Best Carports Buyers Guide

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Best Carports Buyers Guide

For anyone that doesn’t have the space, or the need for a garage, but still loves their car and wants to keep it safe – then a carport might be the right option for you. Many carports can actually be built without seeking planning permission (although it is important to always check as if you opt for a particularly large carport you may still find yourself needing planning permission), which means that you can save yourself a lot of time, money and potential rejection by opting for a carport instead of a garage.

A carport is the perfect solution for anyone that is sick of their car getting wet or becoming covered in leaves, or even worse – sap – when it is not being used. There is nothing more soul destroying than spending hours cleaning and polishing your car, only for it to start raining half an hour later! A car port will be there to protect your car – and sometimes other outdoor belongings – from whatever adverse weather is thrown your way. However, there is actually a growing trend of carports being used for something other than just cars! As many garages across the country have become workshops and tool sheds instead, so is the trend following for carports, as they are a perfect place to complete DIY, being able to make the most of the fresh air but continue work no matter what the weather.

If purchasing a carport is sounding more and more appealing then keep reading for everything that you need to know about carports. We have also included some of the best carports you can buy at the moment – to make your life even easier.

Best Pick – Palram Arcadia Carport

Palram Arcadia 5000 Carport Grey-Robust Structure for Year-Round Use
12 Reviews
Palram Arcadia 5000 Carport Grey-Robust Structure for Year-Round Use
  • Protecting your car and patio furniture from sun, rain, hail and snow
  • Sturdy and durable - powder coated aluminium structure, supporting galvanised steel arches and joints, galvanised steel 80x80 mm poles
  • Virtually unbreakable twin wall polycarbonate covering
  • Includes 2 rain gutters and anchoring kit
  • Easy assembly and maintenance free- no rust, rot, moss or fungus to peel

Last update on 2021-03-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In a Hurry?

The sooner you can be enjoying your carport the better, and we’re sure you’ll agree. No one wants to be working on their car, or on anything for that matter, in the pouring rain. Equally, if you have a nice car sitting outside getting covered in leaves and sap from the trees then you need to get buying – and quick – as tree sap can actually permanently damage the paintwork of your car. This part of the article is full of essential information that you need to make it easier to purchase your carport. 

Types of Carport

There are two main types of carport available to you depending on what exactly you are looking for, these are; freestanding and lean-to. Both have pros and cons which we will discuss below.

  • Freestanding carports – A free-standing carport can be erected on pretty much any hard standing. It needs no support and will be sturdy and strong enough to hold itself in pretty much all weather conditions. This is perfect for if you want your carport to be built a bit of a distance away from your home, as you do not need to build a structure to help secure your carport. However, this does tend to mean they have to be made out of more sturdy materials (more on this below) and have a stronger frame, which does then make them more expensive.
  • Lean-to carports – Lean-to carports will do just that….they lean against your house (or another outbuilding) using the structure and stability of that building to stay upright. This tends to make them much cheaper to purchase and can also make them easier to erect. Another benefit of lean-to carports is that the wall of house will offer you and your car added protection against the elements. However, it is important to remember that lean-to carports are likely going to need securing to the side of your house, which could cause some damage to the building, particularly if you decide to remove the carport at any point!

Size

As all cars are different shapes and sizes, it makes sense that carports are different shapes and sizes too. We found models ranging from around all the way up to.

Obviously the size of your carport is not only going to be impacted by the size of your car, but also the space that you have available! We would recommend opting for a larger carport where possible so that you have space for more than just your car if necessary, and it will give you maneuverability when getting your car in and out!

TOP TIP: If your carport is a lean-to then it can also act as a fantastic wood store if you have a wood burning stove! Wood can be built up against the side of the house so it is protected, whilst still leaving enough space for your car if you buy a big enough model.

Carport Construction Materials

There are various different materials that are used for building carports. Choosing the right one depends on not only your budget, but also the look that you are aiming for and the area that you are building your car port!

Wood

One of the cheaper options for a carport is wood. Wood can be durable and long lasting, but does require maintenance and upkeep to stay this way, which is why it isn’t always a popular choice. You are going to need to be prepared to treat your carport every couple of years to avoid rot developing – as this is going to be your car port’s nemesis! Slow grown timber such as conifer timber is going to be your best option if possible as this will be more resistant to rot and wear.

However, as much as wooden carports are going to require more work, the best wooden carports will usually have a much more traditional and aesthetically pleasing look than metal models. So if you know that your carport is going to be on show, or maybe have an older property, then a wooden car port could quite simply just look better! Not only this, but a wooden carport is going to be more environmentally friendly than metal.

TOP TIP: There are many wooden carports that actually come with untreated wood, so you either need to look specifically for one that has already been treated, or be prepared with wood stain/paint so that you can do this as soon as the carport is protected. The less time that the timber is open to the elements unprotected the better!

Metal

Metal carports are popular for many as they will usually be lighter and easier to erect, plus they need less maintenance as they will be better resistant to the weather conditions they are facing! You do have to watch out for rust, as once a metal carport starts to rust you will struggle to stop it completely, but you should have a number of years of use out of your carport before you need to worry about that!

We found that most carports are made out of aluminum or galvanised steel – or sometimes a bit of both, which are both strong and durable metals that will be able to withstand both the wind and the rain. Galvanised steel is going to have additional anti-rust features so is the best option for bases and legs. It is important to remember that although a metal carport won’t need treating and staining like a wooden one would, it is still going to need regular cleaning (particularly if you opt for a flat roof) if you want it to last and avoid rusting.

Roof

The three main options that you will have for your carport roof is a gable roof, a flat roof or an apex roof. A flat roof will be cheaper initially as there is less materials needed and generally easier in terms of construction. However, flat roofs are notoriously bad for raining in! A flat roof’s design is…well flat…which means that rain water finds it much harder to drain off. This means that in bad weather you could find a lot of water beginning to collect on your roof. This is fine for the first few times but over time this is going to severely damage the life of your roof. There are ways to protect your roof though, so if you feel that a flat roof is the best option for you to make your carport more discreet or if you are limited on space then don’t be too put off!

Your next option is a gable (or slanted) roof. These are obviously much more ergonomically designed in terms of water run off, so you don’t need to worry as much about damage to the roof. They do tend to need more effort when constructing and are obviously going to need more space, so this is something to consider. They are perfect for if you are against a building though as they will use the side of the building to help with moving the water away from your car.

Your final option is an apex roof which is only really suitable for free-standing car ports. This will allow the water to flow onto either side of the carport and away. However, if one of these is placed directly next to your house then you are going to have half of the water running right down the wall of your house – which is never a good idea and could lead to damp problems and damage to the outer brickwork of your home. But if you know that your carport is going to be a freestanding and a distance away from a building then it is definitely the best option.

For the roofing materials you will usually have a choice of shingles, polycarbonate, steel or roofing tiles. Polycarbonate is relatively cheap and light, however not the most attractive (in our opinion). Roof tiles are going to be more expensive but you can possibly get them to match your house so the overall look is neater!

Best Budget – Caravan Canopy

The Best Carport Extras

Here are some of those features that really stood out to us on the best carports. Living in the UK means that we face changing weather extremes through the year – so if you’re serious about keeping your car protected then look out for these….

  • Bitumen shingles – these are arguably the best for construction as they are easy to install and heat resistant too! They also meet the Harmonised European Standard EN 544 so you can be sure they are of good quality.
  • Wood quality – If you go for a wooden carport then the best will have wood that has been autoclave treated or high-temperature treated. These will be insect resistant and rot-proof making them much more durable and requiring much less maintenance.
  • Guttering – Some of the best carports will come with guttering around the edge of the roof and downpipes to allow the water to drain away. This is fantastic to ensure that no water is going to end up getting near your car. Not just this, but we know that water has a mind of its own – having downpipes will help to ensure that water moves away in the direction YOU choose, instead of towards your house or lawn.
  • Double sided carports – If you are still worried about your car and other belongings getting wet under the carport then you can actually get carports that have two covered sides. So it is still more open than a garage, but there is that added protection from side winds and rain.

Best of the Rest

Outsunny Garden Gazebo Marquee Party Tent Wedding Portable Garage Carport shelter Car Canopy Outdoor Heavy Duty Steel Frame Waterproof Rot Resistant (4m x 4m)
40 Reviews
Outsunny Garden Gazebo Marquee Party Tent Wedding Portable Garage Carport shelter Car Canopy Outdoor Heavy Duty Steel Frame Waterproof Rot Resistant (4m x 4m)
  • ✅High quality, rust resistant, heavy duty fully galvanized steel framework. Heavy duty metal corner joints make it more durable and add extra stability.
  • ✅Heavy duty metal base plate: suitable for use on lawns as well as hard standing.
  • ✅Positioned with wing nuts on joints ensure higher stability.
  • ✅Durable water proof and rot-resistant polyethylene cover.
  • ✅Removable sidewalls & zippered doors for cross ventilation and venting on hot days.

Last update on 2021-03-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

BIRCHTREE Heavy Duty Waterproof 3m x 6m Carport Party Tent Canopy White 180g Polyester Steel Frame
41 Reviews
BIRCHTREE Heavy Duty Waterproof 3m x 6m Carport Party Tent Canopy White 180g Polyester Steel Frame
  • Size: 3(W)x6(L)x2.6(H)M PE party tent/Carport
  • Frame: Galvanized.High Quality, heavy-duty steel framework 38MM with 0.8mm thickness steel pole, 1mm thickness steel joint.
  • 42mm for steel joint Cover, 180g Polyethylene UV protected,which is Waterproof, rot-resistant, and UV protected material.
  • WITHOUT WINDOW OR SIDEWALL, 2 Roll-up door with 2 DOOR. Ground coverage area of 18 square meter.
  • Removable font door & back door for cross ventilation and venting on hotdays.

Last update on 2021-03-09 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fit lights in a carport?
Yes! Obviously they are going to be more exposed to adverse weather than in a garage so it is important to make sure that you opt for light fittings with electrics that are protected from any rain or other damp situations but these are relatively cheap and easy enough to buy now.

Do I need planning permission for a car port in the UK?
No – you do not need planning permission for a detached car port in the UK. However, there are some sticking points that you need to check are met before you go ahead. For example, a carport that is attached to the house and not freestanding will be seen as an extension so you could need planning permission for this. It also must be used for domestic purposes only. It also must be a maximum height of 4 metres and be less than half the size of your home. If you are unsure, it is always worth checking before making your purchase.

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