I love LA’s weather. It’s sunny practically all the time, it barely rains, and snowflakes are almost mythical.
But do you know what I hate? Getting into my car when it’s been sitting out in the sun. The feeling of the hot air hitting my face makes me loathe the drive ahead, which isn’t good since traffic jams are as much a part of our fair city as the sunshine.
It makes me wonder, then, why I don’t see more multifamily complexes with carports. They’re not particularly expensive to build, and the protection they offer from the sun is, quite frankly, priceless. So why aren’t they considered a must-have amenity?
Am I the only one that craves carports? I don’t think so.
Everyone Under the LA Sun
Let’s run some numbers. We have the second largest urban population in the US. With an average of 284 sunny days a year, our beautiful city is the fourth sunniest place in the country. In 2015 there were 6.2 million cars registered in Los Angeles County—that’s over 1.5 cars per person. Now I don’t mean to point out the obvious, but the numbers don’t lie: There are an awful lot of Angeleno drivers suffering in the sun.
Why a Carport Should be Your Next Amenity
If you are wavering on whether or not to invest in carports at your multifamily, here are some of the many benefits to keep in mind and help inform your choice:
Protect Your Residents’ Prized Possessions
LA is the most car-crazy city in the country—with residents spending 133% above average pampering their cars. When your residents invest so heavily in their vehicles, they’re going to welcome any protection you can give them.
Remember, it’s not just the car’s interior that bakes in the sweltering LA sun. Constant sun on your vehicle’s paint job is about as good as constant sun is on our skin. Hot tires on a hot surface are just asking to blow out. The sheer heat alone can evaporate battery fluid, oil, and coolant, and lead to a mechanical meltdown. And let’s not forget the paint-ruining sap, bird droppings and other corrosive materials that nature might throw at our cars.
A Cost-Effective Solution
Although construction of a carport will still require a building permit, there are less regulatory hoops to jump through than there would be if you were building a garage. Given the nature of a carport, construction is also relatively uncomplicated, and concrete foundations may not even be required. Both the legs and roof of the carport can be prefabricated and assembled on site in order to reduce the disruption caused by construction work at your apartment. Once erected, a carport will need little maintenance, especially if it’s finished with a termite and mold-resistant paint.
Generate Extra Income
More and more LA home and apartment owners are using the construction of a carport as an opportunity to install solar panels. Turning carports into a multipurpose amenity doesn’t just make environmental sense, there are also significant financial benefits to be obtained. The cost of leasing and installing solar panels has decreased over the last few years, and there are a number of financing programs available that can help to reduce the setup costs. The power produced will reduce your energy bill immediately and, assuming you remain the long-term owner of the apartment, you should see a positive return on your investment within a decade.
A Great Investment
Long-term revenue from solar panels aside, adding a carport to your multifamily apartment can help to boost your bottom line immediately. First off, this much sought-after amenity will undoubtedly increase your apartment’s attractiveness to potential tenants, thereby increasing rental rates. But a carport can also generate another source of income in the form of monthly or yearly parking permits. It’s always in a tenant’s interest to protect their vehicle and they will likely pay a premium to do so, especially if space is limited, and for car-crazy Los Angeles residents, paying a small monthly carport fee will be a no-brainer in exchange for greater protection for their beloved wheels.
Adding a Carport to Your Multifamily Apartment
If you’re ready to give an underestimated amenity a second look, there’s no one better placed to help than REIG. We can offer strategy and construction services from planning through to completion to ensure your carport achieves everything we’ve discussed. Give our friendly team a call if you have any questions, or submit a project below.