When looking for a quality shelter to park your vehicle, carports and garages are the most common choices. But which one should you go for? How are they even different? Find out more about these structures and make the right choice for your vehicle.
A carport is a semi-covered steel or fabric construction consisting of a roof supported by metal posts. The open-style structure is either free-standing or attached to a building. Attached carports may be covered from the side by 1-2 walls but traditional (free-standing) carports only offer a roof for protection.
A garage, on the other hand, is an enclosed construction, walled on all 4 sides with a roof. Much like a carport, it may be attached to a home or maybe a standalone construction.
Garages have a wall-sized door to let the vehicle in which can be closed to secure it.
Carports typically offer protection from the sun, rain, and snow. Modern carports are made of metal and are modular in style. While this adds to portability, it takes away from sturdiness. The lack of walls leaves a vehicle vulnerable during extreme conditions like thunderstorms or cyclones.
The protection a garage can offer is substantial. Being a robust construction, it offers protection from all elements – from sunlight to thunderstorms. When equipped with a locking mechanism it confers even further protection from vandals and thieves.
With minimal requirements for both materials and labor, carports are the more economical method of the two. On average, carports cost about half as much as garages. Garages, on the other hand, cost a lot more for obvious reasons. On average, prefabricated garage kits are about double the price of carport kits.
While both carports and garages have their pros and cons, neither is definitively better than the other. Garages offer more reliable protection and are aesthetically pleasing. Carports offer minimal protection but are portable and economical.
An interesting little anecdote: When describing the carport back in 1936, Frank Lloyd Wright said, “A car is not a horse, and it doesn’t need a barn. Cars are built well enough now so that they do not require elaborate shelter.”
While that analogy isn’t completely justifiable given the possibility of adverse environmental conditions, the basic protection offered by carports is sometimes enough. When choosing between the better option to park your vehicle, always factor in the unique conditions facing your house and area to make the right choice.