How to enclose a carport

Though not as common in Iowa as they are in the south or other parts of the country that don’t enjoy snowy winters like we do, carports have been known to make an appearance around Cedar Rapids.

Essentially, a carport is a simple roofed structure that protects a parked car. Some are permanent structures made from wood or metal. Others can be assembled, packed up and moved in a relatively short amount of time. Think of a carport as the structure that is somewhere between parking in a garage and out in the open.

Carports are certainly a low-cost way to provide some shelter for your vehicle. What if you buy a house with a carport, but you really wanted a garage? The answer is simple — you enclose the carport. 

The process isn’t particularly difficult, and even if you don’t consider yourself a carpenter, there are parts of this project you can do yourself. However, we strongly recommend that you hire a contractor to help you with the conversion. After all, when renovating important parts of your home, you want to make sure it’s done right.

Here’s an overview of the process.

  • Wall it up. The most fundamental part of converting a carport to a garage stall is adding walls to the structure. Begin by cleaning the support beams and the floor so everything’s ready for you to frame the new wall. Frame the wall with studs placed every 16 inches. Then measure the sides to determine how long you’ll have to cut the boards for the wall. For this, 2×4 boards are the way to go. Once the boards are ready, nail them in place.
  • The garage door. Next to the electricity, this is probably the most complicated part of framing up your future garage. You’ll need to frame the entryway so it will fit a standard-sized garage door (you can get custom-sized doors if you mess up, but they are more expensive). To make sure the door is properly installed and hooked up, you should call in a professional.
  • Electric. Unless you’re a licensed electrician, this is definitely not a DIY project! At a minimum, you’ll need to connect the garage door opener and overhead light to your main source of power. Depending on what you use the garage for and how much space you have, you may also want to add several outlets.
  • Finish off the walls. Use drywall, shiplap or whatever you prefer to finish off the interior walls. On the exterior, staple up a layer of Tyvek and put up vinyl siding.

Transforming a carport into a garage is just one example of how rolling up your sleeves and taking on a home renovation project can add value to your home.

To learn more about the housing market, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the Cedar Rapids area well and can help you navigate the market.