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No garage: Cheap carport?

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CZroe

Lifer
Jun 24, 2001
22,386
238
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I would guess that "The Garage" would be the place to ask about garage alternatives for those without a garage, so here goes. :)

I can't afford a garage but I don't want to leave my new car exposed to direct sunlight, precipitation, and tree debris. I also can't be bothered with a cover, as my rusted motorcycle seems to show. ;) A carport seems to be the way to go.

While visiting family in WV back in 1998, I remember seeing an Arrow flat roof style carport buckle under snow and collapse and damage my sister-in-law's mother's car, which it was intended to protect. I won't be getting that. The only problem is, that I can't afford much more than the $90 Caravan canvas canopy one at Walmart and it is described by everyone as "temporary" and seems to blow down in the slightest breeze: No snow required. The canvas is also prone to rotting in a matter of weeks.

My idea is to buy it for the frame and anchor the poles in buried cement (none of those tent stake-style things) with thin sheets of tin on top. The driveway runs into the backyard and will be beside a 16x16x16 barn. The barn already had a lean-to which was then enclosed as an extension and another partially-enclosed lean-to built in the back of that for the motorcycle. I believe that I can put it directly against the barn to protect it from a good bit of wind and add some rigidity.

Though this is GA and there is less ice and snow than WV, there is sometimes enough to be concerned. It is sloped so as long as I use flat tin I believe it will shed most ice and snow. I'd prefer the thin flat kind so as not to over-load the structure that was only intended for canvas, but I might use the stronger ridged variety if I can find a way to reinforce the structure (someone mentioned adding diagonal cables to reduce flexing).

Does this sound like a good idea? I don't know how much the materials cost but I assume I would need to get concrete and a post-hole-digger for any of the more-expensive and more-permanent types anyway and I can probably make it to Spring before needing to replace the canvas.
 
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jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,405
182
106
Speaking of covers, any recommendations for a quality one? I may have to cover the MR2 over the summer..no covered parking 'till I buy a house.
 

NAC

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2000
1,092
7
81
What kind of car are you hoping to protect?

I honestly can't see the point - I've parked outside all of my adult life - cars last just fine as long as you wax them 2+ times a year and avoid parking under really messy places with bird, berries or sap.
 

NAC

Golden Member
Dec 30, 2000
1,092
7
81
To answer my own question - it looks like you are getting a Corolla. I would wax it twice a year, wash it when you want to, and avoid messy parking spots. Save your money.
 

Bartman39

Elite Member | For Sale/Trade
Super Moderator
Jul 4, 2000
8,877
46
91
The standard style is very abundant around here for quick cheap and simple covering of your car or just about anything... If you search in your area you should find a dealer of these and with a good installed price... We are going to have one installed to cover our 33' RV right after the first of the year... I did some checking and there is no way I can buy and build myself cheaper than having them do it all... Most of the issue is time for me :\

http://www.carportsandmore.com/carport-kits.htm
 

waggy

No Lifer
Dec 14, 2000
68,155
7
0
The standard style is very abundant around here for quick cheap and simple covering of your car or just about anything... If you search in your area you should find a dealer of these and with a good installed price... We are going to have one installed to cover our 33' RV right after the first of the year... I did some checking and there is no way I can buy and build myself cheaper than having them do it all... Most of the issue is time for me :\

http://www.carportsandmore.com/carport-kits.htm
yeah. Also if you look you can find them cheap.

My dad had one for years. it also had drop down sides but the front was open. it worked great. Now though he moved and now has a 2 car garage. so his wife's car and his boat are in the garage! lol
 

skyking

Lifer
Nov 21, 2001
18,227
219
116

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,981
14
81
Keep in mind with a car cover, the car should be clean each time you cover it. Scratches that result otherwise sort of defeat the purpose.

A pole carport anchored in concrete is a cheap solution, you could wire in a heater with a metal roof probably.
 

hanoverphist

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2006
9,930
23
76
Speaking of covers, any recommendations for a quality one? I may have to cover the MR2 over the summer..no covered parking 'till I buy a house.
plenty of places to park and store in the east valley. just pony up for a few months of one in a temp controlled place, you can store your tools as well in there, and have a place to work on it when needed. if youre in a condo or apt they wont let you do any real work in their parking lots anyway.

To answer my own question - it looks like you are getting a Corolla. I would wax it twice a year, wash it when you want to, and avoid messy parking spots. Save your money.
this. no real point in putting up a structure for a corolla.

ive lived in AZ all my life, had my house since 98 and it doesnt have a carport or garage. my paint is fine. worst thing i have to worry about is birds pooping on it occasionally. and hail. but that hasnt happened yet, even with last years hellish hail storm that rolled through here. it missed my area completely.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,405
182
106
plenty of places to park and store in the east valley. just pony up for a few months of one in a temp controlled place, you can store your tools as well in there, and have a place to work on it when needed. if youre in a condo or apt they wont let you do any real work in their parking lots anyway.
That'd be awfully inconvenient for driving the car, though. :p I'm in a house, but there's no covered parking and I'd rather not have the paint baking in direct sunlight all summer. If I wax it frequently maybe it'd be fine, though. How much would temp controlled storage cost, do you know offhand?

ive lived in AZ all my life, had my house since 98 and it doesnt have a carport or garage. my paint is fine. worst thing i have to worry about is birds pooping on it occasionally. and hail. but that hasnt happened yet, even with last years hellish hail storm that rolled through here. it missed my area completely.
Do you just make sure to wax it every so often? My roommate's car's paint was trashed (though it was Mitsubishi black..er, gray, which may have had something to do with it :p).
 

rh71

No Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
52,065
426
126
no garage here anymore either - I just need a solution for preventing frost in the <50F mornings. :( Was thinking a simple plastic cover on the windshield to prevent wind exposure at least. Any other tips?
 
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