Let’s suppose that you’ve learned all about the benefits that carports have to offer. Now, you’ve set your heart on having one built on your property.
Only one problem, though. The land where you live is on a slope. Can you still build the carport there regardless?
YES! Even on a slope, you can still enjoy the benefits of having a carport. More than that, you’ll even have two options on how you could put up the posts for that carport. Drill holes in the driveway for the posts and use cement to keep them in place. Or, you could put those posts in the ground on either side and have the carport straddle your driveway.
In this article, we’re going to explore all the essential facts you need to know about building a carport on a slope.
Let’s get to it!
How Level Does The Ground Need To Be For A Carport?
It would be best for the ground to be perfectly level for a carport in a perfect situation. That’s especially true if the carport has walls with doors and windows.
With a level ground underneath such a carport, doors and windows can be opened and closed with ease, just the way it should be.
More importantly, a level ground means that you’ll be able to park your car in the carport with ease. That goes the same whether you’re driving straight in or reversing into the carport.
As an added benefit, a car parked on level ground won’t face any additional wear and tear on the car’s transmission, which is why a level ground is most ideal.
However, there are no hard and fast rules here. Naturally, many people may live in a location where none of the ground is perfectly flat.
If that’s the case, then some experts say that ground that’s uneven by more than four inches, could cause a long list of problems.
Depending on which side they’re on, doors and windows will be too difficult to either open or keep shut.
The latter could lead to cold weather, moisture, and pests, making a home in your carport.
Besides that, the roof of a carport on such uneven ground might fail to stay in place in the case of severe weather like storms and strong wind.
When Is A Sloped Drive To Steep For A Car Port?
If your driveway has more than a 15% grade incline, then it’s too steep for a carport.
Granted, we did mention earlier that you could still build a carport on a sloped driveway.
But when that slope gets too steep, it causes problems for more than just the carport itself.
Car Port Problems
As mentioned earlier, building a carport on a sloped driveway could cause problems with the doors and windows, if it has any.
More importantly, it could also undermine the strength of the roof in the case of strong winds and severe weather.
These problems may be smaller or more significant depending on what material you’ve chosen as the base of the carport.
For instance, a concrete slab will do a much better job of keeping everything in place, even if the slope is too steep.
You won’t have to worry about the carport shifting even after plenty of time has passed by.
Other materials like gravel or just regular earth will certainly shift much more with time.
The problem is made even worse if there’s plenty of rain or water that gets into the ground, making it a hazard overall.
But what about your car? Well, firstly, it’ll be very difficult for you to drive and park your car in a carport with such a steep incline.
Imagine trying to accelerate at just the right speed to make sure your car is parked properly in the carport!
That task becomes twice as hard if you’re going to try and reverse into place, as well,
Worse yet, keeping a car parked on such a steep incline can also lead to mechanical problems.
Over time, the vehicle’s transmission may suffer severe damage leading to very expensive repairs.
Overall, building a carport on relatively level ground not only ensures the structural integrity of the port stays intact.
It also helps to minimize any challenges or problems with the car that it houses.
Is Concrete Better Than Asphalt For A Sloped Car Port?
There are several different materials you could use to build a carport, but concrete and asphalt are the two best options. Whether or not one is better than the other depends on your priorities.
For example, going with a concrete slab for your carport will provide you with the strongest and most secure base possible.
However, there are many costs that factor into using concrete as your material of choice.
To put it simply: the bigger your carport, the more concrete you’ll need, and the higher your costs will be.
Plus, you’re not just paying for the concrete, but also the manpower needed to put it all in place before you put up your carport.
But before you can do any of that, you’ll need to check with the rules and regulations of your local government. There may be special permits or approvals that you’ll need before you can put in a concrete slab for your carport.
Asphalt, on the other hand, may be a better option for many people. It’s much more affordable and a lot less regulated.
As long as you’re not building a massive structure, asphalt is a perfectly fine material to use as a base for your sloped carport.
There is one trade-off, though. Asphalt is not solid like concrete so it may shift a little over time, especially if you’re using it for a sloped carport. Don’t worry, it’s not a dealbreaker.
You’ll just need to check on it once a year or so to see if there are any adjustments necessary.
Are The Laws Different Between US States On Sloped Car Ports?
Yes, the laws or codes for sloped carports may differ from state to state. For that reason, you should always contact your local authorities to find out what the rules are before you make any plans to build your sloped carport.
Quite often, the rules tend to be quite specific in terms of the carport’s structure, the sloping, and the materials used to put it together.
Local laws or codes tend to be very specific in terms of what is or is not a ‘carport’. In some cases, a carport with a specific set of traits may be legally considered a garage instead.
Therefore, the rules that govern how that structure should be built may be completely different.
When doing your research on carports, you must first be clear on what is or is not considered to be a carport in your area.
Once you’ve sorted that out, then you can worry about sloping.
Depending on where you’re located, local laws might not just govern how much of a slope your carport can have, but also where the slope is pointed.
For instance, some residential codes state that carports must be sloped in such a way that liquids (presumably water, car oils, etc.) can drain easily towards the entryway of the carport.
That way, there won’t be an issue with the carport getting flooded with water or something more dangerous like leaking fuel.
Some laws or codes also provide specific rules about what materials to use in carports. A typical example would be to only use non-combustible materials for the floor surface of the carport.
That one is pretty straightforward, as it prevents people from building carports that become fire hazards.
We’ve put together an article on how to secure your carport to the ground. It’s definitely worth checking out after this one.
Are Metal Or Wood Car Ports Better For Sloped Car Ports?
Metal and wood both have their fair share of pros and cons when used as materials for sloped carports.
But if the price wasn’t an issue and you wanted to choose the absolute best, then metal would make for better-sloped carports. To put it in simple terms, metal carports are much more durable overall.
When it comes to metal, you can rest assured knowing that your carport has the strength and support that it needs.
A metal carport can sustain more weight and hold its own against strong wind or adverse weather conditions. Plus, it does a much better job shielding your car from any falling debris like tree branches.
Having said that, wooden carports are still fairly good for sloped carports. The primary advantage of a wooden sloped carport is that it looks beautiful. Buyers who want a carport with more natural aesthetics will appreciate that much more.
Besides aesthetics, wooden carports do come with quite a number of drawbacks.
Among others, they’re much costlier compared to metal carports, typically because there’s a need for high-quality wood that can provide sufficient strength for a sloped carport.
Also, wooden carports may also be unable to sustain much impact from falling debris, something that may be a concern for those living in areas with lots of high trees.
Re: US Codes on Carports
Re: US Codes on Carports (Los Angeles)