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What To Consider Before Converting A Carport To A Garage



|Last Updated: 26 Jul 2022

Are you thinking about converting your carport to a garage? This is a great solution for adding extra storage space and also gives you a nice place to work on your cars.

Ultimately, it is important to plan wisely before undertaking the process of converting a carport to a garage. There are many considerations to make and guidelines to follow that can help you through the process. A successful conversion is dependent upon the foundation you lay before starting, so taking your time is key if you don't want to run into any unexpected setbacks along the way.


Check Local Building Codes and HOA Regulations


Before you convert a carport to a garage, it's important to check local building codes and HOA regulations. You may be required to obtain a permit before starting your project. Building codes exist to ensure public safety and to prevent you from doing anything that could endanger either you or your neighbors. If you don't know what's allowed in your area, you could end up having to take down any structures you build, or otherwise be forced to undo all of your hard work.


Moreover, if you live in an area where there are Homeowner's Association regulations in place, they may have their own set of rules regarding construction and additions to your property that would apply to a carport conversion. If they do, ask them what they require in the way of construction drawings and specifications. Be sure to do your homework before starting any structural changes on your property.


Evaluate the Current Carport Structure


If you want to convert your carport into a garage and are wondering how much it will cost, the first thing you need to do is evaluate the current carport structure.

Is the carport made of wood or metal? Does it have a concrete foundation? How many posts does it have? If there's more than one post holding up your carport, you'll likely need to cut them off and pour concrete footings for new posts. Similarly, if your carport is made of wood and is on a concrete foundation, you'll also need to cut out the wood from the foundation and pour footings for new posts.


Overall, before starting on your garage conversion project, it's important to make sure that the existing structure is strong enough to support the demands of a full-fledged garage.


Measure the Slab


Next thing to do is measure your existing slab. The slab is the one thing that can't be easily changed and will be a huge roadblock if it's not right. The first step in a carport-to-garage conversion is ensuring that your slab is big enough for you to use, and the best way to do that is to double-check its measurements.


This will give you an idea of what you'll need for a garage door, as well as how much room you'll have inside once the conversion is complete.

If your carport has a concrete slab and it's at least 4 inches thick, you're good to go! If it's not, then there are ways you can strengthen it in a bit.


Check the Height


Next step, you need to take when considering converting a carport to a garage is check the height. You don't want to find yourself halfway through the process and realize that it's not going to be tall enough to fit a car inside. You need to make sure that your car can fit before you start any projects.


Measure the height of your carport as is. If your carport is not 8 feet tall, you might need to consider increasing the height of the structure before you can use it as a garage.


To convert it into a garage, you'll need at least 8 feet of clearance. If you're planning on working on your car inside the new garage, you may want more than that—so if the roof is too low, consider building a roof extension above one wall.


Check Condition of the Roof


Did you know that a carport's roof is more susceptible to damage than a garage's roof? Even if it's not damaged now, there's a good chance that your carport roof will deteriorate faster than you'd like.


This is why, the roof of the carport needs to be checked for any problems or damage. If it needs major repairs or replacement, that's going to be a significant cost before you can transform your carport into a garage. Hold off, the project till the costs add up to build your roof. If your roof does need some work, but is otherwise in decent shape, you may want to continue with the conversion process.


Before you decide if converting your carport is right for you, make sure the roof is in good condition and can support the weight of a second story.


Consider Cost of Construction Materials


Before you begin a project like converting your carport to a garage, it's important to consider the costs of construction materials.


The cost of converting a carport into a garage will vary depending on the materials used and the size of the space. The average range is between $5,000 and $20,000.


And while you're considering the materials you'll need, think about other factors that could affect your budget. For example, if you're building your garage in an area with harsh winters, or where there are high winds or heavy rains, you'll probably want thicker walls and stronger roofing than if it were in a temperate climate or protected space.

The best way to estimate the cost of your project is to talk with a professional contractor in your area.


Plan for Mechanical Service


This is the most important consideration to make when deciding whether or not to convert your carport into a garage. The first thing to know is that if your carport is going to serve as a garage, it will need to be built according to your town's local building codes. If not, you'll end up paying fees or fines.


Your carport isn't attached to your home; it's an addition that stands alone from the rest of your house. While this might be good for some situations, it can make a huge difference in how much work converting it will be.


If you anticipate needing electrical or plumbing work, get estimates early on so you can budget enough money in case there are surprises down the road. A professional can help tackle these problems better on your behalf.




We hope we've given you a strong starting point to build on. There are many ways to go about converting a carport into a garage and plenty of factors to consider along the way.


Overall, converting a carport to a garage is a project of both initial effort and long-term reward. It takes some time and effort to get started, but once the relevant permits are in order and the project is underway, it's easy to see the many benefits that come with this change. For those who want to add more living space or decrease their energy bills, converting a carport to a garage is an excellent way to do so.


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