How do I Change a Carport and Turn it Into a Room?

You don't have to build a huge addition to add space to your home.
You don't have to build a huge addition to add space to your home. (Image: house image by martini from

Short of adding a huge addition to your home or embarking on a major remodel, what options do you as a homeowner have for gaining more living space? Converting a carport into interior space is a fantastic way of not only adding square footage to your home, but also increasing its value. Since the structure is already there, all that's required of you is some basic carpentry skills to add a floor and walls.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-6 or 2-by-4 lumber
  • Joist hangers
  • 19/32-inch OSB (oriented strand board) sheathing
  • 3/4-inch plywood
  • Flooring (hardwood, linoleum, or carpet)
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Drywall
  • Drywall tape
  • Drywall mud
  • Siding

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Build the Frame

Cut an opening in the outer wall of the house for a door, or cut out the entire wall if you plan on having the room open to the rest of the house. A reciprocal saw, designed for cutting through any material, is the best tool for this job.

Frame the floor with 2-by-6 or 2-by-4 boards around the perimeter of the carport's concrete slab. Attach outer beams of the floor's frame to the posts supporting the carport on all four sides with lag bolts or other means if posts are metal.

Attach joist hangers to the beams, every 16 inches on center. Add joists to the hangers and nail them into position.

Frame the walls with 2-by-4 or 2-by-6 lumber, spaced every 16 inches between top and bottom plates. Lift the walls into place between the carport supports and drive screws into the supports as well as into the wooden frame.

Drive screws through the OSB and into the frame, both on the floor and walls. On the floor, use screws to secure 3/4-inch plywood over the OSB for added support and strength.

Finish the Structure

Install any windows or doors and any electrical outlets or lighting you plan on putting in the new room. Many window and door vendors offer installation service with purchase, so that may save you some time and effort. If you're not a licensed electrician and have no experience in wiring, consult a professional before attempting to install outlets or lighting.

Cut batts of fiberglass insulation to between the studs in the interior of the room. Staple the paper edges of the insulation to the studs. Stuff loose pieces of insulation into cavities around doors and windows. Split batts to fit over wiring, if necessary.

Hang drywall on the ceiling and walls of the new room using drywall screws. Cut out openings for doors, windows and outlets. Tape the drywall and fill in screw holes with drywall mud, then paint the walls.

Attach siding to the exterior, making sure it matches the existing siding on your home. The method you use for attaching the siding will depend on the type of siding, so consult the manufacturer for information on how to do this. Caulk all joints.

Lay the flooring of your choice in the new room.


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