One of the most common questions we get here at Bargain Barns USA is, “What size of steel carport should I get?” The truth is, the only way to know what size carport to order is to look at what you need it for and how you will use it. This post will help you determine what size carport might be right for you depending on what you’ll use it for.

steel carport

Different buyers use carports for a wide variety of different things, such as sheltering cars, RVs, boats, farm or lawn equipment, or almost anything else that needs protection from the sun and rain. That means there’s no real “one-size-fits-all” steel carport model. Instead, we stock a range of different carports that vary in width, depth, and height. This makes different carports useful for many different tasks.

Single, Double, and Triple Carports

It’s common for many carport vendors and manufacturers to refer to their carports as “single,” “double,” or “triple” carports. These descriptions refer to the width of the carport - in other words, how many side-by-side cars could fit underneath it. The categories break down like this:

  • A “single” or “single-wide” carport is generally 12 feet wide and is suitable for one car.
  • A “double” carport can be anywhere from 18 to 24 feet wide and is good for two cars parked underneath side-by-side. 
  • A “triple” carport is between 26 and 30 feet wide, giving it enough space for three cars. Triple carports are also often used for heavy equipment storage on farms or at businesses.

One thing to consider is the size of the vehicles or equipment you plan on storing under your steel carport. For instance, double carports start at 18 feet wide, but for large vehicles like pickup trucks this can be quite narrow, especially if you’re trying to open and shut doors underneath it. Remember that your metal carport will last for decades - don’t buy something you won’t be happy with for the long term.

Similarly, many people buy carports to store boats or other trailered equipment during the winter, but if you’re not an expert at backing up a trailer you may want a wider covered area to give yourself some room for error. We rarely hear customers complaining about their carport being too wide, and it’s almost always best to err on the side of caution.

Carport Height

For the most part, the height of a carport will be less than or equal to the width of the unit. For instance, a carport that is 12 feet wide can’t have a side height of more than 12 feet tall, though it can be shorter than that. However, the maximum side height for any carport at Bargain Barns USA is 14 feet - more than tall enough for most customers.

However, how do you know how much height you need? After all, there’s no use in getting a carport that’s too tall. In fact, getting a carport that’s taller than you need can be a bad thing. Carports that are too tall don’t protect short items as well since it gives more room for wind and rain to blow in and for the sun to shine through. Plus, taller carports cost more. So how can you be sure your carport is the right height?

For cars and trucks, your maximum height should be only a few feet taller than the height of either your head or your car, whichever is taller. For instance, if your car is only five feet tall, a seven- or eight-foot carport is probably tall enough. If you drive a lifted pickup that’s nine feet tall at the roof, you’ll probably want a carport that is 10 feet tall, and so on. 

With RV trailers and motor coaches, the question is a little trickier. Most RVs are no taller than 13 feet at the highest point, and that point is generally the air conditioner unit on the top. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a 13-foot or 14-foot carport. Depending on the style you order, the roof height will be greater in the center than the side height. That means if you order a 12-foot carport with an open-eave roof you’ll easily be able to park a 13-foot RV underneath it. 

Carport Length

Along with width and height, you’ll also want to think about how long your carport should be. This will depend on what you want to park underneath it, but it also depends on how much extra room you want for additional protection from sun, rain, hail, and other inclement weather.

Most of the time we recommend at least five extra feet of length beyond the length of the vehicle you’ll be putting inside. Shorter carports still provide adequate protection, but rain and hail can blow in at the ends under strong wind. A little extra length can go a long way when it comes to protecting your property.

No matter which size of carport you’re thinking of, you can find it at Bargain Barns USA. We offer custom carports to customers in Oklahoma and across the United States, making it easy to get exactly the right metal carport for your needs. Call 405-872-0338 today and talk to one of our skilled associates or follow us on Facebook and Google+ for more tips and advice.