Whether you're looking for a place to park your car or you want to create more usable outdoor space, building a simple carport or porch can add value and appeal to your home. You can do this yourself or hire a contractor.
Create a Square
If you're looking to make a space separate from your house, create a square. Start by installing four corner posts in the ground. Make sure the posts reach below the freeze line in your area to avoid complications later. Then build a simple rectangular frame with evenly spaced joists to create a flat roof. Add boards at a 45 degree angle in the corners between the posts and the roof to hold the roof in place. You can even add walls to turn the spot into a garage.
For a porch or carport closer to home, attach it. Install a large ledger board directly to your house where you want the top of the attached roof. Then put two posts in the ground tall enough to hold your roof. When purchasing your posts, think big. You can cut down a longer post. For added stability, use concrete to help hold the posts in place. Bury posts below the freeze line in your area to avoid problems with movement later. Once the posts are up, build a simple frame for your roof and add joists. The roof should be on a slant. You can use a wide range of materials to complete the roof, including metal, plastic and wood.
Double It Up
To add a different look to a two-story home, double it up. Create a porch on the second level with an open area beneath that can serve as a carport. A second-story porch with a carport below it is basically a very tall raised deck. Install your main posts in the ground and a ledger against the wall of your home. Build a frame. Then square off the porch and lay the decking. For added protection for the car underneath, install a layer of plastic or metal roof a few inches from the bottom of the deck floor. Make sure you can clean the roof area.
Buy a Kit
To get the job done quickly, buy a kit. You can purchase a simple carport or porch kit from most home improvement stores or online retailers. Kits typically feature metal posts and roofs made from metal or vinyl. Prices and durability for carport and porch kits vary, depending on the manufacturer, so do your homework before you buy.