A carport is a great feature to have when you need to protect your car but don't have space or the budget for a garage, or for when you want protection in addition to a garage, such as for an ATV or caravan. When shopping for a carport, you might notice the various materials available and may wonder which is the best choice for your home and property. Note a few tips so you know you get the right type and are happy with your carport for years to come.
Wood carports may look very traditional and less industrial than other materials. You might include thick columns as the posts so the carport looks even more attractive on your property. Note, however, that wood means more maintenance as you need to check it for rot, mould and mildew, and it may need consistent repainting over the years. It's also typically a permanent structure so you can't have the carport taken down and moved in the future.
A vinyl carport can be very easy to install; some come in kits that you simply snap together and then use anchors to keep the posts in place. They're lightweight yet very durable against inclement weather and usually don't need any maintenance. They're also a poor host to insects and don't collect moisture, so they're good in tropical environments. It may also be easier to take apart a vinyl carport and move it to a new location, such as when you sell your house or caravan and want to take down the carport. However, vinyl might look a bit drab and downright cheap, so you might choose it when the carport is behind your house or otherwise won't detract from your property's appearance.
Steel and aluminium carports are very common because of their durability and appearance. Aluminium doesn't rust or corrode, so it's good for tropical environments or those that get lots of rain, snow and the like. Steel is more prone to corrosion, but it's stronger than aluminium. If you have kids on bikes, big dogs, an errant driver who isn't always good at judging distance, or anything else that puts your carport at risk for damage, steel might be a better choice than aluminium. However, steel is also heavier and you might need your steel carport installed by a professional, whereas an aluminium carport that comes in pieces is often easier for a homeowner to install on their own.