A carport, offers limited protection to a car while shielding it from the elements of nature. However, unlike a garage, it does not have walls that enclose it. It may use one of the walls of the house for support while being held upright by poles. Some may be erected independently of the house. In this case, all the four sides are left uncovered while the top is enclosed. It can be portable or fixed. Generally, they can be dismantled easily and assembled with the same ease.
Carports can be constructed using a wide variety of raw materials. Their durability depends on the material used for construction. Steel, aluminum, polyethylene, and wood are the commonly used materials. If the carport is intended for long term use, it would be better to invest in a structural frame that is made of steel. Although steel is relatively expensive, the material can withstand the forces of nature. Aluminum, on the other hand, is much lighter and may be preferred by people interested in constructing the carport all by themselves. Polyethylene is the cheapest of the lot. Although it's less sturdy, it may be best for people who intend to dismantle the carport after a few months of use. A wooden frame costs more than a metallic frame but it gives a good finish. It may appeal to people with an aesthetic sense. However, a wooden frame is prone to cracks, fires, and infestation by termites. Hence, a metal one is the best option in terms of cost and durability.
Choosing an Appropriate Carport Kit
Metal carport kits have been designed to facilitate easy assembly. These kits come with detailed instructions on how to erect the carport. Portable kits can be conveniently shipped to the customer. In fact, customers may not be required to purchase the entire kit from the same manufacturer. They may buy the frame from one manufacturer while choosing the panels from another. A metal one can be erected on a concrete or a plain surface. Generally, metal ones carry a warranty that safeguard the buyers against loss due to wear and tear. These kits are available for both commercial as well as residential use.
Commercial Metal Carports: Commercial metal ones meet the parking needs of tenants living in a building. Offices and industries use them for meeting the parking needs of the employees at an affordable cost. They provide parking space for up to 600 vehicles. The initial cost can be recovered within a few years of construction.
Residential Metal Carports: These meet the parking needs of multi-car owners who live in homes with a garage that can only accommodate one car. Generally, these accommodate up to two cars. The frame is made of galvanized steel in order to ensure durability. As mentioned earlier, they can be attached to the house. In case of space constraints, a single slope carport (lean to carport) or a flat carport is the best bet. The former gives a better appearance and looks very much a part of the house while allowing the snow to slide off the roof. The latter has the advantage of being used as a deck or a porch with a bit of imagination and handiwork.
Although a metal carport is an inexpensive substitute for a garage, it cannot provide the same measure of protection, unlike a garage, since it cannot be locked. Hence, many people prefer converting it to a garage once it suits their budget.