Summary: From wooden overhangs to brute steel designs to posh aluminum, carports have designs specifically made to provide every situation
From those simple overhangs that the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his Usonian Homes, Carports have gained an extensive variety of uses. And surprisingly the name ‘Carport’ still holds.
Carports are still used as car shelters these days. In fact, most now use carports in place of garage; maximizing otherwise wasted space to a smaller and more multipurpose car shelter.
Yes, multipurpose. From tea and coffee breaks to casual reading area, carports have been utilized to afford lounging in open areas. Built to function much like a gazebo, carports are used by modern households to accommodate simple fancies hassle free. Of course a gazebo is still more pleasing aesthetically but the maintenance free afforded only by carports makes it a rather hefty competition to gazebos and gardens.
With these in this effect, canopy carports have gained popularity over functions such as these. Though they are still used as actual car parks since they can be erected fairly easily and quickly, it is not uncommon to see hastily erected canopy carports to accommodate barbeques looming around the corner.
Canopy carports design uses canopy as shelter. The attractive benefit of this carport design is it is readily assembled and disassembled.
Steel carports designs are more of a barn like structure to withstand elements. Since the majority of steel carport users are located in rural areas, naturally steel carport manufacturers supply carport designs that coincide to the needs of their most profitable market. Prairies, farms and ranches with a natural high wind velocity and fickle weather often use steel carports with enclosure on two sides. If not for the legislatives that revolve around carport enclosures, carports within these areas have long ago shifted to totally enclosed sheds.
Aluminum carport designs are popular with modern houses, especially in cities and urban areas. The posh, elegant and slick looks of aluminum carports do compliment the glass and dull concrete of an office or a modern house. Since aluminum is more malleable metal compared to steel, technically speaking, designs are more possible. One aluminum carport design, the Alumawood is an aluminum carport made to simulate the aesthetic look and feel of wooden carports but retains the durability properties with metal carports.
The wooden carport design is the most expensive. It also needs a lot of maintenance, just like the rest of the house. Some houses, especially the Usonian Houses made by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sport the wooden carport design, though Frank Lloyd’s carport was more of a house extension than a separate house accessory.
Though there are minimal restrictions in building a carport, carport designs are strictly regulated. Article 188.8.131.52 defines a garage as a roofed enclosure for parking cars which has more than 60% of its perimeter enclosed by walls, doors or windows. Most carports have no walls, some only have two of the sides enclosed, not reaching the 60% mark of garages. In addition, Article 184.108.40.206 deals with the construction requirements for the exposing building face of detached garages but makes no reference to carports. Both articles clearly point out that there are minimal restrictions in building a carport.