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Choosing a Carport for New Zealand’s Harsh Weather: A Material Comparison

When you’re choosing a carport for your New Zealand home, it’s important to think about the country’s diverse and often harsh weather conditions. From heavy rain and strong winds to intense UV rays, your carport needs to stand up to the elements while keeping your vehicle safe. Let’s dive into some of the most popular materials for carports and see which might be the best fit for you.

1. Steel Carports

Durability and Strength: If you’re living in an area with strong winds and heavy rains, steel might be the way to go. It’s incredibly robust and can handle severe weather without a hitch. You’ll appreciate its high tensile strength, especially during those intense New Zealand storms.

Maintenance: One of the best things about steel carports is how little upkeep they need. Unlike wood, steel doesn’t attract pests or rot. Just give it a regular inspection and maybe a touch-up paint job now and then, and it’ll last you a long time.

Aesthetics: If you like a modern, sleek look, steel carports can be a great match for contemporary homes. They come in various finishes and colours, so you can easily find one that suits your property’s style.


  • High durability and strength
  • Low maintenance
  • Wide range of design options


  • Can be prone to rust if not properly coated
  • May not have the natural look of timber

2. Stainless Steel Carports

Weather Resistance: Are you near the coast or in a high-humidity area? Stainless steel could be perfect for you. It resists rust and corrosion exceptionally well, so it’s ideal for salty air environments.

Durability: Stainless steel is known for its strength. It can take on strong winds and heavy rainfall, no problem. You won’t have to worry about it buckling under pressure.

Maintenance: You’ll love how little maintenance is required. Thanks to its rust and corrosion resistance, your stainless steel carport will stay in great shape with minimal effort on your part.

Aesthetics: These carports look modern and sleek, fitting well with a variety of architectural styles. You can choose different finishes to make sure it looks just right next to your home.


  • Superior rust and corrosion resistance
  • High strength and durability
  • Low maintenance


  • Higher initial cost compared to other materials
  • Limited colour options without additional finishes

3. Aluminium Carports

Durability and Weight: If you’re looking for something lightweight yet durable, aluminium is a fantastic choice. It’s easy to install and move if you need to. Plus, it doesn’t rust or corrode, making it great for coastal areas with salty air.

Maintenance: Aluminium carports are virtually maintenance-free. They won’t rust, warp, or crack, and the colour stays vibrant over time. A quick wash every now and then is all it takes to keep them looking new.

Aesthetics: You can get aluminium carports powder-coated in various colours to match your home’s exterior. They offer a modern and clean look that suits many architectural styles.


  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Low maintenance


  • Can be more expensive than steel
  • May dent more easily under heavy impact

3. Timber Carports

Natural Appeal: Timber carports offer a warm, natural look that blends seamlessly with many home styles. They can be stained or painted to match your property’s colour scheme, adding to their versatility.

Durability: While timber is strong, it is more susceptible to weather damage, pests, and rot compared to metal options. However, with proper treatment and maintenance, a timber carport can last for many years.

Maintenance: Timber carports require regular maintenance, including sealing, staining, or painting, to protect against the elements and pests. This upkeep can be more time-consuming and costly in the long run.


  • Aesthetic versatility and natural appeal
  • Can be customised easily


  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Susceptible to pests and rot without proper treatment

4. Polycarbonate Carports

Natural Appeal: If you love the warm, natural look of wood, a timber carport might be just what you need. It blends beautifully with many home styles, and you can stain or paint it to match your property’s colour scheme.

Durability: Timber is strong, but it does require more attention to protect against weather damage, pests, and rot. With proper treatment and maintenance, though, a timber carport can last for many years.

Maintenance: Be ready for some regular upkeep. Timber carports need sealing, staining, or painting to stay protected. While it can be more time-consuming and costly, the natural charm of timber often makes it worth the effort.


  • Excellent UV protection
  • Low maintenance
  • Impact-resistant


  • May yellow over time if not UV treated
  • Can be more expensive than some metal options


FeatureSteel CarportsStainless Steel CarportsAluminium CarportsTimber CarportsPolycarbonate Carports
Durability & StrengthHigh tensile strength; robust in severe weatherSuperior resistance to rust and corrosion; high strengthLightweight yet durable; resists rust and corrosionStrong but more susceptible to weather damage and pestsDurable; excellent UV protection; impact-resistant
Weather ResistanceGood, but can rust if not properly coatedExcellent, ideal for coastal areasExcellent, ideal for coastal areasNeeds proper treatment for weather resistanceExcellent, resistant to weather damage
MaintenanceLow maintenance; occasional painting or coating neededVery low maintenance; minimal upkeep requiredVirtually maintenance-free; occasional washHigh maintenance; requires regular sealing, staining, or paintingLow maintenance; clean with soap and water
AestheticsModern, sleek designs; various finishes and colours availableModern and sleek; can be finished for visual appealModern and clean; powder-coated in various coloursNatural, warm look; can be stained or paintedModern look; various tints and transparency options
Pros- High durability and strength. Low maintenance. Wide range of design options- Superior rust and corrosion resistance. High strength and durability. Low maintenance- Lightweight and easy to install. Rust and corrosion-resistant. Low maintenance- Aesthetic versatility and natural appeal. Can be customised easily- Excellent UV protection. Low maintenance. Impact-resistant
Cons- Can rust if not properly coated. May lack natural look- Higher initial cost. Limited colour options without additional finishes- Can be more expensive than steel. May dent easily under heavy impact- Requires regular maintenance. Susceptible to pests and rot without proper treatment- May yellow over time if not UV treated. Can be more expensive than some metal options


Choosing the right material for your carport is essential to ensure it withstands New Zealand’s harsh weather while providing long-lasting protection for your vehicle. Steel and aluminium carports offer excellent durability and low maintenance, making them ideal for areas with severe weather conditions. Timber carports provide a natural aesthetic but require more upkeep, while polycarbonate carports offer superior UV protection and modern design options. Consider your specific needs, budget, and the environmental conditions in your area to make the best choice for your home.