Is a Metal Carport a Good Investment?
Reprinted from Shelter Logic Group Store Knowledge; Dec. 30, 2022
Making the decision to invest in a metal carport often makes more sense than most people realize. While using it for a vehicle is common, it is far more flexible and can be used in many other ways. It can also be a long-term investment, one that you make today that lasts for years. If you are not sure if a metal carport is the right investment for you, consider the following details that could help you decide.
What Exactly Are Metal Carports?
So, what is a carport? A carport is a structure often featuring a roof that’s supported by beams and posts. A variety of options exist, providing various sizes and shapes to accommodate different types of vehicles or storage needs. Most often, a carport is not fully enclosed. Its sides may have partial cover or no cover, with the front and back open to the environment.
Most often, carports sit in an area to allow a driver to pull a vehicle inside it, allowing for the vehicle to have overhead protection from the elements. Depending on location, that could mean minimizing the amount of snow, UV light, or rain that builds up on the vehicle. It is a type of garage structure, and though it is designed for the storage of a vehicle, it is often far more useful.
Why Is a Metal Carport a Good Investment?
A metal or steel carport can offer several valuable benefits for property owners. Here are a few key reasons why you may want to choose a carport.
- Affordable: Carports tend to be much more affordable to put up and use than building a garage on the property. They allow the property owner to gain some level of protection without the high cost associated with designing, building, and maintaining a garage.
- Value added: If your home does not have a garage, the use of a carport could add value to the property. The weather protection they offer to a home could be a reason enough to add one in itself, especially if you plan to sell the home.
- Minimizes damage: Another key reason to invest in a carport is that it helps to reduce the damage to the vehicle under it. Snow isn’t just a problem to clear away but can cause damage to the structural integrity of the vehicle over time. Hail can strike a vehicle causing expensive damage. Carports help to minimize these risks.
- Add square footage: If you need more storage space for your vehicles than your home allows, adding a carport is easy enough to do. They do not take long to set up nor require a lot of complicated maintenance tasks. Yet, once in place, they provide far more square footage.
Depending on your needs, a carport could be a very good investment for your home and can even be beneficial at a commercial business. Take a few minutes to consider how you could use this space.
Metal Carports Offer Protection for Your Car
Carports add a lot of protection for vehicles. For those that do not have an enclosed garage, the use of a carport could mean far more opportunities to protect the vehicle from threats like the following:
- Rain: Keep the car dry even if it is raining hard. Heavy rain is a common concern, especially when there is an added risk of thunderstorms, lightning, and wind. Though it will not keep the card completely dry, it will provide a way to minimize the amount of exposure your vehicle gets, protecting the vehicle from excessive rain and rust.
- Snow: Many people purchase a carport for this reason. The carport will likely keep most of the snow off your vehicle, allowing you to avoid having to shovel it off or scrape off ice. That helps to protect your vehicle a bit more.
- Hail: Hail is a particular concern to vehicles as it can strike and break windows unexpectedly. You may find that hail is damaging to the paint, windows, mirrors, and even the metal of the vehicle.
- UV rays: In some cases, UV rays can be problematic for the paint on a vehicle. If there is not enough protection from the sun for your car, this could lead to early damage, including paint cracks and dents.
Metal Carports Offer Flexibility
As noted, the most common use of a carport is for the protection of a vehicle. Yet, there are a few more ways you can use this space, too. You can use a carport for many things, including:
- Covered patio: Placing a carport in your backyard could create a covered patio area that allows you to easily and effortlessly create a covered space for any needs you may have.
- Outdoor workspace: A larger carport can easily become an outdoor workspace for you to use for any projects you are taking on. That could be an area to start a car repair or a place to do some woodworking. You can enclose the carport on one or more sides to place equipment within it.
- Added storage: You can use a metal carport for storage of anything you need. Place plastic totes under this structure that you are using to pack or renovate an area. Use the area to store your bike or other outdoor items you own.
- Grill area: Place a carport in your backyard, perhaps over a slab of concrete, to create a grilling area. You can set up a small outdoor kitchen under this area.
- Outdoor office space: If you need a space to greet customers as they come in or want a place to work from at home but outdoors, a carport can create the right amount of shade for just about any plans you have. This is a great way, too, to interact with customers who may not want to come into the location.
- Garden prep area: Do you need an area that allows you to prepare potted plants or to hold your vegetables once they are grown? You may want to use a carport as a way to help you to have some shade to work in on those hot days.
There are really no limits to the way you can use a carport. Remember that they offer a lot of key benefits:
- They provide shade protection that you can do just about anything under when there is a need.
- You can move them from one area to the next as you need to do so.
- They work well for those who need flexible storage from one job site to the next.
- They provide worker protection and shade during hot summer days.
- Use them as a way to store construction materials or other items that you are going to use for a project.
- Choose a size that’s right for just about any need or protection.
- They are durable and are not likely to struggle to stay up even on windy days.
Metal Carports Provide Great Value for the Money
When you consider the value that carports bring, it is impossible not to recognize the value of them. You have a lot of options to select from, and costs are specifically related to the size and type of structure you select. A steel carport is going to cost more than other metals, for example. Larger carports will cost more than smaller models.
However, when you compare the price of a metal carport compared to the cost of installing a new garage, you can see that there is a lot of value in choosing the carport. The cost to build a garage is often much higher, especially because you have to build a foundation, design the garage structure, and add weatherproofing to it. Of course, a garage offers a lot of added benefits and features that you cannot get with a carport. Yet, when the features of a carport are exactly what you need, why choose anything else?
Metal Carports Can Be Enclosed
One of the key things to remember about a carport is that you can enclose it. You can transform your carport into an enclosure that offers protection on all sides, or just a few sides, depending on what your needs are. There are a wide range of ways to do this, including adding fabric carport enclosures that go on rather easily and often use Velcro to keep them closed.
For those who want a more extravagant and permanent solution, you can build walls on either side of your carport that fit your needs, such as adding a wood structure to the back of the carport or using cinderblocks to build up the side if you want to really keep it from being exposed.
Often, you can take down the structure’s enclosure, too. That means it can be present during the winter or rainy months when you need more protection, and then you can take it down during the summer when you want better access. Most often, a carport enclosure is going to be an easy way to add:
- More privacy to the structure
- Improved weather protection from rain or snow
- Improved protection against wind damage
- More added value to the home
- More usable storage space for items that may require a bit more protection
Not all structures are weather tight. Yet, many people are not looking for the perfect level of protection. For example, if you own an ATV, boat, or RV, you may want an enclosure that protects most areas of the vehicle from wind and other weather damage.
Even with an enclosure like this, these carports tend to be highly affordable compared to building a solid structure.
Metal Carports Are Extremely Durable
Just how much can the carport stand? It may not sound like a carport is a very strong and sturdy structure, but in fact, it can be very much so. There is a range of products on the market to choose from, and it is important for you to ensure you are purchasing a carport that is designed to provide the level of protection you need.
To know what can help you, look at the window and snow load ratings provided by the manufacturer. Metal carports will have a wind rating and a snow load rating that helps you know how much to expect. This provides insight into the recommended high levels for those structures. If it exceeds those levels, the material within it may not be as protected. The higher the ratings are, the more durability they face.
You will find some that are able to handle high speeds, and a significant amount of snow buildup often options enough to fit all of your needs. If you live in an area known for high speeds as well as heavy snow, you need to consider the ratings carefully.
How to Find the Right Metal Carport
To find the metal carport right for you, consider:
- What you plan to store in it
- What type of weather is present in your area
- What amount of height do you need for the items to move through it, especially for tall items like an RV
- What is your budget
- Do you want an enclosure for it
Finding the right metal carport for your property depends on multiple factors, including your overall goals for the use of that space. You may also find that some carports are simply more durable and more attractive than others. Choose what works for your needs and budget, along with any added needs you have.
What Size Metal Carport Do You Need?
One of the most important final decisions you need to make when it comes to choosing a carport is the size. Again, the first step is determining what you hope to put in the area. Map it out on your property, so you have a clear vantage point of what to expect.
Check out a few different sizes of carports to determine which works for your needs. Arrow Carports come in four different widths: 10 ft., 12 ft., 14 ft., and 20 ft. The 10 ft., 12 ft., and 20 ft. models have a 7 ft. clearance height, while the 14 ft. model has a clearance height of 14 ft. 7 in.
Take the time to consider all of these factors before you make a buying decision. The best use of a carport is one that solves the problems you have while also providing you with the flexibility, durability, and overall function that is best suited for your goals.
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