The Garage vs. the Carport

van parked in a carport

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Like the Packers vs. the Bears, Pepsi vs. Coke, or ninjas vs. pirates, the saga of garage vs. carport has raged for eons. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but if you’re a new homeowner who needs a place to put your car, it’s important to know you’ve got options.

Depending on where you grew up, you’re probably more familiar with one design or the other. The garage is more traditional, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately choose to add one to your home. For many homeowners, a carport will provide all the utility needed.

How should you decide which route to go? Here are some pros and cons of each design.

What Makes a Carport?

Before you can understand the advantages of each design, you need to know how one differs from the other. While they perform the same basic duty, a garage is defined as having three solid walls and a door. A carport tends to be a much less substantial structure and is not considered an additional room of the home.

Carports Are Quick and Simple

The simple win that comes with building a carport is huge savings in cost. Since you’re not burdened with building load-bearing walls out of wood, brick or other heavy materials, construction is quick and cheap. You can even build one using a kit, assuming you’re OK with the way it looks. Since many carports are open structures, you can use the space for things like barbecues and parties as well.

Of course, the same qualities that make a carport convenient might make you wish it was a garage instead. In the event of serious weather, you don’t have the solid walls that a garage offers. Perhaps more concerning is the fact you don’t have the security offered by a garage door, so your car could be exposed to potential theft.

Garages: Sturdy and Costly

Compared to building a carport, putting up a garage is a serious undertaking. It will cost you more and take longer, but the end result is a more substantial structure.

A garage has three walls by definition and is sealed on the fourth side by an insulated door that allows you to maintain a steady temperature and protect valuables. That means you can use it as an additional room, unlike a carport. It also means you can store your Christmas decorations there without fear of their being stolen, and your vehicles will be safely protected from rain, wind and hail.

The ability to trap heat and sound makes a garage a much better place for projects, and it’s a more appropriate setting for a tool bench than an open carport. If there are projects planned in your future, a garage is probably the better way to go.

Cost Vs. Usability

The breakdown between these two options is quite simple. If you’re only concerned with protecting your car or cars, and don’t require the extra space and practicality of a garage, a carport will do the trick. If you require the extra security and storage that four walls provide, it has to be a garage.

If you’re a car fan and committed to keeping your ride safe, it’s an easy decision. After all, the money you spend on a garage is bound to come back to you in equity.

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