A carport is a shelter suitable for a car, typically comprising a roof supported by columns or posts. Most are built attached to, or beside a home so that one can enter and exit a car protected from the weather. A carport is not a temporary structure. They are typically sturdily built, permanent fixtures or outbuildings.
Why have a Carport?
There are many practical and aesthetic reasons to have a carport on your property. A high-quality carport from a good home improvements company not only improves the appearance of most homes, it offers protection to your vehicle and can be the difference between getting into the house nice and dry, or sprinting those last 6 feet in the pouring rain.
Is a building a Carport a good investment?
That depends on quite a few factors. The questions to ask are:
- Will it improve your quality of life?
- Will it improve the value of your home?
As to your quality of life, the answer is ‘probably yes’ because a carport comes in very handy for many reasons. For example, a broad, paved surface that is protected from the sun and rain makes an excellent play area for children, is a great place to set up the paddling pool on hot days and is an ideal space for drying laundry even on the most inclement of days. Overall, a carport adds convenience and flexibility to any property.
As to the value of your home, much depends on the style and building material of the carport you choose. Ideally, you should pick a look that complements your property, and a material that is sturdy, durable and low maintenance. After all, home buyers won’t pay extra for something that represents a financial burden later.
For the best resale value boost, you’ll need a metal carport. Metal is the classic choice, and if powder coated will have excellent resistance to the great British weather and will not corrode.
How big does a Carport need to be?
How much space will you need to have for your new carport? Of course, that depends on the design and size of the carport itself (and the size of your car).
95% of UK cars will fit into a carport that is 3 metres wide and 5 metres long, so that makes a good standard.
A carport for 2 cars would have to be either 6 metres by 5 metres (side by side), or 3 metres by 10 metres (tandem) at a minimum.
As we don’t advise trying to fit three cars in tandem, you’ll need a space 9 metres wide by five deep to fit three standard UK cars.
If the carport is fitted as a freestanding building, you may wish to allow for an extra half metre or so of space on each side, to accommodate a wider slab or driving surface.
Do you need Planning Permission for a Carport?
The good news is that outbuildings such as carports are generally considered ‘permitted development’ so long as they meet specific standards. That means you won’t need Planning Permission if they stay within these limits:
- It must be for domestic, non-business purposes.
- It and any other outbuildings (not including the home) must not cover more than half of the property.
- It must not extend beyond either the side or principle elevations of the house as it faces the road.
- It must be less than 4 metres tall.
- Its eaves height must be less than 2.5 metres if it is 2 metres or less from the edge of the property.
- It must be more than 3.5 metres from the boundary at the rear of the house if that boundary has a road.
Note, though, that there are much more stringent regulations if your home is located in a conservation area, a National Park, a World Heritage Site or an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’. For a more detailed explanation follow this link to the Government’s Planning Portal.
You won’t require Building Regulations approval if your new attached carport, which is open on at least two sides, is less than 30 metres in floor area.
Will it need a foundation?
This depends on whether it’s being installed on an existing drive or is an entirely new construction on unprepared ground. For the former, the columns are normally fixed to the tarmac or other hard surfaces, or concrete spot pads are laid to create a solid point to attach them to.
For the latter, it is worth considering laying a concrete slab to provide a hard standing surface over the entire carport area. This will give a clean and durable surface on which to park any vehicle and will last for many years to come.
Types of Carports
There are five main types of carports on the market today.
- Aluminium carports are lightweight and can be aesthetically pleasing depending upon their design. They typically come with a polyester or epoxy powder coat to ensure they don’t corrode and are protected from the elements.
- uPVC carports are low-maintenance although they aren’t always the best choice to enhance the appearance of a property. Their roof may be transparent.
- Wooden carports are made entirely of wood, with a traditional flat, sloped or peaked shed-like roof.
- Tin carports are perhaps the least durable on this list. They are inexpensive but are not as long-lasting.
- Steel carports are typically made of galvanised steel and have a corrugated steel sheet roof. They are incredibly durable and resistant to wind but are also expensive.
Most of these types of carport can be fitted either attached to the existing home or as a stand-alone building. Attached carports take up less space, whereas freestanding carports may be more convenient or aesthetically pleasing for individual homes.
Are you interested in getting a Carport for you Home?
A carport can be an excellent addition to any home and offers a host of benefits including protecting your vehicle from the elements, a shaded area in which to relax or your children to play and make your property more appealing to potential buyers if you ever put it on the market. They’re relatively cheap to install so, therefore, make a worthwhile investment when introduced by a reputable home improvements company.
Why not have a chat with one of our experts?