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Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most influential US architects of the 20th century. Eight of his buildings are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Wright also built residential buildings such as the style-defining Prairie Houses or Usonians, but refused to design garages. Why? He believed that the builders would need their garages to store junk. That's why he designed open storage spaces for cars and called them "carports". Today, a carport is a popular, cost-effective alternative to a garage. Read what you should know about carports before you decide.
Since the 1930s, carports have stood for covered parking spaces for cars and/or motorbikes without walls or doors. Carports are open, airy and easy to see; they are built freestanding or attached to a house wall. They protect against leaves, hail, rain, snow and storm damage, for example from branches. They also prevent car windows from freezing. Because the carport roof reflects the heat, the windows do not get colder than their surroundings, even though the car is parked outside in sub-zero temperatures. The temperature in the interior also does not drop as much as in a normal parking space.
The decision for or against a carport depends on your answers to these four questions:
Conclusion: If you can't decide, a garage with carport is worth considering. For example, if you have a classic car for weekend trips and a mid-range car for everyday use.
For a small or medium-sized car, you need 3 to 4 metres wide and 5 to 7 metres long. Do not plan the carport too small. Otherwise you will have to replace it when you buy a bigger car.
What are the arguments in favour of a carport? These are the seven arguments that are mentioned most often: A carport ...
Wood is cheaper than steel. On the other hand, it is more susceptible to humidity, insects or weathering and can rot, mould or decompose if it gets damp. Pay attention to the quality of the wood. It is best to buy local wood, such as spruce or larch. These types of wood contain a lot of natural tree resin and are more resistant to fungi, wind and weather than other woods. The wood, preferably pressure-impregnated carport wood, should be pre-treated and must be treated every two years with a special wood preservative with UV filter. Because wood is less stable than aluminium, metal and steel, you should definitely pay attention to the load-bearing capacity: the carport roof should bear at least 85 kilograms of snow load per square metre, better more.
Metal is significantly more expensive than wood and has numerous advantages. For one thing, a carport made of galvanised steel or anodised aluminium is much easier to maintain than a wooden carport and only needs to be cleaned with water occasionally. On the other hand, both steel and aluminium are rust-proof and easily stand up to wind and weather. In addition, metal carports can bear snow loads of up to 200+ kilograms and, thanks to their high load-bearing capacity, are suitable for greenery or for a photovoltaic system on the roof. Metal carports have a more filigree appearance than wooden carports and can be powder-coated in almost all RAL colours. The coating is lightfast and does not fade in UV light, which is why a metal carport still looks like new even after decades.
Although anodised aluminium and galvanised steel are actually rust-free, you should regularly check a metal carport for rust in order to detect and treat damage at an early stage.
The carport costs consist of the
Expect costs of 7,500 to 15,000 Swiss francs for a wooden carport or several times that for a metal carport. In return, you don't have to worry about anything and your carport will be planned and installed by a professional, for example a carport expert from our network. A carport must be stable, provide secure protection against hail, rain and snow, and bear heavy snow loads in winter. That's why it's worth having your carport installed by professionals, even if the costs are higher than for a DIY model.
Very simple wooden carports are available in DIY stores for a few hundred francs. For this, you have to plan the construction, submit the building application, pour the foundation, consider the statics, assemble the carport and treat the wood. This takes time and craftsmanship. If you want to assemble a metal carport, you will need help - even metal beams and posts made of light aluminium are much heavier than wood.
Small buildings such as carports must be approved from a size that varies from canton to canton. In the canton of Zurich, for example, from a height of 2.50 metres and an area of 6 square metres, in the canton of Bern only from a height of 2.50 metres and an area of 10 square metres. In principle, you need a building permit for all structures that are firmly connected to the ground or firmly anchored in the ground. You can read how to proceed in the article "How do you apply for a building permit?". Anyone who builds without a permit is in breach of the Planning and Building Act, is liable to prosecution and could be reported to the police if the breach is deliberate. This can be expensive: If the building authority does not subsequently approve the building project in a building law procedure, the carport must be dismantled.
If you add your carport to the wall of the house and plan to have direct access to the house, you must report this extension to the building insurance company, which will adjust your insurance policies against fire and natural hazards.
With climate change and rising energy prices, interest in photovoltaic systems is growing. The roof of the new carport is ideal for installation if it is strong enough to support the heavy solar modules. With solar electricity from the carport roof, you could, for example, consume your own and the remaining solar electricity in the household or store it in an electricity or battery storage system. The roof orientation (to the south) and the roof pitch (25 to 40 degrees) are decisive for electricity production. In our article "Solar energy: Is my roof suitable for a solar system?" you will find more tips for photovoltaic systems in general. We will go into more detail about solar power systems on the carport roof in one of the next articles in Houzy Magazine, we promise.
|Simple wooden carport from the hardware store||from 500 CHF|
|Wooden carport from carport builder with labor||5,000 CHF||15,000 CHF|
|Metal carport from carport builder with labor||from 10,000 CHF|
|Concrete for foundation||250 CHF||400 CHF|
|Post support or post anchor per piece||25 CHF||75 CHF|
|Hourly rate carport builder||80 CHF||120 CHF|
|PPlanning and building application||750 CHF||1,500 CHF|
All prices are indicative only (as of 2023) so you can estimate the cost. If you want an exact offer, ask our certified carport builders from your region.