Traditionally, carports were designed for protecting vehicles (and their passengers) from the negative impacts of inclement weather. And to that end, carports are still great for that, if you’re looking for a reliable way to shelter your vehicle or vehicles from rain, snow, direct UV exposure, and other natural threats.
You’ve no doubt heard the term “carport” used to describe a shelter you’ve seen. But what is a carport, exactly? At its most basic definition, a carport is an open-air, roofed structure that’s designed for covering a vehicle or vehicles. A carport can be attached to another building, or it can be a free-standing structure. What types of vehicles can a carport cover? Everything from cars, to trucks, to SUVs, RVs, boats, trailers, motorcycles, tractors, ATVs, and more.
Need an outdoor shelter for some other specific applications? Carports are easy to adapt for meeting a number of needs. And a carport can be constructed from several different construction materials, but steel carports have been shown to be the strongest and most durable.
There are LOTS of different carport sizes, designs, and categories out there. Here are just a few of the most popular carport types that are available and in current demand:
Regular Roof Carport – Regular roof carports have a familiar, rounded look, and the roof itself comes with standard horizontal paneling. A regular roof is one of the most economical options available, but doesn’t come highly recommended in terms of its ability to provide effective protection from severe storms, heavy winds, or significant snow accumulations.
A-Frame Horizontal Roof Carport – An A-frame (or boxed-eave roof) carport is another common option. People tend to like the A-frame roof design, because it comes much closer to resembling the look of a standard house roof. The A-frame design also offers a little more stability. Like the regular roof, an A-frame roof comes standard with horizontal roof paneling.
Vertical Roof Carport – When it comes to a carport roof, the vertical roof is really your best option. It offers the strongest design and most reliable performance, in comparison with other roof types. A vertical carport comes with additional structural reinforcements and anchors, and also features vertical paneling which is better at shedding both precipitation and debris.
One Car Carport – A one-car carport does what you’d expect; it’s designed to cover one car or truck effectively. Most single carports start out at dimensions of 12’W and 20’L, but the exact carport size is customizable. A 1-car carport is also good for sheltering mowers, lawn equipment, garden equipment, sports equipment, etc.
Two Car Carport – Two-car carports are also commonly known as double carports, and they’re generally designed to shelter two-passenger vehicles. 2-car metal carports are a popular choice for property owners who have two vehicles that need covering. These larger carports also offer more flexibility in terms of how you can use your carport space.
Three Car Carport – Three-car or triple carports are great because they’re large enough to shelter three standard passenger vehicles side-by-side. But because of its extra square footage, a 3-car carport can also be used to accommodate a range of other uses, as the need arises. Great for hosting neighborhood cookouts, outdoor events, and more!
Two Car Carport with Storage – A two-car carport with storage is a nice option for those who only have two vehicles to cover, but would like to build in some specific space for other specific outdoor storage needs. These carports tend to be similar in size to triple carports, but with more multipurpose usage in mind.
Carport Garage Combo – How’d you like to have both a carport for outdoor storage, and a garage for indoor storage? With a carport/garage combination building, you can! Many property owners appreciate the ability to simply add a lean-to structure to one side of their garage, thus creating a garage/carport combo.
Side Entry Carport – If you’ve only got a smaller lot to work with, a side-entry garage allows you to create multiple garage bays with nice ease of access, all at a minimum of required building space. Side-entry garages also work well for housing tire shops, auto body shops, and automotive service centers.
Utility Carport – Perhaps your primary need is for an open-air carport, but you’d also love to be able to build in a portion of fully-enclosed space inside. For a building application like this, a utility carport is really a perfect solution. The size of both your carport and your enclosed utility area are really up to you!
RV Carport – It’s like a regular carport, only taller! An RV carport is specially designed to accommodate higher-profile vehicles like RVs, motorhomes, buses, large tractors, and the like. And if you’re an RV owner, it’s important to have a way to protect your vehicle investment from the elements when you’re not out on the open road.
Boat or Motorhome Carport – A boat or motorhome carport is really just a variation of a typical RV carport design. Modern carports constructed with modern materials can be customized to suit any needed height, width, or length dimensions for parking pretty much any type of land vehicle, water vehicle, or vehicle & trailer combination.
There are honestly many reasons to own a carport, and there are many benefits you can enjoy by having a carport installed on your property. Here are just a few:
This is probably the first reason that comes to mind – carports are great for covering cars! Today’s cars, trucks, and SUVs are anything but cheap, so it’s more important than ever to keep your vehicle investments as safe and protected as possible from the many threats of Mother Nature.
And carports aren’t just great for covering cars and trucks. With the right design and engineering, a modern carport can be created to cover ANY type of vehicle, from RVs, to motorhomes, to boats, to buses, to tractors, to combine harvesters, and more. If it moves on wheels, it can be safely parked underneath a carport!
Sure, you can keep vehicles and other items offsite – but that isn’t particularly convenient, and the monthly rental charges can get downright expensive. A carport installed on your own property is much more convenient to access. Plus, once you’ve paid off your building, you won’t ever have to worry about offsite space rental fees again!
The defining structural characteristic of a carport is the roof overhead – side walls are completely optional. One of the nice things about having a roof-only structure is that it’s easy to access, thus making it easier to pull in your vehicles from any direction.
A carport can be much more than just a carport, too. We’ve listed some of the many popular categories of carports above, but carports allow for many multipurpose uses that extend beyond parking vehicles. Need a picnic shelter? You’ve got one! Carports also make nice outdoor workspaces, covered places for children to play, and more.
Once a garage is installed, it really isn’t going anywhere. Modern carports can be securely anchored as well, but they also offer the advantage of being much more “relocatable.” If the need or desire arises, you can pull up those anchors and simply move your carport to a new location. A flexible cover for flexible needs!
Well, that depends. A low-quality carport probably won’t add any value to your property at all. In fact, a carport that looks shoddily built can even reduce the perceived value of your home and property in the eyes of a prospective buyer!
A well-designed, well-built carport, on the other hand, will add value to your life in terms of the reliable protection it provides for your vehicles and other outdoor items. And yes, it’ll add to your property value, too. The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that the value of a home with a carport in good condition averages around $10,000 higher than a home without a carport. Of course, depending upon the size and design of your carport, the property value increase can be even greater than that!
While carports can be constructed out of wood, aluminum, or other materials, the most-reliable, best-quality carports are constructed with light-gauge galvanized steel. What makes a steel carport a better choice? Pretty much everything you can think of! Here are a few highlights of why choosing steel just makes good sense:
Another benefit of choosing a metal carport is the fact that you have so many customization options available. You have complete freedom when it comes to deciding your exact carport dimensions, choosing paneling options for both the roof and sides, adding gables & trim, selecting a favorite color combination, and more!
Carports are obviously great for residential uses, but there are commercial applications for carports, too. Curious to learn what classifies a carport as “commercial”? Some of it obviously comes down to intended usage, but in the carport industry, the term commercial usually relates to carport size. A commercial or extra-wide carport usually starts around 32′ wide, but can go much larger than that.
In other words, a commercial carport is typically any carport greater than 30’ in width. Buildings of this size generally come standard with additional structural reinforcements and anchoring, as well. What can you do with a commercial carport? They’re great for business applications, retail usage, industrial usage, and any application where you may need a large, permanent outdoor shelter.
In addition to standard residential and commercial uses, there’s another major industry where a custom carport comes in particularly handy: agriculture. Farms, ranches, and agricultural businesses have need for many types of outdoor structures, and metal carports can be designed and customized to meet most any agricultural need. Here are just a few ways we’ve seen folks make use of carport-style outdoor structures for farm, ranch, and agricultural purposes:
So, how do you decide what size of carport you need for your situation? To begin with, it helps to understand what is generally meant by the terms single carport, double carport, triple carport, and commercial carport:
Here are some key factors you’ll want to think through as you choose your ideal carport dimensions:
In order to stand tall for years to come, any structure needs to be built on a strong foundation. But another nice thing about choosing a rugged metal carport is that it’s completely customizable, all the way down to its foundation type. Important factors like weather, climate, geology, and topography might suggest that your best course of action would be to install on concrete or asphalt. At the same time, you certainly aren’t limited to just those two options. Depending on how you intend to use your metal building – along with what budget you have available for foundation preparation – you can also choose to install a metal carport on gravel, or even on plain level ground.
No matter which of these foundation types you prefer, there’s a specialized type of anchor which can be used to secure your carport to its respective installation surface. Here are four of the most commonly-used carport anchors:
Metal buildings can be installed on practically any foundation. But even so, it’s important to use the right anchor for the matching installation surface. If you have any specific questions about carport anchors, you can always reach out to one of our building experts at Carport Central!
We mentioned building certification above, but you may not be familiar with what that means. Does your carport need to be certified? Well … that depends.
Certification simply means that an engineer has designed your building to meet or exceed specific minimum wind and snow loads. Certification isn’t universally required in all areas, but many localities do make it a part of their building codes. But whether certification is a legal requirement for you or not, certified buildings still make good sense, since certification means your structure will be built to a higher standard in terms of strength and resilience. That fact alone is worth the greater peace of mind it provides to any carport owner!
If you’re planning to have a new carport installed, a professional installation crew can take care of most of the details of getting your building put up for you. But even so, there are a few things you’ll want to take care ahead of time to make sure your site is ready to go once installation day arrives. Here are three main things to keep in mind:
We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. A carport can do much more than just cover vehicles.
What are some ways you can take full advantage of owning one of these multipurpose structures? Here are just a few good applications to consider:
So, how much will your carport cost? The answer to that question will really depend upon a number of key factors, including which building dimensions you need (including width, length, and height), which construction materials you choose, which type of roof style you choose, and whether your carport needs to be certified or not.
You can leave the carport as a roof-only structure, or you can also opt to add some side paneling for partial or even full building enclosure. There are also other customization decisions to make as well, including frame gauge, paneling gauge, and the option to add trim, end gables, doors, windows, and more.
But if you decide to go with a steel-framed carport, here’s some good news. Even though construction material costs have gone up across the board, a steel carport is still more cost-effective to build than a wood-framed carport, or a carport made with other materials. So if you’re looking to get the most bang for your carport buck, you’d be smart to choose steel!
A professional building provider like Carport Central is happy to deliver and install your custom-designed carport at NO extra charge. But maybe you’re someone who likes saving a little money and doing things for yourself, wherever you can. If that’s you, then you might want to go with a DIY carport kit. Carport Central makes custom-manufactured carport kits available that you can pick up and install yourself for a discount. These metal building kits come with all the building materials you’ll need for installation, including all fasteners and anchors. If you like the sound of that, then simply get in touch with a building specialist at Carport Central today. They’d be happy to answer any particular questions you may have about carport kits and metal building installation, and they can also help you to get whatever type of building you’re looking for!
Our name says it all – nobody delivers better carports than Carport Central!
We’re the premier online provider of metal buildings in the continental United States, and we do way more than just carports! Whether you just need a simple carport design, or whether you need a garage, barn, storage shed, RV cover, workshop, warehouse, commercial building, office space, barndominium, metal building home, or something else – Carport Central has you covered! Simply put, we deliver the best-quality structures with the best customer service and shorter lead times!
All of our steel buildings are made from the highest quality materials, and each is designed to last you a lifetime. Our building specialists are always standing by to help, and we’ll work hard to ensure that you get EXACTLY what you want in your dream building. There’s no need to wait – you can connect with us online, or you can just pick up the phone and give us a call at (980) 321-9898 today. Experience the Carport Central difference for yourself! What’s Central to you, is Central to us!
Here are some commonly-asked questions we get about carports, along with some helpful answers:
Not more than any other type of building, no. And in the event that lightning should happen to strike your metal carport, you’re actually better protected. Metal structures are positive conductors to the earth, meaning that the energy of a lightning strike will be diffused through the metal and channeled straight to the ground.
Who says a prefab steel carport has to be boring? The covered space you create is completely customizable. You choose the design and colors you like, and you can also opt to add side paneling, gables, trim, and much more. You can even design your own custom metal carport with our easy-to-use 3D Building Design Tool!
Nope. Steel buildings don’t significantly interfere with any electronics, mobile devices, or wi-fi connections. If this were true, you’d have problems inside most every grocery store, large office building, or warehouse. In fact, electromagnetic waves can pass through a metal structure just as easily as they can through other types of buildings.
Actually, yes! Steel is North America’s most recycled material, more than paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic combined. All North American-produced steel contains at least 25 percent recycled content, and is 100% recyclable itself. Choosing steel construction actually reduces our dependence on Earth’s limited resources. So yes, a steel carport really is a green option!
The primary function of a carport is to provide reliable shelter for your vehicles and possessions. And there’s really not a more reliable carport than a steel carport. The cold-formed steel used to fabricate the tubing and paneling possesses the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any commercial construction material. You’d really be hard-pressed to find a safer option than a metal carport.
Sure. If you’re planning an open-air carport or shelter, condensation shouldn’t be much of a problem to begin with. As long as ambient air can flow freely through your roof-only structure, condensation has nowhere to take hold. But if you’re planning to enclose your carport, condensation can be prevented by installing a quality vapor barrier, along with any additional insulation you may choose to include.
Pre-engineered, precision-fabricated metal structures are actually much simpler to install than other building types, and can be completed with less labor. You can always leave it up to a professional installation crew, but if you’d rather work with your own hands, you can certainly put up a prefab metal carport kit yourself. You’ll save some money on the purchase price, too.
Not easily, they won’t! With proper anchoring and reinforcements, a steel structure is actually more sturdy and resilient than other types of construction. Prefab metal structures are engineered to handle just about any wind storm that may blow your way, and be certified to meet any required minimum wind or snow loads.
By parking your vehicle under a metal carport, you’ll avoid worries with hail impacts – no hailstone has ever penetrated a steel carport roof! And as we’ve mentioned, metal carports can be certified for snow loads as well as wind loads. You can even turn your metal carport into an enclosed metal garage for even safer vehicle protection.
Absolutely not! Unlike a wooden structure, a metal carport doesn’t require any repainting or staining. Cleaning a metal carport is also a breeze. In most cases, you can just hose your carport out and hose it off. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance carport solution, a metal carport is the way to go!