Are you considering converting your carport into a garage?

This can be an excellent home improvement project, offering a more secure and weather-protected space for your vehicle and other belongings.

Plus, it’s often more cost-effective than building a new garage from scratch – as long as the carport’s slab, support posts, and roof are in good shape, you might expect to pay around $9,000 to $11,000 for labor costs alone.

To ensure a successful transition from carport to garage, it’s important to plan carefully and work with professionals when needed.

This means getting accurate measurements, respecting property lines, and ensuring that the expanded structure complies with local building codes.

Additionally, it’s important to have a structural engineer or contractor assess the carport’s foundation, framework, and load-bearing capacity, guaranteeing structural stability during and after the conversion process.

In the following sections, we’ll dive into the step-by-step process of transforming your carport into a garage, as well as provide helpful tips and insights to make the project smoothly and efficiently.

By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge needed to take on this rewarding home upgrade.

Understanding A Carport and A Garage

A carport and a garage are both structures designed to provide shelter for your vehicles. However, they have some key differences that you should understand before deciding to convert one into the other.

A carport is a semi-enclosed structure, typically with a roof and open on at least one or two sides. Carports offer basic protection for your vehicle from the elements, such as sun, rain, and snow, but they do not provide complete security or insulation as a garage would.

Carports are generally more affordable and easier to install than garages, making them an attractive option for homeowners looking to provide shelter for their vehicles without the higher cost and complexity of building a garage.

On the other hand, a garage is a fully enclosed structure with walls, a roof, and one or more garage doors. Garages offer more protection and security for your vehicles, as well as additional storage space and a potential workspace.

They can be attached to your home or built as a separate structure. Since garages are enclosed, they also provide insulation, which can help maintain temperature levels during extreme weather conditions.

In order to convert a carport into a garage, you will need to consider several factors, such as the existing structure’s stability, the materials required, and the costs involved.

As a general guideline, converting a carport to a garage is usually less expensive than building a new garage from scratch, with labor costs ranging from $9,000 to $11,000 for finishing the walls and installing the doors.

However, the specific costs and process will depend on your carport’s current condition, local building codes, and your desired outcome for the converted space.

Overall, understanding the differences between a carport and a garage is important in deciding whether or not to convert your carport into a garage, and this knowledge will help ensure a successful outcome that meets your needs and preferences.

Assessing Your Current Carport

Before beginning the process of converting your carport into a garage, it’s important to assess the condition of your existing carport. Start by taking note of the dimensions, roofing, support posts, and overall structural integrity of the carport.

First, measure the dimensions of your carport to determine if it meets the size requirements for a garage.

A one-car garage should typically be around 10 feet wide and 20 feet deep, while a two-car garage should be around 18.5 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Ensure that you have ample space for vehicles and other items you plan to store in the garage.

Next, inspect the roofing of your carport. Since the roof of a garage is exposed to different weather conditions than a carport, make sure your current roofing material is durable and in good condition. If your carport’s roof is damaged or outdated, you may want to consider replacing it as part of the conversion process.

Examine the support posts of your carport to ensure they are sturdy and capable of bearing the additional weight of a garage’s walls and doors. Check for any signs of rot or damage, and replace the support posts if necessary. Remember that a strong foundation is essential for a safe and successful garage conversion.

Lastly, take note of any other structural components that may need reinforcement, repair, or replacement. This may include the carport’s slab or any additional supports that may be required for your new garage.

If you’re unsure about any aspects of your carport’s structure, consult with a professional to make sure it’s in good condition and can support the conversion process.

By conducting a thorough assessment of your current carport, you’ll be better prepared to plan and execute a successful conversion into a functional and spacious garage.

Planning the Conversion

Converting your carport into a garage offers a variety of benefits, such as increased security, protection from the elements, and added value to your home. To ensure a successful conversion, you need to plan carefully and follow a few essential steps.

First, you need to determine your budget and decide on the design and layout that best suits your needs. Take into account the total cost of the project, including materials, labor, and permits. It’s important to evaluate your financing options and create a comprehensive budget that covers all aspects of the conversion.

Next, consider the weather conditions in your area. If you live in a region with heavy snowfall or frequent storms, it’s important to choose materials and a design that can withstand these conditions. Likewise, if you live in a hot climate, ensure that your garage is well-insulated and ventilated to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Before you begin the conversion process, check your local codes and regulations. Some areas may require permits for carport-to-garage conversions, and you’ll need to ensure that your project adheres to all zoning regulations. It’s also important to respect property lines and setback distances when expanding your carport.

Create a checklist that covers all the necessary steps and tasks involved in the conversion. Include everything from securing permits and preparing the site to selecting materials and hiring contractors. A thorough checklist will keep you organized and help you manage your project efficiently.

Remember, planning is key to a successful carport-to-garage conversion. By carefully considering your budget, design, and local regulations, you can transform your carport into a functional and valuable addition to your home.

Before you start converting your carport into a garage, it’s essential to consider the legal aspects of the project. First and foremost, check your local building codes and HOA regulations to determine if the conversion is allowed. The building codes and regulations are designed to ensure the safety and quality of your construction project.

You will likely need a building permit to convert a carport into a garage. This is because the conversion process involves extensive changes to the existing structure, such as installing walls, doors, and windows.

Additionally, a garage must meet specific code safety standards that are not required for a carport, particularly in areas where the garage shares walls or a roof with the main residence.

To obtain a building permit, you may need to submit a plan for your project, along with a land survey indicating your property lines. If you’re unsure about your property lines, consider hiring a land surveyor to conduct a survey and provide accurate information.

It’s essential to follow local building codes and regulations for your garage conversion, as failure to do so can result in fines or delays in the project.

Additionally, non-compliance with the codes and regulations might also lead to problems when you try to sell your property in the future. Meeting local building codes ensures that your project is safe and that it adds value to your property, making it a worthwhile investment.

Be sure to check with your neighborhood’s HOA regulations, if applicable. They may have additional rules and guidelines for converting carports to garages, such as specific materials or design requirements.

Adhering to these regulations will prevent potential conflicts with your neighborhood association and ensure that your garage conversion aligns with the aesthetics and standards of your community.

In summary, when planning your carport-to-garage conversion, start by researching local building codes, obtaining a building permit, and ensuring compliance with HOA regulations.

Don’t forget to consider your property lines by either conducting a land survey or hiring a land surveyor. This will ensure your project goes smoothly and adds value to your home.

Hiring a Contractor vs DIY

When considering the conversion of a carport into a garage, you have two main options: hiring a professional contractor to handle the project or undertaking the task yourself (DIY).

Each choice comes with its own set of pros and cons, and determining the best route for your situation will depend on various factors, such as your budget, skill level, and available time.

Hiring a professional contractor or builder often provides several benefits. They have the necessary experience and skills to ensure the project is completed properly and adheres to local building codes.

A contractor can also manage the entire process, from obtaining permits and coordinating with structural engineers to overseeing the actual construction.

Additionally, a professional crew typically completes the project more quickly and efficiently than you might be able to on your own.

However, the main drawback of hiring a contractor is the cost. Labor costs for converting a carport into a garage can range from $9,000 to $11,000. Depending on your budget, this may be a significant factor in your decision-making process.

On the other hand, taking on the carport conversion project as a DIY endeavor can save you a considerable amount of money on labor costs.

If you have the necessary skills, tools, and time to devote to the project, it can be a rewarding experience that brings a sense of personal accomplishment. Furthermore, you’ll have greater control over the specifics of the project, such as materials and design choices.

However, a DIY approach also comes with potential challenges. If you’re not experienced in construction or knowledgeable about local building codes and regulations, you may run into issues that could lead to costly repairs or even a failed inspection.

Additionally, the project will likely take longer to complete if you’re doing it yourself, especially if you have limited free time or are balancing the project with other responsibilities.

Ultimately, the choice between hiring a contractor and going the DIY route will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. Consider the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

Cost Estimation

When planning to convert your carport into a garage, it’s essential to estimate the costs involved.

Converting a carport to a garage typically ranges between $15,000 and $30,000 depending on the quality of materials used, the size of the enclosure, and additional features such as insulation, lighting, or flooring.

Keep in mind that high-end conversions can reach up to around $55,000.

Labor costs are a significant part of the overall expense. On average, expect to pay between $9,000 and $11,000 for labor alone to have a carpenter finish the walls and install the doors.

The labor fees can be impacted by the level of expertise and the experience of the contractor or carpenter you choose to hire for your project.

Materials are another essential component of the cost estimation. This includes framing lumber, drywall, insulation, electrical wiring, lighting, windows, and garage doors.

Obtaining quotes for these materials will give you a better idea of how much your project will cost.

Consider the following factors while estimating material costs:

  • The size of the carport
  • Type and quality of materials (such as the garage door)
  • Electrical work, networking, and wiring
  • Insulation requirements

Additionally, you should expect to incur some extra costs during the conversion process. For instance, when demolishing or modifying the existing structure, dumpster fees might be needed for the disposal of the waste materials. Ensure to include these fees in your overall budget.

To keep your garage conversion project on track, create a comprehensive budget that covers materials, labor, permits, and any additional features or amenities you plan to incorporate.

By gathering multiple quotes and considering all costs from the beginning, you’ll be better prepared to handle any unexpected expenses that may arise during the conversion process.

Necessary Modifications

As you begin to convert your carport into a garage, here are some necessary modifications to consider:

First, assess the structure of your carport to determine if it needs additional reinforcement. Ensure that the walls and roofline are strong enough to support a garage. If your carport lacks a concrete slab, you will need to pour one as it is essential for garage flooring.

Next, you’ll need to construct walls for the garage. Depending on your desired look and budget, choose siding materials like metal, vinyl, brick, or wood. Be sure to add insulation if you plan on using the space frequently or storing temperature-sensitive items.

Installing a garage door is a important step in the conversion process. Measure the opening accurately and choose a door that fits both your budget and style preferences. Also, consider including an automatic garage door opener for added convenience.

In addition to the garage door, incorporate an entry door and windows for ventilation and natural light. Remember to consider the placement and balance of windows and doors for security and aesthetics.

When it comes to the roofline, you might need to adjust it to match the style of your home or to accommodate the garage’s height. Depending on the original design, you may need to reinforce the roof or even replace it with more durable materials.

Lastly, don’t forget about lighting, electrical, and HVAC systems. Install outlets, switches, and proper lighting to create a functional space. Consider adding heating or cooling options, especially if the garage is intended for workshop use or storing delicate items.

By addressing these necessary modifications, you can successfully transform your carport into a functional, secure, and aesthetically pleasing garage.

Construction Process

When converting a carport into a garage, the construction process begins with obtaining the necessary permits and checking local codes and regulations in your area. After satisfying these requirements, you can begin the actual construction process.

First, assess the carport’s foundation, framework, and load-bearing capacity to ensure it is stable and durable. If needed, you may have to reinforce or replace the existing structure with appropriate materials like steel or framing lumber. Ensure that the chosen materials match or complement the aesthetics of your home.

Next, consider the roofline of your carport. If it has a flat roof or a roof that doesn’t match your home’s design, you may want to modify it to ensure proper drainage and a seamless appearance. Consult with a professional to determine the best approach for your specific situation.

If your carport has a gravel or dirt floor, you’ll need to upgrade it to a concrete slab to provide a solid and stable base for your garage. Clear the area and frame the perimeter before pouring the concrete. Make sure the slab is level and properly cured before proceeding.

Now it’s time to construct the walls. You can choose a metal building or use traditional framing lumber for the walls. In either case, ensure proper support and insulation. If using wood, install plywood for sheathing and cover with a moisture-resistant barrier before adding your chosen exterior surface.

Add insulation between the framing studs, following the recommended R-value for your climate. Then, install drywall on the interior walls of the garage. Tape, mud, and sand the joints to create a smooth surface that’s ready for paint.

When enclosing the carport, remember to install a properly fitted garage door. Check if there is a slope at the door opening to direct water towards the drain. The garage door installation may be the most costly part of the construction process, so choose a door that meets your budget and design preferences.

Finally, depending on your needs, outfit your new garage with a workbench, storage cabinets, and shelving. These elements will help you organize tools, equipment, and other items you’ll store in your garage.

Throughout the construction process, maintain a confident, knowledgeable, and clear approach. This will ensure that you’re able to effectively convert your carport into a functional garage that meets both practical needs and design preferences.

Installing Utilities

When converting a carport into a garage, it’s essential to consider installing utilities, such as electricity, electrical service, and plumbing. Proper utility installation will ensure your garage is functional and convenient for your needs.

Before starting any utility work, check local codes and regulations, as permits may be required for electrical and plumbing installations. Also, hire a licensed electrician and plumber to ensure all work is done safely and correctly.

Installing Electricity:

This is the first step in providing power to your garage. Electricity is necessary for lighting, power outlets, and any electrically powered tools or equipment you plan to use in your garage.

A licensed electrician will determine the appropriate electrical service needed and install wiring, outlets, and lighting fixtures as required. Make sure to discuss your specific needs with the electrician to ensure adequate power supply and distribution.

Electrical Service:

Depending on your needs, you may require a dedicated electrical service for your garage. This could involve installing a sub-panel, separate from your home’s main electrical panel.

A sub-panel allows for a dedicated circuit breaker and independent control over the power supply in your garage. Consult with your electrician about the appropriate electrical service for your needs and potential future expansion.


Although not always necessary, plumbing can be a valuable addition to your garage. Installing plumbing lines for water supply and drainage allows you to have sinks, toilets, or even a bathroom within your garage.

This can be beneficial if your garage is serving as a workshop or if you plan to wash vehicles or equipment. A plumber will evaluate your current plumbing system and determine the most efficient way to extend plumbing into your garage.

Remember, proper installation of utilities is important when converting your carport into a garage. Ensure you follow local codes and regulations, consult with professionals, and prioritize safety when putting in place electrical and plumbing services.

With well-installed utilities, your new garage will provide all the functionality and convenience required for its intended use.

Insulation and Security Measures

When converting your carport into a garage, it’s important to consider insulation and security measures for your new space. This will help maintain a comfortable temperature inside the garage and protect your belongings from potential theft.

To insulate your garage, you’ll need to choose the right type of insulation material. Some popular options include fiberglass batts, rigid foam insulation panels, and spray foam insulation. Evaluate your budget and specific insulation needs before making a decision.

For walls shared with your home, a continuous 1/2″ drywall is typically required, offering both insulation and fire protection. Installing insulation in the roof or ceiling can also help maintain a consistent temperature inside the garage.

Regarding security, you’ll want to pay attention to the doors and windows of your garage. Choose a sturdy garage door that provides adequate protection against intruders.

It’s also a good idea to select a door equipped with a high-quality locking mechanism or an electronic opener you can operate from inside your home or car.

For windows, select double-pane glass with reinforced frames. This helps prevent break-ins while also ensuring proper insulation. Make sure to lock your windows when not in use, and consider installing bars or grilles as an added security measure.

Lastly, consider adding motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your garage. These can deter potential intruders and provide extra visibility during nighttime.

Always remember to consult local codes and regulations before starting your carport-to-garage conversion project, and don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional if needed.

Final Touches

After completing the structural changes to turn your carport into a garage, it’s time to focus on the final touches that will enhance its functionality and aesthetic appeal.


Fresh paint will add a layer of protection against the elements and give your new garage a polished look. Choose a paint color that complements your home’s exterior and consider using a durable, weather-resistant paint specifically designed for garage environments.


Organize your garage efficiently by installing storage solutions such as shelving units, pegboards, or cabinets. This will help you keep tools, seasonal items, and sports equipment neatly arranged, making it easier to find what you need and maximizing the available space.


Don’t forget to pay attention to the appearance of your new garage. Adding exterior lighting, updating landscaping, or even installing a small window can have a significant impact on the overall impression. A well-designed garage will not only be functional but also add to your property’s curb appeal.

Vehicles and Workshop:

Make sure to plan the layout of your garage with your vehicles and any planned workshop area in mind. This may include designating space for a workbench, tool storage, and ample room for parking your vehicle(s) comfortably.

Accessory Dwelling Units:

If you’ve decided to incorporate an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) into your garage conversion, ensure that it adheres to local building codes and regulations. The space should be well-insulated, provide adequate natural light, and include necessary living amenities like plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

By carefully considering these final touches, you can transform your former carport into a functional and attractive garage that meets all your needs and enhances the overall value of your property.

Pros and Cons of Converting a Carport into a Garage


  • Cost-effective: Converting a carport is generally less expensive than building a new garage from scratch. The average labor cost for a carport conversion ranges from $9,000 to $11,000, assuming the carport’s foundational elements are in good condition.
  • Increased Property Value: A garage can potentially increase your property’s value, especially if it enhances the overall utility and appearance of your home.
  • Better Security: A garage can provide better security for your vehicles and belongings.
  • Protection from Elements: A garage can protect your car from weather conditions.
  • Additional Space: A garage can offer extra storage or workspace.


  • Local Regulations: You need to be aware of local building codes, HOA regulations, and permit requirements. Non-compliance can lead to fines or even a mandate to reverse the conversion.
  • Complex Conversion Process: The process can be intricate and time-consuming, involving tasks like finishing walls, insulating, door installations, and potential electrical and plumbing upgrades.
  • Potential Unforeseen Costs: Depending on the project’s scope, unexpected challenges or expenses might increase the overall cost.

In essence, while converting a carport into a garage offers several benefits, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of converting a carport into a garage?

Converting a carport to a garage typically costs between $9,000 and $11,000 for labor alone. Keep in mind that this estimate assumes that the carport’s slab, support posts, and roof are all in good shape. Costs may vary depending on your location and the specific modifications needed for your carport.

What are some creative ideas for carport conversions?

There are many creative ways to convert a carport. Some ideas include:

  • Creating a workshop or home gym
  • Setting up an outdoor lounge or dining space
  • Constructing a playroom or recreational area for children
  • Designing a home office or art studio

Remember to consider your needs, budget, and local building codes when planning your conversion.

How can I add a garage door to my existing carport?

To add a garage door to your carport, first measure the opening where the door will be installed and select a door that fits. You may need to adjust the framing and add proper support if necessary. It’s highly recommended to seek the help of a professional contractor or garage door specialist. They can ensure the door is properly installed and meets safety standards.

What is the process of enclosing a metal carport?

Enclosing a metal carport involves several steps:

  1. Consult a structural engineer or contractor to assess the carport’s framework and load-bearing capacity.
  2. Choose appropriate wall materials, such as metal panels or other suitable materials.
  3. Frame the walls and install insulation if desired.
  4. Install windows, doors, and other features as required.
  5. Finish with siding materials and paint to match the rest of your property.

Again, hiring a professional will help ensure that the project is completed correctly and safely.

Is it possible to convert a carport into living space?

Yes, it is possible to convert a carport into living space, such as a bedroom, guest room, or even a small apartment. However, this type of conversion typically requires significant structural changes and must meet local building codes, zoning regulations, and permit requirements. In addition, you’ll need to consider factors such as electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation, and ventilation.

Legal considerations vary depending on your location. Before starting your conversion, you should:

  1. Check your local building codes and zoning regulations to ensure your project is allowed.
  2. Obtain the necessary permits to convert your carport into a garage. Almost every jurisdiction requires a building permit for this type of project.
  3. Comply with any safety requirements, such as proper fire-resistant materials and electrical wiring.

By following local regulations and hiring experienced professionals, you can confidently move forward with your carport-to-garage conversion.