A carport is a common fixture for covering a vehicle. If a home isn't equipped with a garage, it most likely has a carport. In fact, the shelter has become a trend as of recent for homeowners, including those with garages. As traditional brick-and-mortar garages are transforming into storage or activity rooms, the car ends up getting squeezed out of the space. Instead of exposing it to the elements, the homeowners erect a metal or metal and polyethylene carport to cover their vehicle.
Portable carport structures come in two varieties: metal and metal and polyethylene. For the former, the shelter consists of a galvanized steel frame and roof, which is coated with silicon in some cases. The shelter has a lifespan of 20 years, and the natural properties of steel keep out the sun, moisture, and mildew. Polyethylene and metal carports have a similar structure, only the canopy portion is made from heavy-duty polyethylene and treated to be waterproof, UV resistant, and mildew, rot, and mold resistant.
If you plan to convert the carport into a fully enclosed shelter or expand it at some point, a metal and polyethylene shelter will meet your needs. But, while the metal frame will last for 15 to 20 years, the canopy may need to be replaced after five. Carport covers are sold separately and correspond to the model of shelter purchased.
Aside from covering everyday vehicles like cars and motorcycles, carports are often used to protect seasonal ones, such as RVs and boats. An RV or boat canopy will be an enclosed polyethylene and metal carport, which, most likely, is fitted to the size of the vehicle. If sheltering a seasonal vehicle is your primary use for the carport, measure the full dimensions of the vehicle first and add any appendages to it before purchasing a shelter. Once the boat or RV is covered by the carport, however, the shelter will keep it shielded from the elements, although the vehicle should be checked on occasion.
A carport, no matter the materials, can come in several size options. On the smallest level, one covers a single car. Larger shelters can cover two to six cars. As certain areas have ordinances regarding carports and similar portable shelters, check before you purchase and install the shelter.