Carport kits and full garages offer homeowners a convenient covered space to store motor vehicles and other large equipment that you don’t necessarily want exposed to the elements. There are several things to consider when choosing between a carport kit and a full garage. For example: what do you need to store, property size and zoning regulations, and how much money you have to invest.
This post will help you understand the difference between a carport kit and a full garage, and the benefits of each type of structure.
What is a Carport Kit?
A carport is a covered structure that generally includes a wood, steel, or fabric roof and is supported by wood or steel posts. A carport kit is prefabricated and built to your specifications before it is delivered to your home or another desired location. You then assemble the carport, or you pay a handyman to put it together for you.
Usually, a carport is attached to an outer wall or walls of a house or building and is supported by a pair of wood or steel posts. The only walls of an attached carport are the walls the carport is attached to. But a carport can also be a freestanding structure. Freestanding carports are completely supported by wood or steel posts and are completely open structures. That means they do not have any walls: just posts and a roof. Since they stand on their own, freestanding carports that can be assembled virtually anywhere.
Carports are strong, sturdy structures that need very little maintenance and can complement any outdoor space. In some cases, carports are designed to be wind rated and snow load rated. That means they are engineered to stand up to extremely tough weather.
How does a Carport Differ from a Full Garage?
There are many obvious differences between a carport and a full garage. The biggest differences are that garages have four walls and usually a minimum of two doors, depending on the width of the garage.
The main door of a full garage is a roll-up door or a series of roll-up doors. Some two-car garages have one roll-up door, while others have a roll-up door for each bay. Generally speaking, a full attached garage also has a door in the back that’s used to either enter the house, while a full detached garage would have a rear or side door that is used as an additional outside access point.
Since a full garage has solid walls, it can also be used as a secure storage building. You can even hang shelves and hooks on a garage wall for storage of tools, hoses, electrical cords, and other items you may want to grab in a hurry. However, a freestanding metal carport can be enclosed with a carport cover kit, which can allow you to store items in it all year long.
What Is the Cost Difference Between a Carport Kit and a Full Garage?
If you’re looking to add a detached garage to your home, there are a number of factors that will determine the price. While it’s not possible to give any kind of estimate for a construction project without knowing all the variables, HGTV notes that there are a few factors that most greatly impact the construction cost if a full garage. The variables include size, the building type, materials, permits, inspections, blueprints, labor, and utilities.
According to HomeGuide, the average cost to build a garage is $35 to $60 per square foot. The cost to build a 1-car garage is between $7,500 to $14,200, a 2-car garage costs $19,600 and $28,200, and a 3-car garage ranges from $28,200 to $42,700.
The purchase price of an Arrow Carport is considerably less than the cost of a full garage. A 10 x 20 carport can cost less than $1,200, while a 20 x 20 carport costs less than $2,300. A 10 x 20 carport allows you to park a single vehicle, while a 20 x 20 carport will let you park two vehicles side by side. In addition to Arrow Carport, ShelterLogic Group brand SOJAG manufactures and sells the 12 x 20 SOJAG Samara carport is about $3,000.
Carport kits are designed to be assembled as a do-it-yourself project. However, you may want to pay a handyman to assist you in putting your carport kit together. Another additional cost that may incur could include site preparation, depending on where on your property you’d like to anchor your carport.
However, a carport is not considered to be a permanent structure. Therefore, most municipalities don’t require a permit to build them, or add them to your tax roll. That would not be the case when you build a full garage.
Overall Appearance of Each Structure
When you plan to build a full garage, it will either match your home exterior or come extremely close to it. You may need to have your home repainted or resided to have it and the garage be a perfect match.
An Arrow Carport comes with two different roof color options, eggshell or charcoal, and can complement your home exterior. A SOJAG Samara carport has a stylish dark grey exterior and can complement homes that have darker siding.
Are Carport Kits Durable?
Arrow Carports are durable structures that are engineered to take on tough weather. They feature a durable 2 in. powder coated steel square tube frame that gives the carport strength and stability. In addition, Arrow Carports have 29-gauge galvanized steel roofs that are treated to protect against corrosion, rust, and other elements.
In addition, Arrow Carports are also wind load and snow load rated, which means they won’t collapse or fall apart when the weather is really bad. They can stand winds up to 100 MPH and hold up to 35 PSF of snow.
Also, Arrow Storage Products also stands by its carports. They offer a 10-year limited warranty on damage caused by rust during normal use.
Carport Kits Offer Versatility and Flexibility
Once your full garage is built, it’s there to stay, and costly to demolish. Since a carport doesn’t require a foundation, these structures can be moved from place to place. Say you want to move your carport from your driveway to your back yard, you can dismantle and re-assemble it. Also, if you move and want to bring your carport with you, it can be done.
Also, as mentioned above, a carport enclosure kit can allow you to use a carport like it’s a garage or an outdoor shed all year long. Carport covers are easy to install, give your stored items or vehicles extra protection from the elements, and provide extra privacy and an additional sense of security.
Additionally, a carport has more versatility because it can also be used as shade structures. A carport kit can be set up as a protective cover over a patio or seating area to keep family and friends protected from the sun or rain. A carport kit can also be assembled over a kid’s play area to keep the little ones protected from the sun, as a cover over an outdoor workshop, and more.
Choose a Carport Kit Over a Full Garage
Make no mistake: a full garage and a carport kit are not the same types of structures.
If you are looking to store more than motor vehicles and need a building that can be secured, then a full garage can be the better choice. However, if you are looking to keep your vehicle free of snow in the winter or protect the exterior from fading in the summer sun, then a carport kit is a wise investment.
If you are looking to renovate your home, then adding a full garage at the same time may be an economical route to take. But if you are not in the process of a remodel, are renting or leasing your home, or are not looking to make a major financial investment, then a carport kit is the way to go.