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Carport Plans - Which Carport Design is Best for You?

Updated on July 2, 2013

A carport can be a great addition to your home. Here's a look at some different types of carports, so you can choose what might work best for you.

While the basic concept of carports are the same - a roof with open sides on them - the construction materials and ruggedness will lead to a lot of variation in the expected life versus the initial cost of your carport. The good news is that since the construction approach is pretty simple, a carport is a project that doesn't require master carpenter skills to do successfully.

Types of Carports

Standalone carport vs attached: Of course an attached carport gives easier access in bad weather, but a standalone is much more flexible when it comes to location. Attached carports often are built like lean-to structures, with flatter roofs, while a standalone will often have more of a pitch with a gabled roof. Either one of course works better near the driveway!

Metal vs Wooden Carports - Steel and aluminum are the two most common materials for metal carports. Metal tends to be lighter, easier to erect, but often not as durable as wood. Wood may need the addition of roofing and paint, but can be made as rugged as a standard house construction.

Size- Is one car enough, or do you need to size it for two or more cars. Or are you simply parking some lawn and garden equipment under it, so a smaller size will suffice? It's important to think the size through before choosing your design.

Plans To Download or Carport Building Books

One way to get carport plans is to download them. This gives you the obvious advantage of having the plans available almost immediately. For example, you can download plans here. Since you can't look at them ahead of time you want to have a money back guarantee. These days almost all of them are in PDF format, so you can open them on any computer, including Macs, and print them out on about any printer.

You can buy a book of carport plans. Check the reviews on Amazon as books of plans vary greatly in the detail they offer. Some present more of an overview of plans, while other include detailed drawing, materials lists and construction steps. You can find kits for building a carport.Metal carports are often sold as a kit.

One great way to build from a kit is to buy a kit of connecting elements, which then use lumber that is cut according to the materials list. The use of the connector elements greatly simplifies the construction, as you simply attach the lumber with the connectors, so there are no tricky angles or corners that need to be built, that's all handled by the kit. If you are looking at carports, you may want to use one for something other than parking a car. If you are planning to park another type of vehicle, like a boat or a recreational vehicle, take care to build to the right height. Particularly with a boat, be sure to design to the highest point when the boat is on it's trailer.

A carport can also be used as a patio or porch covering, or act as a simple gazebo type structure in the yard or a picnic area. Finally, is your carport just a temporary solution until you can have a garage? If so, take care to make sure that the supports are sized to make the addition of walls straightforward (size it for panels) and be sure to use standard building materials, and not simple metal poles then you could have a garage by adding the walls to your carport as your finances permit.

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