Carport for your car: what 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 is more information, especially on the advantages and disadvantages of different building materials.

What are the different stages of a 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 now, the size of your project is not defined. It may be she who will decide the progress of your achievement.

  • Because if your carport is small and it is only used to park a rather small vehicle and will not be used as a shelter for tools or storage for other of your belongings, then for a carport less than 5 square meters, you will not need any permission.
  • If your carport is planned to be between 5 and 20 square meters, then you will need to make a declaration of work.
  • And if your carport is to exceed 20 square meters, then you will need to apply for a building permit.

Consult the town planning rules of your municipality

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

  • Area
  • Roof height and shape
  • Building color
  • Distance from the neighborhood

This last criterion is important. Despite obtaining an agreement to build your carport, you must always remain vigilant about 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 – especially a heritage protection area, then you will also need to request authorization from the Architecte des Bâtiments de France. The easiest way is to consult the PLU of your municipality because each one has its specificities. Go to town hall and you will quickly be fixed on the question.

One exception: the temporary carport

If your carport is temporary and its ephemeral 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 carport should be considered 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 set according to the 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

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

Metal is extremely durable. It has excellent resistance to the effects of wind and bad weather. It is a material that allows easy maintenance. Wiping it off occasionally with water is sufficient. Metal is an exceptionally stable and strong material. So if you live in a mountainous area or at high altitudes, this may be a solution as a metal carport can handle a heavy load of snow 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 as follows: 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 carport. If you fancy a carport made from 100% renewable raw materials and that has a natural look, then wood is the place to go. If you are a craftsman, you can build the wooden structure yourself.

What are the advantages of a wooden carport? They are significantly less expensive 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 sensitive to bad weather than metal, regular maintenance with paints and varnishes is essential. The shelter must also be constructed in such a way that rainwater can drain away. 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 sustainable 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 yours. If you can’t make up your mind, 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 much maintenance, but cannot easily set up on its own.

Photo credit: Bradley West

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