How to Choose a Portable Garage Structure for Any Sized Vehicle
Home improvement trend pieces call it, homeowners recognize it: The portable garage is one of the most versatile storage structures around – particularly when it comes to vehicles. The easily anchored, element-blocking structures keep out UV rays and moisture – two factors leading to cracks, rot, mildew, and fading – and practically ensure a vehicle is ready for use whenever you take it out of storage, no matter if that's tomorrow or a month from now.
That being said, size plays a crucial role in how effectively a portable garage protects a vehicle, from a single motorcycle to multiple RVs. Rather than find yourself with a structure that's too large or not strong enough or that doesn't fall in line with local ordinances, follow these suggestions.
How Many Vehicles?
From cars to motorcycles to seasonal boats, practically any structure benefits from the long-term coverage of a portable garage. UV rays and moisture are blocked out, while components that could have been damaged by the elements remain ready for use by spring.
That being said, the first step to selecting a portable garage is knowing what, exactly, you plan to put underneath. If you need the space for two boats, find a structure that accommodates both and offers a few additional square feet of room.
Because portable garages range from simple eight foot by eight foot shelters suited to covering a single motorcycle to structures large enough to cover multiple RVs, determine the dimensions of each vehicle first before selecting a portable garage. For space concerns, measure the length, width, and height; add a few feet for any components that protrude from the body, like vents on an RV; and provide for enough feet to moderately maneuver and get out of the vehicle.
If you plan to store multiple vehicles inside the portable garage, not only should you tally the total amount of cubic feet, but also allow for space in between each.
How Much Space is Available?
Versatility makes portable garages far superior to their brick-and-mortar counterparts; however, setting up such a shelter has limits – with space being one of them.
After deciding on the total amount of vehicles you plan to store and the square feet required, seek out a location on your property that not only fits the portable garage but also allows for ample room around and is accessible by any car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or RV you plan to store.
Along with versatility in regards to placement, portable garages can be taken out and set up at practically any point during the year. How long you plan to keep your vehicle sheltered, then, influences the strength of the portable garage.
As you shop around, terms like "galvanized steel," "powder-coated structural steel," and "square tubing" all surface, not to mention different frame diameters. Each descriptor directly influences how strong a portable garage will be and, thus, how long you should use it for shelter.
Generally, any "powder-coated" or "structural steel" shelter is built for temporary uses: for instance, protecting an investment for just part of the year. On the other hand, wider frame diameters, square tubing, and galvanized steel signify strength, and if a shelter is being set up for long-term protection, opt for one of the sturdier materials and designs.
Two factors homeowners across the U.S. must face are building codes and local or state ordinances. When it comes to portable garages, legal guidelines specify how many structures can be placed on a property, how large it may be, and where a structure can be placed – usually, the front is off limits, but side yards may be, too, in certain cases. Stricter codes further have specifications for which structures are permanent or portable, and list the different requirements for each.
As such, no homeowner should blindly purchase a portable garage without researching local and state ordinances. Not only do you determine how large of a shelter you can purchase and where you can install it, but ordinances give parameters to effectively direct your search.
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