If you don't have the space or the budget to build a garage, you can build a carport instead. A carport is very convenient during bad weather or a rainstorm. It's best to position the carport near a side door or backdoor of your home. A carport protects your car from the elements to some degree. If you build a back or side wall, you can also incorporate some storage into the plans.
Start With Your Budget
Figure out how much you can invest in a carport. You can build a one-car carport or a much larger one. The options for construction include metal carports, wooden structures and a combination of different materials. Buying high-end materials will help ensure the carport increases the value of your home. Building a cheap carport is one way to really hurt the home's market price.
Wood Vs. Metal
Always build a carport with wood, bricks-and-mortar and a well-designed roof, if possible. It can be tempting to erect a metal carport, because it's faster and relatively inexpensive. But building a carport as a wood-framed structure provides a lot more visual appeal. The roof pitch and well-designed overhangs of a carport plan determine a lot about the final look of the carport.
Locate a Good Plan
Review plans in design books and online to choose a carport you'd like to build. Start with your first choice and scale back to save money. For example, if you'd like an upscale carport made of cedar, you can compromise by keeping the design, but using salt-treated pine for the structure. You can always use high-quality paint and sealers over materials that are a second choice to your preference.
Evaluate House Structure
Sketch your house and figure out how to place the carport in relation to your driveway and back door. Instead of moving the carport too close to your back door, for example, you might step the carport away from the back door and build a porch covering between the carport and the house. The position of the support posts in relation to the house will affect the overall look of the project.
Build a Foundation
Every carport should be built over a concrete foundation, if money permits. It's easier to build a stronger carport if you install it over concrete. Besides, rain can erode a dirt or gravel parking area, even if you build footings under support posts of the carport. It will cost a minimum of several hundred dollars to place a concrete slab under the carport, but you should recoup this investment if you ever sell your home. No foundation will actually hurt the resale value of your home, say experts at the National Association of Home Builders.