A driveway cover, also known as a carport, is a structure that covers all or part of a driveway. It is usually an open air structure, meaning there are no walls, but instead just supports to hold up a roof. Some versions of the driveway cover are enclosed on one or all sides, but most are not. A driveway cover can be made from a variety of materials, from aluminum to heavy canvas, and while many carports are permanent structures affixed to a home, others can be erected or taken down easily, and reinstalled at another location.
The most common version of the driveway cover involves building an aluminum frame that covers part of the driveway. The part of the driveway closest to the home is the most common place to erect such a frame, as a user can park underneath the driveway cover and enter the house without being exposed to the elements above. The aluminum frame may be affixed to the house if it is a more permanent structure, but commonly, the frame is an independent structure. It is covered most often with a plastic material to prevent rain or other elements from leaking through.
Some driveway covers are more heavy-duty than the one described above. They are almost always permanently fixed to the house, and instead of an aluminum frame, wood or steel may be used. The roof of the carport is a permanent fixture that is framed and often shingled, just like a regular house roof, and they are often open-air structures. Such carports are common in places where the roof may bear a load — after a snowstorm, for example. Such designs are often integrated into the original house plan and are built when the home itself is built.
Some versions of the driveway cover have walls that cover all sides of the structure. These structures are usually framed with aluminum and covered with a fabric or plastic. The front and/or back of the structure will often feature a flap of material that can be rolled up so a vehicle can enter or exit the cover, and they can be long enough to fit multiple vehicles. Such covers are common choices for people who own RV or motor homes that are used part-time and stored part-time. The motor home can be parked in the carport and stored away from the elements, adding a sleeker aesthetic to the outside of the home.