Carport Over a Driveway – 4 Essential Must Knows

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To guarantee your car’s longevity and appeal, better care is necessary. Beyond cleaning and servicing your car you need to ensure its proper storage. When your car is not in use, a garage or a carport over a driveway serves as its home. But what are the key considerations when planning a carport over your driveway?

First, what is a carport over a driveway?

A Carport over a driveway is a permanent or temporary structure built right beside your home or a free-standing structure nearby. Its purpose is to protect your vehicle from the damaging effects of prolonged sunlight exposure.

Carport Over a Driveway – The Benefits

Driveways alone can leave your car vulnerable to external factors like harsh weather. A carport over your driveway serves to protect your car. 

Other key benefits of owning a carport over a driveway include:

  • They are super affordable. A carport costs far less than a garage.
  • If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can build your carport.
  • You can construct a carport from different building materials that are cheap or readily available.
  • It’s fast and easy to erect a carport over the driveway. This is irrespective of whether you are buying or building one yourself.
  • A carport protects your car/vehicle from exposure to strong sun, wind, and rain.
  • It’s fast and easy to access. It matters not whether you are driving inside the carport or reversing to exit, a carport offers easy access in and out of your property.
  • It’s easy to get council approval/permits to allow you to build a carport.

With two closed sides and two open sides, a carport over your driveway protects your vehicles from up to 90 percent of weather-related risks.

If you plan to sell your home in the future, you want to fetch as much money as possible in return. Building a garage may cost an arm and a leg. But, erecting a permanent, well-built carport is a cheaper option that can increase your home’s value.

The peace of mind that comes with owning a carport over your driveway is irreplaceable. Not to mention the facelift your home will get. But do check if you need a permit for a carport over your driveway, here, and check out our buyers’ guide to heavy-duty carports.

Can I Simply Put a Roof Over My Driveway?

Yes, you can build a roof over your driveway. If you are out shopping for a home, the absence of a garage shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. The driveway is a perfect location to erect a carport. To build a sixteen-foot-long carport, you will need materials like:

  • Six strong metal or wooden posts
  • Galvanized nails, nuts, and clamps
  • Drilling machine
  • Concrete
  • Metal roofing sheets, shingles, or tiles for roofing

If you aren’t well versed with home construction, it’s advisable to seek the help of home improvement contractors. Note that it’s less costly to ask for professional help in the longer term if you are not experienced in such DIY projects – mistakes could cost big time!

Alternatively, you could buy a portable carport or garage, that can be erected within a couple of hours by you and a friend. Check out our portable garage buyers’ guide here.

Can You Put a Carport On a Sloping Driveway?

Yes! Owning a house on a slope does not eliminate you from owning a carport over a driveway. There is a limit on the usable slope, however. You will need proper planning and a bit of creativity. With a level roof, you’ll need to ensure the rear of the carport has sufficient headroom for your truck or car, and that you are able to stand up.

carport over driveway
Carport on a sloping driveway (Image library)

Other important factors to consider here include:

  • You must choose sturdy and lightweight roofing. You want a roof that stays in place even in the face of strong wind, snow, or rain. Lightweight PVC roofing, metal shingles, and plastic roofing are ideal.
  • The land on which you plan to build the carport should not go beyond a 15% grade incline. Otherwise this may be too steep to achieve sufficient headroom. It will also be too hard to access the carport on a sloped driveway, especially when you are reversing.
  • Building on a slope can limit the effectiveness of openings built-in your carport if the carport is attached to the garage or your house.

Do I Need Footings For a Carport?

You don’t necessarily need footings for a carport. In fact, the portable carports on sale only require securing with pins on soft ground, and bolts on concrete. There’s no standard size of footings when building a permanent structure. When building a fence, you will use different footings than when building a carport over a driveway. You should adjust based on the load of the structure, and weather patterns in the area.

The amount of dead load and wind load need you to include more footing. Remember, the only thing holding the carport in place are the posts and footings. Thus, of importance is support. The larger the size of your carport over a driveway, the more support you will need.

Some key factors that will determine the carport footing size include, the height of your carport, the material used for construction, wind region, post size, and the width and length of the posts. 

Generally, the larger and heavier the structure, the bigger the car footing sizes. For example, a higher-than-average carport over a driveway will require you to dig deeper in the ground. This helps to accommodate the weight of the large roof and guarantees sturdiness.

Generally, a driveway carport built with 6 inches by 4 inches wooden posts and a tile or shingle roof, will require a minimum 2 foot deep footings, secured with poured concrete.

Interestingly, here’s a video of a cheap and cheerful carport built using 2 ft stakes that are normally used in fence construction:

Is It Cheaper To Build a Carport or Buy One?

Specific factors can influence how much you will spend on the construction of your carport. Some choose to buy a ready-made carport online or in furniture stores. Others choose to have contractors build a carport over a driveway, while others prefer to do it as a DIY project.

If you want an affordable carport, choose a self erected portable carport. while this is not as durable as a permanent structure, the cost will be much less, and you will be able to take it with you. Our guide may help you decide.

However, if you would like to enhance the value of your home, choose a permanent carport over your driveway.

According to HomeAdvisor a typical carport will cost between $3,237 – $9,869 when built by a professional contractor. If you build it as a DIY, your carport over a driveway may cost you half this. Alternatively, if you buy a portable carport kit, you should pay no more than $500.

Key Takeaway

Your exact needs and requirements dictate whether to buy or build your own carport over a driveway. Above are answers to crucial questions pointing you in the right direction.

If you decide to build the carport as a DIY, seek help from experienced friends and handymen. Careful not to buy more materials than you need. Even as you recycle to cut costs, only use quality materials to ensure the durability of your carport.  

On the other hand, should you choose to work with a professional, only hire one that’s reputable and experienced. Working with the wrong person will cost you precious time and money. The right contractor will create a masterpiece that will serve irreplaceable purposes, increase property value, and come with little maintenance.

Make the bold move to get your carport over a driveway today!

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