PVC Carport in an Hour (No Cutting)
Keeping a cover over your car is beneficial in many ways. Whether it's keeping the sun's paint-fading rays off your ride or shielding it from acidic bird poo, the truth is if your car spends every night -- or half its life -- under a roof, it'll look good for about twice as long. In reality you can spend at least $400 on a pop-up canopy that doesn't even have sides. As tempting as that sounds, I would rather spend a quarter of that and have a carport that is just as good, if not better.
Using 10-foot sections of PVC pipe, two types of specialized PVC fittings, and greenhouse plastic, I fashioned a simple yet highly functional carport for my small truck. If you have $100 and an extra hour to spend outside, you too can construct a 10 foot by 12.5 foot temporary carport. The best part about this structure is that it requires no cutting, and it can be modified to your own specific needs. Here's the list of what you'll need.
1.) (11) 10-ft lengths of 1 inch PVC pipe (use what you have around the house to save money).
2.) (8) 1 inch Slip Tees
3.) (4) 1 inch Slip Crosses
4.) (20) 1 inch Snap Clamps
5.) (6) Stakes (I used scrap metal angle iron and rebar rod)
6.) 12ft x 24ft section of greenhouse plastic or tarp (288 sq. ft.)
7.) (16) self taping screws
First set your stakes. Measure out a rectangle on the ground that is 10 feet by 12.5 feet and hammer your stakes in the ground on the 10 ft. sides. Make sure they are sturdy because bending the pipe in this manner really puts tension on the stakes. You should have the stakes 6 inches from the corners and one in the middle. Set all six of your stakes first.
Next, lay out your pipe and connect the fittings. Lay a ten foot pipe against the stakes you drove into the ground. Slide 4 of the Slip Tees onto this pipe and spread them out evenly. Connect a length of pipe to each of the Slip Tees (we'll call these ribs). Next, attach the Slip Crosses to the ends of the four rib pipes. After connecting the Slip Crosses to the ribs, slip a pipe through the Crosses to form your ridge beam.
Next, pop in 4 more 10 footers to form the adjacent ribs. Finally, attach the other end pipe in the same fashion we did when we started, by sliding the four Slip Tees onto a pipe and connecting it to your second set of ribs. At this point your should have a 3x2 grid of PVC laying on the ground. Be sure that all the fittings are snug to each pipe. At this point, go around and install a self-tapping screw into each fitting where it is attached to its corresponding pipe. Do not skip this step or your pipe could come undone and hurt you or break something.
Once you have your grid formed and the pipes are all separated evenly as well as screwed together, you are ready to erect the structure. This may take two people. Have a friend hold up the middle cross member as you grab the end that needs to be brought to the stakes. As they lift the middle the structure will bend and you can walk your end towards the stakes and gently force the bottom to rest against the ground inside the stakes. Voila! You have now formed your structure. If you want you can tie your bases down to the stakes to make sure your cover doesn't fly away.
Lastly, you'll want to cover your new arched frame with a material of your choosing. I used greenhouse plastic because i'm going to double my cover as a greenhouse and equipment cover. Use something like a tarp or shade cloth for lower cost. Attach your cover with Snap Clamps along the edges. I used about 20 Clamps to secure the plastic around the edges and along the bottom. You may need more or less depending on wind and other conditions.
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