Carport + Patio Exterior


carport before

The carport is where we go in and out everyday. Since we have ample driveway space behind the house for parking cars, we rarely park the car in there simply because it makes things feel more open and gives us a sense of an “outdoor entry” – even though it’s far from inviting or remotely pretty…

Our “way-down-the-road plan” is to finish the carport and make it a bonus room. Until then, we want to make it as welcoming and inviting as possible without pouring a ton of money into it. In order to get started on the right track, we picked out three major improvements that will make a big impact without breaking the bank:

1. OVERHEAD. Just about everything in the carport could use some sort of facelift, but the ceiling especially needs some work. The paint, which was once white (probably back in the 70’s!) is now a sickly-looking yellow, dirty, and peeling like crazy. Then there’s the lighting – which clearly speaks for itself:

We’ve known since we bought the house that something needed to be done to the ceiling, but we knew scraping, sanding, and re-painting the ceiling was going to be a ton of work. Even though we felt like we were up for the task, a smooth, solid colored ceiling wouldn’t be that interesting and definitely wouldn’t bring any “warmth” to the space. Inspiration struck when we saw an episode of Sarah’s House on HGTV. Instead of repairing the existing carport ceiling, Sarah had it covered with raw wood paneling and painted it the same color as the trim. Genius! I couldn’t find a close-up photo of this project (I did find the whole episode online! Check it out here.) but here’s an inspiring before and after:

This idea (or a version of it) with the addition of two new light fixtures will (hopefully) totally transform the now cold and dingy carport into an inviting “outdoor entry”. As for the light fixtures, we’re thinking of replacing them with two hanging lantern lights – maybe something like one of these…

2. THE FLOOR. Oh, the floor.Β We sweep it regularly but after years of cars sitting on it, it’s very badly stained and cracked. Therefore, we feel the best way to solve this problem is to start from scratch. No, we’re not going to try to rip the whole thing out. We’re planning on repairing the cracks and coating the carport floor with a textured epoxy. I kinda sorta spilled a mixture of ultra dark wood stain on the floor during another small project that is currently in progress (more on that later). Yet another reason to “start from scratch”.

The epoxy will protect the floor from spills and make cleaning a lot easier. This will probably be our biggest “DIY” project to date (at least in our heads anyway), but we’re pretty sure we can do it. I guess we’ll find out soon enough! Not as soon as we would like though. While we would love to get this done over the upcoming 3-day weekend, we read that it’s best to do this when it’s under 90 degrees. Sadly, this weekend, the forecast is a rather toasty 93 degrees plus.

3. FINISHING TOUCHES. This step consists of a lot of little things, including power washing the steps and walls, bringing in a planter or two, re-painting the railings, and possibly adding doormats.

That pretty much sums up what we’ve got planned for the carport – aka: “outdoor entry” and a majority of what we’ll be up to this weekend. Do you have any outdoor projects lined up for this holiday weekend? Clue us in by leaving a comment…

Sarah’s House inspiration photos found here. Lighting inspiration from Shades of Light. Flower planter image found here.

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  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    When you paint the floor make sure you get a garage floor paint/epoxy because it should have a little bit of grit into it. That will keep your floor from being slippy when it’s wet out or when there is condensation. It should still be easy to clean, though.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    It’s a great plan. I look forward to seeing the change. We don’t have a garage or even a carport. *sadface*

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Love your plan! I can’t wait to see how it all turns out,

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This gives me inspiration for our garage! We rarely park the car in there but it’s not full of stuff either. Thought about putting patio furniture in there since it opens to our back yard. Then it would be like a covered eating area.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you but you’ll be able to enjoy it once it’s finished. My only outdoor plans for this weekend are sitting on the dock at the lake, riding on the boat and eating out!

    Can’t wait to see what all you get done!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Just a tip, but make sure you carefully read the directions on the epoxy. My husband did this at our last house and did not read everything…he basically did what someone at Lowes told him to do. BAD IDEA! He did not etch the concrete before applying the epoxy. It started peeling up after we parked our car in the garage. He had to scrap it all up and start over. It was not fun!!!

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