If you don’t have a garage then you must know the trials of parking your car unprotected and exposed to the elements, and if you live in the south then you know the damage that comes from the sun. Your paint fades, your seats will prematurely start to disintegrate. On top of damage, there is nothing less pleasant than getting into the sweltering oven that was once your car on a hot sunny day.
For people who live in colder climates with snow, you have the fun of cleaning off your car, scraping the windows and possibly shoveling your car out from under a snowdrift. In addition there is the damage and rust that results from exposure to snow.
Even in mild climates the hassle and damage from sap, berries, leaves and the many other gifts mother nature gives to your car can become a real problem. Post and beam carports may be the solution for you.
You could build a garage but that may not be an option that suits your budget or construction skills. Consider building a carport. You can easily and affordably construct your own simple post and beam carport for a fraction of the cost of a garage.
How To Begin
Before starting any construction you will need to check with the city to find out what kind of permit, if any, that you will need. Inquire about codes and regulations as well. You may need to submit a building plan along with your application for a permit.
Measure the height, width and length of the area where you will build your carport. Then decide on what design you want. There are many websites that offer free carport plans. They also offer detailed instructions for starting and what materials you will need.
Basic Post And Beam
For a basic post and beam style carport you will need timber. Make sure to purchase timber that is strong enough to withstand the most extreme weather conditions for your climate. You should purchase an additional five percent of timber to allow for a margin of error.
In addition you will need to purchase cement for securing the posts into the ground. Material for the roofing like PVC or tin. Make sure that this material will be able to support the weight of snow if you live in a cold climate. You will also need brackets, screws and nails to secure the structure.
Cut six equal lengths of timber for the posts. Make sure to add additional length for the part of the post that will be submerged in cement and leave extra on top for supporting the beams.
Dig six equal holes for the foundation. Three evenly spaced posts on each side. Insert the posts into the holes, brace them so they remain straight and fill with cement. Allow the cement to dry completely.
When completely dry measure the two rear posts and make sure they are the same height. The two front posts should be the same height as each other and about ten centimeters higher than the two rear posts. To determine the height of the middle posts run string from the top of the front posts to the top of the rear posts. Mark and cut all posts to desired height.
Cut the beams to fit flush with the posts by making 45 degree angled cuts and clamp them to the posts. The top of each beam should be level with the top of each post. The beams should also extend out past the front and back of the carport. Bolt them into place.
Next cut the end rafters with the same 45 degree angle cuts and secure them onto the beams with nails and brackets. Make sure to space the end rafters close enough together to stably support the roof.
Finally use some kind of roofing material, like corrugated tin or PVC and secure the roof to the frame. The instructions given here of course are greatly simplified. For more detailed information you can find a step-by-step guide in a variety of carpentry books.