Home LifestyleAdvice What Size Carport Can You Build Without a Building Permit?

What Size Carport Can You Build Without a Building Permit?

By Albert G. Croley
1.9K views 1 min read

I have everything on my property except a carport!

Sometimes it makes me crazy when I think about it. My car is living its life under the open sky. That’s why I decided to build a freestanding carport.

However, to build a carport, everyone needs permission, right!

If not, what size carport can you build without a building permit?

But do I need it because I want to make it small?

Well, maybe not!

But the question is, “What size carport can you build without a building permit?

Well, a carport is quick and easy to construct, and one can build a carport of 120 square feet, but, then again, there are several factors to keep in mind.

Want to know more in detail? Keep reading to find out!

Key Takeaways:
Carport permits include local laws, codes, and regulations – providing the details that can save you from fees, penalties, and legal issues.
If you don’t need the permit, then your carport might be at risk for things like decreased property value, no insurance coverage, fines, no returns on investments, etc.

Why Is It Important to Get a Permit?

When it comes to building a carport, you need a permit. Sometimes it will take a test at the time of collecting it from the local city or country government.

Why Is It Important to Get a Permit?
Importance of Getting a Permit

When the carport meets minimum requirements, regulations, and safety issues, then you’re ready to roll. All the regulations are given based on different parameters and building laws, such as:

  • Building codes
  • Good building/ property details

It will help you determine the lot size of the carport based on local laws. Besides, it will be treated as illegal if it doesn’t match the local zone code. As a result, you’ll be charged for fines and demolition.

In a few circumstances, you cannot avoid getting a carport permit. Such as the following:

  • To build a permanent carport.
  • Living in extreme weather conditions.
  • To reduce the risk of any damage or accident.
  • When your size is more than 200 square meters.
  • To increase the overall value of the property and its aesthetic appeal.
  • When you need to ensure electricity flows to your carport.
  • To avoid potential fines and conflict with neighbors.
  • When you need to get insurance coverage.
  • To ensure a record of property improvement and peace of mind.

What Size Carport Can You Build without a Building Permit: General Guidelines to Follow

The size of a carport you can build without needing a building permit typically depends on where you live. Different places have different rules and regulations, but generally speaking, most areas allow you to construct a carport without a permit if it’s under a certain size.

What Size Carport Can You Build without a Building Permit: General Guidelines to Follow
What Size Carport Can You Build without a Building Permit

In many jurisdictions, you’re usually safe if your carport is on the smaller side, say around 120 square feet or less. That’s roughly the size of a compact one-car garage. Anything larger than that might raise a few eyebrows and require you to jump through some bureaucratic hoops.

But here’s the thing: Regulations and restrictions are not going to leave you alone at the time of building a carport. In other words, you must follow them strictly:

Building Codes and Zoning Regulations

Do you have any ideas about local building codes and zoning laws? It’s different from zone to zone or municipality.

So, research first!

Building Codes and Zoning Regulations
Building Codes and Zoning Regulations

It will help you find details that are set by your local government. Don’t worry, there are related departments to help you.

Such laws are related to your safety and your neighbors’ interests.

They are based on a few factors, such as:

  • Size
  • Height
  • Setback distance
  • Design
  • proximity to property lines
  • presence of other structures

Height Restriction

You’ll face height restrictions. It defines and limits how tall your carport can be. Because it may be near a neighbor’s property. It also increases the visual appeal, especially to avoid obstruction of view.

Height Restriction
Height Restriction

Setback Requirements

This requirement helps you determine how to perfectly position your carport. Ensuring emergency access at a time of urgency. Plus, they even help you perform any necessary maintenance.

Setback Requirements
Setback Requirements

It reflects and controls 3 different parameters, such as:

  • Property lines
  • Roads
  • Other structures

Risks Associated with Building a Carport without a Permit

If you don’t ensure minimum requirements for carports and don’t have a permit, then you can put yourself and your structures at risk. It’s not only related to legal and financial ramifications. There are more of them.

Here are the details of all these risks:

  • Legal Obligation: First, you will face legal obligations. In addition to banning your property-related activity, there are fines and penalties as well.
  • Safety Issues: You might not notice safety issues at the time of building a carport. It puts your, carport structure, and your neighbor’s structure at risk.
  • Insurance Coverage: Do you need insurance coverage? Without a carport permit, it’s hard to get one. As a result, they will deny claims.
  • Decrease Property Value: At the top of reselling your properties, property documentation can raise the value. Additionally, the same process will get complicated as well.
  • Complaint from Neighbors: Unplanned, unauthorized, and non-solid carport structures can bring something unexpected. It even disturbs neighbors. In this case, they can take legal steps against your unauthorized carport.
  • Increase Cost: Carports without permits can increase your cost. Because if they find out the truth about it, they will take you into account and obey codes. And if that happens, the whole process is going to be costly for you.
  • Limited Use: Sometimes, the user of your carport is limited. It happens when you don’t have official permission for it.
  • Hard to Modify: Over time, your unauthorized carport gets vulnerable and needs upgrading or expansion for different reasons. So, you’ve got to finish unauthorized tasks on a priority basis.
  • Loss project: You might need to dismantle or remove the whole structure entirely and permanently. Such an account counts as a worthless construction project. you can’t regain investment and need to count demolition costs as well.

Do You Need a Car Permit? The Fastest Way to Find Out

Local regulations are imposed on a few criteria, as follows:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Placement on a property

All these things will ensure that your carport will follow zone codes and regulatory safety standards.

Let me explain a bit!

The rules for carport construction permits vary in every city, state, and country. Not only rules, building permit requirements, and fees are also different. If you live in NJ, NY, Maryland, or Washington DC, you must have a building permit for a carport.

So, do you need a carport permit? Well, it depends on your living area, as simple as that. You may or may not need it.

How to Know It?

Well, you can find out the necessity of a carport permit. Or, check with your local building authority. Because only they can issue such permission.

There are also two options available that can help you search for this answer in the following ways:

  • Internet search
  • Call the administration

Hence, make sure to talk with them about your current situation and requirements.

If your carport needs permission, then the local building department will notify you about that. And getting their suggestions is the best option for you. So, feel free to ask them.

Ending Words

 That’s all regarding what size carport you can build without a building permit.

Undoubtedly, a carport is a fantastic addition to your property. An authorized carport can give you peace of mind.

After all, the local laws specify everything about building a carport, including its size. 

Also, you can bypass such a permit if your living area doesn’t need it!

You have freedom if you want to make it 120 feet or less. In most of your cities, states, and countries, a carport permit is available for an area that is more than 120 square feet.

It’s now up to you to determine what size of space you need for the carport so you can build it without permission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you need a permit for a metal shed in Florida?

Yes, in Florida, you must have a permit for a metal carport. A permit for a carport is an official authorization that gives you a clean sheet from the local authority. If you have permission, then proceed to build metal carports.

How much does it cost to build an aluminum carport in Florida?

The cost depends on the square foot and the chosen style. Still, the base price of aluminum carports starts at $10. But it can go for more than $30. Not only that, there are a few custom options available that range from $15 to $30.

Is it cheaper to build a carport than a garage?

Yes, building a carport will cost less than a garage. Carport comes as a straightforward option that doesn’t need much to build. All it needs is a frame and a roof. All the material you need to build a carport is available at a minimum price.

Do you need planning permission to enclose a carport?

No, you don’t need planning permission to enclose a carport. Because it is defined as an outbuilding. In this case, it falls under the code where you have permitted development rights.

What size garage can I build without a permit?

You can build a carport in a small space or a large space. but without permission, you cannot go for the larger one. All you can do is, build a carport in 120 square feet or less. If you need more than 120 square feet for your carport, then you have to get a permit from the local government.

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