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How to Build a Garage Carport

Updated February 21, 2017

Adding a carport to your home will protect your car from the elements. A carport is convenient when it's raining or you want to unload groceries easily. If you design a carport that enhances the architecture of your home, it should add value to your property. Even if you build a stand-alone carport next to your house, make sure it fits well with your home's design.

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  1. Sketch your home and anticipated carport. Draw the carport to look good with your home's roof lines. Consider partially enclosing the back and one side of the carport. Figure out if you can afford a one-car carport or one that will house two cars. Plan to install the same type of roofing material on the carport that is present on your home. Get a building permit before you proceed.

  2. Excavate dirt to accommodate a concrete pour for the carport's floor. Finish the floor smoothly, since it will be under roof and away from the elements. Later, you can paint or stain the concrete floor.

  3. Build framework and support posts to accommodate the carport roof. Use prefabricated wooden trusses to create the roofing and overhead framework. You can build your carport roof and beams from scratch, but it's easier to order them prebuilt as trusses. Unless you are a building expert, you will need a qualified carpenter to supervise the job. Ask for city inspection as you complete each major phase.

  4. Build support framing for overhead beams and trusses. Bolt this framework into your home's wooden framework. Nails will not hold the weight. Never skimp on the number of support posts or the size of those posts. Use removable metal adjustable poles to help hold up framework as you build. You can install wooden support framework in the back or one side of the carport. You can cover this with masonry.

  5. Tip

    You can use lattice or masonry to enclose only the lower half of the carport area at the back or along one side. Or, you can install only wooden or metal support posts to hold up trusses. Removable metal poles that adjust in height can be used before you build permanent posts. These poles are often used to hold up beams in concrete-floored basements.


    Do not try to assemble wooden trusses or manage major construction without at least four workmen on site. Ropes and pulleys will be necessary to hoist the trusses into place. There is no substitute for old-fashioned manpower at the construction site. Always bolt framework directly to your house. Do not rely on simple nailing or screws. There is a huge amount of weight in place over a carport made of lumber.

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Things You'll Need

  • Concrete
  • Metal gridwork
  • Lumber
  • Plywood
  • Premade wooden trusses
  • Masonry sheeting
  • Nails and screws
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Pre-made wooden support posts
  • Light fixture
  • Electrical wiring

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.

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