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Carport VS Garage: Which One Should You Pick?

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If you’re interested in taking proper care of your vehicle, you might be faced with the decision of choosing between a carport and a garage. Both of these structures can accomplish similar purposes – to provide weather protection and improve security. However, there are some notable differences between a carport and a garage. By definition, a carport is a simple outdoor structure that only features a roof or overhead for weather protection. A garage can be considered a more complex construction because it provides a complete enclosure with solid walls.

A garage might seem more advantageous at first glance, but carports bring some convenient features worth considering as well. Understanding all the essential differences between carports and garages will help you make a better decision when it comes to selecting a suitable enclosure for your car. Let’s take a closer look at all the important pros and cons of carports and garages to figure out which one suits you best.



1. Security

A Detached Garage With a Red Door




Security is an important concern for any car owner who wants their vehicle to be protected against theft. Due to providing a fully-enclosed structure with sturdy walls, garages have the upper hand in this regard. Determined burglars will still be able to break into an improperly-secured garage. However, the main advantage of a garage over a carport is the way it can act as a reliable deterrent because the parked vehicle stays hidden from the prying eyes of potential burglars. Carports can make your car feel a little too exposed. They’re not ideal if you’re concerned about the security of an expensive car.



2. Weather Protection

A Detached Garage During Christmas




In terms of protection against the elements, it’s safe to say that garages do a better job than carports. Having a completely enclosed space to keep your car parked for long stretches of time can be considered a solid advantage because you don’t need to worry about rain, snow, hail, and intense sunlight. That being said, a carport is still decent at protecting a vehicle. It performs well enough if you live in a mild climate that isn’t typically affected by extreme weather events.




Many homeowners consider building a garage or carport for other reasons aside from parking their cars. They might also wish to use the structure as a storage place for various tools and equipment that aren’t well-suited to keep inside the house. In that case, the garage becomes the clear winner because a carport won’t be able to provide sufficient weather protection for all your extra belongings.



3. Convenience

A White Carport With a Parked Car Underneath




Most carports tend to be designed for installation in your driveway at a considerable distance from the front door. Garages, on the other hand, can be more convenient because they’re often designed as attached structures with direct interior access to your home. Although it isn’t a very long distance to deal with when walking from the carport to the front door, it can become a problem when carrying groceries or other heavy items from the car. As a bonus, the garage also eliminates the need to make this short trip in harsh weather conditions.



4. Installation

A Modern Carport With a Red Car Parked Underneath




When it comes to installation difficulties, it’s safe to say that carports appear more advantageous. They’re much easier structures to build compared to garages considering the lack of walls and no door. You can even install a simple carport by yourself by choosing a convenient kit such as this one from Amazon. Keep in mind that complex carport designs, such as attached models, will still require professional installation.



5. Appearance

A Garage Interior With a Motorcycle




The appearance of the structure will have an influence on the overall look of the home. This is an important aspect to keep in mind, especially if you have plans to sell the house at some point in the future. Carports don’t have a lot to offer in terms of aesthetics because they’re basically simple structures covered with a roof and feature limited design options. By selecting a garage, you can take advantage of more complex design styles to match the home’s architectural details more easily.



6. Cost

A Detached Garage in a Forested Area

As you’d probably expect given its greater structural complexity, a garage is more expensive to build compared to a carport. If you’re on a budget, it’s safe to say that carports are superior to garages. However, costs can differ significantly for both types of structures, depending on the size, style, and other details of the project. Although the big expense of a garage can be seen as a drawback, it’s likely a better long-term investment. It adds more resale value to the home while lasting longer than a carport.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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