What to Consider before Building a Carport

Keeping the snow off of your car or the rain from filling up the back of your truck can be difficult without a garage. However, building a full garage is often out of the question for financial, legal, or space reasons. A carport can be the right home improvement option when some coverage is needed but a full garage isn’t feasible.

Carport Legal Considerations

Before beginning work on your carport, there are several things to consider. The first thing to look into is the legal requirements for carports in your area. These can range from nonexistent to extremely strict so it is important to read up on local building codes. If you are considering using one of the commercially available carport kits for your home improvement project make sure that it meets local building code and zoning requirements.

Even if building a carport is legal on your property it may require a permit. The application and processing time for a permit can be significant so apply early if you have a definite time when you want to build. Make sure your plans are as complete as possible before applying for a permit because any subsequent changes may require a re-application process.

In some areas, certain parts of the work must be done by licensed professionals. This may include certain carpentry work, laying the concrete slab and putting in any desired electrical outlets. Finding this out before proceeding with the project is usually important because it can considerably increase the cost of the final structure.

Practical Considerations for Installing a Carport

Determining dimensions is an essential part of the process, although if you purchase a carport kit you may not have to think about this as much. It can be a mistake to base the dimensions of the carport on the car you currently drive because the structure will probably outlast the vehicle. The one exception to this is if you drive an oversize vehicle and need to make sure there is sufficient space.

Modern carport

Some building codes will allow you to use gravel or another material as the base of the carport but most require a concrete slab. Laying a concrete slab is not difficult but it does take some specific expertise. If you are considering doing this part yourself make sure to read up on the procedure for laying a proper concrete slab as well as acquainting yourself with the building code requirements for it.

The slope of the roof is at least partially determined by the weather. All roofs should have at least a slight slope of 1 to 12, which means that the roof gets lower by one inch for every 12 inches in width. In areas where it snows it is important that the snow slides off the roof as much as possible so that the weight does not collapse the structure. This calls for a more steeply sloped roof such as 3 to 12 or more.

If you take some time planning beforehand, you can ensure that the actual installation of your carport goes smoothly. If you don’t want to do the work yourself then you should hire a contractor from EiEi Home to make sure that the carport is installed properly.

This article was provided by the carport experts at Coast to Coast Carports Inc.
Photos from Ra Boe / Wikipedia



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