If you’re thinking of converting your small, one-car carport into a two or three-car garage, then you’ll need some plans and equipment to pull off this project on your own, but this won’t be a smart decision. The most important part is getting the new foundation in place so that everything else may be level and sturdy.
Once the new foundation is down, the walls go up pretty quickly. It’s all about disconnecting the carport from its original support posts and warping it onto the new concrete slab where your cars may actually park. This takes some finesse and patience, but it can definitely be done with minimal carpentry.
I would not recommend converting a carport to a garage because it is not designed for this and it needs a lot of work to add better protection. The carport is designed to protect the cars from the elements but may not offer any protection against weather-related damage, which can be particularly damaging in climates that are more humid. Also converting a carport into a garage yourself is never smart.
Evaluate the Current Structure
If you’re looking to stop parking your car outside, have a garage door to protect your vehicle, then converting a carport into a garage is the cheapest option. The best time to do this would be during spring or summer when humidity levels are low because of rain and snow levels are low.
If it’s feasible, then you could also consider moving the garage behind or to your house side if it is currently in front. This may help to protect vehicles from weather-related damage. If the structure cannot be moved and/or you’re not comfortable with doing it yourself, then hire a contractor and talk about all possible options and costs. Contractors may usually know the local council laws, permits required, planning or plumbing and can even offer different options for a carport to garage conversions.
Types of Garage Kits
There are 2 different types of kits that can be used for those who want their garage built with good wall frames, great exterior finish, to have more space and look better.
One-piece Metal or Steel Garage Kits
These types of garage kits are very easy and quick to install and usually come with the hardware you need for installation. They also offer good insulation. Most of these garage kits can be installed using a floor jack, but if your structure is not level then some material (plywood) may be required on the lower side rails where they contact the concrete foundation once it has been poured.
Since this type comes as complete units that require no cutting during installation, they’re generally more expensive than those made from milled lumber because there’s less labour involved in their production.
Non-prefabricated Wooden Garage Kits
This type of garage kit is usually made from 2x4s and OSB. There are several styles to choose from. OSB is the cheapest material, but it’s also very heavy and has a chance of warping or buckling as humidity levels change.
You’ll still need a floor jack to level out the structure if your foundation does not have a flat surface, which means more labour costs to install this type of garage kit. If you opt for plywood instead of OSB, then there may be less labour involved in the installation, but the initial cost may be higher because plywood is more expensive than OSB.
Check Height and Width
If you’re considering a wooden garage kit, then the height of your garage may depend on how tall your ceiling is. You can either buy a garage kit that’s already made or have one custom-made depending on the size requirements of your vehicles and how much headroom there is where you plan to install it. A two-car door with 8-foot high ceilings could be enough for most purposes, but if you want more headroom without installing an attic or raising the roof, then consider buying a three-car garage kit instead.
The width could also fit your needs, including the number of cars you need to park in there. It may take an experienced carpenter or contractor to provide comprehensive advice about sizing up garage kits, so it’s best to use an expert if you’re not sure about anything.
Prices may vary depending on the size and the material used, so be prepared to spend more for plywood than OSB. If you don’t have experience designing or installing garage kits, then stick with prefabricated ones because they come with instructions that could make assembly easier. If you plan to handle the installation yourself, then consider making a diagram of your property that shows where all the parts are supposed to go before purchasing anything.
Ensure Weather-proofing Durability
You want your new garage kit to stand up well against bad weather conditions such as rain and snow as well as the wind which can affect insulation levels by causing drywall cracks with excess moisture buildup. If you live in an area with extremely high winds, then consider buying garage kits that are heavy enough to withstand them. If you can’t find what you need locally, then look for garage kit manufacturers online and compare prices.
Asphalt Roofing or Concrete?
During an existing carport conversion for extra storage space, you could decide on the roof structure materials. Asphalt shingle roofs may be cheaper than other types of materials like metal or tile, but they’re not as durable because heat causes the asphalt to deteriorate over time. This may lead to rust spots on your new structure’s ceiling which may require treatment before it spreads further. Many companies also only offer asphalt shingle products, so if this type does not suit your needs, then consider having a custom-made metal/tile roof installed instead after comparing prices at different companies.
If you want a new garage kit with a concrete roof, then it may be more expensive than asphalt ones because the initial cost of the equipment and labour is higher for this type. However, concrete roofs require less maintenance while being more durable in bad weather conditions including heavy rainfall and high winds. They’re also fire-resistant which makes them ideal for use where there are restrictions on flammable materials such as near gas stations or on military bases.
Existing Carport into a Garage Conversion
Garage conversion kits are an affordable way to make your garage work for you, but be sure to choose the right size and material before buying one.
If you’re dealing with prefabricated garage conversion kits then including labour costs may also increase overall costs. If you can design or install it by yourself, then consider doing so instead of hiring someone else because this may save you money in the long run. However, if you’re not confident about self-installation or have no experience in home improvement projects, then have a professional do it instead because mistakes could cost far more than they would have otherwise.
Picking the Right Type of Garage Door
Picking the right garage door for your closed garage may also help reduce energy costs, but be sure to fit it with weather stripping and insulation. This may not only help keep cold drafts out during winter but also hot air during summer which means your AC won’t have to work as hard.
Garage door insulation kits are available for purchase online if you don’t want to install them yourself, but there are plenty of other products you may find useful too such as the best weather stripping. A garage door can cost quite a lot depending on its material and design, so be sure to check prices before buying a brand new garage door.
You’ll also need to consider the number of windows or vents that come with the garage door because these affect airflow through your garage. Usually, a garage door has at least one window. The more openings there are in the garage door for warm air to escape from, the harder your AC can potentially work overtime. You can put an electric door opener motor for your new fully enclosed garage door.