instead use the carport for a different purpose. Carports make fantastic gazebos, given that they provide a good amount of shade and relief from the sun. A carport is also a great way to go if you want to set up an outdoor workshop, studio space, or storage solution.

Carports Are More Affordable than Garages

Paying to have a new garage built into your home is likely to be prohibitively expensive and may not even be possible due to zoning laws in your city. On the other hand, a carport is a much less expensive alternative that can still provide a great deal of protection for your vehicle at a fraction of the price that it would cost to install a new garage. Consider the amount of money you'll save on vehicle repairs by installing a carport; over time, the carport will practically pay for itself.

What is a Carport?What is a Carport?

The Different Types of Carports

There are a few different types of carports on the market, and each one can be a great solution; which type is best really just depends on your unique situation. Let's take a look at the most common types of carports so that you can see the benefits of each type and determine which carport will be perfect for you.

Metal Carports

As far as carports go, metal carports are the most durable, longest-lasting, and offer the most protection for your vehicle. A metal carport will be able to withstand much more stress than a fabric carport making a metal carport the preferred choice in areas that get a lot of rainfall or otherwise have long winters with large volumes of snow. Although a metal carport will be more expensive than a fabric carport, it will last much longer and will probably be a better value over time.

Fabric Carports

Fabric carports still offer a good deal of protection from the elements and provide all of the other benefits that come with having a carport. Indeed, a fabric carport will not be as strong or durable as a metal carport, but a fabric carport will still protect your vehicle, increase the value of your home, and offer a flexible storage space for whatever you need it to be.

Open Sided Carports

Both metal and fabric carports come in a few different varieties, namely those with walls and those without. Carports that have walls are, of course, more expensive, but they also provide additional protection making them well worth the investment for those with expensive vehicles or who otherwise need extra privacy.

Open-sided carports, on the other hand, do not have any walls and are instead supported by beams or posts attached to the roof of the carport; this is convenient when going from your car to your house in the rain as it prevents you from getting soaked on your way to the door.

Attached Carports

Another type of carport is the attached carport, which is pretty much what it sounds like; it's a carport that is directly attached to your house. Attached carports are among the most convenient as they are almost like having a garage. Attached carports also help protect your car from burglars or other would-be criminals; because the carport is so close to your home, it will be an unattractive target for those who would break into or steal the vehicle.

What to Look for When Buying a Carport

Aside from the different types of carports that we've already looked at, there are a few other things that you should consider before buying a carport. Let's take a closer look at two of the most important considerations that you should always check for before investing your hard-earned money in a carport.  

Understanding Wind and Snow Load Ratings

One of the most important considerations when buying a carport is how resilient it will be to wind and snow. Metal carports generally include a wind rating and a snow load rating; these ratings indicate how much wind the carport can resist and how much snow it can support before becoming compromised. Higher ratings indicate more durability in the face of wind and snow.

So, if you live in an area that gets a lot of snowfall or frequently gets high wind speeds, then it’s worth investing in a carport that will have high ratings in these categories. Also, keep in mind that fabric carports do not have wind or snow load ratings because fabric carports are not intended to withstand heavy windspeeds or snowfalls.

When in doubt, go with an all-steel carport; this type of carport will, in most cases, be the highest rated for wind and snow load.

A Carport is a Great Investment

If you want to protect your vehicle from the elements, increase your homes value, deter would-be car thieves and criminals, or set up a unique, versatile outdoor space on your property, then a carport is a great investment. not only can a carport save you money over time by preventing costly repairs, but it can also significantly increase the attractiveness of your home.