Quick Tips in Converting Your Carport into a Garage

Published: 05th January 2010
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A lot of homeowners decide to have a carport installed in their homes due to the lower demand in finances brought about by this home project. But homes with garages are far more appealing. In the future when you might decide to sell your home, a garage is definitely one of your strongest features that can entice many buyers. Thus, if you have a carport, converting it into a more secured enclosed garage may prove to be a fruitful investment after all despite the costly nature of this task.

Then again, what is the difference between a carport and a garage? Most people do not distinguish one from the other due to their alike purpose - to provide you with a parking space. However, you can tell them apart firstly by their appearance, costing and usage. A carport is cheaper due to the minimal requirements involved in installing it. Lumber or steel posts and galvanized tin or gable roofs are the main components that make up this type of vehicle lodge. A garage on the other hand is relatively more expensive since it is a permanent structure attached or detached to the house. Some homeowners make this space as their storage, office, workshop or additional living area as well.

First of all, assess your need for the conversion. Thoroughly deliberate how you want this new space will serve your needs. If you just need to secure your car, a simple garage will do. If you like to turn it into a multi-functional area like the options abovementioned, then devote more time in preparing the new garage design, plan and budget. Here are a few pointers in planning the conversion work:
1. Size - the minimum sizes for a single and double garage are 12 ft. wide x 22 ft. long, and 18 ft. wide x 22 ft. long, respectively. It is important that you carefully consider the flooring and ceiling widths and heights so you can assure better spacing for your vehicle and further area installations. For example, the span of opening for a standard garage door is 8 ft.
2. Professional assistance - if you want new wiring, plumbing and roofing done, you really have to hire a home inspector or a structural engineer. They have to initially check the status of these components if these are already existent in your current carport.
3. Insulation - given that your carport is built like a makeshift tent, a new enclosed garage will need proper wall insulation. This is very vital to include in constructing the new space so you can have ultimate protection for your vehicle and other things to be placed in this area. Particularly for zip codes with extreme hot or cold temperatures, give proper attention to the heating and cooling systems.
4. Building codes and regulations - check with your local area whether you need to secure permits for your construction endeavor. Typically in most states, a permit is needed if these tasks are involved:
- load-bearing walls demolition
- roofline change
- alteration of the house footprint
- new windows, door and sink installation
- new electrical wiring and plumbing

Once you have envisioned the entirety of the conversion, get your budget readied as well. The materials to be used should be listed down together with their particular prices. The most common supplies considered necessary in this home project are wall studs, bottom plate, door with track and opener, plywood, chip board for sheathing, pegboard for wall insulation and finishing materials like PVC siding or brick veneer. It would be easier for you to calculate the total costs for the materials if you get free quotations from your local lumber yard, hardware stores or even their online website counterparts. In addition, set the duration of this task. You can save up on labor costs if you put a definite timeframe for the project to finish. With regards to paying for labor, each handyman can be paid $25-35 per hour. If you want to hire a contractor, allocate $3,000 to $8,000 for the entire project including materials and labor costs. These rates vary according to your location and the complexity of the work.

Added car protection, new modern space and higher property value - these are only a few of the benefits you can have from having a full-functioning garage rather than a carport. All the expenses and effort will be well worth this home improvement endeavor.

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