Which carport is right for your home

Building and owning a home is the dream of many Australian families! Having a house is one thing but improving it and adding value is another. Often seen as an afterthought, this article seeks to help homeowners make better use of their outside areas with a range of shade sails carport solutions.

A well-designed shade sail carport can be part of creating a better aspect to the property, and much more likely to add value to the home. Homes are a significant investment, which is why shade solutions are often neglected as an afterthought. It’s only once you have exposed assets that you don’t know how you ever thought you could live without it.

Shade carports are ideal for protecting and cooling your hard-earned assets. Whether it be cars, boats, caravans and motorbikes, the great feature of carports is there flexible options for design, size and application.

Shade sails also protect against organic matter such as bird droppings, leaves and foliage.

Why are carports so popular?

Weather safety

Carports are designed to protect your outdoor assets from dangerous weather conditions like the harsh Australian sun, wind storms and heavy rains.

Space for other vehicles

residential shade sails brisbane car parked on driveway exposed to the sun. this car needs a shade sails carport

Carports store cars, boats, motorbikes, trailers and motorhomes. Any vehicle without the space to fit in your garage can be kept inside a carport.

Additional Space

Carports have so many uses and can easily be converted into an outdoor porch for events and celebrations.

Easy Use

modiform car parked in driveway with cantilever shade sail structure to the front of the driveway

Carports are convenient in that there is no need to open and close doors when they come loaded with shopping bags or other goods.

We understand the importance of a good first impression and the reason that Modiform is design-focused, having developed many options that will complement and improve your home’s outlook.

As such, there are a few factors that need to play in selecting the right shade sail carport for your unique property.

1. Sun Orientation

When it comes to protecting your vehicles, the first thing to factor in is where the afternoon or western sun sets, as this is the hottest part of the day. The location and design need to limit exposure to your parked vehicle/s in the evening.

image of modiform cantilever shade structure single shade sails carport 6x3.5 size colour black waterproof fabric

2. Coverage

modiform car parked in driveway with cantilever shade sail structure to the front of the driveway

Whether it is a single, or multiple vehicles, a motorhome or a motorbike, Modiform will design your shade sail carport to sized to suit your asset being protected. Coverage is so crucial as more coverage improves the overall protection of your assets.

3. Application

Ask yourself, for what do you need to protect your asset? Modiform has many solutions, both waterproof and shade only option, to suit your individual needs.

Modiform Double shade sails carport over driveway 5x6 metres in charcoal colour

Types of carports available 

Hard roof carports 

Hard roof carports consist of supports and a roof (either flat or gable) and offer two to four open sides. Materials used for hard roof carports can be timber, metal, polycarbonate, Colorbond, Zincalume or tiles. Carports are great in that they provide extra space for opening doors and loading the car.

Traditional hard roof carports can be cost-effective, quick to erect, flexible and available in do-it-yourself options.

This being said, hard roof carports are Less versatile than shade carports in that they generally have square corners and set sizes.

Shade Carports

Modiform shade sails carport with waterproof shade sail brisbane in driveway for double shade sail carport colour gold fixed to house
Modiform Double shade sails carport over driveway 5x6 metres in charcoal colour
Modiform Double shade sails carport over driveway 5x6 metres in charcoal colour

Shade sail carports add artistic beauty to homes in a way that can’t be achieved with any other shade structure.

If value for money and design consciousness is your main priority, you may be hard to find a shade sail carport solution quite like a custom-made Shade Sail.

Shade Sails are fantastic for providing shade that helps keep outside areas fresh. By installing a Shade Sail in over your vehicles, you can also create a feature, something that will improve your home’s frontage.

Taking inspiration from yacht sail making techniques, Shade Sails are typically constructed from high-quality shade-cloth fabric. Using stainless-steel wire edge, fixings, and fittings, the sail is pulled tight to form a robust canopy. With Modiform, each sail is 3D-designed using computer software where each panel is stitched, sewn, or welded together to create a single Sail. The result is a tear-resistant sail with minimal puckering and almost zero “sag” with fabric warranties of up to 15 years depending on which fabric you choose.

If shade sails seem like a good solution for you, here are a few steps to making sure the shade sail you choose will look great and last for years to come

1. The shape of your shade sail

Square and Rectangle Shade Sails

A traditional, cost-effective option is the simple single sail shade sail. These give excellent shade coverage but can look plain if designed poorly Pro tip: Make sure the corners have two higher than the others, and that these high posts are opposite each other so that water is able to easily be removed, but creates opposing forces that will tension in the sail and prevent it sail from sagging and catching the wind.

This impressive Double carport that is 6 metres by 6 metres is a great example of the single shade sail carport.

Modiform Double shade sails carport over driveway 7x6 metres
Modiform Double shade sails carport over driveway 5x6 metres in charcoal colour
modiform waterproof shade sail brisbane in driveway for double shade sail carport colour burgundy fixed to house
Residential shade sails carport over driveway with blue skies

Architectural overlapping Shade Sails

For a high-end finish, Modiform’s shade sail carports can be designed with multiple shade sails overlapping to form a unique aesthetic with an architectural feel. With multiple sails, be mindful of gaps that may affect the amount of cover you can have as sunlight will beam through these gaps.

This project was created with two overlapping shade sails and created a beautiful shade sail carport solution to the outside of this modern home at The Gap, Brisbane, Queensland.

2. The type of fabric for your Shade Sails

Waterproof fabric

Waterproof Sails are a great alternative shade solution for creating usable, protected spaces outside of the home. PVC sails are our most popular waterproof product. These watertight, PVC canopies provide shade and UV protection for residential and commercial outdoor living spaces such as backyard patios, playground equipment, parks, restaurants, swimming pools and cars. Our waterproof PVC fabrics are Italian made fully welded waterproof membranes with a 10-year warranty.

close up detail of modiform cantilever waterproof shade sail 3x6 metres with modiform valmex waterproof fabric
modiform vehicle under waterproof shade sail brisbane in driveway for double shade sail carport colour burgundy fixed to house

3. Where your Shade Sails will fit

Cantilever Shade Carports

Residential cantilever shade sails brisbane_modiform shade sail carport_custom shade sails brisbane_L
image of modiform cantilever shade structure single shade sails carport 6x3.5 size colour black waterproof fabric

If you like the idea of an architectural shade solution, you may elect for a cantilever shade sail carport.

Cantilevered posts are simple, modern and functional. The structure is made with two columns fixed at one side of the sail so that your outdoor area can stay open and unobstructed.

The posts are engineered to support the span of the sail without external bracing required.

Here’s an example of a new PVC single carport in a cantilever shade sail carport.

modiform waterproof shade sail carport in pvc sand colour

Single Shade Sails – The Gap, Queensland

Black Single Shade Sails – The Gap, Brisbane
modiform branded vehicle underneath a modiform cantilever shade sail carport in colour charcoal

Koedn Shade Sculptures 

Modiform is now a supplier of KOEDN, a range of shade structures that are stronger, with better resistance to high winds and retains its shape by blending elements from the natural world with state-of-the-art commercial-grade materials.

With three design series and many options to suit your needs, we welcome you to browse our ranges. 

If you’ve made it to this point in the article, you’re ready to know about the nitty-gritty of carports.

Here are five steps to ensuring your shade will look great and last for years to come.

1. Fixing points

Roof detail drawings of modiform structural roof points
fascia detail drawings of Modiform structural fascia details

This is the part of the design that lets many sails down. If the proper fixings aren’t used, you may find a plethora of problems including ripped sails, rusted corners and even damage to your property from lack of proper installation from poor quality hardware and installation methods.

At Modiform, We don’t skimp on our sail manufacturing. Our sails are made stronger with Marine grade stainless steel edge cable, HDPE fabric that provides the highest UV protection, PTFE UV stabilised long-lasting thread, Reinforced corner gussets with extra webbing straps (Heavy-duty) and Stainless steel corner rings supported by webbing straps.

Our technology makes us precise. Our shade sails are made to order using computerised technology to design and plot our shade sails and waterproof membranes.

2. Footings

footing detail drawings of modiform structural concrete-free footing system

The footings we recommend are Pre-engineered for guaranteed structural integrity and innovative in that they are concrete-free, where you won’t need concrete! This means no digging, no mess and faster installation. The below video briefly shows how easy our concrete free footing systems are used to replace an existing column.

3. Fabrics

modiform waterproof shade sail range of colours concept only
Shade sail colours

Do you want shade fabric that allows the breeze to pass through, or would you prefer a waterproof solution? There are also varying qualities in the fabrics depending if you want a quick fix, or long term solution.

We offer three grades of shade fabric – Residential Grade, Lightweight Commercial and heavy-duty commercial. All are of great quality and guaranteed to last.

Modiforms team of experts can help choose the most suitable option for your needs.

Waterproof Fabrics

Our PVC fabrics available are available in various colours that provide UV sun protection of up to 100%.

Lightweight Waterproof

Bocchini is a type 0f tensile structure fabric ideal for waterproof sail structures. Available in eleven colours with four inspired by Colorbond® to match your building

PerformanceWeldable PVDF lacquer on both sides for a anti-mildew treated

– Protection that provides 100% UVR block

– Peace of mind supports a 10-year warranty

Commercial Waterproof 

VALMEX® FR 580 is a heavy-duty fabric that is fungicide treated and UV stabilised. The flame retardancy has been verified with a light, robust feel.

– 100% Waterproof Fabric

– Market Leader for Strength

– German Engineered

Strong wind resistance

Supported with a 10-year warranty

Shade Fabrics

Modiform’s shade fabric is available in many colours and depending on the colour hue, provides up to 98% UV sun protection.

Residential Shade Range

Nolan’s “Parasol” is a lightweight commercial grade fabric most suitable for houses and apartment applications. Parasol is manufactured with a combination of high-density monofilament and tape that offers protection from UV radiation (the leading cause of sun damage).

– Performance The yarn has a durable finish that holds exceptional strength and abrasion resistance

– Protection Up to 95% UVR block

– Peace of mind supporting a 10-year warranty

Lightweight Commercial Shade Range

Our Commercial 95 fabric range is maintenance-free and long-lasting combination of sun protection and strength. The first architectural shade fabric that has been certified for Ecotex 100 and has “green guard” compliance.

The stitch structure prevents fraying and tearing

UV Stabilized tape yarn is used to balance the strength and UV block, requiring next to no upkeep.

Up to 97.7% UV block to reduce sun exposure

Guaruntees 10-years UV degradation resistance for fabric

Heavy Duty Range

Monotec 370 Series shade fabric is, in our opinion, the best solution for more durable, longer-lasting shade sails and structures. The material is made from monofilament yarns that won’t stretch over time. It also assures the integrity of your structure to last for years to come.

– Stronger resistance against wind, rain and fire than any other fabric

– Rot-free

– Maintenance-free – no need for installers to return after installation to re-tighten sails

The industry’s only 15-year manufacturer’s warranty

The only shade cloth that will retain its permanent shape and design

Our designers can show you samples in both shade and waterproof fabrics. Contact us to organise a quote.

4. Fabric Colours 

To go light or dark? Lighter colours allow more light through, give slightly less UV protection and tend to show the dirt more.

Darker colours let less light through and provide higher UV protection and won’t show dirt as much.

Our Shade Technician can show you samples of different fabrics, including the full range of colours and ranges. 

5. Rigging

Shade sails are designed to stay under tension and is how they get their strength. As you drive around, you’ll often notice sails that sag. The reason is that the cable or fabric has stretched, or the posts have moved. Here at Modiform, we use marine grade stainless steel cable of at least 4mm so your sail will remain tight, firm and keep its stylish shape. During the manufacturing process, the cable is double ‘lock’ stitched into the edge of the sail, so it stays secure for years.

For more information on all things shade sails, check out our blog The Insider: What to look for in a quality shade sail. 

close up of shade sails carport corner with grey shade sail brisbane
close up of heavy duty shade sail roof point, reinforced
close up detail of a modiform shade sail fixing

6. Maintenance

Cantilever shade sail in charcoal colour for carport

For the very best for your shade sail, regular inspection and maintenance are best. Here is a quick summary to help maintain your Shade Sail.

Metals

Modiform shade sails carport with waterproof shade sail brisbane in driveway for double shade sail carport colour gold fixed to house

Metals need mid-year maintenance by washing down to remove any accumulated pollutants, grime or debris. We suggest a warm water wash with a low ph mild detergent (eg. dishwashing detergent), and quick dry to remove any water marks.

Powder coating

A build-up grit can scratch the surface of your posts and affect the integrity of the powder coating. Scratched surfaces are prone to corrosion, and may compromise the longevity of your investment.

Cleaning

Powder coating (posts) should be washed down every six months. To clean, we suggest using use a soft, wet cloth or sponge to wipe away dirt and salt build-up.

Avoid using a dry sponge/brush, as this may cause surface scratches to the surface and affect the integrity of the finish.

Scratches can be repaired quickly using the appropriate colour touch-up spray paint. Warm water washes down with a mild detergent will remove accumulated pollutants, grime and debris, then dry before applying any paint.

Sail – Shade Fabric 

Cleaning

A regular maintenance regime is important to ensure your sail stays looking great and holds the longevity of your investment. To clean your fabric of dust and dirt build-up, wipe over the surface with a soft cloth. To remove stubborn dirt, dampen the cloth with water.

We recommend not using harsh cleaning agents or chemicals as these can damage the fabric surface.

Conclusion

With a shade sail carport installed at your home, you will be able to shield your assets from the suns harmful UV rays. With the Australian lifestyle focusing so heavily on the outdoors, having additional shade outside your home will ensure that your valuable goods are better protected from dangerous ultraviolet exposure.

Here at modiform, our shade solutions are a blend of using quality materials combined with many years of knowledge in fabric structures to create long lasting shade sails, waterproof shade sails, cantilever shade structures and large construction shade projects. 

We have been achieving successes across south east queensland over the last few years and are proud to have worked with amazing clients to create shade solutions we’re proud of.

In every project we are part of, Modiform leans on the tenants of quality, efficiency and client care that make us great.

Our Services

Need Inspiration? Checkout some of the shade sails we’ve built throughout Brisbane