Simple Carport Construction

Building your own carport isn’t that difficult, though it will take you a few days to get the whole thing set up. Follow your local forecast and try to choose your construction period in a week where the weather predictions are sunny or at least with minimal potential for rain, as this might set you back by a few days.

The carport described here is a six meter by three meter project. Before starting work on the carport, make sure you’re abiding by local building codes, and check if you need a permit before erecting a permanent structure on your property.

Mark the Area

String off the area you’re planning to build the carport in; make it a six by three meter area, and then set up some timber profiles about a half-meter away from the building area. This will allow you room to dig your holes. Place string lines around the area that indicate the center of each of your six posts that will be used in the construction of this carport.

Setting Your Posts

This easy post-setting method involves concrete. Dig holes that are about 30 centimeters wide and 60 centimeters deep, and pour 10 cm of concrete into each hole. Place your posts in the holes, but don’t let them touch the string line. Use a line-level to ensure that your post is vertical with the string line, but again, not touching it.

Now you can pour the rest of the concrete into the post hole, but stop about 5 cm from the top. This is when you’ll have to double-check your vertical. If you’ve dug the hole deep enough as instructed, you won’t need to install braces for your posts – the concrete should do all the work itself.

Repeat the process for all 6 posts, three on each side of the carport.

When all posts are set and firmly in place, measure 23 meters above ground level on the posts at the back of the carport. With a line-level and string, you can ensure that both lines on each post are at the same height; after all, there isn’t really much room for error when it comes to constructing a space to store your vehicle inside.

The two posts at the front of the port should be about ten centimeters higher than the rear, and use a string line from front to back in order to determine what height your middle posts need to be. Saw off the post tops at each line.

Setting the Beams

Cut your beams to fit with angle cuts at 45 degrees on either and, and clamp each beam in place directly onto the posts, making sure that the top of each beam is flush with the top of each post. Beams should also extend past the front and back of the carport by thirty centimeters, and then you can bolt them into place with M12 galvanized bolts.

For the end rafters, do the same angle cuts and put them in place with beams using 7.5cm galvanized nails and angle brackets. Use four bolts for each bracket, and then bolt the rest of the intermediate rafters in place with galvanized metal joint hangers. Make sure these rafters are no greater than 90cm apart, as this is the best way to ensure structural stability.

Bracing the Carport

If you’ve concreted your posts to the ground as described above, you won’t need any extra bracing. If you placed your posts above-ground, you’ll need to add some upper post diagonal bracing – probably two on each post for the best stability – and use nail plates bolted in place.

All that’s left to do now is the roof the carport, which can be most easily done with ribbed sheeting. Or, if you’re planning on creating a more complex, shingled carport roof, look into some roofing techniques for garages and sheds for the best results.

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