Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Enclose a Carport

By Amy Nutt

Anyone who has an open carport has probably considered closing it in at some point. The open nature of these storage areas means that everything you store there is on display, and if it gets too windy, you`ll probably end up with debris or rain to clean out of the space. Enclosing the space will allow you to keep your vehicle, as well as any other items, clean and safe.

Getting Started The first thing to decide is what the space will be used for. Are you going to continue to use it to park your car or do you want to convert it into an office or guest room? For the latter, you don`t need to consider garage door options, you`ll be able to stick to a regular door. However, if you plan to move your vehicle in and out, a garage door is a must.

Take a good look at your carport first. Does it need a foundation? How many walls will you be building?

Laying a foundation is usually as simply as digging a hole the same size as your carport (without compromising any uprights) and laying first a layer of gravel, then putting down a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from destroying the foundation later on. Finally, you`ll need to frame in the area and pour concrete. The easiest way to do this for such a large space is to hire a concrete mixer to come in and pour. Doing it by the wheelbarrow load is not effective.

Framing the Carport You will need to put in a wooden framework made from 2x4s. These should form solid frames with vertical studs every 16-24 inches, but you'll need to check what the local building code requires because you may need more vertical studs. Be sure to frame around any windows or doors that you need. It`s a good idea to purchase your door or windows before you start framing so that you can measure carefully for fitting.

Once your frame is up, you will need to enclose the entire carport using plywood or another material of your choosing. If you are going to use the space as living quarters, this is when you would add insulation and have an electrician add any outlets that you might need.

Finishing Your New Room Finally, install any windows and doors that you`ve planned in the building. Now you will need to put up drywall. This is a fairly simple task, but usually requires more than one set of hands to hold and secure each sheet of drywall in place. Once the drywall is secure, you are then ready to plaster and paint your interior.

For the outside of your carports you can put up vinyl siding or any other finishing touch that you might like, including shingles or even just painting the wooden finish, though this isn`t likely to last long. Some kind of barrier against the elements is best.

Now that your carport is enclosed, you can hide whatever you like in it. Whatever you choose to store there, even if it is still just your vehicle, will be far better protected.

About the Author:

No comments: