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Choosing the right carport construction for your home.
By Graham Fitton
Buying a carport to protect your expensive automobile can be very confusing. Whilst you can mix and match methods, in the main you have basically three main choices for your permanent carport construction:
Prefabricated galvanised steel carports;
Custom made timber carports; and
Custom brick or stone carports.

Prefabricated galvanised steel carports
Galvanized steel carports will have a zinc finish which protects the carport frame and roof from corrosive elements, such as water and salt. This will in turn generally diminish the possibility of rust. The thicker gauge of the carport metal, the greater theprotection from various natural hazards for your automobile.
Depending on your local planning regulations, some areas may allow home owner/occupiers to construct their own carports. This can be a very rewarding experience, but it is not for the uninitiated. If you think that you don't have the necessary skills to construct a pre-fabricated carport yourself - your are probably right; so its often a good investment to pay a professional to do it for you. Many prefabricated carport vendors offer installation with the sale, and this makes a lot of sense because if something goes wrong, the problems are squarely in their court.
The upside of this method of carport is speed and cost, but they can look a little out of place and a bit cheap if not done well. They can be painted if prepared properly to match the colour scheme

of your house.

Custom made timber carports
Timber carports can look fantastic. Turned posts and fancy facades can add a lot of style to your carport project. Unless you are skilled in construction, and your local planning regulations allow, you will probably need to engage a professional to construct your timber carport. There are many free designs available, or you can engage a draftsman or architect to design a carport to suit your house.
This type of carport can be flat roofed with metal; or pitched roof with metal, tiles, shingles or a whole myriad of materials. Painting and roof can be easily matched to blend in with your existing house.

Custom brick or stone carports
The top of the tree definitely is the carport constructed with brick or stone piers. Definitely a job for the qualified tradesman, if you can afford this style you may as well go the whole hog on roof finish as well.
Looks and price differentiate this style of carport form the others, but be careful your home may actually be suited to one of the other styles - so get that second opinion!

Before attempting to build your own carport we strongly recommend that you consult a building professional. Its easy to make a mistake and mistakes can be costly and time-consuming. That big quote may not look as expensive after all if you consider the risks of carport DIY.
Graham Fitton is freelance writer and avid home renovator. He has built many carports on his own homes. Please visit www.youronlinecarportal.com for information on how to choose the right carport and the options you have in front of you. He also has a new site in development to augment his existing site - www.carportideas.com. Please visit them both and come back often.

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