The Difference Between Garages and Carports and Which One to Choose

The changing seasons and the inclement weather that comes along with them can wreak havoc on your car, causing damage to the finish, the battery, the tires, and the cooling system. Taking precautions, like parking under a carport, to protect your vehicle from the elements will help it stay clean and attractive longer, maintaining its value for when you want to sell it in the future. Keeping your car protect will also keep you and your family safer as you drive.

One of the best ways to protect your car is to park it under the shelter of a parking structure rather than in a parking lot or on the street. Both garages and carports have been used for many decades to provide shelter for vehicles of all kinds, and each type of shelter provides its owners with its own advantages and disadvantages. To help you determine whether a garage or carport would be best for you and your family, we’ll compare some of their features here.

Features of the Standard Garage

The standard garage has four walls, a roof, and doors that fully enclose a vehicle and generally has additional space for a number of other items. Because of these features, a garage will take up a considerable amount of area on your property. A garage may be attached to the home or detached, as a separate structure.

Building a garage entails a significant amount of money, into the tens of thousands of dollars, and also takes a considerable time to construct. Because it is a more permanent structure, a garage will be subject to building codes and regulations that a carport wouldn’t be. However, a garage does add value to your home.

 A garage can give you a lot of extra storage space if your home is lacking it, providing space for boxes, bikes, tools or even an extra fridge or freezer. Because of the enclosed structure, your belongings will be safer from theft and damage. If you have extreme temperature changes throughout the year, a garage will also add an extra layer of insulation from outside elements, protecting your car as well as your belongings.

Features of the Standard Carport

Carports generally consist of a simple roof, set on solid poles at the corners. There are no walls, doors or windows in this construction, and like a garage, it can be attached to your home or constructed as a separate structure.

They are relatively inexpensive to construct and can be put up quickly, often in just a weekend or two. Carports are not subject to regulatory restrictions, as garages are, so there is no need to submit building plans to your city or wait for building permits before you begin. If you have the equipment and experience, you can build your carport yourself with relative ease.

Because of its open setup, a carport will give you more versatility of usage than a garage would. You can easily use you carport as a shaded area for barbecues, for outdoor work or for play areas when it is not occupied by your car.

The lack of walls means your carport will have less security than a garage with doors and locks would, but if you don’t have expensive equipment to store and you have ample storage areas for boxes inside your home, there is no reason for this to be an issue.

Determining Your Individual Needs

Garages and carports both provide benefits to their owners, so there’s no need to rush into buying one or the other before considering your unique needs. If you have limited storage space in your home or heavy, outdoor equipment and don’t have the space on your property for a storage shed, a garage could fit your needs better. If you live in an area with extreme weather, a garage could again provide more protection for your vehicle.

However, often people see the garage as being traditional and they don’t consider their other options. These people may believe they need a garage when a carport would fit their needs better.

Carports are much cheaper and more convenient to build. They are ideal for spending time outdoors enjoying the good weather while protecting you and your family from excessive sun and heat. If your home has an attic, basement or external shed, you won’t need the excess storage of a garage as well, and as long as you don’t live in an area with more extreme temperatures, a carport would likely suit your home well.

Carports can be the most cost-effective way to shelter your vehicles against the storm. However, car owners may have their own individual considerations, which may affect their decision. Take a look at the advantages of each type, and determine which will work best for your needs.