No Room for a Full-sized Garage? Build a Carport

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.

Attached Design

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.

Portable Carports

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

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.