Basic Free-standing Design
A permanent freestanding design is a simple but practical design requiring four to six posts and a roof. The anchored wood or metal post placed in concrete below ground and below the frost line prevents movement. The basic size for a freestanding carport with posts is 20 feet long by 10 feet wide and at least 7 feet in height. The roof is sloped at least 4 inches to help eliminate water collecting on the roof in inclement weather.
Build a freestanding carport close to the house for easy and quick access to your car, boat or RV in rain or snow. If that’s not a consideration, freestanding carports are versatile in that they look great anywhere you have a flat surface.
Homeowners have a choice with the type of material. Wood, metal, or sturdy cloth-like materials are used. With almost any carport design, kits are available for purchase at most lumber stores if you don’t want to build a carport from scratch or hire a contractor.
An attached carport could easily fit in with the design of your home if is placed outside the back door, kitchen, or garage with a matching design of the carport to that of your house and roof. The best size for this type of carport is 12 feet wide by 22 feet deep with a roof pitch of 4, 6 or 8 inches. The size of the slope determines the rate of water runoff.
Materials needed for this design are lengths of wood for the crossbeams and supports; a length of wood to attach the crossbeams to the wall; roofing material to match the roof of your house, and four or six posts sunk into the ground for support.
If living in an apartment complex or there’s trouble getting a building permit, a portable carport design may be needed. Portable carports are the least expensive and are sold in kits.
A kit includes a canvas roof with metal tubing that slide together for the frame. Build the frame first, then the legs, and attach a canvas roof by anchoring the roof to the legs with straps and screws.
Gable-style carports, whether steel, aluminum or wood, are sturdy and durable. They are especially useful if you live in an area that has excessively wet seasons. A gable roof prevents water and snow from pooling on the roof. And the also come with high speed shutters – you want a door you will be able to close quickly.
A gable-style carport rests on a concrete slab, where you anchor the supports or posts of the frame into the concrete. An alternative is to purchase treated posts and then sink them into concrete-filled holes to prevent posts from moving or shifting.
Whatever the decision, a carport may be just the thing to provide some cover for vehicles from the elements if a full-sized garage is not an option.