While garages are completely enclosed with walls, roofing, and an entrance, carports are typically open metal structures covered by a metal or fabric roof. Each car storage solution provides its own list of benefits. 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.
Carports vs. Garages: What’s the Difference?
Now that we’ve looked into some of the factors to consider when deciding whether to invest in a garage or a carport, let’s go more in-depth about the differences between carports and garages. We’ll discuss what each solution consists of and their uses at home, at work and in the community.
Carports vs. Garages: Factors to Consider
Now 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:
|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 front or side of your home, or stand freely in a parking lot.||If property lines are not an issue, then all bets are off. You can have either a portable garage or metal carport to store your cars, boats, ATVs, and more.|
|Your Capabilities||Like metal garages, metal carports are heavier in weight and composition than their fabric counterparts. But these structures can easily be disassembled and moved when necessary to meet your changing needs.||One of the advantages of fabric garages is that they are extremely portable – no foundation, ground excavation, or installation is required. If you are interested in incorporating a more permanent structure, all-metal garages offer a high-quality and long-term solution.|
|Learn More||Learn More|
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 used 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.
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.
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
|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 a 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 Home
Naturally, 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.
Fabric garages 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, 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 Workspace
A 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 snow plows, 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 Community
From 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 Home
A 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 Work
Whether 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 Community
From 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.
Find Carports and Garages at ShelterLogic.com
In terms of a carport vs. garage, which solution is best for your needs? Regardless of what vehicle storage solution you choose, ShelterLogic brands offer plenty of sizes and styles to fit your needs. See our entire selection of carports and garages and feel free to contact us for questions or more information.
*We always recommend a properly anchored structure. Please reference your manual for anchoring best practices.
** Wind and snow loads given are for reference only and assume a securely anchored frame according to local building codes and ordinances. These have been calculated using combined snow and wind load provisions in accordance with ASCE 7-05. These calculations are based on an unoccupied, fully enclosed building. Local building code requirements vary by location; conformance to local codes is the responsibility of the purchaser.