DIY carport design

Updated February 21, 2017

Creating a good carport is an excellent way to protect the finish of your car. A carport offers protection from the elements for family members coming home during rain or snow as well. A well-crafted covering can also add value to your home, if it blends well with the architectural features of the house. It's always a good idea to place the carport near an entrance, versus too far from an entry door. By designing the carport to look good with your house, you can incorporate it into space not far from the front door. A double carport will look best in most cases, since the roof can be built to match the roof line of your home.

Talk with local planning department to determine required codes or restrictions for building a carport. Find out if you will need planning permission as well. Gain ideas for the style of carport you want to build by looking at design books, magazines and appropriate websites. Start with your ideal carport, regardless of your budget. Trim back size to fit your budget by using alternative materials or cutting back on size. Create the design to look upscale, since a poorly constructed carport can devalue the market price of your home.

Develop some sketches of your house and measurements of space allotted for the carport. Draw the carport several different ways before settling on your near-final version, which you want to convert to graph paper. Allow one square of graph paper to represent 15 cm (6 inches) of real space. Design the roof of the carport to blend harmoniously with your home's roof. Include overhangs that are enclosed and add a roof covering that matches what is on your house.

Plan to use lumber that looks upscale and large enough to enhance your house. Don't use skimpy 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards to build the carport, destroying aesthetics, but also don't skimp on size of timber support due to safety reasons. Never underestimate the heaviness of a carport roof, especially one covered in plywood and asphalt shingles or plywood and metal sheeting. Plan to create the framework of the carport out of boards no smaller than 20 cm (8 inch) square posts and 5 by 25 cm (2 by 10 inch) boards.

Design a hip roof carport, A-frame or sloped roof that drops 30 cm (12 inches) from front to back. Avoid using a simple sloped roof, resembling a flat roof, on the front side of your home. Install a simple sloped roof at the back of the house where it will not be visible from the front. Consult with an expert carpenter to design framework that will support 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) thick exterior-grade plywood and other roofing materials. Design the final carport in detail on graph paper and review all aspects with the carpenter.

Design the carport to have guttering, downspouts and splashblocks to skirt away rain. Create the carport roof lines with all guttering to look harmonious with the guttering of your house. Plan to build a storage unit along one wall, if you desire. Design the framing for the wall with the storage space to help support the entire structure's weight. Create sliding wooden doors to cover storage space.

Things You'll Need

  • Carport design books
  • Remodelling magazines
  • Carport websites
  • Sketches of your house
  • Measuring tools
  • Sketch pad
  • Graph paper
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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.