Carport or Garage: Which is Right For You?

Car going into garage

Your vehicle needs protection when it’s parked on your property. It needs protection from both the elements and from vandalism or theft. Leaving your car exposed to the elements, especially bright and glaring sunshine, can damage your vehicle’s paintwork. Over time, a car’s exposure to sunlight will cause the paint to peel or crack.   A carport or a garage will help provide protection from both the elements and human activity,  but they are very different structures and have alternative uses. Which one is right for you?

Protection from the elements

Both a carport and garage will provide great protection from the elements.

Rain exposure – The rain will not leave your car as clean as you think it would. Yes, rain can remove dust and grime from your car’s bodywork but often does not have enough pressure to do so. What you can get is smeared dirt and watermarks. Furthermore, rain often collects pollutants before falling. This dries on the car and eats away at the paintwork.

Sun exposure – The sun’s ray and heat can cause the paint of your car to peel. Heat and sun can also damage your interiors, causing cracks on your dashboard as the heat dries out the material. Interior upholstery will also fade if it is exposed to constant heat and sunlight.   A garage or a carport is the primary way to protect your vehicles from the elements. They’ll also make it much more comfortable getting into your car during the hotter months. They’ll stop your car from feeling like a furnace when you get in.

Ease of installation and cost

Carports can be free-standing structures or attached to the house. Being open, at least on one side, and often more, they are much easier to install. Some carports even come in kit form, however, unless you are very confident in your building or DIY skills, it’s best to leave a carport’s installation to the experts. They can be installed as quickly as a few hours or a couple of days depending on the design and how much work you’re willing to put in. While you do need approval from the local council to build a carport, you often will not need planning assessment.

A garage takes much longer to build as it is an enclosed area, this is especially true if the garage is going to be completely detached from the main building. Though there is a range for both carports and garages, garages can be much sturdier and fully enclosed with 4 walls and are going to cost much more on average and take longer to build.

GarageAlternative uses

Both a garage and a carport will provide alternative uses. You could store things apart from a car in a carport or garage. Boats can be stored in both. However, a garage does have the advantage of being enclosed so it can also be used as a spare storeroom or even transformed into a living space.

A carport is not as shielded but presents a better use for outdoor activities, such as providing shelter for social gatherings. It’s much more pleasant having a few drinks in an open but shaded area such as a carport rather than a garage.

Whether you choose a garage or a carport will largely depend on what you intend to use it for. Carports are quick to install and much less expensive in general, compared to a garage. So if your primary aim is to protect your car against the elements, then a carport should be more than adequate. If you’re looking for other uses, such as secure storage, or may need more liveable space, it might be worth the extra time and money for a garage.