November 2, 2018

Updating a Tired Carport into a Glorious Multi-Season Living Space

California garage door

If you have a carport, you may be dreaming of ways to extend the summertime glow and spend a little more time outdoors relaxing. Right? Well, you can! It is easy to turn your carport into a multi-season living space. Now, you can spend more time entertaining family and friends with these tips to help you get your project out of your head and onto your house.

Plan, Plan, Plan

You run the risk of exceeding your budget and ending up with a half-finished space if you attempt a project of this scale without a good plan. No one wants to abandon the DIY because you ran out of money. So, the first and foremost issue is determining if you are okay with using the space as a shelter for your vehicles during the colder months, and then transforming it into a “Florida Room” when temperatures warm up. If you think that is doable, then you need to decide how you want to set up this new living space. Think about the following questions:

  • Where will there be walls or windows?
  • Will you be entering from the front or rear of the house?
  • Is the space between your house and your neighbors restricted, or can you enter from that side?
  • Should you consider installing garage doors?

You may want to get assistance from an architect or architectural technician to explore your options. A technician will be able to help you avoid surprises such as cost overruns by organizing the plans, structuring the work to be done, and making sure your building is up to code.

Budget Considerations

Your budget entirely depends on what your planning entails, however, a good roundabout number is between $10,000 and $20,000. Construction costs can be reduced if the carport floor is left alone, you don’t pour extra concrete walls, and you don’t add any new plumbing or wiring.

Check our link below to get a ballpark figure of construction costs. Remember, 40% of the amounts shown are for materials and 60% are for labor. You may want to consider doing at least part of the work yourself but don’t overestimate your abilities and wind up having to get things redone.

Refer to this text for a more extensive explanation of the work that goes into turning a carport into a garage.

Lighting the Space

Based on the ease of access to the space and traffic flow you want to provide, different possibilities are possible.

Carport into a living space
  • If the front of your carport is fairly wide, you could put in a 9-foot (2.7 m) overhead garage door both in the front and back if the front is 12 ft, from the house to the supporting post of the carport. Double doors would let in more than ample light when they were both are open.
  • Consider equipping the front wall with an all-glass garage door, like the California model from Garaga. Also, another great option is to select a contemporary style door with wide 40" x 13" (102 x 33 cm) windows. A style like this is available for all Garaga door models.
  • If you are equipping the space with a garage door using a door opener, the depth (backroom) for this new space is the height of the door plus 48″ (1.2 m). However, if you are not, only 28″ (71 cm) is needed.
  • You should be happy with the amount of natural light if you install a bank of double-paned windows on a low (36″ or 90 cm) wood or brick wall for the longer side wall.
  • When deciding what to do with the rear wall, you first have to determine how much access you need to the backyard from the carport. For instance, if you store an ATV or something like that in the backyard, you may need to use the carport as a thruway. If that is the case, it would be best to install a garage door in the rear wall to maintain the same ease of access. If your space is at least 22′ (6.7 m) deep, you may be able to place two garage doors back to back
  • Choose the option that works best for your lifestyle and budget, but if you do not install a garage door on the rear wall, you can finish with windows like the side wall. Double‑paned thermal windows are a good choice.
  • When all is said and done, you can open the garage doors as needed to control the temperature and the privacy of your new carport living space!

There are numerous options like clear, satin, or gray tinted glass and even a translucent polycarbonate is available for the windows. When it comes to choosing the type of glass, it depends on how much privacy you want. Stop by our showroom for samples to help you decide.

Ready to start?

You can come and meet us at our showroom anytime during business hours. Also, to help you in making your choice, you can check out our Design Centre and choose the garage door style that suits your needs best. Take a look at our image gallery for some added inspiration.

After you plan, the next step is to contact us toll-free at 1-888-451-4040. We can explain how to properly prepare the carport that will be turning into your brand new living space. We know garage doors better than anyone else which is why we are a solid choice to get your project started. We can explain and advise you about the best choices to make based on your building needs. We work hard to help you stay within budget. We can send you a quotate by email if that is your preferred contact method.


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