A common misconception is that a carport and garage are the same thing. While the 2 do have similarities; both offer undercover protection from the rain and sun, there are some key distinct features to tell them apart.
In this article we explain the key differences between a carport and a garage, as well as list the pros and cons, to help you find what’s most suited to your needs and lifestyle.
What are the differences between a carport and a garage?
The main difference between a carport and a garage is in the construction of each structure.
Carports are much simpler structures than a garage, often being only a simple frame with a roof to offer your car a degree of protection from the elements. A carport may have anywhere from zero to three walls.
In comparison, garages are always an enclosed room, with three walls and an access garage door of some type; whether that be a sectional garage door, or a roller door. Garages are also more likely to better match the style of your home, truly feeling like an extension of your home, rather than a separate structure.
Garages also offer better storage capability, and better protection from the elements, as well as higher levels of security. This is because garages are always fully enclosed structures, as opposed to carports.
We explore each option below, answering some of the most commonly asked questions.
What a carport actually is
First and foremost, a carport is not completely enclosed, usually only offering overhead protection and occasionally two sides. They are usually much smaller than a garage and require less materials to build, making it cheap and easy to construct.
Carport designs are extremely flexible, can be made from a wide variety of materials and can be made as a standalone or attached to the home. The way a carport is designed, means there is plenty of space to open the doors, getting the kids in the car and packing for a camping trip without the after-thought of smacking the wall.
The main issue with a carport is that you sacrifice on security and storage space. There are no walls to protect your vehicle from car theft or break ins, this also means you will not be able to use it as a storage for garden tools, sports equipment and other miscellaneous items.
The flooring of a carport can be anything from dirt and grass, gravel, pavers, and decorative concrete. The actual structure can be made from timber, Colorbond steel, polycarbonate, metal or tiles, with an option to add a roller door if needed.
The largest benefit is that a carport does not require council approval to construct since it is not an enclosed area, unlike garages, which can be transformed into ‘liveable’ rooms.
- Quick and easy to build
- DIY optional
- Often may not require council approval, if so, is generally quick
- Can be made from a wide variety of materials
- Does not provide adequate security
- No storage space
- Lesser protection from the outside elements
- Less versatile than a garage
- Does very little to add any real value to your property
- May have a shorter lifespan compared to a well-built garage
What a Garage actually is
A well-constructed garage provides a permanent structure to safely house and protect your vehicle and belongings. As you may already know, a garage can be built as a permanent extension of your home or as a standalone structure, and offers complete enclosed protection from the outside elements and theft.
This added protection is worthwhile for those who may live near the ocean where salt can cause corrosion, or properties that have a lot of trees. Most garages are attached to the home, making it a seamless transition from getting out of your vehicle and getting into your home. This helps with getting the kids in and out of the car, removing the shopping, pets, and avoiding the rain in winter.
It also provides a sense of security for all the night owls who come home after midnight, as opposed to coming home to a carport that has no walls or protection. This is usually where you prepare your front door key before sprinting over in the dark.
Most garages are generally constructed from similar materials to the home itself, with the garage door installed after. Garage doors are completely customisable, made from Colorbond steel, aluminium, polycarbonate, or timber, and can be fitted with ventilation and windows.
The major benefit of a garage is that it offers storage space as well as protection. Many homeowners will use the garage to declutter their home, store a second fridge or freezer, washing machine, gardening tools, cleaning supplies, and Christmas decorations.
Another option is to convert your garage into a ‘liveable’ home office, gym, play centre or workshop. Because of this, building a garage will require council approval and this can take a while.
The price can also be significantly higher than a carport, depending if the garage will be connected to the home or as a standalone. That being said, a well-constructed garage can add to the overall value of your property by up to $20,000 to $30,000.
- Completely enclosed
- Protection from the outside elements
- Provides adequate security from theft
- Provides storage space
- Can add significant value to the property
- A cohesive design can be aesthetically appealing, custom garage doors
- Seamless transition from parking the car to getting inside the home
- Option of converting into living area
- Can be expensive
- Takes longer to construct
- Require council approval, can take a while
- Must comply with Australian Building Standards and Regulations
- Require professional installation
Does a Carport Add Value to a Home?
With our suburbs and cities becoming progressively more dense, a dedicated parking space on your property is becoming increasingly valuable, and increasingly alluring for prospective buyers and renters.
If you cannot afford a garage, but still want to make an investment to upgrade your home, a carport is a recommended. Giving yourself a dedicated parking space will not only add value to your home, but stop you fighting for street parking with your neighbours.
Why Are Carports So Expensive?
It is understandable to be a bit surprised with the cost of a carport, especially as many carports are simple, standalone structures. However, there are many costs involved in the construction of a carport that you may not initially think of. Cement slab foundation, lighting, installation costs, and more can creep up and make your carport far more expensive than initially thought to be.
You can expect to pay between $1400 to upwards of $6000 on a carport. This large price range is due to the wide variety of carports available, and their different levels of quality in materials and construction. Be aware that single carports will usually be a few hundred dollars cheaper than a double carport but will still have a similar range in cost.
Can I Build a Carport Myself? Do I Need Any Qualifications?
You can build a carport all by yourself! But it might be easier with an extra pair of hands.
You won’t need any qualifications but having some prior building experience is recommended.
Building a carport is a reasonably large DIY task, but it can be done. Some carports even come in DIY kits. Thankfully, there are many resources available online to help you.
If you’re thinking you’d like to try your hands at building your own carport, first take a look at the steps required.
If you’re not confident in building the carport yourself, hiring a professional is recommended and will guarantee you a high-quality build.
Do I Need Council Approval to Build a Carport?
The necessary approvals that you need to build a carport will vary council to council. As such, it is recommended that you check with your local council with what is stated in their R-Codes.
R-Codes refer to the Residential Design Codes of the council. These will define what you can and cannot build on your block of land. Before going too far with your carport planning, you should see the restrictions your council has (if any), and then move ahead with planning and getting the necessary approvals.
Can You Install a Garage Door on a Carport?
Yes, you can. A garage door installed on carports is a great way to add an extra level of security and protection from weather to your carport. It can even add some privacy to your home. This is especially true if your carport is easily accessible from the street, or if the carport is the only opening in your front wall or fence.
Roller garage doors are the most common choice for carports due to both high resistance to impact and environmental strain caused by weather.
Thankfully, installing a garage door is as easy as talking to one of our friendly Gryphon representatives who can help customise a Gryphon Roller Door to meet your needs. These high quality doors even come with a range of optional extras to provide another level of quality.
Does A Garage Door Installed on a Carport Add Value?
A garage door installed on carports adds everything from heightened security, increased protection from the elements, greater privacy, and even improved street appeal. These are all fantastic elements to add to any home and will definitely add value.
By opting for a high-quality garage door that matches the aesthetic of your home you can ensure that you will not only be improving your home, but also maximising its possible value and appeal.
What’s best for you?
To make the right decision you’ll need to consider your lifestyle, budget and location. Do you need all the benefits of a completely enclosed garage? Or can you get away with simple overhead protection?
If budget isn’t an issue and you’re looking to add value to your property while increasing convenience, safety and storage space then a garage is perfect.
If you’re looking for ways to convert your carport into a garage and in need of a well-constructed garage door to apply the finishing touches, contact Gryphon Garage Doors Perth.