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Ideas for inexpensive alternative carport

Updated July 01, 2018

If you do not have space or enough money to build a garage for your vehicle, a carport is the best solution. The least expensive carport is one that you construct yourself. Whether you purchase a kit or get plans and build yours from scratch, check your city's building codes and zoning ordinances before you start building. This project requires average basic construction skills, but to avoid mishaps, you may need a helper.

Budget Car Protection

You can make a simple shelter that protects you and your car from the elements with a patio shade sail. You can find 10-by-16 foot triangular sails and 10-by-11 foot square ones in home decor and home improvement stores. The 2009 prices range from around £32 to £65 on average. All have grommets for attaching them to a screw eye on one side of your home. You will need to buy and install 7-foot or taller poles to complete this budget carport. Attach the remaining sides to poles or fence posts. If you are handy with a sewing machine, purchase the fabric to decrease your costs.

Carport Kits

Building a carport from a kit often takes less than a day. A basic carport kit will usually have a canopy that covers both sides of your car, along with a rigid frame. You can buy these in grocery stores and from car accessory retailers. One advantage of this type of carport is that it has protection that surrounds the car. It can do a good job of protecting your car from rain and snow, damaging sun, tree sap and falling tree limbs. Some styles only have posts to support the canopy. You can also buy styles that use rails at the bottom of the canopy. These are ideal for locations where installing a canopy with posts would mean tearing up concrete. Your second consideration will be the type of covering and the roof style. Fabric and poly cloth are less expensive but less durable than aluminium and steel. Today's options for DIY portable and temporary carports include tunnels with locking doors, along with models that can shelter boats and RVs. Compare styles, prices and construction to get the best value from kits.

DIY Construction

Use the simple plans at Build Eazy, if you want to build your own 20-by-10 foot carport with a flat roof. This project uses six 4-by-4 inch posts, 2-by-8 inch beams and end rafters, and 2-by-6 inch board lumber for purlins, noggins and cross rafters. You must set the posts in concrete. Use treated lumber for your posts for longer life. You can also use bamboo for part of the construction for a greener alternative. The finished carport will have a slope that lets rain run off the roof. Select the roofing option that fits your home exterior and the weather in your area.

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About the Author

Carol Luther has more than 25 years of business, technology, and freelance writing experience. She has held leadership roles in higher education management, international development, adult education, vocational education, and small business support programs