If you want to buy a carport to shelter your vehicle, do not hesitate to opt for a solid and resistant model. The most common materials being wood and aluminium, which one to choose? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. But the most decisive elements are hidden in your daily life: weather, environment, use… So, aluminum carport or wooden carport? Here are some questions to ask yourself before making your choice.
Choose the material of your carport in 5 questions:
Why do I need a carport?
The question may seem superfluous… But to shelter my car, of course! Not only…
You may have not one, but two cars to house. Or a trailer, motorcycle, camper, etc. The number and type of vehicles to be housed can count in the choice of your carport.
Additionally, many buyers consider versatile use from their carport. If we can leave the car on the sidewalk from time to time to transform this shelter into summer lounge, it’s even better ! A table, a few seats, and here is a friendly space, very pleasant in fine weather. Less expensive than a veranda or a pergola, the carport is suitable for summer use. Besides a small living room, your carport can offer a play area sheltered from the sun. In summer, some appreciate not risking sunburn during a passionate game of ping-pong or table football…
What is the climate in my area?
It’s not a detail. Consider the local weather – and how it’s currently changing – to choose the most suitable material. A carport is expected to effectively protect a vehicle from bad weather, including in the event of extreme events. Heavy rain, hail, strong winds, heat waves… your bonnet must be strong enough to withstand everything. We would not like it to collapse or fly away during a storm!
How to integrate the carport into its environment?
A carport is a light structure, but not invisible. Its aesthetic appearance is important. Depending on the material it is made of, your carport blends in more or less well with its surroundings. What type of house do you have? Rather modern or traditional? Should the carport fit into a landscaped garden, into a district with a marked architectural style…? Take this aspect into account to choose the material that is most consistent with its external surroundings. In the protected sectors, get information from your town hall; it can impose a material on you.
What is my budget?
This criterion is often decisive. You probably want to install an efficient and solid carport without breaking the bank? We will see that the price differences between wood and aluminum are not as significant as it seems at first sight. If necessary, other materials (such as PVC) are more accessible to small budgets.
How much time am I willing to devote to its upkeep?
Casually, think about it before choosing the material for your future carport. Aluminum is easier to maintain than wood. Otherwise, you will have to choose species treated to face the duration, which will influence the total cost. It’s up to you to see what suits you best, depending on the time and energy you can devote to cleaning and maintenance (fortunately infrequent, regardless of the material) or according to your budget.
Why choose an aluminum carport? Light, strong and chic!
As a reminder, aluminum is often appreciated in construction for its resistance and its long life… In thermo-lacquered aluminium, these carports (which can shelter one or two vehicles) are covered with flat or domed roofs in aluminium, polycarbonate or Plexiglas.
Despite its lightness, aluminum is solid…
An aluminum carport is therefore solid. It resists rain and wind, even in strong storms. And it takes most shocks without damage. The lightness aluminum makes it possible to create fine, elegant and nevertheless solid structures. Not to mention that it is all the more easy to handle and install, which suggests savings on transport and labour.
… and sustainable!
An aluminum structure can last a very long time in good condition. Aluminum does not rust or corrode. In the end, its lifespan is exceptional: several decades!
Aesthetically, it has style
Aluminum gives any structure style modern, both contemporary and timeless. An aluminum structure is fine, transparent and luminous. With its clean lines and geometric shapes, the silhouette of an aluminum carport affirms its contemporary look. Style and elegance is class. If you want to harmonize your carport with a house with modern lines, opt for aluminum.
Note that even entry-level carports sound chic. As a bonus, you can customize your shelter by giving it a color in phase with its environment. If you decide to to paint your aluminum carport (with suitable paints), know that its color will last a long time.
The main disadvantage of aluminum is that in the event of an impact, it marque easily. Traces that are not easily erased.
Easy to maintain, an aluminum carport does not need to be varnished or treated. Just clean it every six months with water, with a non-abrasive sponge and a little soap (neutral pH). Enough to keep it looking new with little effort. A material that gives no grip to dirt, it is ideal for those who are short on time.
Ecological? And yes.
Aluminum is recyclable to infinity. And this element has something to interest the most attentive buyers to their carbon footprint.
Modular, it adapts
Manufacturers can offer aluminum elements modular. Your carport is expandable, and sometimes modifiable during installation. A toit can be added, whose more or less curved shape adapts to the climate of your region. An aluminum carport is easily customizable and can be made to measure. The standard size is 3 x 6.2 meters, which gives your carport a fairly small footprint. Installation is that much easier.
Aluminum and polycarbonate: the powerful duo
Combining an aluminum structure and a polycarbonate roof has certain advantages.
- Transparent, the polycarbonate roof provides a beautiful brightness at your carport. It is appreciable in all seasons. And if you plan to install electricity under the shelter, to unload your shopping for example, the natural light allows you some savings.
- Polycarbonate is quite solid to withstand exceptional climatic events. Think about it if your region is regularly exposed to hailstones: this material resists their impact. Similarly, a polycarbonate roof withstands heavy snow and extreme temperatures (from – 50° C to + 140° C).
- Another advantage of polycarbonate: it is a very good insulating. It effectively protects the shelter against extreme heat, even in the event of a fire. Imagine that it only starts to burn at 580° C! This is all the more significant if you use your carport in summer space. The roof then plays the role of a powerful solar filter, since it absorbs 99% of UV rays. This quality compensates for the poor insulation of aluminium, its main weak point. A fully aluminum carport does not protect a car from frost or heat.
- Finally, the addition of polycarbonate gives the aluminum carport a better sustainability. Unlike other materials, it does not yellow or lose its transparency over time.
It is possible to replace the polycarbonate roof with panels photovoltaic, which have the advantage of providing you with electricity. This is an advantage not to be overlooked if you have an electric vehicle.
On the budget side: small price can become big
The price is affordable, especially on the entry level. But it can go up quite fast depending on the desired configuration and quality. Allow 1,000 to 1,500 euros on average for a simple aluminum carport. But for a double carport, the budget rises: from 2000 to 8000 euros.
And the wooden carport? A natural and warm style.
Why is the wooden carport the best-selling model? Probably because of its natural appearance, which is acclaimed by all buyers. Because its little chalet side is not without charm. What do you want, the natural seduction of wood still has its effect. This material is able to give character to any construction, including a carport.
An undeniable charm
If you add a slate or tile roof to the natural aesthetics of the wooden structure, your carport will look great. Even with a roof made of corrugated sheets, bitumen felt or steel… Don’t forget that wood is easily painted, which allows it to be personalized and harmonized as well as possible with its environment. You can paint your wooden carport, stain it or varnish it… Be creative. In terms of style, the wooden carport goes beautifully with a rather traditional house. And on sunny days, you will enjoy using your car chalet as a summer lounge.
Resistant and durable
Even charming, we expect a carport to be solid. This is the case of a wooden structure. Especially since the carports use certain species known for their durability. This is how we mainly find softwoods such as Douglas fir, northern fir or spruce. These species have been selected for their excellent weather resistance. Rot-proof, provided they are THT (very high temperature) treated, they resist time and bad weather for many years. And to optimize its weather resistance, choose the roof shape that matches the regional climate. Flat in dry regions, single slope for normal rainfall, double slope in the wettest regions.
More demanding maintenance
If they are particularly resistant, softwoods require some maintenance. To reduce it to a minimum, it is better to opt for materials treated against xylophagous insects and mold. Thereafter, this treatment must be renewed every three or four years. Treated THT or autoclave, the wood will have a much longer lifespan. And above all, it will keep its warm complexion for a long time, which without treatment risks fading.
Modular and easy to install
A wooden carport adapts to your needs. For a handyman, it is not very complicated to installer, especially if you opt for a complete kit. A hammer and a screwdriver should be enough for you! Installation is quick and easy. The icing on the cake: you can put your wooden carport on any ground (concrete, gravel, clay, etc.). If necessary, you can even move or enlarge it, depending on your new needs.
The weak point of a wooden carport is probably its clutter, more important than that of an aluminum carport. If you are moving towards a freestanding model (equipped with 4 to 8 pillars), plan a sufficiently large floor area. A back-to-back carport, with only two pillars, has a smaller footprint. See what is possible depending on the configuration of your land. Attention: from 20 square meters, the simple prior request for work is no longer sufficient.
It goes without saying that wood is a renewable and sustainable material. But as with all wood, make sure it comes from sustainably managed forests.
You find wooden carports at affordable prices. But the price largely depends on the species, its processing and the type of shelter (single or double). The price range thus extends from 500 euros to ten times more. You can still save on labor if you assemble it yourself.