Need some clever ideas on how to make this carport more functional?

El Jay
March 24, 2016

I have an outdoor carport area that currently has a wood gate that opens out into the sidewalk and I was trying to come up with ideas on how to make this area much more useful as a parking structure by automating the door and also probably protecting the area from above from rain, etc.

My initial idea (from a contractor) was to install an automatic gate opener, but the concern I have is that it opens onto a public sidewalk so there is a potential safety concern for passing pedestrians. My other concern is that this is a solid wood gate so I'm not sure how it would do if it became very windy (maybe I could drill a bunch of small holes into the wood?). I considered the idea of making the gate open inward, but then I lose so much space that my car will barely fit. The dimensions of the door are 8 ft. wide (split into 2 - 4 ft. halves) and 7 ft. tall.

The other idea was to maybe purchase and install a garage door + opener instead of a gate, but I would need to build some structures to support the rails of the door and opener, and I'm not sure how well a garage door and opener would do in an outdoor environment - would it rust? Maybe it would be ok as long as it had something covering / protecting it from direct rain?

Any ideas or input are very much appreciated! Thank you!

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