If you are considering converting your carport into a garage, there are a variety of factors you’ll have to keep in mind. Much more complicated than just slapping together a few walls and installing a garage door, a carport conversion is a big project, and requires a good amount of planning.
Here are a few things to think about:
Before you begin, you’ll need a building permit from the city and permission from your Home Owner’s Association, if applicable. If your neighborhood is part of an HOA and you don’t receive permission before the job, it is likely that you would have to revert any work you had completed once the work is discovered. Get permits and permissions first, which will save you time, trouble and money if the project gets denied.
Next, plan the project all the way through, from start to completion. Decide on the location of the door, choose whether or not you’d like a window, pick out the roof type and decide on specs for making the new garage flow with the existing façade of your home. Making these basic plans can help you avoid having to make important design and functional decisions on the fly, and will also help when you begin to draft a list of materials needed for the project.
Even for regular do-it-yourselfers, a carport conversion is a great project on which to get help. Contractors typically have knowledge of codes and zoning regulations that will prevent you from breaching any laws and save you from having to deal with the consequences of construction that fails to meet code. Even if you don’t want to hire a contractor to complete the entire job, think about specific parts of the project that you may need someone else to do, such as concrete pouring, building a wood frame, installing drywall, painting, or installing the garage door.
When constructing, be sure to follow important guidelines that exist to protect both you and your new edifice. For instance, fire-safety regulations dictate that a garage that shares a wall with your house must have a buffer installed. This buffer must be a minimum one-hour fire-rated wall (or a ceiling if a living area exists above the garage). Check your city’s building code for other regulations. For the durability of your new garage, build the walls with masonry, not wood, as the bottom eight inches; this simple move will eliminate any threat of termites or wood rot resulting from poor drainage.
Whether you choose to convert your carport on your own, or hire a professional to complete the project, keeping these issues in mind can help the entire process be a smooth one.
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