October 26, 2018

Morph Your Carport into an Excellent Living Space for All Seasons

California model

Would you love to have a way to make summertime stick around so you can enjoy relaxing in your yard? If you own a carport, you can actually transform it into a living space perfect for spending family time or visiting with friends. We have some tips to share with you about how to get started.

Avoid problems later by coming up with a plan…

You want to be sure that you have a great plan before you start a project of this sort because it can be easy to go over your budget. The first thing you should do is decide whether you can use the carport in the warm months for your outdoor living area. Are you okay with using it that way when it’s warm and using it for what it was made for in the winter?

If the answer is yes, your next task is deciding how to set things up. Your carport will have at least three walls that open to the outdoor, so:

  • Decide whether there will be windows or walls on the three walls and how much of them.
  • If you have little room between you and your neighbor, you may be accessing the carport from the front or back doors. You could choose to install garage doors on the front and back as movable walls.

To determine what all of your options are, you will want to get help from an architectural technician or an architect. This person can structure and organize what work needs to be done and ensure you don’t go over your budget.

Speaking of budget, you may be wondering how much to set aside for a project like this one…

As with any project similar to this one, the price will depend on how far you want to go. However, around $10,000 to $20,000 is an average. You can drop some of the cost of construction if:

  • You don’t switch the carport floor out from asphalt to concrete or another material.
  • No concrete walls are poured, and no footings are placed.
  • This is no need for the addition of extensive plumbing or electric wiring.

If you want to get a better idea of what to expect from construction costs, the link below may help. Consider 40% of the amounts below for material and 60% for labor. You may find that doing some of the work yourself is well worth it to save on those expensive labor costs if you are handy with a few tools.

To get a better idea of what goes into morphing a carport into a garage, you can read about it at this text.

Options for those who prefer to maximize natural light…

There are many different possibilities to ensure you get plenty of light. Your choice will depend on the traffic flow and ease of access you want.

  • If you have a carport with a wide front, there are a few options. As an example, if the area from your house to the supporting post of the carport is 12 ft. wide (3.6 m), you could decide to place a 9‑foot (2.7 m) overhead garage door both in the front and back.
  • When it comes to the rear, you’ll want to think about how often you’ll be going through the carport and into your backyard. This might be the case if your backyard shed houses an ATV. You could decide to install a garage door on the back well. Depending on the size of the doors, you could place them back to back if the space is 22’ (6.7 m) deep. This is a great idea if you are interested in using electric openers on the doors.
  • You could also use an all‑glass garage door, such as the California model from Garaga. You could also use a contemporary door with wide 40" x 13" (102 x 33 cm) windows available for all Garaga door models.
  • Remember that if you are going to use a garage door complete with an opener, you want the depth of the space to be equal to the door height plus 48” (1.2 m). If there is no opener, you only need 28” (71 cm) instead.
  • For your long side wall, you will get great light if you install double‑paned windows low (36” or 90 cm) on a brick or wood wall.
  • You can finish the back wall in the same way as the side wall using double‑paned thermo windows. Make sure to select the best option for you rather than choosing what you think everyone else would.
  • Finally, depending on the temperature you want and the privacy you desire, you could also close the front door and leave the back open to allow access to the backyard and to enjoy great views.

Everything really depends on how much privacy is important to you when it comes to glass for the doors. You can choose from tinted, satin, clear, and translucent polycarbonate. Be sure to get samples and test these glass options to be certain they work for you.

Are you excited to get going?

The next thing you can do is contact us toll‑free at 616-453-0164 so we can explain the best way to prepare the openings for your new outdoor space. We know garage doors better than anyone else and can advise you and explain the best choice to make based on your precise needs while respecting your budget. If you’d like, we can send you a quotation by email.

Alternately, you can come and meet us at our showroom. To help you in making your choice, use our Design Centre to choose the garage door style that suits you best. For some inspiration, take a look at our image gallery.


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