Cairns sheds, carports, garages all come down to choice
WHEN it comes to researching carports it all comes down to choice, quality and strength.
Whether you’re after something freestanding or attached to a garage, a gable or skillion roof, no walls or one or two to protect against prevailing weather, there has never been a bigger selection on the market.
They can be used to house caravans, horse trailers, trucks or boats and consumers can choose from DIY kits or a builder to complete the entire supply and construction process.
Electrical points, lighting and fans can be added, as well as taps or sinks.
Then there is the importance of complying with council regulations and maintaining the appeal of the property they are added to.
For Excalibur Sheds owner Ashley Fraser, the strength of a carport – and its cyclone rating – is one of the most important factors in the structures.
“The cost of them does vary all over the place but we are more about quality and a stronger structure,” he said
“If you are looking to buy a home that comes with things like carports, sheds and patios, make sure you get the engineering certificates with it and do a bit of investigating and make sure everything is approved by council.
“Council has to have a copy of engineering in their records, if they haven’t got it, it’s tricky to get it passed. And the stumbling block is every time there is a cyclone the Engineer’s Board of Australia has a look at (standards) and everything changes.
“This year roller doors have had to be rated but prevention is definitely better than cure.
“If you’ve already bought the house you have to figure out where it was bought and get a local engineer to look over it. But sometimes it’s not worth it, and it’s better to pull it down and get another one.”
Mr Fraser also recommended buyers check on where the product and materials used in the carport construction are made.
He said many dealers may say the structure is Australian-made but the steel has actually been imported from China or Korea.
“Chinese and Korean steel has not been tested and they often have corrosion, fading and peeling problems,” he explained.
“Australian steel is still the best and you know all those ads on television where they leave it out in the rain and the wind and in the desert – well they have actually been tested on all that.
“As well, make sure you have a good choice of size and colour.”
Carports that consist of a facade linking to a fence with a roller door are often installed just for security, he said.
Mareeba Sheds and Gas sales officer Wendy Cambage agreed.
She sells Ranbuild products across Cairns and the Tablelands and said there was plenty of demand for that style of carport with top quality roller doors.
“There is a big trend towards that and in some areas character overlays may affect the colours you can use. If they’re not going to have it fully enclosed, the homeowners may use the back of the carport as a veranda and it may offer more protection from the weather. It can also be more economical than having walls on all sides.
“At the moment, though, the open carport is very popular. Some people are happy to owner-build and just put up the kit, whether they have a concrete slab underneath or not.
“From a very standard kit only you’re probably looking at $5000 for a carport. For a build that price is usually about double.”
Ms Cambage also said price varied according to the block size and its accessibility.
“One of the things people should keep in mind is that in Cairns a lot of people have limited space on their land, and often they’ve got a house there already and are looking to put a carport down the side, the back or further forward and that does create issues with council if they want to go close to boundaries,” she said.
“If people want to go closer to boundaries than is prescribed, it is possible but just may take longer to go through council.”