There are many homeowners who opt to building carports because this task is relatively inexpensive than having a garage. However, homes with garages are more desirable. Thus, in case you decide to sell the property in the future, it will be a lot easier. Converting your carport into a garage may be quite costly but the benefits are manifold too.
Firstly, most people do not distinguish a carport apart from the garage since they both mainly serve the same purpose of housing your car. As was said, a carport is cheaper because it is usually made from few materials to make a simple shed. All this space needs are a few pieces of lumber or steel poles and sheets of galvanized tin or gable roofs. Such materials are susceptible to damage. Then your vehicles may not get the protection it really needs. A garage conversion contractor is more of the permanent structure attached or detached to the house. This is usually enclosed as some homeowners opt to make this area an office or workshop as well.
Assessing your need for the conversion is your primary task. You have to think thoroughly as to what purposes the new space will serve. If you only need it to secure your vehicles, then a simple garage would do. If you are thinking of having a special space for keeping your tools, organizing workshop materials and for other functions, then complex detached garages are perfect.
Envision the size of the new space. The minimum size for a single garage is 12 ft. wide x 22 ft. long, and 18 ft. wide x 22 ft. long for double garages. Along with the planning of the size, consider the widths and heights of the flooring and ceiling. Allot a higher ceiling height if you are installing door openers with thick header. Usually a standard door needs at least an 8-ft. span for the opening.
Hiring professionals may also be needed especially when you want new wiring, plumbing, roofing and insulation. A home inspector or structural engineer must firstly examine the current conditions of these aspects so you can have an overview of the extent and expenses of needed replacements. Note that wall insulation is vital particularly if you are living in a location with extreme hot temperature.
The minute you have finalized the conversion construction details, it is important that you check your local area about building codes and regulations. In most states, a homeowner needs to secure a permit if these tasks are involved in renovating, remodeling or building a new structure:
- demolishing load-bearing walls,
- changing roofline
- altering footprint of the house
- installing new windows, door and sink
- new electrical wiring and plumb work
As you go along each preparation step, your finances should be readied as well. List down the materials you think are needed for this home project and across each item, place the projected amounts. A simple carport-to-garage makeover requires wall studs, bottom plate, door with track and opener, plywood, chip board for sheathing, pegboard for wall insulation and finishing materials like PVC siding or brick veneer. Get quotations from local stores or online home improvement shop websites. Moreover, do not forget to include labor costs. It would be easier to calculate such operating expense if you specify the duration of this project. Elaborate installations would naturally translate to longer hours of work, thus, you need to allocate more budget for paying each handyman you hire. Each laborer can be paid $25-35 per hour. If you want to be saved from worrying altogether about the conversion, hiring a contractor would be very helpful. But this can set you back $3,000 to $8,000 for the whole project depending on the complexity of the construction work and your location.
Once the conversion is over and done with, you will see that a garage is an invaluable investment. The expenses may demand much from your finances but the added protection and better and higher property value are worth such expenditure and effort.