What Is A Carport?

What Is a Carport?

If you don’t have a garage, or your garage is already being used for another vehicle or as valuable storage space, carports are an affordable alternative that will still keep your car safe from the elements.

Why install a carport?

With their open sides, carports are less secure than garages but still offer comparable protection for your vehicle from the sun, rain and other adverse weather. Carports have many advantages over garages too, including:

  • Better ventilation
  • Cheaper and quicker to install
  • Greater diversity in styles, colours and materials
  • Doubles up as outdoor entertaining and storage space
  • Subject to fewer building restrictions

What types of carports are there?

Carports are usually open air, roofed structures, but you can still find a wide range of options when selecting the type of carport that’s best suited for your vehicles, your home and your budget. Carports can be:

  • Attached to an exterior wall or freestanding
  • Open or closed design with one or more walls
  • Permanent installations or portable kits

You can also choose the type of roof that best matches your climate and your taste, from flat roofs to curved, gable and pergola styles.

What are carports made of?

Whether you prefer the rustic look of a wooden frame or the strength and durability of metal, it’s important to choose quality materials for your carport that will stand the test of time.

Steel carports are recommended for their high strength, but if you are installing a temporary or portable carport, aluminium offers a lighter weight while still being resistant to damage from fire, water and pests, as well as a wider range of colour options.


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Adding a Carport to Your Home


There are many good reasons to consider building a carport. These secure structures take up less space than a garage while offering the same level of security and protection for your vehicle and adding value to your home, not to mention being more versatile and easier to install.

Advantages of carports

Popular reasons for choosing a carport over a garage include:

  • Versatility – carports are available in a wider variety of styles than garages, making it easier to match them to your home and outdoor space. If you build a portable carport, you can even take it with you if you move.
  • Extra space – carports can do more than just protect your car from the elements. Building a larger carport will increase your sheltered storage space and can double up as a place to entertain guests, relax outdoors or even grow plants.
  • Cost – installing a carport is considerably less expensive than building a garage.
  • Ease of installation – you could save even more by purchasing a carport installation kit and avoiding the cost of hiring contractors, as long as you are confident in your DIY skills.
  • Building restrictions – if your local council does not permit garages, you may still be able to build a carport as an alternative, as long as you check for any restrictions on size, materials and distance from the curb.


Your carport options


Carports are not a one-size-fits-all solution – they are available in a huge range of sizes, materials and styles to suit every home and every price range. The main types of carports are:


  • Carport tent – these freestanding structures covered by a canvas or plastic canopy offer less security than a solid carport,but they can be the ideal option for tight budgets and rental properties, and will still protect your car from the wind and rain.


  • Attached or freestanding? – You can save on construction costs and enjoy instant access to your carport by attaching it to an exterior wall of your home. Freestanding structures are more expensive, but they offer greater flexibility in terms of size and location.


  • Carport materials – your carport should be made from the best quality materials you can afford, which you can be confident will keep your car secure and stand up to wear and tear over the years. Steel and aluminium offer exceptional durability and are resistant to water damage, or you may prefer the classic look of a wooden frame.


  • Carport roofs – another important consideration is the type of roof you choose for your carport, from simple canopies to permanent flat, gable, curved or pergola-style roofs to improve drainage.


Things to consider

Adding a carport to your home will increase your property’s value, but only when the carport is carefully chosen to fit in with your home and outdoor area. Steel or aluminium frames could look out of place next to a traditional cottage or country house, and if a freestanding carport could detract attention from your main building, an attached carport may be the better option.


Get a free quote

If you’ve decided that a carport is the right fit for your home, call us on 1800 000 504 to book a free consultation and start planning your home improvements.


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A Carport Buying Guide

Carports can be the best solution for people who can’t build a garage. Perhaps the local council has tight regulations about the kinds of structures are build or perhaps you can’t afford a whole structure, whatever the reason is, a carport is often the next best thing.

Carports can range from being very budget-friendly and portable to being high end, solid structures that will look and feel just as permanent as any garage.

  • Carport Tents are portable and freestanding frames that are usually covered with a canvas canopy. They assemble quickly and are great for renters and those on a very tight budget.
  • Composite or metallic carports can be free standing or attached to the home. They are usually permanent, durable and can accommodate doors and shelving. They can be enclosed using a light weight material and the roof can be covered with a plastic or canvas canopy.
  • Steel carports are usually powder coated or galvanised. They are usually covered with a fairly rigid panel and come complete with roof and sides.
  • Wooden carports can be expensive, and it is possible to use aluminium with a wood grain finish as a cheaper alternative. Either way, a wooden frame might look better with a wooden house or cottage. Wooden carports can be similar to a pergola in that they can be roofed with plastic or canvas canopy and are usually not enclosed.

Once you have decided what type of carport suits your needs and budget, you can then look at the preparations that need to be made before you purchase your carport kit or installation.

  • Space is the biggest concern when looking at building or installing a carport. Check that you have ample room to build or assemble the structure and that it won’t cause access problems or become inadequate and therefore unusable. Sometimes getting someone in to fit and install a carport can save the hassles of measuring the area.
  • Local councils often have very definite restrictions on what sort of carport you can build. The regulations might insist on it being a certain distance from the curb or be constructed to remain in keeping with the look of the suburb. It is essential you look into the local restrictions and permissions required before you purchase your carport.
  • Do it yourself or Installation is usually determined by your budget. If you can afford it, get someone in to either assemble or build your carport. It is a good rule of thumb to always get the best you can afford. Buying the most solid and well made structure you can afford will ensure it will last longer and most likely look better. But if you don’t have the funds, then why not call in the help of friends and family or ask a friend in the construction business if they lend their support or help. Many kits come with excellent assembly instructions.
  • The look of your carport is an important element. Keep in mind the design of your house when choosing a carport. If you have a large, brick house, then a portable, freestanding carport might detract from the appearance of your home. Likewise if you have a quaint cottage or timber house, a large, steel structure might look inappropriate and overpower the look of your home.

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Top 4 Reasons to Put Up a Carport

Improving and updating the exterior of a home often consists of several projects over the years. Whether it’s pergolas, gardens or gutters, home improvements are just a part of home maintenance. While some of these things can be fixed in a jiffy and at low cost, some of the larger projects might take a little more consideration. Perhaps you’re wondering if you should put in a garage or simply install a carport?

Cost – a good reason to install a carport instead of building a garage is cost. Carports can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a more solid structure while retaining the same properties. There are three tiers of cost with carports; firstly is getting a company to design and install a carport, second is getting a contract to build one, and finally you can purchase a kit and do it yourself. Depending on your requirements and budget, you will be able to solve your storage and shelter problems.

Versatile – carports can actually somewhat more versatile than a garage. A garage is more of another room to your house. A garage is fixed and fully enclosed. A carport on the other hand can be moved if you have chosen a portable one. A carport can also be an open structure that can include a trellis for gardening and privacy. A carport can be as enclosed or open as you wish and can be incorporated into your outdoor space by matching colour and landscaping concepts. You can put potted plants and trees or creeping vines and hanging baskets to complement your outdoor area.

Protection – Obviously a garage will protect your car and belongings but if you can’t afford a garage, a carport is the next best thing. Carports can range from the portable and affordable to fixed and more costly. Either way a carport is going to do the same job as a garage, and that is to protect your second biggest asset, your car. A carport will prevent falling leaves, debris, rain and sun from damaging your car.

Shelter – Carports can provide a more spacious undercover area than a garage. Garages are often poorly lit and their area fixed and usually limited, considering doors, windows and storage. A carport however can be a simple shelter structure that is open on all sides and this can provide a wonderful area for entertaining. You can string fairy lights or party lights all around or you can hang lanterns or place tiki torches around the perimeter for a party atmosphere. You can train vines up lattice and trellis for a lovely garden feel or simply fill the edges with potted plants and trees. The options are endless and with the free flow of air and natural light, plants will thrive.

So, when you’re looking at your budget after you’ve done the gardens and verandas and think you can only afford a carport, don’t despair. Sometimes a carport is the better option. Carports give greater flexibility, affordability and sensibility.

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Basic checklist when building a carport

Carports can provide protection for vehicles, boats, and other pieces of equipment by keeping them under cover. A carport will protect your possessions not only from storm and environmental damage but also from theft and vandalism. Once you have made the decision to build a carport you will be faced with a whole new realm of choices. From the paperwork down to the nitty gritty design decisions, it is a good idea to make a check list to keep the process in order and flowing smoothly.

The regulations and requirements for the installation of a carport will be different for not only each state but for each council. Some have very strict guidelines as to the style and positioning of the carport, and some won’t allow it at all. So be sure to gain the appropriate approvals from the correct channels.

On some properties there may be only one available position for a carport, but for many people a decision about where to place the carport will be necessary. Placing the structure against one wall of the house will not only save space but can also provide a comfortable patio that is protected from the heat and weather. Locating the carport next to the kitchen or laundry can make for convenient access to the house from the car on a rainy day. Or perhaps you could position the carport in a sunny area with back yard access. Your design might include lattice to grow a vine and provide an attractive screen while still allowing for air flow.

Carports come in all shapes and sizes to suit all kinds of budgets. Once you have established what kind of money you can invest in a carport, decisions on design, style and features can then be worked out. Perhaps you require extra height, a slanted roof or an enclosed building with a garage door. The inclusion of windows, automatic doors, lights and fittings will affect the over all cost of the project.

Once you have a defined budget and a design for the carport, the choice of materials is the next step. Carports can be constructed with plastic, aluminium, steel or timber. Each material will bring with it a certain look, and certainly each material appears on different positions on the price scale. It is always good advice to purchase the best quality you can afford. This ensures a more durable structure and ultimately a stronger and more attractive carport. The roof options are yet another choice that must be made. The roof can be clear or coloured PVC, it can be corrugated iron or it can tiled. Another final material that may or may not come into you decision making process is windows. There are many types or windows available ranging from the type of frame, to the type of glass and even dressing options. The good news is that there is a material option that will suit your budget.

Once the carport has been approved by the relevant bodies, allocated an appropriate position on your property and your budget has been established, you can then move on to all of the choices available to you regarding the design and scale of your structure. The shape and style of your carport will affected by it’s purpose, whether you are housing cars, boats, motorbikes or gardening equipment.

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