If you do not have a garage or a place to keep your car enclosed and covered, you might be wondering if you can use a gazebo as a carport.
Gazebos that are square in shape should be fine to use as a carport as long as the dimensions are big enough to house a car. However, most gazebos cannot be used as a carport simply due to their design. Most are hexagonal or octagonal design and have raised ground.
However, there are other outdoor structures that are similar to gazebos and suitable as carports. In this article, we are going to explain exactly why you cannot use a gazebo as a carport and offer another alternative that is both attractive and functional.
A Closer Look at Gazebos
By definition, a gazebo is an open and freestanding garden structure. Although not necessary, most will have a hexagonal or octagonal shape. They also will have a roof and include built-in seating within the sheltered area. With this design, gazebos typically include lattice and other shading features that create a gorgeous and shady sitting area.
Gazebos also include a lifted design. This design keeps the interior clean and free of dirt despite being located in a garden.
Because of the hexagon or octagon shape of the gazebo, a gazebo will typically have six or eight posts that connect the roof to the ground. Due to these posts, it is impossible to fit a vehicle underneath the gazebo without taking the entire structure down. More so, the lifted ground prevents you from easily driving your vehicle under the structure.
In other words, a gazebo would be a great carport, if not for its more geometric and lifted structure. A gazebo would provide shade and protection from the elements. Theoretically, you could make a gazebo large enough to be able to drive a vehicle through, but that gazebo would be incredibly large and expensive.
With all this in mind, a gazebo is not an ideal option for a carport. Simply because of its design and size, it would be an absolute waste of money to try to find a gazebo large enough for a vehicle to drive through and fit under.
However, there are exceptions. A gazebo like this one is rectangular, and is 14′ x 10′ which is large enough for some cars to fit underneath. It’s portable, compact, and can provide a decent covering of your vehicle.
Consider Turning a Pergola Into a Carport
As we mentioned above, there are many structures that people call gazebos that actually are not gazebos at all. These sorts of structures will provide shade and shelter from the elements, much like a gazebo, but they will be shaped in a way more optimal for vehicles.
One such structure is called a pergola. A pergola will provide stunning and efficient protection for your vehicle while still being large enough and suitable for the vehicle size.
What Is a Pergola?
A pergola is a type of structure that includes columns that support beams, rafters, or a roof. The roof can either be open or covered, depending on your preference. One of the cool features of pergolas is that they can either be freestanding or attached to your house. This means that you can easily customize the pergola design based on your land.
Pergolas are different from gazebos based on their design and structure. Whereas most gazebos typically include a somewhat rounded shape and raised floor, pergolas usually do not ever have a raised floor, and they typically have a square or rectangle shape.
It may also be helpful to contrast a pergola from an arbor. Pergolas are generally much larger than arbors, and they have a flat surface. Arbors, in contrast, are very small, curved, and provide no shade or protection from the elements.
Finally, it may be helpful to think of a pergola in carport terms. A pergola is almost identical to a carport in that it has a flat top and large rectangle shape. However, the main difference between a pergola and a carport is that a pergola is made of wood, whereas a carport is made of metal.
More so, pergolas can be used for seating, decoration, or vehicle parking, whereas a carport is typically only designed for sheltering your vehicle from the elements while it is parked. So, they are different in their intent, but they can be used in the same manner.
Using a Pergola as a Carport
Because of the square or rectangle design and the flat ground, pergolas make an awesome carport. In fact, pergolas are often used as a carport in homes that look for a more attractive and picturesque design.
When using a pergola as a carport, it is important to have a completely closed-off roof. Pergolas can have open roofs, lattice roofs, or closed roofs. Since the purpose of a carport is to protect the car from the elements, you want the pergola to have a closed roof. If not, rain, snow, and other elements can fit through the holes or open roof.
If you live somewhere where it is constantly sunny and summery, you could select a lattice top and grow vines through it. These vines will grow thick, creating an incredibly picturesque roof. This idea does not work if your environment gets cold since the vines will die in the winter, exposing your vehicle to the elements during those months.
As we already mentioned, a pergola can be freestanding or attached to a home. This means that you can place a pergola anywhere on your land. For example, you can set the pergola next to your home if the driveway is right next to it. However, you can easily make a freestanding pergola that has four sides on its own.
Other Uses for Gazebos
If you already have a gazebo and do not know what to do with it, you may still be looking for another use of your gazebo. Simply put, gazebos are best used for outdoor seating areas and a garden focal point. Set your gazebo in your front or backyard for a picturesque seating area.
If you have motorcycles, bicycles, or other small vehicles, you can easily use the gazebo as somewhat of a carport. Because of the smaller frame of motorcycles, you can easily drive the motorcycle through the columns, allowing the gazebo roof to provide shelter for the bike. You will need to guide the bike with your hands due to the inclined floor.
You can use certain gazebos as a carport to an extent You will need to use a rectangular shaped gazebo that has 4 columns to allow access for a vehicle. Most hexagonal or octagonal shaped gazebos would make it impossible to drive a vehicle through the various columns. More so, the lifted floor would make parking even more impossible.
Instead of using a gazebo as a carport, opt for a pergola. Pergolas are picturesque and often mistaken as a gazebo, but they have the exact same structure of a carport. At the same time, they are attractive like a gazebo, melding the attractiveness of a gazebo and the functionality of a carport into one.
Just remember that the pergola needs to have a closed roof to be used as a carport. If you select a lattice or open-roofed pergola, it will not provide any shade or shelter for your vehicle, therefore failing to provide the functionality you are looking for in a carport.