Carport for your car : which materials ? What regulations and legislation ?

Do you want to shelter your vehicle and would you like to build or have a carport built? Do you know the regulations and legislation in force on the subject? Do you also know that there are different types of materials like metal, wood and concrete that can be used for this construction? Here’s more information, including the pros and cons of different building materials.

What are the different stages of carport construction?

Consider the size of your future carport

You have the idea of ​​having a carport built to park one or two of your cars. For the moment, the size of your project is not defined. It is perhaps she who will decide on the progress of your realization.

  • Because if your carport is small in size and is only used to park a rather small vehicle and will not be used to shelter tools or store other of your belongings, then for a carport of less than 5 square meters, you will not need any authorization.
  • If your carport is planned to measure between 5 and 20 square meters, then you will need to make a declaration of works.
  • And if your carport must exceed 20 square meters, then you will have to apply for a building permit.

Consult the planning rules of your municipality

As with any other construction, rules apply. As with homes, you must comply with standards in terms of:

  • Surface
  • Roof height and shape
  • building color
  • Distance from neighbors

This last criterion is important. Despite obtaining approval for the construction of your carport, you must always remain vigilant as to the legislation vis-à-vis your neighbors. If you have the slightest doubt, you can call on an expert surveyor.

If you live in a protected area – in particular a heritage protection area, then you will also need to request authorization from the Architecte des Bâtiments de France. The easiest way is still to consult the PLU of your municipality because each one has its specificities. Go to the town hall and you will quickly be fixed on the question.

An exception: the temporary carport

If your carport is temporary and its temporary use, less than 3 months, you do not need authorization. In this case, you must mainly use PVC and mount a “kit carport”.

Take into account the taxes and duties resulting from the construction of a carport

Adding a shelter for your car is to be considered as an extension of your home – again, it all depends on its size. Once the project has been completed, you will therefore have to pay the housing tax – the amount of which is fixed according to the surface area of ​​your home and its annexes, but also the property tax. The development tax will be payable when the work is carried out.

What are the different materials to consider for a carport?

The metal carport

Considering a metal carport? The two main materials available to you are aluminum and steel. The advantages and disadvantages of both materials are almost the same, with aluminum just being lighter than steel.

The metal is extremely durable. It has excellent resistance to the effects of wind and weather. It is a material that allows easy maintenance. Wiping it occasionally with water is enough. Metal is an exceptionally stable and solid material. So if you live in a mountain area or at high altitude, this can be a solution because a metal carport can handle a heavy snow load in winter. If you opt for a metal carport, you can also paint it in the color of your choice.

The most negative points are the following: metal is an expensive material, the appearance of rust is always possible despite good maintenance, the realization of this type of carport on your own can be very difficult because the metal beams are both bulky and heavy.

The wooden carport

It is the natural variant of the Car port. If you want a carport that is made from 100% renewable raw materials and has a natural look, wood is the one to choose. If you are a craftsman, you can build the wooden structure yourself.

What are the advantages of a wooden carport? They are significantly cheaper than metal carports. High quality models offer the same durability as metal. Wood is a material that offers endless possibilities since it is available in many colors and shapes. And finally, wood gives a more natural look than metal.
Conversely, it is more susceptible to weathering than metal, regular maintenance with paints and varnishes is essential. The shelter must also be built in such a way that rainwater can run off. Otherwise, water damage will occur.

The concrete carport

It is the stable and solid alternative. It does not really require maintenance. A concrete carport also withstands large amounts of snow. It is a durable solution because over time, the concrete hardly deteriorates. Its construction, however, is more complicated than that of wooden or metal carports. And its disassembly is not easy once built.

In conclusion, the choice of materials is up to you. If you can’t decide, build a carport that is made of all three materials: metal, wood and concrete! Metal structures impress with their high stability, but are more difficult to assemble. Wood has a similar longevity but regular maintenance is a prerequisite. A concrete carport can withstand all loads for decades without major maintenance, but can hardly be installed on its own.

Photo credit: Bradley West

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