Whether you live in a cold or hot climate, a carport can make your life easier. Just think, you head out in the dead of winter and your car is covered in snow. Or perhaps you live in a tropical climate, and your car feels like 1,000 degrees in the middle of summer.
These carport ideas will help you create an outdoor space that will protect your car from the elements. No more snow piling up high on your vehicle. No more sun rays beating down and cooking your car and its interior.
If you’re ready to build a DIY carport, then consider these options before settling on your choice.
1. Modern Carport Ideas
Do you live in a modern looking home? Then you need to pair your modern home with a carport that also looks modern. This means sleek lines, minimal details, and modern materials.
Try using a combination of materials for your modern carport. You could use metal to create the main structure, then use wood to create a privacy wall, and then have clear acrylic for the roof. By using the different materials, you can experience the benefits that they have to offer.
The acrylic roof is a modern design that allows light to filter through, keeping the space under it well-lit and usable. Look for a roofing material that’s curved for a modern and unique look to your carport. The curve also helps keep the roof clear and reduces the amount of maintenance you’ll have.
When choosing the wood, look for pressure-treated or moisture resistant wood. This will ensure it looks beautiful and will last. Bamboo, redwood, cypress, and red cedar are all durable woods. Use 2×4 cuts of wood beams that you’ll mount horizontally with a small space between each piece.
For the ultimate in modern carport ideas, consider skipping the traditional building materials completely. A tarpaulin or shade sail carport is a large piece of waterproof canvas or polyester material. It’s cut into a custom shape that gets mounted over your parking area.
This single piece of material is protective, durable, streamlined, and can easily cover multiple vehicles.
2. Attached Carport Ideas
An attached carport is an awning or roof structure that extends out from your home or another building. The existing building supports one side and posts support the other. These attached structures can be made out of all kinds of materials.
The trick to making your attached carport look great is to use the same materials that the existing building is made out of. This makes the carport look like it’s an original and intended part of the building.
If you can’t use the original materials, then you should use something that blends well. Homes that are more traditional in style and design can benefit from a wood frame carport. Homes that are more modern can look beautiful with a metal carport structure.
When you attach your carport to your home, be sure you have the right structural supports in place. You need to attach the carport in the right location on your home so that it will support the weight. You also need to have the proper support on the other side so that it doesn’t sink and rip off of the home.
3. Wooden Carport Ideas
Wood is a versatile, affordable, and durable material that’s perfect for building your carport. You just need to be sure that you use wood that’s meant for outdoor use. Otherwise, you risk it succumbing to moisture or bugs.
When designing your wooden carport, you need to think about the style you’re going for. A pergola carport looks beautiful, is easy to build, and enhances the look of your home. Pergolas are a structure with supporting posts on the outside and beams spaced out across the roof.
You can then either leave it open or place metal or wood sheeting over it.
For more traditional homes, you can create cross beams and a solid roof with shingles. This is a smart approach if you plan to have your carport attached to your house.
Wood carports are perfect for closing in one, two, three, or all four sides. This gives you freedom in how you design your carport. You could also attach your carport to a shed for additional storage.
4. Small Carport Ideas
If you have a smaller vehicle, only one car, or limited real estate space, then a small carport is a smart way to go. These carports can be independent canopies, but most are attached to the wall of an existing building or house. You’ll find them made out of a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, concrete, and stone.
If you already have a concrete pad where you park your car, then you can easily build a small cover that extends over the area. You could build a cover that extends out from the side of your house.
You can also consider building a carport garage. These are small detached garage structures that have a flat roof that extends out to create a covered parking area. This gives you a double benefit of having an enclosed garage for additional storage and a safe space to park your car.
Keep the style and design of your home in mind when creating your garage plan. You’ll want this structure to make sense visually next to your house design. This will ensure a positive return on your property value.
5. Double Carport Ideas
If a single carport isn’t big enough, then you may need a double or even triple carport. These larger structures let you fit more than one vehicle under them. Similar to the single carport, you can build your double cover out of a wide variety of materials.
Keep in mind that your double carport will need double the space and budget. This larger structure will also have a bigger visual impact on your property. Because of this, you may want to consider constructing a more substantial building.
If you can’t afford a full stone or concrete structure, then a pole barn construction will provide the same level of protection for a more affordable price. Try changing up its look by creating beautiful landscaping or a garden around it. This will camouflage the look of your large metal structure.
For the most functionality under your structure, limit the number of center poles. This will reduce the risk of you banging a door and creating scratches or dents.
6. Solar Carport Ideas
If you’re looking to go solar, then consider making your carport out of solar panels. This eliminates the need to put the solar panels on the roof of your home. Combining your solar project with your carport is a convenient way to draw less energy from the grid.
You might not even need a separate roofing material under the panels. Instead, taller panels can be mounted high enough off the ground to serve as the roof.
You’ll need to work with an established and reputable solar company to determine the best carport design. This will ensure your panels are the most productive. Once installed, you can attach your solar system to your home battery or electric vehicle charging port.
7. Metal Carport Ideas
A metal carport is an affordable and simple structure that you can quickly build and customize to your needs, budget, and available space. They use the same building concepts as woodl building structures. There are support posts that create the framework and a flat covering to make the roof.
Most metal carports are made out of steel or aluminum for their strength and durability. You can build a completely separate structure from your home with one of the many metal carport kits available. You could also build a custom structure that’s an attached steel carport extending out from the side of your home.
Once you have the framework, choose your roofing material. It could be a clear acrylic that let’s plenty of sunlight through. This can also create a lot of heat in the carport.
Choosing an insulated metal roof will keep your car in the shade and cool. This type of roof lets you convert your carport for other uses beyond just storing your car. You could use it as a patio cover for a useable outdoor space or enclose it and make a metal garage or man cave out of it.
8. Carriage House Carport Ideas
If your home is more traditional, then a carriage house inspired carport is the perfect addition to your home. These carports use the same building materials that were used to construct your home. They feature more substantial columns and have a roof that mirrors the one on your home.
These structures look permanent and can have siding and shingles. They may even have a usable “attic” space above the carport. To complete the look, you could add a window or gable to the carport so that it echoes the style of your home.
You can create your carriage style carport to be attached to your home, or it could be an independent structure. Either way, these carports can be small and cover one car or larger and cover multiple vehicles.
A common feature for these carports is to have solid sides. This creates a more substantial structure and building effect. You could then easily close it in by installing a garage door on the open end.
What is the minimum amount of space I need for a carport?
Typical dimensions for a single carport are 12 x 20 feet. A double carport typically measures 20 x 20 feet. Go smaller than these dimensions and it won’t adequately protect your car or give you enough space to maneuver.
Do I have to worry about permits?
Yes, you should check your local building codes to determine if you are required to get a permit for your new structure. This is also when you should check for any codes that limit the size of your building. These requirements can change if the structure is an independent carport or attached awning.
How do I choose a carport material?
Choose the material that you can afford and will last the longest in the climate you live in. If you live in a place with high moisture, then concrete can crack. Natural stone looks beautiful, but it’s also the most expensive. Aluminum is lightweight and affordable, but also more at risk of damage in areas with high wind.
Should I choose a kit or design a custom carport?
Measure the space you have available and the size of the carport you need to protect your vehicle. If these needs fit a carport kit, then you can save money on materials and installation with a pre-packaged model. If you need a unique size, like an RV carport, then you’ll be better off designing a custom carport that fits your vehicle size.