A carport can be as simple as a concrete slab under an awning, or it can be as elaborate as a garage that’s not quite enclosed. Here are a few trends:
- A partially enclosed carport has an open front so you can easily drive your cars in and out, but privacy partitions—made from wood lattices or a low-maintenance, weather-resistant composite fencing—serve as walls on two sides (the third side is the house). The “walls” don’t reach from top to bottom or from side to side, so they’re not subject to the same fire safety rules as garage walls, which completely enclose the structure.
- Metal carports appeal to do-it-yourselfers, who can construct them from prefab kits in a weekend or two. Steel structures can bump up against the house or stand on their own on posts. You can usually find them with roofs that match the one on your house.
- More homeowners are installing garage doors on the front of their carports, even if the sides or back are open. Garage/carport combos offer the best of both structures. Often freestanding, a carport sits in front of an enclosed space, which often is used not for parked cars but for storage or a work area.