Aluminum and Metal Carports

metal carports
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Carports are actually not as new of construction as many might think. Carports were invented shortly after cars began appearing in everyday homes. Sometimes people would just park their new Model T’s in their barn, but soon people wanted something more specialized for just the car. So the first recorded carport was designed by an architect who decided his customer needed something attached to the home under which to park his special automobile. And thus the beginning of carports. Today they are found from integral parts of the home to poly portable carports, but they all have one thing in common- their purpose of protecting a car.

Metal carports are one of the strongest in the prefabricated line of carports. Poly materials have made great strides over the last 50 years to improve their durability, but metal will nearly always win out over time.

When buying metal carports it is important to check not only how thick and strong the metal siding is for the roof and sides, but also how strong the superstructure is. Things like snow load will be the real test of how strong it is. Be sure to talk with the carport supplier about snow load before purchasing it. One good way to determine how much snow load capacity is needed for a particular area is to talk to local builders. Just because a carport is for sale does not mean that it will withstand the amount of snow that may fall in your area. Collapsed carports lead to damaged cars, and that is what we are trying to avoid.

Carport kits are popular because they come complete and ready for assembly. For those who do not like running all over town and building a shelter from scratch, a kit is a good choice. High quality carport kits should come with everything pre-cut and pre-numbered. This is a time saving selling point for many homeowners.

Aluminum or metal carport kits should be seriously considered as viable options when shopping. So when shopping don’t forget to look past just the first few websites that advertise Carports. Some will have much more detailed product information than others.

Double Carport Measurements

Figuring out measurements for a double carport is a necessary step homeowners need to take before making the decision to build their first carport. Parking space for two cars is a common need for many homes, and double-wide carports are an effective and economical option. Rather than invest in a real garage, building a carport that could possibly be closed in one day is a great way to protect and store your cars out of the elements.
But how big do I need to build when I am drawing up my double carport plans? Well, the answer depends on exactly what you are going to store, but I’m going to talk about some basic dimensions that you can start your planning with.  For example, if you tend to drive compact cars, or have one car and a couple of smaller recreational vehicles, like a four-wheeler or motorcycle, then you can get away with a pretty small carport.  However if you tend to drive large cars, especially two-doors, or have a van, or a mid to full-size pickup truck, then you are going to find the minimum carport size recommendations pretty tight, and will end up with only partial protection for your vehicles.
Small single car carports are often sized at 10×20 feet. If you don’t have much room then this will house your car, but there won’t be room for much else, and the overhang (which provides better protection from morning and afternoon sun, and rain that is driven in by wind) will be almost non-existent. A better compromise on size would be 12×24 feet, and again this is just for vehicle storage only. If you expect to store anything else or build some shelves or cabinets along one side or an end, you should account for at least another 4 foot expansion on the sides of the car port where you will be adding items.
For a double carport enclosure, I’ll skip the minimum dimensions because I think they are really too small to be useful, and I’ll go right to a compromise between a size which provides cost savings as well as a decent amount of room to move around. A double wide carport needs to be about 20-24 feet wide, and a minimum of 24 feet long.  If you are building a structure with a post in the middle of the front, you definitely want a bit of extra room so you can get each vehicle through its respective ‘door’.  For comparison, most double garages these days are built about 24’x22’, but this again is on the small side. If you want room to move around the vehicles and space to store anything else, you are better off building up to 30’ wide by 28’ deep.