Depending on where you live, you may not have the room for a garage, but you still want to protect your car.
Carports protect your vehicle from snow, rain, leaves, and other debris. They’re also a great way to keep the sun’s rays from beating down on it, damaging your car’s paint. However, carport’s can cost several thousand dollars, which makes people wonder if they’re worth it.
Carports are worth it if you live in a place subject to sudden weather changes or tree coverage. Natural debris and weather patterns can cause wear and tear on your vehicle, so people find that they save in the long run. If you can pay them off over a few years, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about carports:
- The numerous benefits of carports
- Downsides of carports that should be considered
- The average price of most carports on the market
Why Should You Consider Getting a Carport?
If your vehicle gets battered by harsh weather, tree sap, or even just sits in the sun all day, a carport can definitely be worth it.
Let’s check out three reasons that you might want to consider getting a carport.
Protect your car: Snow. Heavy rain. Blistering sun and heat. Tree sap. Bird droppings. No matter where you live, leaving your car outside risks exposing it to a lot of potential damage. If you don’t have enough garage space for your vehicles, then a carport is the next best thing to keep them safe from damage.
Add Shade: Especially during the summer, most people use their carports for things other than parking their car. It can be a great place to put a picnic table, kids play area or even an outdoor gym.
Carports may increase your home’s value: Whether or not you have a garage already, adding a carports may help the resale value of your home. It can vary greatly on the location and the type of carport you include. However, the right carport can be a valuable addition , often adding most of it’s value to the resale price of your home.
Depending on what type of carports you choose, it’s an excellent addition to your house, provided you have enough space for it.
How Much Do Carports Cost?
There are several factors that can affect how much a carports costs. The major factors are:
- Frame and canopy material
Carports vary in price from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, but the average cost is just under $6000. In addition to the cost of the carport itself, there can be a substantial cost for preparing the concrete slab it sits on.
Inexpensive carports are usually made out of lower-quality materials that rarely last longer than a few seasons. They’re well suited for situations when your family is in town and you want to protect their vehicle.
Most carports are made out of steel or aluminum. As you spend more, the build quality of the carports generally increases (within reason). You’ll find heavier gauge steel in the frame, and more weather-resistant materials on the canopy.
Best Carports Under $500
Inexpensive carports start as low as $200. However, between $200 and $500, these are more like canopies rather than carports.
Most inexpensive carports are not intended to be permanent structures. They’re often not rated for high winds or even snow, and most only warranty their products for one year.
An example of an inexpensive carport is the Abba Patio APGP36PEB.
It’s a 10′ x 20′ carport with removable ‘doors’ on the front and back. It sets up quickly with powder coated, 1 1/2″ steel legs that resist rusting out. The and has thicker, steel legs to be more rigid. The canopy itself is UV and water resistant and attaches to the frame with bungee cords.
It’s not wind or snow rated, so it’s not recommended to leave it out in a bad storm.
Best Carports Under $1000
Between $500 and $1000, you’re generally getting better fabric coverings that are more resistant to weather damage. You can also start to find carports that are rated for snow and higher winds.
More importantly, at this price range, you’re starting to see a lot of different options from companies dedicated solely to making carports and garages.
The sweet spot for carports in this price range is between $600 and $800.
Closer to the $1000 price point, you’re starting to find permanent carports that are designed to be mounted into concrete slabs. While these will offer more protection and be more durable than the less expensive models, I don’t recommend them. If you’re looking for something permanent, skip to the next section and look for a higher quality carport that will last decades.
The best carport under $1000 is the ShelterLogic ShelterCoat carport. It’s rated to withstand winds up to 90 mph, which is stronger than a Category 1 hurricane It’s also rated for up to 40 lbs\sq. ft of snow.
Best Carport Overall
By far, the best carport for the money is the Arrow all-season carport. It comes in dozens of different size configurations and several different paint finishes.
Seriously…you can order this carport in three different widths (10′, 12′ or 20′) and lengths ranging from 20′ all the way up to 100′ long!
Made from a 2″ all-steel frame and 29 gauge galvanized steel roof, it’s rated to withstand winds of up to 100 mph (Category 2 hurricane) and a snow load of 35 PSF.
Retail price for a 20′ x 20′ carport is a little over $2000, so it’s not exactly cheap. However, Arrow warranties it for 10 years, so you know it’s going to be around for a long, long time.
Potential Carport Problems
There isn’t much in the way of maintenance that needs to be done with carports. However they still can have some problems.
The most common issues include:
- Condensation: Moisture inside a building is never a good thing, and that’s still true for your carport. Wooden carports can develop mold and metal carports can potentially rust. You’ll want to make sure that there’s enough air circulation to avoid condensation.
- Leaks: Similarly, if the roof panels get damaged or weren’t installed correctly, they can develop leaks. Often simple leaks could be warning signs for something more serious. If water gets somewhere it’s not supposed to be, that could mean structural problems down the road.
- Not enough space: Carports take up a large amount of space. Even if you think that you have enough space to fit a carport, you may not like how it looks when it’s installed. I strongly recommend marking the dimensions of your carport before you purchase it. That way you’ll be able to “live with it” for some time to really make sure it’s going to work for your home.
- Building Code or HOA’s: I recommend checking with your local building codes before starting any home improvement project. That’s especially true with adding a carport. If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), then you should definitely check with them as well. You may find that carports are prohibited in your community or municipality. Even then, there’s a chance that your neighbors could complain if it’s blocking the view.
- Removing a carport is difficult: Most carports are constructed on a concrete or gravel slab and removing them isn’t so easy. It often requires additional costs that you may not have factored in.
Carports are definitely worth getting if your cars are left outside, exposed to the elements. Snow, rain, heat, sunshine, trees, birds are all capable of damaging your vehicle.
Whether you need a long-term solution or a quick fix, carports are worth taking a look at.
For more on how to keep birds and other pests out of your garage, check out our guide here.