Carport Specifications

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Carports differ from garages in that they must be completely open along at least two sides and can only be one story in height. Although building a carport requires a permit from most local governments, the planning specifications for a carport are easier and cheaper to meet than those of a garage. There is a wide variety of carport specifications, depending on your budget, the type of vehicle you drive and the weather conditions in your area.

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Footings

Carports require a suitable footing to withstand the weight of the structure. Local footing requirements will vary depending on where you live. A typical specification for a carport's concrete footing is a resistance of at least 2,000 pounds per square inch.

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Size

The size of your carport will depend on the number of vehicles you own and their size. A typical size for a single-carport cover, suitable for a single car, is 12 feet by 20 feet and 6 or 7 feet high. Double carports are around 20 feet by 20 feet. In some areas, such as San Diego, California, the size of a carport is restricted to less than 1,000 square feet. If the carport is attached to a house's wall with windows or skylights, the minimum height of the carport is 7 feet.

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Material

Carports are built out of various materials, such as steel, wood, fiberglass and plastic. All lumber components should be treated to protect against decay and termites.

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Framing and Post Size

Carports can be free-standing or attached to another structure, such as a house or garage. Attached carports can use the supporting structure as framing for one of the sides. A carport's post size will vary depending on the height of structure. Minimum specification for a carport post up to 8 feet high is 4-by-4 inches. Taller posts of up to 10 feet high must be at least 6-by-6 inches.

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Siding

Carports can have siding on two of the structure's sides to provide extra protection to vehicles. You can buy carports with pull-through bays that can be secured with a lock and key.

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Function

Carports can be used as a motorhome carport, a boat carport, a carport garage or simply for storage.

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