What is a Carport and Why Should You Invest in One?

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, a metal carport is a great investment. When you want long-lasting, all-weather protection, these carports are quality solutions that will stand the test of time.

But what is a carport and why is it the right solution for your needs? We’ll break down everything you need to know about these useful and versatile structures.

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, include attached, which are designed to connect to a home, garage, or other building, and freestanding, which are engineered to be assembled virtually anywhere.

Galvanized steel carports effectively resist corrosion, chipping, and rust. Our Arrow Carport includes an industrial grade steel frame and 29-gauge galvanized steel roof to effectively shed outdoor elements for year-long use. Not to mention, these carports feature self-drilling screws and an innovative slip-fit frame connection for easier assembly.

A carport with an added vinyl coating provides ultimate durability and strength in your structure. Long-lasting vinyl-coating over galvanized steel has 5 times the coating thickness than standard steel buildings. This helps resist scratches, rust, corrosion, and ensures the highest level of weather protection, all while adding a luster to your carport’s exterior. These high-quality carports come in both freestanding and attached styles for even more versatility and options.

Unlike a garage, carports do not include doors, and generally don’t have walls. They only have a weatherproof roof and support beams. Generally, an attached carport would have at least one wall, depending on how it is fastened to a building. Wall kits are also available for some detached models, and that makes them even more useful.

What is a carport

5 Benefits of Owning a Carport

Because of their versatility and value, there are many reasons that a homeowner would want to own a carport.

1. Protect Vehicles from the Elements

The main reason homeowners purchase a carport is to protect vehicles from the elements, including the sun, rain, ice, hail, and snow. In addition to cars, a carport can be used to protect SUVs, trucks, boats, tractors, and even RVs.

When a vehicle is parked under a carport, frost will normally not form on its windshield. That’s because the carport roof acts as a barrier to prevent heat escaping directly into the air. Instead, it is absorbed by the roof and some is then radiated back to the vehicle.

2. No Additional Property Taxes

Since it is not considered a permanent structure, most municipalities do not consider one to be taxable property. That’s because metal carport does not require a foundation. Even though a foundation is not required, we always recommend that you anchor your structure*. You can learn more about anchoring a metal carport in our Anchor Quick Guide.

However, your community may require you request a building permit to attach a one to the side of your home**. Checking with your local authorities for specific laws and policies in your town is recommended as each city will have different requirements for portable and permanent carports.

3. Flexibility

One of the major benefits of a detached carport is flexibility. If you decide you want to move a carport from one part of your property to another, you can. Depending on the size of your structure, it can be moved manually without the need to dismantle it first.

4. Versatility

While its primary function is to protect vehicles, carports are not a one trick pony. A carport is a very versatile structure and can serve a variety of functions. A carport is a shade solution for home, business, and municipal use. We will go into more detail about the versatility of carports below.

Also, enclosure kits are available for certain carport models. These kits allow you to quickly turn your carport into a fully-enclosed structure.

5. They Handle Bad Weather

Carports are made to take on terrible weather. For example, an all-steel Arrow Carport can withstand up to 100 MPH winds and up to 35 PSF snow loads***. That means that in the toughest weather, your carport should stand up to the test.

carport vs. garage

7 Creative Ways to Use a Carport

As mentioned above, a carport is more than just a structure for sheltering vehicles. A carport can also protect people and other property from the elements.
Whether it’s at the home, office, or in a community setting, there are several ways a carport can be utilized. Let’s look at some of those uses.

1. As a Patio or Deck Awning

An attached carport makes an excellent cover for a patio or deck. As a patio or deck cover, you’ll be able to allow your family and guests a good time outdoors as they get a reprieve from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Also, as an awning, a carport will keep your family and guests protected from the rain, snow, hail, and other elements.

2. As an Outdoor Workshop

Whether you’re working on home renovations or tuning up your car, a carport provides a shaded and weather-protected workspace for your outdoor projects. Carports are big enough to fit everything you need to get the job done: toolboxes, power tools, workbenches, sawhorses, and more. You’ll stay dry and protected from the sun underneath a carport canopy.

3. As a Picnic Area

A carport makes an excellent cover for a picnic area. It can be anchored to a concrete slab in your backyard, office park, public park, or school to protect people while they break bread or take a break. A 12 x 20 ft. Sojag Samara Carport can bring elegance to a backyard picnic area. Additionally, a 20 x 100 ft. Arrow Carport can turn a park’s picnic area into a desirable party pavilion for civic groups and youth sports leagues.

4. As a Cover for Playground Equipment

Even the best school and park playgrounds can be too sunny for use at certain times of the day. A metal carport can be used to cover an entire playground, or certain playground equipment that need to be protected from the sun.

5. As an Outdoor Meeting Space

Is your office cramped for space? A carport can be erected on a concrete slab or in the parking lot for use as additional outdoor meeting space. When this space isn’t being used for meetings, it can also be used as an employee break area or for company gatherings and celebrations. Additionally, the space can be used to host receptions, user conferences, and other on-site events for your clients.

6. As Public Pick-up Areas

From bus stops to cab stands, a carport can be used as a waiting area for people who are waiting for a ride. Whether at schools, parks, airports, or city sidewalks, cities and towns can also use carports to shelter bus stops and other transportation pick-up and drop-off areas. This way, people waiting for buses, taxis, or shared ride services can be protected from the elements.

7. For Maintenance Vehicle Storage

Facilities managers of public buildings, golf courses, schools, and apartment buildings need a place to store maintenance vehicles. A carport is the ideal place to keep vehicles such as tractors, mowers, trailers, and snowplows protected from the elements. Carports offer maintenance workers easy access to all the equipment they need to keep their property looking good.

Ways to Add Curb Appeal

Carport Ownership Has Many Benefits

There are many reasons to own a carport, whether it’s for your home, business, or municipal use. They keep people and property protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays and from inclement weather. They’re also engineered to take on tough weather conditions.

For a stylish and functional way to protect your vehicles from the elements, carports are an affordable and simple option for any property. ShelterLogic Group sells a variety of sturdy, durable metal carports for all sorts of needs. Click the button below to shop our selection of metal carports.

* We always recommend a properly anchored structure. Please reference your manual for anchoring best practices or check out our anchor guide.

** Before you buy a metal carport, we recommend you check with your local zoning department to see if you need a permit or other permissions to erect one on your property.

*** 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.

4 comments

  • I liked that you mentioned that carports could be used for shade during the really hot portions of the year. I was wondering if it was also something that will help protect your car in the winter. I know that it’s better to have your cars covered, but I live in an area that is mostly cold and has a lot of snow. I would like to invest in something like this if it also helped out in those months.

    • Hello Gerty,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, we offer high-quality carports that offer effective vehicle protection in the winter. The Arrow All-Steel Carport boasts a snow load rating of 35 PSF and can withstand winds up to 100 MPH. Plus, the rounded eaves of this car shelter help your structure shed the elements for a reliable all-weather structure. You can check out our entire selection of carports here.

      Feel free to contact customer service by giving us a call at 1-800-560-8383, or fill out a customer service form and we’ll reach out to you for more information.

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