Using Carports to Maximize Space and Save Money

Aside from being incredibly useful for storing your vehicle, carports are also an excellent way to protect your vehicles from harsh weather conditions.  This is a particularly effective means of storing oddly-shaped vehicles, motorcycles and other utilities (i.e. lawnmower), even during the worst, coldest day of winter. For example, if you restore old hot rods and have run out of room to store all of your finished vehicles, you could put a carport in your backyard or right next to your existing garage – that way you could easily move the car back and forth if further work was needed.

Carports are extremely useful for those who reside in small houses or even mobile homes, providing an area to store vehicles without taking up too much space.  People who live in trailer parks don’t usually get too much space, so carports are an exceptional way to store any kind of vehicle or machine that needs to be protected from the weather, damage or other such circumstance.

Putting in carports instead of building onto existing garages, homes or other structures can save thousands of dollars.  Conservative estimates place the cost of building a brand-new two-car garage in the area of $12,000 to $20,000 dollars.  Depending on your personal carport needs, this cost can be reduced in a huge way, with carports costing literally thousands of dollars less than the price you would pay to have a garage put onto your property.

Even if you have plenty of garage space at your home, a carport can be an effective means to store vehicles, so that you can utilize your garage as a workshop during major home renovation or other such project.  You won’t have to fumble around various vehicles and other materials during your work – the cars and vehicles that would normally be in your way will be safely stored away from the harsh elements that can cause severe damage.  If you need more space around your home or need a way to store your vehicle in a cost-effective manner, then a carport might be the right option for you.

What Features Should a Canopy Have?

Nearly all structures carried at Portable Garage Depot and Shelters of America are canopies, including both permanent canopies like carports and portable garages and temporary structures like pop-up canopies and party tents. But, what characteristics should a canopy have? As a canopy essentially protects your vehicle – or you – outdoors, it needs to meet certain expectations. For a permanent shelter like a carport, this includes:

• Being made from heavy-duty polyethylene. Medium-duty polyethylene and vinyl are generally considered too weak for repeated outdoor use and will become worn sooner. The only exception to this rule is an all-metal carport.
• Being waterproof. If water can seep through a canopy or rust the metal frame, the structure will not sufficiently protect your vehicle, be it daily protection or seasonal storage.
• Being UV resistant. UV rays can damage the surface of any vehicle left outdoors. On a minor level, this means the paint color may fade. More serious results include cracking any exterior or interior plastic parts.
• Being rot and mildew resistant. A canopy shouldn’t have mold and mildew building up on it, and, likewise, it should prevent mold, mildew, and dry rot from forming underneath on the vehicle.
• Being rip-stop or rip-proof. Both qualities are essentially the same thing, but the canopy shouldn’t rip unless hit by a severe natural disaster, like a tornado or hurricane. Ordinary rain and snow storms shouldn’t rip or damage the canopy material.
• Being fire resistant. Not all outdoor canopies are, but it’s a bonus if the canopy meets California fire codes for fire retardant properties.

As far as temporary canopies like pop-up and party tents are concerned, these generally have the waterproof and UV resistant properties, as they need to do these things temporarily. But, being made from polyester, the material is more prone to ripping, which is why the structure is temporary instead of permanent.

Polyethylene Canopies

All types of portable storage buildings have one thing in common: a polyethylene canopy. The canopy usually serves as the covering for the roof, although shed-like structures often use them for walls and doors. This type of canopy has the same composition as a polyethylene tarp and, in many cases, a replacement canopy for one of these shelters can be created by a tarp fitted to the appropriate size. Although some shelters, such as carports, may be designed with a metal roof, the polyethylene material is designed to last a long time, as well. Warranties on the canopy itself generally last up to five years and then the material can be replaced easily then.

The polyethylene used is heavy duty, as this is ideal for constant outdoor exposure. The heavy-duty polyethylene canopies are then treated to have several qualities to withstand any of the elements outside. This includes being treated to be waterproof, UV resistant, rot resistant, and mildew resistant. Some are even treated to be fire retardant, according to stringent California fire codes. Aside from these treatments, the heavy-duty nature of the fabric has a 14 by 14 denier count, which is designed to be rip-proof. These qualities not only prevent the fabric from deteriorating or ripping but also protect any of the investments inside the canopy structure.

For some structures, a simple tarp can serve as a replacement canopy, especially as individual tarps for any outdoor uses are designed in white, silver, or green. Some canopy structures, however, have a more specific design, which isn’t always met by the design of a tarp. Shed-shaped portable shelters, for example, often have a canopy with three walls and a roof shaped like a shed that fits over the traditional frame. Rounded roof canopies have the same type of concept. Dealers of portable garages and other portable buildings often carry these specific replacement canopies for outdoor shelters of various shapes.