Carport



     This project I did in summer 2009.  Instead of using the garage for storage as many people do, I decided to let my vehicles get use out of it.  I therefore decided to build my own carport.  I thought, how hard could it be?  It wasn't practical to have one built, that would be too expensive and to get one of the aluminum covers would look too tacky.  The materials cost for this project was approximately $2,200.  There are many benefits to having a carport beside protecting your investment.  You can wash your vehicles in the shade, do outdoor projects and not have to scrape ice and snow from the windshield in the winter.

     Before you start your project, there are some things you have to check into first.  Though every city has their own guidelines, there are basic things that they consider.  First, are there any objections from your adjacent neighbors?  Will the structure interfere with oncoming traffic?  And third, do you have enough room to build a structure based on their guidelines?  Keep in mind, you will have to get a permit for this project.  The cost will depend on whether the carport is attached or detached.  It is usually under $100 fee for the permit. From my personal experience, the requirements were that I would have to measure 10' in from the curb allowing room for city utilities.  Next, measure 20' from that point in and whatever remained is the area that would be available for the structure.  Based on this guideline, most homeowners do not have the room for a carport unless you have at least half an acre lot, live out in the country or live in an established area.  In my case, my property is an older neighborhood and I have more leadway to work with.

     The majority of the materials can be obtained at any lumber yard, however, the beams will have to be manufactured.  I used treated lumber for this project except for the beams, they are white wood.  Since I wanted ample space to drive in without having to worry about additional center supports, the beams were a practical choice.  It is 4 1/2" thick by 11 1/2" in height and 20' long.  You will need help in placing those beams on top though I managed to put one up there by myself, I would not  recommend it.  To maintain an adequate height for any type of vehicle, the ceiling measured 9' from ground level.  The posts are 6"x6"x12' though you will need to reduce the length somewhat.  As long as you have a natural grade to your drive way, which most homes do, you will not need to reduce the height of 9' clearance.  The grade will take care of water runoff adequately.

         For this much weight, the post holes must be 2' deep.  I used three 60 pound bags of cement per hole.  The framing of the cover was done with 2"x6"x10' except for the outer area which were 2"x8"x10'.  Though you can use only nails for the framing I recommend you use Joist Hangers in addition whenever you can for added support.  When I installed the plywood for the roof, I was on one corner.  I used white wood in that area and within a week, ants were nesting there already.  From personal experience, do not use any white wood on any outdoor project unless absolutely neccessary.  Otherwise, either the termites or ants will get to it and you will have to redo the project.  

     On the metal supports for the beams I used two L-Bars, 4"x11" per post, screw bolted with 3/8"x4" and also bolted through the beam.  In addition, I used four Tie Plates per post folding them to adjust to the angle of the beam and secured them with Joist Hanger Nails.  For this much weight, you have to make sure the frame dose not shift in any manner. 

       As an added touch, I covered up the posts with 1"x6"x10' and 1"x8"x10' boards thereby consealing all the connections above.  I also used a router to give it a column appearance. This gave it a very clean look, as if the structure came in one section.  I generally use high gloss paint on all my projects.  It is much easier to wash down an area, and the dust does not adhere as easily.  Though I did not maintain photos of the ongoing project, I will be posting some shortly of the finished product.  It turned out quite well, though I had never built a carport.  As for all my projects, it has been a first time for me.  I suppose I must have a talent for it as we all do, all you need to do is try.  You would be supprised what you can accomplish and your guests will notice the difference.

     As time goes on projects get modified to enhance their appearance.  In this case I painted the trim on the carport in order for the house to come together with the rest of the structures.  The color fuchsia was a bold choice however, it has blended very well with the surrounding garden.

 

ITEM

PRICE PER UNIT

UNIT
 
TOTAL
 
  
      
  
Laminated Beams                       4 1/2 w X 11 ½ H X 20’ L
179.80
3
   539.40
6”X6”X12’ Posts
37.97
6
   227.82
2’X6’X10’ Lumber
10.68
18
   192.24

2”x8”x10’   Lumber

11.78
4
     47.12

2”x4”x10’   Lumber

3.97
5
     19.85
15/32”x4”x8’ Plywood
27.97
10
   279.70
Fiberglass Shingles (Bundle)
15.75
12
   189.00
Roofing Paper   30 lb.
18.50
2
     37.00
Cement 60 lb. Bag
2.67
26
     69.42
Paint Primer (KILZ Brand)
14.69
2
     29.38
Paint (Behr) High Gloss
32.00
2
     64.00
Calking Tubes
2.97
10
     29.70
1”x2”x10’ Roof Edging
1.92
8
     15.36
½”x5” Galvanized Bolt
2.67
6
     16.02
2x6 Joist Hangers
.75
44
     33.00
1 5/8” Deck Screw (Lrg Bx)
28.24
1
     28.24
1”x6”x12’ Lumber
10.68
12
   128.16
1”x10x10’ Lumber
13.32
12
   159.84
½”x4” Screw Bolt
1.71
6
     10.26
L Bar
4.85
12
     58.20
Tie Plate
.77
24
18.48
 TOTAL
 
 
$2,192.19

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 


                                                                                                  

 





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