What to Look For When Choosing a New Carport for Your Home

A carport can be a good addition to any house, even if you already have a garage. The carport can provide protection and shelter for cars that don't fit in the garage or for when you need to keep other items secure in the garage and will park the car outside. There are a number of styles and models of carports from which to choose, so note a few things to remember when you're ready to shop.

1. Material

Usually you can choose between PVC, metal, or wood for your carport. One thing to consider is your home's style; if it's very traditional, PVC might seem a bit industrial, but this material might do well next to a modern home, and metal might help break up the look of brick.

Note too that PVC is very durable and lightweight and may be the most affordable option, but it does need sealing over the years so it doesn't crack. Steel is durable but can eventually corrode and rust; it's also recyclable, as is aluminum. Aluminum is more lightweight so it may be the easiest type of metal carport to install on your own, and it doesn't rust like steel. Wood also needs consistent maintenance and sealing to keep it from rotting or otherwise getting damaged, so note this maintenance factor when choosing the material of your carport.

2. Roof

You may not think much of the roof shape when choosing a carport but if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, you need a more peaked roof that will encourage the snow to slide off the roof. Trenches or grooves in the design of the roof will also help move away snow and rain and, in turn, keep ice from forming and potentially damaging your carport.

3. Storage and use

A carport might be chosen just to store your car underneath, but chances are once you get the carport installed, you'll find lots of items you want to store there as well. Opt for a carport that offers enough space for added storage, and note that some even have built-in bins. A wall along one side also gives you a space to stack bins or install hooks for sporting goods and lawn care equipment that won't fit in the garage.

You may also find that the carport works as a makeshift patio if you don't have other outdoor space. Consider adding a cement pad rather than simple rocks or gravel for added comfort and to keep patio furniture level and even. This will make your carport very versatile.