So, you’ve just bought a new car and realised your home is not equipped to provide the best level of protection. Or, you’re planning to sell your home and want to add as much value as possible.
Considerations such as these often lead people to invest in either a carport or a garage. It can be tough to decide which option is best for your home, vehicle, and budget, so we’ve compiled some key points to help inform your decision.
Carport vs Garage – what’s the difference?
Carports and garages are similar in many ways. They both place a roof over your car and give you a safe port from the weather. Both are typically connected to your home for easy and safe passage. The main differences between the two are the level of protection they provide and their individual construction costs.
However, there is also a range of other differences, including building time, customisation options and council guidelines that dictate approval.
A carport is an outdoor structure designed to protect your car. It usually has open sides, unless one of the sides is connected to your house. A typical carport is built with beams holding up a lightweight roof, however, there are a variety of carport styles and building materials that can be used.
Differing from a carport, a garage is a fully enclosed structure designed to house motor vehicles. Usually attached to a house, a garage typically has some kind of roller door as the main access point, with other doors and windows, but is otherwise completely closed off to the outside world.
12 Key factors to help you decide between a carport or garage
Garages and carports do similar things but are very different structures
If you’re tossing up between a carport vs garage, it can help to consider these elements in making your decision.
1. Your Individual Needs
When undertaking any building project, it’s important to consider the ‘why’ behind the build.
Carports: If your property is situated under some of Australia’s famous trees, you will be susceptible to wildlife droppings, gum nuts and leaves that can impact your car’s paint.
Another benefit of carports is the ease of getting children, tools, or equipment in and out of the car without damaging car doors (and the ease of access to your vehicle without even needing another set of keys).
Garages: If you’re looking for car safety AND extra room for storage or additional living space, a garage will be a more secure option.
2. Your vehicle type and its value
Carports provide excellent protection for a wide range of vehicles, often added on for boats, trailers, and motorbikes when the garage just doesn’t provide enough space.
Even a carport with open sides can protect your car from 90% of what nature and the weather will throw at it, offering priceless peace of mind for your most treasured investments.
If you have a wide vehicle, you may often find conventional garages to be too narrow for ease of operation. This is when a carport truly provides day-to-day benefit.
A garage, however, will provide the most security if you are concerned about theft and prying eyes. The decision of security will come down to your individual needs and the weigh up of carport costs vs the large expense of a garage.
3. The weather in your region
We’ve all been there – rushing in the door when the rain hits without warning or standing helplessly by the window as hail pummels your car. With a carport or garage, you no longer have to worry about wild weather impacting your plans.
Connecting a carport to the home can mean your schedule is safe, your professional appearance is kept intact, and your vehicle is protected, even in the wildest Australian weather.
It’s estimated that carports keep out 90% of the weather, but if you are in a tropical region with wild, sideways wind storms or areas that snow, a garage will provide greater protection from the elements.
4. Your car insurance rate
Both carports and garages will generally reduce your car insurance premiums. Vehicle insurance agencies look fondly at your car being parked off the street at night.
Statistically, premiums are lower for cars parked in carports when compared to cars parked on the street or on driveways, and cheaper again for cars parked in a garage.
5. Your equipment storage needs
Carports are great for storing basic things in overhead storage solutions. However, if you need to store a large number of things or be able to access them regularly and easily, a garage will be more suited to your needs.
6. Council approval and local building regulations
If you need a solution quickly, your situation may better suit a carport than a garage. Depending on your local area, carports can often be built without council applications and approval.
For example, in NSW, carports under a certain size are classified as ‘exempt development’ and only need to follow their checklist of guidelines to be built. Be sure, however, to check your local regulations.
7. Your need for extra living space
Carports can be multi-use to extend your outdoor living space. A strategic carport design can double as an outdoor entertaining area, or a poolside shade.
Garages are also multi-use for indoor space and can double as an extra room for living, storage or workspace.
8. Your yard
Due to its smaller design, a carport takes up significantly less ground space than a garage. So if you have a small yard and don’t want to lose space, an open carport will feel less intrusive compared to a fully enclosed garage.
9. The future of your home
If you plan to sell your home soon, a carport allows you to avoid the council’s red tape and quickly add value to your property. Your extra car space may attract potential buyers and won’t majorly impact your time and budget.
However, this is a personal decision unique to your needs. If you plan to live in your home long-term and want the extra security, a garage may be a better option for your property.
10. Your budget
Often, it all comes down to budget. You can have a clear vision of what you want and a method to get there, but if the budget simply won’t stretch to cover it, the project will likely fail.
Building a carport is one of the most budget-friendly renovation projects or additions that you can make to your home, adding value to your car while lowering the potential cost of car insurance.
With a wide range of materials and designs to choose from, your carport can be kept budget-friendly while maintaining quality and style.
11. Time to install
If the timeline for completion is a concern, a carport will be much quicker to build and construct. The construction time of a carport vs garage is significantly different, with fewer approvals and building processes involved in carports.
12. Installation materials available
Construction materials have been in hot demand, with shortages plaguing the industry of late. If time is of the essence, it is often easier to get the materials for a carport vs garage supplies.
If you don’t want to use different materials and are happy to wait for supply shortages and construction time, then either a garage or carport will be an option.
Pros & Cons of Carports
- Cheaper and faster to build – Carport costs are significantly more affordable because they use fewer materials and are quicker to construct.
- Reduces car insurance payments – Premiums for car insurance are lower when you have a carport compared with parking on a driveway or the street.
- Protects your vehicle – Carports protect vehicles from the sun’s UV rays, damaging hail, leaves, and tree branches.
- Adds value to your home – Overhead coverage for your car is a valuable asset for potential home buyers or tenants.
- Can be used for extra storage – Custom built carports can have built-in storage solutions.
- Can be used for solar – The roof of your carport can act as an additional space for solar panels.
- Multi-use zones – The open sides mean that if you strategically locate your carport, you could use it for additional purposes outside of vehicle storage. For example, you could use this as an outdoor entertaining patio.
- Add curbside appeal – Good carport designs can enhance the facade of your house or property.
- Low maintenance – Carports often require less maintenance than garages, depending on the style and design. Some carports may not even have a floor to maintain, offering cover over grass, gravel or driveway pavement.
- Less red tape – In many areas, carports don’t require planning permission from councils (be sure to check your local area first, however).
- Can be relocated – A carport is not a permanent structure. It can be moved to another location on your property or to your next home.
- Less protection– In comparison to garages that are fully enclosed structures, carports offer less protection from the elements. However, this is usually only a concern in areas with extreme weather like snow or tropical storms.
- Less security – The open sides mean that the carport won’t have the same level of security as an enclosed garage with a reinforced garage door.
- Less storage space – While carports can offer additional storage options, the lack of walls means there is less opportunity for wall storage and cupboards compared to a garage.
Want to learn more about whether or not is right for you? Check out our blog post: Are carports right for you? Pros & Cons to help you decide
Pros & Cons of Garages
- Maximum security – Garages offer protection that carports can’t compete with. Lockable garage doors and full walls prevent intruders from accessing your belongings.
- Complete protection from the elements – The enclosed sides of a garage offer greater protection for vehicles against the weather.
- Reduces car insurance payments – Cars parked in a garage have the least premiums compared to parking anywhere else.
- Blends into the house – Garages can be built with the same materials as your home for a seamless appearance.
- Multi-purpose use for indoor activities – A garage can transform into an extra bedroom, working space or storage space if required.
- Higher cost – Garages can cost anywhere from 6-10 times the cost of a carport.
- Longer building time – Garages must be built by a licensed builder and take far longer to construct than carports.
- Building regulations – Garages require council approval and must meet building regulations before building.
- Ongoing maintenance – Garages require more maintenance than a simple carport, particularly the garage door.
Final thoughts on carports vs garage
The debate of carport vs garage comes down to each individual set of circumstances.
The decision should be based on your needs, budget, design, and long-term vision for your home.
If cost, building time, flexibility, and weather protection are your number one concern, a carport may be best for you.
Or, if you need a theft-proof, permanent structure, and are ok with higher costs, a garage may suit your needs.
Still have questions? Correct Constructions is happy to help you discern the right option for you and your home.