Convert your carport into a greenhouse

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Other uses for carports

OK – this may initially seem like a crazy idea but in these gloomy economic times many of us are looking for ways of saving money and even possibly making some extra. One idea is to convert your carport into a greenhouse.

It could be that the kids have left home, you no longer use your carport for protecting your car/s or that it has seen better days. Possibly you have seen used carports for sale, you have the land, but you already have a garage and have no other use in mind. A carport turned greenhouse can work out cheaper than building your own from scratch and makes the job quicker by utilising the carport structure you already have available.

Growing your own fruit, flowers and vegetables can sometimes be a nightmare because of weather conditions and most greenhouses are not really tall or wide enough to justify the time invested tending our seeds and cuttings. When you think about it carports are a good size and you can stand upright whilst having plenty of space to move around freely. If the carport is attached to the house then do not worry because you can use the solid wall for erecting shelving etc.

All you need in a sunny south facing side which is not shaded by large trees or buildings and you have the ideal conditions to transform your carport!

How to transform your carport

Converting your carport need not be expensive. All you need to buy are sheets of UV resistant polythene or corrugated plastic, a dryer vent kit and use your basic DIY tools.

Firstly, you need to check the structure of the carport and check there are no sharp pieces of timber, brick, nails etc and it may be a good idea to give it a thorough clean with some anti-fungal detergent.

Then you will probably need someone to help drape and secure the sheeting or hold the corrugated plastic to ensure that it stays smooth whilst erecting it and held taut whilst the last corner is finished. This kind person could also hold the ladder whilst you fix the venting (instructions are included in each pack) and you could reward them for their time by showering them with fresh flowers, fruit or vegetables later in the season.

Having your own greenhouse means you can grow many types of fruit and vegetables which are fresh, organic and almost free of charge. You could give flowers, plants and miniature trees to friends and neighbors or even sell them at garage sales or local markets.

A little time spent on the internet or a visit to the local library will provide you with plenty of information about greenhouse gardening and it can be a great project for all ages showing a reward at the end of each season.

Enjoy your new ‘carport’!

Car Port or Carport?

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A bit of a lighthearted entry today. We’ve been having a debate about whether you should type ‘car port’ as two separate words, or simply type ‘carport’. At metalcarportsandkits.com, as you can see, we tend to favour ‘carport’ as one word. It just seems to read more easily and is less confusing…and one less key to press!

However, when people have emailed us about the site, we get a mixture of ‘car port’ and ‘carport’. Most people probably don’t care, but we thought that it’s interesting the way the phrase has evolved over time – ‘carport’ is now a more popular spelling than ‘car port’, and Google doesn’t correct it to two words if you type it in as one. In some cases these things are just state-wide or region-wide, but it seems to be an internationally accepted way to phrase it. Of course, typing ‘carport’ rather than ‘car port’ also eliminates confusion if you’re talking about transporting your car overseas.

So, join the debate. Which do you use – ‘car port’ or ‘carport’, and which do you think is best?

(PS Before you think we’ve gone mad, we’ve got a proper entry coming up later on, so stay tuned!)

Carport Alternatives

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If you’re looking for an even cheaper alternative to a carport, you may want to consider an awning or canopy. As they are primarily constructed from fabric, they are cheaper than metal and easier to put up than wood. Another advantage is that you can change them when you get bored or they start to look tired.

To make your carport alternative even cheaper, shop around and check second hand stores and websites such as eBay, GumTree and Freecycle for cheap or free materials to use. If you’re buying a previously owned canopy or awning, make sure you check the measurements beforehand and ask the seller to give as much additional information as possible to avoid wasting time and money.

If budget is an issue for you, be creative. You can make an awning out of any waterproof and weather resistant material, and fabric not being specifically marketed as ‘for canopies’ or ‘for awnings’ can be considerably cheaper. View a shade sail used as a carport alternative.

Another idea is to construct a simple frame in a cube shape, then drape material over the top and secure. You can even buy them online, in bags and with quick construction, for example from here. If you’re intending to use them for more than a few days, try to erect your carport alternative with the front two poles higher than the back two to allow rain to slide off the roof.

A large gazebo can also prove satisfactory as a carport solution. However, if you can’t secure it into the ground then it is best served as a short-term carport alternative. They can be particularly useful when camping or making us of a caravan as they will provide shelter for your vehicles, can be moved to keep the sun off your face, and are quick to construct and pack away.

Temporary alternatives to carports can be a great way to determine whether or not a carport is for you – a ‘try before buy’ situation. If you feel that they aren’t quite right for what you need, then it’s worth investigating carports and carport kits in further detail – particularly as kits and wholesale carports aren’t as expensive as some people think.

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