How to Build Your Own Carport

May 24th 2022

Whether you own a little Volkswagen Beetle or a gigantic Winnebago RV, protecting your vehicle from the elements is a smart idea. But building a garage or carport can be impractical. It's very expensive to build permanent structures like these. Besides the money, it can cost you considerable time and hassle to cut through all the bureaucratic red tape to obtain the appropriate building permits.

The solution? A DIY carport. In most places, little if any paperwork is required for these structures. Using a tarp and other inexpensive materials, you can create your own instant protective shelter for your car, truck or RV. A tarp carport can keep your vehicle's paint job from dulling while also protecting it from rain and rust. It will also deflect debris and can prevent unsightly damage from nearby trees like jacarandas, mangoes and other foliage that drops sticky deposits.

Placed in your yard, one of these structures can also provide a great place to store your tools, lawn and garden equipment and anything else you want to keep outside but out of the weather. With a clear tarp covering, a building like this can also serve as a greenhouse where you can start or grow your own veggies and flowers during cooler times of the year.

Intrigued? Read on to learn how to build your own carport.

First, you need to measure the space you will be covering. After you have written down the exact measurements, it's time to assemble your materials. You will need an appropriately sized tarp for a cover. For protecting vehicles or machines, a blue tarp is a good choice to help block the sun's ultraviolet rays. It's best to pick a high-quality tarp that is UV-resistant, weatherproof, waterproof and rot-proof. That will ensure superior protection for what's under it as well as provide the longest life for your structure's covering. If you want a greenhouse, select a transparent tarp to let the sun shine through to your plants. Mesh tarps are also available that let partial sun through for shade-loving plants.

Lightweight PVC pipes, along with T-connectors and 45-degree angle connectors, will be necessary for the frame. If you are erecting your carport on paved or hard ground, you'll need to keep the structure solidly anchored by filling 5-gallon buckets with concrete. Insert a pipe into one at each corner of the carport. For carports more than 8' long or 10' wide, add an extra pair of buckets every 6' or so.

With the vertical pipes standing perpendicular, attach a T-connector to the top of each pipe. At one end of the T, add a vertical pipe and an angled connector. At the other end attach a horizontal pipe. Place an angled connector at the other end of the horizontal pipe and join it to another vertical pipe. Repeat this process with your remaining pipes.

Take two 8' pipes with a cross connector at each vertical pipe. Then insert them into an angle connector on the vertical pairs. Do this with your remaining pipes to complete the frame of your carport.

Now take your tarp and put it over the frame. You can keep the tarp stationary by tying it with ropes, using bungee cords or clamps. Make sure the connections are tight and strong so it will stay secure even on windy days.

Now you can store your car, truck, RV or other equipment safely and securely. Enjoy using your clean machine for years to come.