Next to a home, a car is generally the biggest expenditure a person will make. Protecting this investment from the elements not only extends the life of the car, but also protects it from sun, snow and wind damage. While a garage is optimal, some do not have the space or money to add a garage. An economical and easy alternative is to build a carport.
Carports are covered parking spaces that are generally attached to the home, but not enclosed by walls on four (4) sides. Not only do they provide a safe place for the car, they can provide protection to passengers from the elements when getting in or out of the vehicle. Carports can also provide additional covered storage for the home.
2. Prior to building a carport
Homeowners must check with their local building department to find out if any specific permits are needed and the exact building code for such a structure. For instance, many communities require a fire wall to be built if the carport is attached to the home or will border the property line. If the home is a condominium or is in an area with a homeowner’s association, be sure to investigate any requirements those groups may have, such as submitting the plans so they can be approved by the board.
When selecting the site for the carport, not only does it need to accommodate the vehicles, but it also needs good drainage and be able to provide protection from the elements. While it might seem like a good idea to attach the carport to the rear of the home, if there are many large trees and strong winds are common, it might be better to find an alternate site. Generally, a twelve by twenty foot area is adequate for one car, while a twenty by twenty area is needed for two cars. The home should be tall enough so that an eight foot high carport roof will sit below the home’s roofline and allow the carport’s roof to slope away from the home.
While gravel can be a good floor for carports in some areas, the best design is a concrete slab at least four inches thick. Many areas have specific codes regarding the thickness of the slab requiring they be at least a foot thick. The rafters and beams should be made from treated lumber to protect it from water damage. The roof can be made of half inch thick plywood or corrugated aluminum. While the aluminum does not need to be treated and is easy to care for, wasps are attracted to the aluminum and like to build nests in the rafters, which can be difficult to destroy.
4. Added Value
Great Aussie Patios Carport Builders can add a carport that provides excellent value and gives homeowners a place to protect their car and passengers, as well as external protected storage for the home.