Who would not love the chance to make summer last just a little bit longer? There’s good news. If you have a carport, you can use it to achieve that goal.
It’s actually relatively straightforward to turn a carport into living space, and even enclose it to become a garage. Below, we’ll discuss what you need to know to get things rolling.
You Need a Plan
Before you get too far down the rabbit hole, make sure that you have a plan. If you don’t, there’s a very good chance that you’ll overshoot your budget. The first thing you need to do is figure out if you will actually be able to use your carport as extended living space during the warmer months. Will you be able to park elsewhere, only putting your cars under shelter during late fall and winter?
Next, you’ll need to decide on the layout and design of the space. Most existing carports have three walls open to nature. That means you will need to think about how far you want to go in terms of building additional walls, and whether or not you’ll want windows in those walls.
You will also need to think about privacy. If your neighbor is quite close, you might need to get into and out of the space from the front and rear of the house. If so, why limit yourself to a narrow entry door? Front and back moving garage doors offer greater convenience.
It might be worth your time to consider working with an architect or a designer, too. They can help you pull your ideas together into something resembling a concrete plan. They can also help you avoid overshooting your budget.
Now that you’re into the planning process, it is important to think about what you’re going to spend on the project. It can be quite expensive, depending on what you want to achieve. In fact, you could spend between $10,000 and $20,000 quite easily. However, there are a few things you can do to help hold down costs.
For instance, if you choose to keep your floor as asphalt, rather than pouring concrete, you can save quite a bit. If you don’t add more footings for concrete walls, that will also save some money. Finally, if you avoid the need for extensive electrical wiring or plumbing, that will also help control the costs of your project.
To get a more accurate idea of what you’re looking at in terms of costs, break down the project this way:
40% of the amounts highlighted at the following destination link are related to the materials used in the project. However, 60% of those costs are related to labor.
So, you can easily see that by doing some of the work on your own, you can save quite a bit of cash. You’ll find a much more exhaustive explanation about the work and materials necessary to turn a carport into a garage or living space at this link.
Tips to Help You Brighten Your Space
By adding walls, you will automatically darken the space. However, there are quite a few ways that you can add light without necessarily installing a bunch of light fixtures. For instance:
- If the front section is at least 12 feet wide (3.6 meters), then you might decide that a single garage door about 9 feet in width (2.7 m) is a good option. Install one in the front and the rear for both light and easy access.
- You might decide to go with an all‑glass garage door to create a window wall in the front, similar to Garaga’s California model. You might also opt for a contemporary garage door with 40” x 13” (102 x 33 cm) windows, such as come standard for all Garaga doors.
- Determine how often you’ll be accessing the rear wall/door. We recommend installing a garage door if you’ll be going in and out frequently. Placing your front and rear garage doors back to back allows you bring in a lot more light. Just make sure that your space is at least 22 feet (6.7 m) deep so there’s room for your electric openers.
- Don’t forget that if you’re using an electric garage door opener, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right depth – that measurement is the door’s height, plus 48 inches (1.2 m). You can get away with a depth of just 28 inches (71 cm) without an electric opener, though.
- For your side wall, consider adding a bank of double‑paned windows set low (36 inches / 90 cm) to bring in additional light.
- If you don’t go with dual garage doors, finish out the back wall with thermo windows similar to the side wall.
With the glass in your garage door, make sure you choose the right option for security and privacy. Many are available with frosted or tinted glass, or you might choose to go with translucent polycarbonate instead. The right dealer can show you samples to help you make an informed decision.
Here to Help
If you’re ready to get going, then contact us at 508-563-5633. We’d be happy to walk you through your garage door and garage door opener options to fit out your new living area. We have years of experience helping customers with similar needs, and we’d love the chance to help you perfect your home. Give us a call, or stop by the showroom in person. We’d also be happy to send you a quote by email.
In terms of garage doors and windows, why not take a tour through our Design Centre? You’ll find a host of new models and you can even see how they would look on your home. Our image gallery shows you what you can expect in terms of results when working with us.