Not everyone has the foresight or even the budget to build a car garage.
Carports are a great addition to your property and serve much of the same function as a garage.
Before you go ahead and commit yourself to this home improvement project, there are some critical areas that you will need to cover.
The most essential issue that comes to mind is, do I need a permit to build a carport?
We answer this question and touch on all the concerns that may come up in the course of your project.
What Is A Carport?
According to the National Building Regulations and Standards Act (Act 103 of 1997), a carport is defined as "a building intended to provide shelter for a motor vehicle, caravan, or boat and having a roof but having walls on no more than two sides."
Carports fall under SANS 10400 of the National Building Regulations.
Types of Carport
There are a few different types of carports that you might want to familiarize yourself with. The kind of carport you choose ultimately depends on your sheltering requirements, available space, municipal and local regulations, and budget.
1) Open Sided Carport
This type of carport typically consists only of a frame (made of metal or wood) and a roof.
An open-sided carport is inexpensive, easy to build, and has minimal requirements in building plans and permits.
It is a good option if you are looking for a quick fix to protect your car or motorcycle from the elements.
2) Attached Carport
If you have an existing roofline and enough space, an attached carport is a perfect choice.
This carport is attached to the house, offering direct access from the house to your car.
The shelter can come in handy on rainy days.
Attached carports can potentially add value to your home, especially if it is well designed.
3) Single & Double Carports
This is a type of open-sided carport, but it can have decking or blinds to cover one or two sides of the carport.
A single carport fits one car while a double carport allows you to park two vehicles side-by-side.
4) Tandem Carports
These carports are perfect for space-saving.
You can park two cars, one behind the other rather than side-by-side.
It is an ideal choice for homeowners who want a double carport but don't have space for it.
5) Speciality Garage
A speciality garage can be expensive to construct but it is an ideal choice for people who'd want to shelter their commercial vehicles, boats, campers, and other special types of cars.
This option is best for homeowners who do not plan to sell their house since the new occupants may not need or even appreciate the speciality garage.
Carport Advantages And Disadvantages
Every home improvement project comes with its upsides and downside.
Exploring these pros and cons should help you decide whether this is the project for you.
#1. Inexpensive to construct: If you don't have the budget for a full garage, a carport is a nice compromise. Some designs are also easy to take down should you decide to sell your property.
#2. Quick and easy to build: Most carports use simple designs and can be put up in a few days. You don't have to deal with the headache of workers in your property for days on end. Some stand-alone carports can be put up in a day.
#3. Fewer building restrictions: Depending on the type of carport and municipality, you may not have to jump through bureaucratic hoops to get your plans approved. Carport approval is also faster since their designs are simple and straightforward compared to other types of construction.
#4. Versatile applications: You can do a lot more with a carport than park your motorized vehicle. The structure can also double up as a play area for the kids or even a shaded space to entertain guests or do a braai with the family.
#1. No security: Carports have one or two walls, if any, which can be a security concern in high-crime areas. Unlike a garage that you can lock and secure with an alarm, a carport offers no protection from thieves and vandals.
#2. Not ideal for storage: Since you can't put up shelves or drawers to store your tools or equipment, a carport may not solve all your problems.
Is A Carport Considered A Minor Building Work?
Technically speaking, carports smaller than 40 square meters fall under the category of minor building work according to section 13 of the National Building and Building Standards Act.
Does A Carport Require Building Plans?
Firstly, carports larger than 40 square meters require a building plan, and you need to have the project approved before you can begin construction.
Indeed, minor building work doesn't require building plans, but there is a catch. The building control officer determines whether or not a carport is minor building work at his discretion.
The officer makes this determination on a case-by-case basis and will advise which building plans and documents should be submitted for approval.
While most free-standing carports don't require building plans, your best bet is to check with your municipality before you start construction.
What Does The Application Process Involve?
Please check with your municipality since the application process can vary depending on the type of carport you want to construct. For example, attached carports fall under different regulations than free-standing or temporary carports.
Generally speaking, you may need to submit for approval at your local municipal office:
- Fully completed SANS 10400 forms 1 and 2
- Copy of title deed
- Application fee
Most contractors are willing to handle this process for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Has To Submit A Building Plan?
Anyone who intends to build a new home or make alterations to an existing house must submit building plans. You do not need to submit a building plan for minor building work, which can sometimes include carports.
Who Can Draw Up A Building Plan?
An architect or a draughtsman can draw up a building plan. Make sure that the professional is registered with the SA Council for the Architectural Profession.
Can You Get Into Trouble If You Don't Submit A Building Plan?
Yes. A building inspector can halt construction or order the demolition of the structure after obtaining a court order. All related legal fees will be passed on to you. In a worst-case scenario, you can be fined heavily or even arrested.
How Close To The Boundary Can I Build A Carport?
Most municipalities require at least 1.5 to 3 meters from the carport to the boundary. Please check with your municipality for the exact figure.
For the most part, you shouldn't have too much trouble putting up a carport. The best thing you can do is hire an architect and/or contractor who will follow up with the municipality regarding permissions and approvals.