Getting a carport is a good idea if you don't have a garage and need protection for your car, or you might want a carport in addition to a garage for items like a boat or RV. You can typically install a carport on your own if you have some knowhow about burying anchors for that type of structure, but you want to ensure you take your time to order the best carport for your application and install it properly. Note a few common mistakes to avoid when it comes to ordering and installing carports on your own.
1. Avoid purchasing one that is too tall
Many homeowners think of a carport as being the same height as a garage, but note that the carport has open sides. It's not an enclosed building but works as a type of umbrella against the elements including rain and snow. If you hold an umbrella over yourself when it rains outside, you don't hold it way above your head because this allows rain to hit you from the sides. The same is true with a carport; if you install one that is too tall above your car, boat, or RV, it won't offer enough protection from rain that comes down a bit sideways. Purchase a carport that is just a few feet or meters taller than your car, boat on its trailer, or RV, and this will offer maximum protection.
2. Be sure to level the ground
Since a carport typically doesn't have a floor, it's easy enough to assume you can place it on any type of ground no matter the slope or level. However, this can mean a carport that is lopsided or that doesn't even truly stay anchored. The legs and anchors of a carport need to stay even and level so that the weight of the structure is evenly distributed and no one side of the carport actually pulls away from the ground because of being lopsided.
3. Always check local laws about a carport placement
You may know to get building permits for the installation of a carport but there may be other local laws that affect its size, placement, and the like. As an example, you may be required to keep the carport a certain distance from the sidewalk in front of your home, or from a neighbor's home. Be sure you've checked on any local laws and restrictions even before you shop for a carport so you know you buy the right size for your space and know where and how to install it legally.