A carport is an excellent investment for many property owners. It creates a space outdoors where you can provide at least some protection for our belongings. With several size options and designs available, these are more functional than many realize. The investment in one needs to be made carefully if you aim to ensure you are buying a high-quality carport that fits your needs and your property well.
If you are considering a carport, take some time to compare a few different options available to you here. You will find we offer a range of products including several brands designed to meet most needs.
What Is a Metal Carport?
The first step is to consider the basics. What is a metal carport? Why are they often a good investment for property owners? Most vehicles today are very expensive, but you may not have a garage space dedicated to them. A carport is a solution to this problem.
A carport is a structure that typically features a roof with beams to frame out the interior. It stands on posts that typically are open-air, meaning carports are not fully enclosed. The amount of coverage on the sides is dependent on the type of carport you purchase. Many will not have any way to close them up permanently unless you make significant changes to them.
Carports are designed to be outdoor storage spaces. They can provide a lot of benefits to owners who want a way to protect their vehicle or other items from UV rays, snow, rain, and wind, though they are not watertight and they do not provide safety features.
It is also important to point out that these carports are made of metal. Though there are different types of metal available, some of the best are made from high-quality steel. This adds a level of durability to the structure, ensuring that you do not have to worry about it blowing over or something striking the roof and the structure collapsing.
It is possible to purchase fabric carports. These are designed to provide the same type of coverage, but they are not as durable or as reliable in high winds and other conditions. As outdoor storage solutions, carports can be an excellent option no matter what the material is. Steel and other metals just tend to be more reliable overall.
How Is a Metal Carport Different from a Garage?
There are a few significant differences to keep in mind. A metal carport is certainly a strong and durable structure, but it is not enclosed. As a result of this, the sides of it are open air. That means that, unlike a garage, you cannot just close them up and know that your belongings within them are protected. There is no way to completely secure your vehicles or other items stored in a carport because of this.
A garage is a more enclosed structure with three walls and a door to close it up. Many times, this is the ideal way to store anything because it can be watertight, secure, and protective from most of the elements. That’s different from a carport.
While a carport may not be the same as a garage, it is certainly a highly functional tool that you definitely want to keep in mind. It has a very different purpose. Whereas a garage is more likely to help you with the security of your belongings, a carport is more about a layer of protection outdoors.
If you think you may need more of a garage style storage option, but you do not want to invest in the building of an actual garage, you may want to consider a steel carport. You can then transform this freestanding carport into an enclosed area, providing a far higher level of support for you with more all-around protection. You can do this using a carport enclosure. It is a bit more expensive, but it is less costly than investing in a new garage structure. If you plan to do this, be sure you buy a high-quality product that can properly handle the upgrade.
There are a lot of reasons to choose a carport kit over building a garage. That includes lower costs, more ability to move it later if you need to do so, and better placement with fewer restrictions in many areas. If you move, you can likely take it with you, too.
What Kind of Metal Are Carports Made Of?
Metal carport options range widely. When choosing a carport, always use the highest quality of metal possible that fits within your budget. You can find carports made of aluminum and other affordable metals, but these do not provide the same level of protection as a steel carport can offer you. If you live in an area where there is not a lot of wind or heavy snow, you can get away with having a lower quality of metal for your carport.
However, for most people, it helps to have a higher quality. Rain, sleet, hail, wind, and snow are all going to work against your carport's roof. If it is not made of strong enough steel, that can cause the roof to collapse onto whatever is below it. That could be your valuable vehicle.
When choosing, look for those that offer 29-gauge galvanized steel. This is going to offer ample protection, including wind speeds up to 100 miles per hour and snow loads that are much as 35 pounds per square foot (be sure to check the specific ratings of any type of roofing structure you buy as they can differ).
Where Can You Put a Metal Carport?
The next consideration when it comes to purchasing a carport is where you will put it. This may seem like a simple answer, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Space: How much space do you want to dedicate to the carport? It's important to visualize this. Take a closer look at your property. Imagine having the entire area you are considering blocked off. Where is the best location to place it on your property that gives you as much access to your property as possible?
HOAs: If you have a homeowners association, it is critical to speak to them first before investing in carports. Many will restrict the use of these while others allow them but may limit where you put them, such as requiring you to place them out of view or behind the front face of the home. Know the rules before you invest in a carport you cannot use.
Property Lines: it is not typically wise to place the carport on the property line. You may want to be confident you know where the property line is specifically since moving a carport can be a challenge.
Entrance: Consider the location of the carport based on where your driveway is. Does it pull right up into the carport? Or, if you have to be able to maneuver the vehicle into the carport sitting on the grass, what will be in the way? Will a flowerbed become damaged every time you need to move the vehicle under it? Consider, for example, how much room you need to maneuver a large RV into the carport space. You’ll likely need to have a clear space in front of the carport that allows for this.
Do You Anchor a Metal Carport?
It’s important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for any type of carport you purchase. Since a carport is top-heavy, it will be important to have an anchoring system available to help hold it in place. There are various anchoring methods available, including those that can be used in concrete and the ground itself.
Anchoring may be beneficial because it helps secure the carport to the ground with ample protection. That may mean it is less likely to blow away. When choosing a carport, check out the wind ratings, which can also play a role in the overall durability of the system.
When buying the steel carport products we offer, we can help you with all of the anchoring solutions available. It is a good idea to have a professional install it to ensure it is placed properly to eliminate or at least reduce the risk of damage to the carport.
Are Metal Carports Just for Cars?
One of the best things about carports is that they are versatile. You can use them for a wide range of needs. They are commonly used for vehicle storage as it is easy to drive the vehicle into the space under the carport and have easy access to it at any time. It can work well for storage for things like motorcycles, cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles. Your ATV is sure to fit under it, as are just about all of the other types of vehicles you own.
In addition to providing storage to vehicles, steel carports can also work well as a way to provide shade. You can place your vehicle under them to shade it. Use it for shade for your boat or tractors. Use it for shade for your horses, too.
Yet another way to use a carport is to create a covered patio area. You can create a place to put a table and some chairs, so you have a covered outdoor space to relax with. Use it for any other need you have as well. You can find lots of creative uses for carports.
How Wide of a Metal Carport Do I Need?
Getting the right size carport is one of the most steps to take when it comes to selecting them. The first thing to consider is the amount of space you have available on your property for the carport. Measure out the area you hope to use and take into consideration any limitations on access.
Then, consider what you hope to place under your carport. Do you want to place just one car under it? Perhaps you want there to be enough room for two cars or more. If you plan to use it for equipment, farming machinery, boats, or other items, take the time to measure these out. This will give you the best idea of how much space you need at a minimum. It is a good idea to ensure the carport is wider and longer than the bare minimum you need, as you'll want to have that much extra protection in place.
You can find carports that measure a wide range of widths. That includes 10 ft., 12 ft., 14 ft., and 20 ft. carport products. You can also choose those that have a 7 ft. clearance high or others that are as high as 14 ft. In terms of length, you can choose lengths that range from 20 ft. up to as much as 100 ft. in length. It’s really up to what you hope to store in them.
Can I Use a Metal Carport All Year Long?
Whether you are storing your RV or any other item under your carport, know that you can use it all year long. The benefits that it offers throughout the year depend on what you are storing and what your specific needs are.
For example, if you are placing your RV under the carport, you can count on this providing year-round protection from the sun. It will also provide some protection from snow and rain, though these are not watertight. If you do not want snow building on the top of the roof of your classic vehicle but do not mind it getting wet, this option works well throughout the year.
If you have items that are more sensitive to temperature extremes or you need a watertight solution, metal carports may not be enough for you. You can consider enclosing them, though, to give yourself more flexibility.
Finding the right carport for your needs takes considering your area, the way you wish to use them, and your budget. There are a lot of fantastic options available to meet most needs.