Are Harbor Freight Carports Any Good? 6 Facts You Should Know

There are many situations where you are not able to have a permanent carport or garage.

Permanent carports can also cost thousands of dollars, and some places may not allow a renter to put a carport up.

Harbor Freights carries a less expensive and portable carport option.

Harbor Freight carports are an excellent alternative for those that need their possessions covered while not spending a fortune. Their frame quality is sturdy for the price, while the material is lacking. For a quick fix or temporary solution, Harbor Freight carports are suitable for the price. 

There are some things to take into consideration before you buy a carport. The material will not last as long as the frame will, but with a few hacks, you can get the most out of your Harbor Freight carport.

Read on to find out what you need to know.

All Carports Are Not Created Equally

Carports can come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. The better quality the material used to make the carport, the sturdier it will be.

That being said, the Harbor Fright carports are not a permanent solution, and they are not made to last for years. They have a sturdy metal frame, but the material is of a lower quality. 

Their carports will work well to cover your car, provide some storage, or even be used as a shelter while building a garage.

People have had them last a few years by taking as much care of them as possible.

The Material Could Be Stronger

Many customers needed to buy a tarp to place over their carport, so it did not leak.

The tarps are not that expensive, but it also is a little frustrating that you need to find a solution to fix a brand-new item.

Thankfully, their prices are incredibly low for what you get. This is most likely the reasoning behind the material not being as strong as it could be.

The material can easily:

  • Cave in due to the weight of snow on top of it
  • Have ripped zippers from everyday use
  • Have pinholes pop up in random spots and cause leaking
  • Rip from wear and tear, as the metal poles rub against the fabric

While the material can have its issues, the frame itself is durable for the cost.

Let’s look at some tips and tricks to get the most life out of your carport’s material:

  • Buying a tarp and placing it over your carport
    • This helps with the rain from slowly pooling in and ruining your items.
    • Almost like a tent, when water sits on it for too long, water will start to seep in slowly
    • A tarp will also help block the sun from dry rotting or damaging your cover and extend the life of your carport
  • Taking it down annually
    • Removing your carport and storing it during the winter months can help protect it from the heavy snow. The snow can easily rip open the top and result in your items being covered in snow.
  • Taping all metal edges and parts where the frame connects
    • As the wind blows, the carport cover will gently move back and forth. As it blows, it will wear a hole into the fabric over time.
    • Taping the rough and uneven parts can help extend the life of your Harbor Freights carport.

You Must Secure The Carport Properly

In some areas, you may be able to set it up and not worry. For most places with wind, rain, ice, or snow, extras steps will be needed.

Let’s look at some steps to help you secure your carport to the best of your ability.

  • Check for areas that lightly flood during rainstorms
    • Before placing a carport, see what the area looks like after a hard rain. If rain pools in one area, that means your carport will flood.
  • Make sure you are in a flat area
    • If the carport is angled, wind could tip it much easier
  • Portable carports are not for every region
    • Wide and flat areas that are prone to high winds can easily twist the metal frame or send the carport flying through your yard.
    • Places that get very heavy rains or snow are also not recommended as they can leak the snow or shred the material.
  • Use the stakes that come with the carport
    • Always stake down a carport with everything that comes with the actual product.
    • You can use extra stakes for a more secure carport

You Will Most Likely Need A Floor

One of the most important things you can do to secure your carport is to build a floor to correctly attach it to for safety.

This is the best thing you could do for your carport. By creating a stone or wood deck, you will secure every corner of the carport to the ground. 

The whole floor would need to rip up (highly unlikely) before the carport could budge. While it could still bend in high winds, at least it would not blow through your yard and damage anything else.

Flying carports could even damage your neighbor’s property. The last thing you want is an inexpensive carport to create a large, expensive mess.

They Are Not Easy To Move

Taking them down and putting them back up to save them from the winter weather is smart, but you may find out your material has turned brittle, and parts may snap.

Many people have complained that if it is left up all year, the sun and winter weather will quickly damage it. 

While on the other hand, if you take it apart and put it back up, chances are it will tear, or parts will become warped. It could fall apart as you are putting it back up or make it weaker and more unstable.

During the winter, you should make sure snow doesn’t build up on the top. You can also place a tarp on top for easy snow removal.

They Typically Do Not Last Long

They may not last years, but you quickly get your money’s worth out of them for their low price. The carports are perfect for:

  • A moveable work building
    • If you need a makeshift building to work in to get out of the elements 
  • Covering items during a move
    • Covering appliances, storage totes, or other large items when moving out of or into a new home
  • Covering items while building a garage
    • If you want to build a garage but wonder where you will put everything you store in it, the Harbor Freight carports would be a great idea.
  • Renters
    • If your landlord will not allow you to build a permanent carport (many will not allow permanent structures to be built on their property) 
    • You don’t plan on being there a long time and don’t want to waste the money
  • Short term storage option
    • There are many reasons you may need to store items for a short time if you are remodeling a room and need somewhere to place the furniture, for instance. 

Harbor Freight Carports – To Buy Or Not To Buy

While they may not last for a year, the price is unbelievably low to buy a Harbor Freight carport.

They are the perfect short-term option for anyone in the right conditions.

Make sure to take the extra steps to ensure your carport is secured to the ground with stakes or attached to a floor.

With these simple steps, you will be able to store your items temporally without breaking the bank.

Alright guys, that’s it for this article, if you are interesting in reading more about carports, we have lots of cool articles related such as:

How Much Does a Carport Weigh? Examples With Numbers

How To Raise & Jack up Carports (Metal & Wood Varieties explained)

What Size Carport can I Build Without a Permit (The Numbers)

Is it Cheaper to Build a Carport or Buy One? (Easy Checklist)


Harbor Freights – Carports

Steve Foster

Suburbanite, tech geek, handy man, automation enthusiast who started blogging about the stuff I do around my home and found he had a knack for it.

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