If you find that you need to put your car in a garage, but you don't have one, a portable garage could be the answer. PVC pipes and plastic tarps make an easy lightweight solution that is inexpensive and easy to assemble.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 6 pieces 3/4-inch PVC pipe, 10 feet
- 6 pieces 3/4-inch PVC pipe, 8 feet
- 6 pieces 3/4-inch PVC pipe, 6 feet
- 2 three-way Y connectors (with one 45-degree angle)
- 7 four-way connectors (4 with one 45-degree angle and 3 with two 45-degree angles)
- PVC glue
- 4 plastic tarps, 6-by-10
- 6 plastic tarps, 8-by-10
- Zip ties
- Tape measure
- Hack saw
- Large rasp
Measure and mark all pieces of PVC pipe. Then measure them again.
Cut the pipe to the marked size using the hack saw.
File off any rough edges using the rasp.
Test fit the pipes and connectors. Do not glue anything. Make any adjustments to the pipes: if they are too long, trim with the hack saw; if the pipe is too short, a small piece may be added to either end, using an end-to-end connector.
Attach a four-way elbow to the top of one 8-foot pipe. This will be the front left corner.
Place a 6-foot pipe on top of the connector, going upward.
Place a three-way elbow on the top of the 6-foot pipe. This will be the peak in the front.
Place another 6-foot pipe on the three-way elbow (going downward) and a four-way elbow at the end of the 6-foot pipe.
Place an 8-foot piece at the downward end of the four-way elbow. This completes the frame for the front of the garage.
Repeat Steps 1 to 5 for the back.
Frame Assembly - Front and Back
Starting in the front at the top, attach a 10-foot piece to the remaining connector at the peak.
Move to the left corner; attach a 10-foot piece to each of the remaining connectors.
Connect one of the 10-foot pieces between the left corner and the right corner. The appropriate connector should be evident.
Attach another 10-foot piece to the remaining connector on the right corner.
Attach a four-way connector to the open ends of the left and right sides as well as the peak.
Connect a 6-foot piece on either side of the peak, going down, attaching to the cross piece on either side.
Attach an 8-foot piece to the downward connector on both sides. This forms the front half of the frame.
Repeat Steps 1 to 4 starting in back at the top. Then connect the open ends to the remaining connectors attached in Step 5. This completes the frame.
Frame Assembly -- Sides
Start on the top of one side and attach an 8-by-10 tarp to the cross piece by using zip ties in the grommets provided.
Attach the sides of the tarp to the uprights. Repeat Steps 1-2 for the two sides and the back. On the front, only zip tie the top three grommets. This will allow access for your car and yourself.
Attach the roof (the 6-by-10 tarps) in the same manner as the walls, starting at the top and working down the sides of the tarp.
Glue any connections that you want to remain connected.
Your portable garage is now complete.
Walls and Roof
Tips and warnings
- Color-code each piece if you are planning to disassemble and reassemble your garage. The best way to do this is to take a permanent marker and draw a line from the connector to the pipe. Then number both ends of your line. The colour and the number will tell you what needs to go where when you reassemble the garage.
- If you are not planning to disassemble the garage, then make sure everything fits before you glue anything. But remember once you glue PVC it is next to impossible to unglue. Make sure you glue only the pieces that you want glued.
- Use eye protection when cutting PVC pipe.
- If you use PVC glue, do so in a well-ventilated area.
- Work with a partner when working up high with a ladder; have them hold it while you make connections or tie zip ties.
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