There are a lot of ways your car or truck can be damaged just sitting in front of your house: wind, rain, snow, ice, dirt. Depending on where you park, you may also face tree sap, dried leaves, animal footprints, and even bird poop.
If you’re looking for an easy way to protect your car or truck from these things and more, a DIY carport cover is easy, affordable, and effective. Best of all, you can create a structure that fits your space and your vehicle. Let’s take a look at the things you need to know to get started.
Choose a Roof
There are a lot of fittings available to put together the roof of your structure but before you get to work, there are some things you should consider when choosing the one that’s right for you.
1. What is the weather like where you live?
Weather is an important thing to consider when deciding what type of roof you put on your carport cover. If you live in an area with a lot of precipitation, a sloped roof is a better choice. Why? Because it prevents water from pooling and snow from piling up as it would on a flat roof. This added weight puts pressure on the tarp which can lead to tears and holes. Sloped roofs are also easy to keep clean. You can use a garden hose to spray off debris and dirt, knowing that the water will run right down the side, taking the debris with it.
2. What are you protecting your car or truck from?
Some areas of the country experience little or no rainfall and rarely, if ever, see snow. So, if you’re not protecting your vehicle from precipitation, you’re probably trying to keep it out of the harsh sunlight as much as possible. In this case, a flat roof is a great choice but you can certainly go with a sloped one, too.
Choose the Material
Poly tarps are waterproof and come in a lot of different colors so you can choose one to match your home, favorite color, or local sports team. They do not let much light through or air to circulate.
Mesh tarps have a much different look than poly tarps. They allow a little bit of light and air through but are still suitable for protecting your vehicle.
Choose the Wall Configuration
When it comes to walls, there are several suitable options so choose from but you should opt for the one that best suits your environment and vehicle.
The easiest carport cover to put together is one with no walls. This simple setup has a roof to provide some shade but still allows sunlight to directly hit your car in the morning and evening when the sun is low. A carport with no walls is easy to access and offers minimal protection.
A carport cover with two walls is a good combination of protective and convenient. Not only does it protect your vehicle from light coming in through the sides but it’s also really easy to get into. You can drive right underneath it. A carport like this set up over a driveway is one of the easiest types to use. If you have a circular driveway, you don’t even have to worry about backing out when it’s time to leave, just pull straight through.
Three walls are the perfect balance of protection and convenience. Obviously, one more wall means it’s protected on one additional side. The downside is you cannot pull right through. This is certainly not a dealbreaker because backing out of a three-walled carport is not a difficult thing to do but it is worth mentioning. Another small negative to three-walled carports is the lack of airflow. There is no cross ventilation so it can get hot and stuffy pretty quickly.
Four walls are another option if you’re looking for maximum protection. Four-walled carports have the same downsides as three-walled – there is no cross ventilation and they’re not as easy to pull in and out of. Four-walled carports put you in the position of figuring out what works best for that fourth wall. Obviously, it will need to open so you can drive your vehicle in, but how do you want to create a “door” in this setup? The easiest way is to leave the bottom of the material unsecured and install the top so that you can slide it to the side like a curtain. In the long run, though, this is still another step you have to take every time you leave home, which is why we’re hesitant to recommend a four-walled carport. Stick with a three-walled structure for optimal protection without creating any inconvenience.
If you’re putting your carport right next to your home, you might be able to get away with a one-walled enclosure, using the side of your house as the second wall. This is convenient and affordable but doesn’t work for everyone.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have a better idea of why a DIY carport cover is a great way to protect your car and how to design one to fit your space, it’s time to get to work! Figure out the best set up for your vehicle that will fit in your yard.
Start by deciding how many walls you want then choosing a roof style. After that, lay out the design to determine what fixtures you need. Choose your favorite from the many colors of poly or mesh tarps and, soon, you’re ready to get started building.
When you use a carport cover, you can be confident that your car is protected from the elements. And just think, you’ll never have to worry about a bird poop covered windshield ever again.