When you hear about carports, what do you think about? Many people hear about a carport and they instantly think “garage.” This is understandable, and it’s not a bad comparison, but it’s important to know that while some carports appear like a standalone garage, they’re not necessarily the same thing. A carport refers to any shelter with the specific purpose of protecting vehicles from the element. If you’re looking for extra space to shelter your vehicles there are many very high quality carport kits available to consumers, but there are also huge differences between models and designs. A summer carport, for example, is a terrible shelter for a vehicle in serious winter conditions. Having a glorified shed with four open sides to shelter a vehicle from the sun is one thing, but if you have to deal with below zero temperatures, feet of snow, and major wind then you need something else entirely.
When you’re looking for a carport designed to withstand major winter weather conditions then you will want to make sure to only look at winter rated carports. These can still work perfectly fine during the summer for keeping vehicles out of direct sunlight, but unlike the summer carports they actually work for keeping a vehicle warm. Anyone who has lived in a winter environment that sees multiple below zero days in a row knows how important this is. If you live in a windy area and have to worry about wind chills, you know a carport without walls just isn’t going to do it.
One of the major things you will want to research is the carport kits snow load – such as the Arrow Steel Carport which has a snow load rating of 10 pounds/square foot (Check out our Arrow Steel Kit Review Here). This refers to the amount of weight that the shelter can handle and depending on the model of carport you choose, it might give you an estimate of the number of inches or feet of snow this translates to. Even when you’ve narrowed all your choices down to fully walled winter approved carports you still have a variety of different design styles that you need to choose between.
There are designs that simply act as a lean to you can add to an existing garage or building, or there are even winter carport designs that are a roofed in building along with another lean to add on. These designs are extremely popular with people who have more than one vehicle, and maybe one that’s more rugged for cold weather than another.
Other options for winter carports include barn like designs which fit in well in the country and are much more aesthetically pleasing than many other common carport designs out there. Some major commercial level carports actually are full steel buildings, which provides all the uses of a storage building or shed in addition to working as an effective carport in the winter months. You should look for designs that have a traditional triangle or slanted roof if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall, as the weight from a lot of snow on a flat roof will be much harder on the structure.
There’s a lot to look at when you’re shopping for the best available winter carport, but if you consider shape, quality, price, and snow load capacity you should be able to find the perfect match for you.
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