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What Is a Driveway Cover?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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A driveway cover, also known as a carport, is a structure that covers all or part of a driveway. It is usually an open air structure, meaning there are no walls, but instead just supports to hold up a roof. Some versions of the driveway cover are enclosed on one or all sides, but most are not. A driveway cover can be made from a variety of materials, from aluminum to heavy canvas, and while many carports are permanent structures affixed to a home, others can be erected or taken down easily, and reinstalled at another location.

The most common version of the driveway cover involves building an aluminum frame that covers part of the driveway. The part of the driveway closest to the home is the most common place to erect such a frame, as a user can park underneath the driveway cover and enter the house without being exposed to the elements above. The aluminum frame may be affixed to the house if it is a more permanent structure, but commonly, the frame is an independent structure. It is covered most often with a plastic material to prevent rain or other elements from leaking through.

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Some driveway covers are more heavy-duty than the one described above. They are almost always permanently fixed to the house, and instead of an aluminum frame, wood or steel may be used. The roof of the carport is a permanent fixture that is framed and often shingled, just like a regular house roof, and they are often open-air structures. Such carports are common in places where the roof may bear a load — after a snowstorm, for example. Such designs are often integrated into the original house plan and are built when the home itself is built.

Some versions of the driveway cover have walls that cover all sides of the structure. These structures are usually framed with aluminum and covered with a fabric or plastic. The front and/or back of the structure will often feature a flap of material that can be rolled up so a vehicle can enter or exit the cover, and they can be long enough to fit multiple vehicles. Such covers are common choices for people who own RV or motor homes that are used part-time and stored part-time. The motor home can be parked in the carport and stored away from the elements, adding a sleeker aesthetic to the outside of the home.

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mutsy
Post 6

@Speechie- I know what you mean. I grew up in New Jersey and the winters were kind of tough if you didn’t have a carport or some type of garage. You would have to wake up early just to shovel snow so that you can get to your car. Now that I live in Florida I would not need a carport so much because the weather is usually mild with the exception of a few hurricanes here and there.

Here you really need a garage because whenever we get hurricane warnings you really need a place to put your car and with a carport your car is still exposed to the dangerous elements of a hurricane. Thank goodness that we don’t get them too often, but I have experienced enough hurricanes to know that you need a garage because a carport is useless down here.

In Miami, most of the older homes that you see in up and coming neighborhoods are the ones that still contain a carport.

Speechie
Post 5

I would love to have a driveway cover. I live in an apartment complex where you either get uncovered, free parking spots, or you pay like one hundred dollars monthly for a garage! I would love to just pay a one-time fee for a car-port, but since I don’t own the apartment complex, I of course can not do that.

I mean most of the year it is fine not to have a place to protect my car from the elements, but the winter can be somewhat of a hassle, although we do not get much snow. But it still gets cold enough to ice up my car windows a lot. I guess I could get a car cover, but that seems like a hassle to put on every night and take off every morning. Plus, my car isn’t that nice, I would just feel silly covering my car when it isn’t a show car or new car.

The next apartment I go to, I am going to try to find one that has driveway covers, because they normally do not cost anything extra monthly, and it could save me a lot of time and energy in the cold, blistery late fall and winter months. Also a driveway cover would save me from having to wash my car as much in the late spring and summer months, because where I live has lots of trees with a lot of tree pollen.

myharley
Post 4

My aunt lives in a manufactured home in Arizona. Most of the homes in the park where she lives have car ports next to their home.

Even though it is not like a regular garage, I think they look nice and it adds a lot to the outside of the house.

Not only does it work great to park their cars under, but for them, it is also a place they can sit and be in the shade.

There isn't much other shade around their house, and that sun gets pretty hot if you don't have some protection from it.

With the driveway cover, they can still sit and enjoy being outside without the sun beating down on them.

andee
Post 3

I was pretty excited when I moved from an apartment to my first house. The only thing it didn't have was a garage.

In the summer this isn't so bad, but I was really hoping for some kind of covering for my car in the winter.

I didn't really have much room to build a garage or have the extra money to do so, but I did have the option of getting a car port.

This was in my budget and I had one installed before the first winter. Even though it is not much, having the covering for my car makes so much difference.

I don't even have to go outside early to start my car or clean off the snow. The car port keeps the snow and ice off the windshield, and with my remote start I can start the car from inside the house and it will be warm when I am ready to leave.

backdraft
Post 2

I had a friend who had a lot of ingenuity and also didn't care much about appearances. His driveway was right next to two pretty big trees. He rigged up a system with a lot of knots and a very big tarp to create a kind of lean to over his driveway. You couldn't park a huge truck under it but cars would fit easily.

It basically functioned as a very cheap but totally effective driveway covering. It kept all the debris from the trees off his cars and protected them from the elements. The only downside is that he had a huge tarp dominating the view of his house, but I guess he learned to live with it.

jonrss
Post 1

I live in Wisconsin. We don't get a ton of snow every year but it does usually snow consistently throughout the winter.

For a number of years I had no covering for my car and every time it would snow I would have to go out 20 minutes early to clean off my car and dig out my driveway.

But 2 years ago I got a god deal on a car port and now I park my car under a covering all through the winter. It saves me so much time and hassle. Honestly I wish I would have bought one of these years ago.

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