Carports are covered parking areas which can be used to shelter one or more vehicles from the elements. Unlike garages, carports are open in construction. Carports can be free-standing structures, or can be attached to one or two walls. Because carports are so open, they offer less protection than a traditional garage, but they also offer better ventilation.
Carports are not a new invention; they have been in use for more than 100 years. The earliest record of a carport can be traced back to the early 1900s, when Walter Burley Griffin used one in his design for Sloan House in Illinois. The term “carport” did not get coined until much later, however. Architecture historian David Gebhard traced the origin of the term back to the Streamline Moderne homes of the 1930s.
Choosing between a carport and a garage.
Freestanding carports have been a popular feature of American homes for many decades, but the design is becoming increasingly popular in Europe too. This popularity is down to several reasons. Carports are cheaper to build, and their open structure allows them to double as an entertainment area. You would not want to host a barbecue in your garage (in fact, doing so would most likely be rather unsafe!), but carports can easily be converted into a makeshift marquee or gazebo for some weekend entertainment.
Carports do have some downsides, unlike garages, they are not suitable for use as a general storage area. They also offer less security for your car. However, they are far cheaper to build, and generally you do not need planning permission to erect a carport, whereas you may well to build a full garage.
Another benefit of building a carport is that it is a stylish addition for your home. If you are thinking of building a garage why not consider a powder coated aluminium carport that can match the colour and style of your home? You can even decorate your carport with hanging baskets and place plants in the corners, making it an attractive part of your house rather than an enclosed and dark utility area.
What style of carport should you choose?
Free standing carports are more flexible than lean-to carports in terms of where they can be placed and how they can be accessed. If you have a large trailer or an awkward to manoeuvre vehicle, parking in a free-standing carport may be easier for you than parking in a lean-to carport or garage. However, free standing car ports do offer slightly less protection from the elements than lean-to carports, and therefore a lean-to may be better for those wanting to benefit from that bit of added protection from the weather.
The choice of materials and roof style is a matter of personal preference. There are many different carport designs to choose from. Metal carports are more hard-wearing than wooden carports and therefore require a lot less maintenance. If you are looking for a small carport, then a stylish metal model with a curved roof is a good option for any modern home.
Large open carports are a good choice for people who enjoy working on their cars. They offer shelter from the elements, and can have small storage areas built-in for tools, but they also offer good ventilation, so you can enjoy fresh air and natural light while working on your vehicle, instead of being stuck in a dark, stifling garage.
All carports should be designed and installed to allow rainwater to flow off the roof easily. Ensure your carport has guttering installed to direct the excess water to a nearby drain, instead of allowing it to run off in several different directions, or flow towards your property.
No matter what kind of carport you choose, it is important to use a reputable company to install it to make sure that it is erected correctly. An incorrectly installed carport which could be blown over in the wind, or collapse under the weight of standing rainwater is not safe and could damage your car or your property.
How much does a carport cost?
The cost of a carport depends on the size that you want it to be, the material it is made from, and the style you choose.
Before you can get a detailed quote for a carport, a surveyor will need to examine your property, measure the area and make sure that it is ready for work to be done. The surveyor will be able to take into account all of the factors contributing to the car port price- including your style choices and also the environment where it is being installed. This will allow them to give an exact price for completing the project from start to finish, rather than an estimate.
If you would like to know more about having a carport installed, get in touch with our friendly team.