Archive for the ‘Garden Sheds / Barns / Carports’ Category

Attached Carport by Extreme How-To. For the designs to this carport see the list of carport designs below.

So we have gone through the initial questions of design and you should now have spoken to the council and be ready to prepare formal plans if required.  But before we get down to choosing a plan in order for you to build the carport yourself, lets recap on our checklist.


  1. Decide your preference for a freestanding or connected carport
  2. Have a decent picture in your mind about how you want your carport to look, how high it will be and how long, is it single or double, etc.
  3. Measure and confirm where it will go and that it fits.  Also measure the distances to the nearest boundaries or other structures.
  4. Talk to your neighbours and get their confirmation that they do not mind your new structure.
  5. Speak to your council and get information including any restrictions with your building and what you need to supply to the council if you  do need to apply for council approval.
  6. Select your design and modify it to suit your look.
  7. Choose your materials ensuring these are in line with council requirements.  Go for durable material that suits the environment you live in.
  8. Draw up your plans showing both the design and measurements and note on the plans your materials.  Your diagrams will need to be quite detailed.
  9. Apply for approval.
  10. Invite your mates over and have a ‘build a carport’ weekend!

In Building a Carport Part 1 we looked at items 1-3 on the checklist above and in Building a Carport Part 2 we reviewed 4 and 5.  Now we will look at the remaining points.

Choosing a design

So you know roughly how you want your carport to look, so now it is just a matter of finding a design to match.  We have scoured the internet and bring you some of the best designs around:

  • How to build a wood-free carport – this carport is described by eHow as moderately easy to build but lacks pictures and diagrams to assist.
  • Free standing carport plans and construction details – I really like these plans from BuildEazy as they go into much more detail and include images of what you need to do.  You will find this is a single carport with only a slight sloping roof.  Be aware that some councils will require more of a slope.  Note that this carport design comes in imperial and metric versions.
  • Two car garage with either a frame or post construction – These are great detailed plans of a two car garage.  You will find them on this site under number 5929 and 5930.  It would be quite easy to adapt these plans to your own carport because they are so well done.
  • A shade cloth carport – A different idea altogether from DIY Site these are plans for how to construct a carport using shade cloth.
  • Attached Carport – This design from Extreme How-To shows with plenty of instruction, diagrams and photos how to build an attached carport.

Shade cloth carport from the DIY Site. For instructions on how to build this carport, see the link above.

Choosing your materials

Most of these designs clearly list the materials that you will need in order to make the carport.  The next step is to choose what timber and what screws you should use.  If you are not used to building such structures it may be worth talking to your local hardware store.  Seek out the appropriate expert to guide you as to what you need to consider when purchasing, but some of the items you might want to consider are whether there are issues with termites, longevity of the material (weather resistant such as treated wood and galvanised steel).  Check out the DIY Bargain Bin for all your requirements as you can save a lot of money buying from one of our suppliers than purchasing direct from another timber supplier.

Draw up your plans

It is now time to draw up your formal plans. Remember at this stage you should already be fairly comfortable with what the council will and will not allow.  If you are not able to draw up the plans to the level of detail you may wish to hire an expert to do these for you.  An example of how your plans must look is shown in the image below which was taken from Whitehorse Council’s (VIC) website.

Sample plans for a carport sourced from Whitehorse Council's website.

Check with your council on the exact information they want to see and what scale the diagrams should be.

You are now ready to apply for approval.  Once received you are ready to go ahead with construction of your carport.

This free standing carport was built by Pergola Land in NSW. If you decide to use a professional to build your carport, ensure that they will assist with the securing of council approval. Because they have experience in building carports they will know exactly what your council requirements are and can guide you through the process.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you view it the council have a large say in what we build on our properties and how we go about building them. To make matters even more confusing there are two types of permits / approvals which the council have and they are governed under different acts.  They are the Planning Permit and the Building Permit.  Simply put by Greater Dandenong (VIC) Council “a building permit deals with a building’s structural stability and safety whilst a planning permit deals with local appropriateness of form, location or use.”

The main permit for a home owner wishing to build a carport is the Planning Permit.  The council will advise after this if a building permit is also required.

The Planning Permit ensures that the building is in line with the zoning of the area, the building is in keeping with the area and that the building will not adversely impact neighbours.

Therefore it is important to consider these things in your design.  All councils are different and have their own rules, so it is worth dropping in and collecting these before you start doing any formal design.  Another great option to ensure the success of your project is to start talking at this stage to your neighbours.  Most will not care, but will appreciate being asked, but also if someone does have an issue it is better to identify it now before you pay for a permit / approval to proceed.  For example, if you are planning on building an extended driveway down the side of your home with the carport out the back, it may be that they have a baby that sleeps just next to that area.  They would then have grounds to objecting because your car never went down that side previously.

Do I definitely need a permit / approval?

The answer is quite simply, no, BUT, in many cases you do.  Some councils have fantastic resources that will clearly tell you when you do and when you do not need to apply for council approval.  One such council is Ryde (NSW) which has a great information sheet entitled ‘Carports and Garages’.  It clearly specifies when a development is exempt in a bulleted table.

The restrictions look at things such as:

  • The size of the proposed carport or structure.
  • Where it is in relation to the building line – The building line is the imaginary line drawn at a set distance from the street.  For most places this is about 5-8metres, but it really depends upon the other houses in the area. To get an idea of this, check the distance between the front of your home and the street, and estimate this for your neighbours properties.
  • How many sides are open.
  • Whether you need a new driveway.
  • The design and construction of the carport, how high it will be, whether it is attached or free-standing and what materials it will be made of.
  • Its location in relation to the boundaries of the property and any easement, sewer and water mains.
  • Whether there is a need to conserve heritage in your area.

The actual specifics of each of these will vary, so it is worth sitting down with a pencil and jotting down some rough drawings and thinking about your materials and placement before visiting the council.

With all these things done, make an appointment with a council representative in the planning section.  Take with you the photos of the ideas you like, photos of the front of your property, your sketches and the list of information and notes you have made in relation to your carport.  This should ensure that after a quick consultation with the planner, you will know whether you can proceed with your design, whether you will need a permit and what you need to do if you are planning to avoid requesting a permit.

Why bother asking for council approval?

It is a good question, especially if your neighbours do not mind, why would you ask when you could face the fact that you will not be able to build?  Or even if you will be able to proceed it is going to cost you a few hundred dollars for approval so why do it?

Well the answer is that if you ever decide to sell your home you are likely to have issues finding a buyer if it is not approved.  The carport if built well will add value to your home, but if it is not approved, a building inspection will likely identify it.  The structure will then need to be approved at that point.  Councils generally do not take well to being asked after the fact and in most areas do have the jurisdiction to have the ‘addition’ removed.  And it is not just when selling, a new neighbour may move in and object to the structure.  Without approval for it, the council will strongly favour your neighbour.

Therefore it is best to ask up front, a little pain and financial outlay now, will serve you will in the long term.

Tomorrow we will check out designs for carports and complete our checklist for successful building!  Check out the DIY Bargain Bin Garden Sheds, Barns and Carports for predesigned buildings and structures.  Remember that you may still need council approval before establishing these.

There are so many reasons why you may want to consider building a carport.  One key reason was demonstrated clearly over the winter when the suburbs of Melbourne were hit with one of the fiercest storms in recorded history.  Melbourne residents never expected that given how much further south it is from Sydney that it could be subject to hail the size that was seen that day.

So more and more we are seeing the weather patterns shift and change, and in order to protect ourselves and our belongings we are having to become more aware and prepare.

Building a garage to protect your car can be incredibly costly, however you can achieve the same results with a carport and we’ll tell you how and where to find the best designs on the internet.  But first, you will need to take some time to consider what sort of carport is right for you.

The most simple decision is whether to have it free standing or attached to your house.

Attached carport build by Alexander Handyman in America

When to attach your carport to your house:

If your house currently has a side access that is the width of one or two cars, then this is the best time to build an attached carport, because it can extend from the side of your house over the car.  If your carport will extend to near the wall then this is even better as you will receive weather protection from both the sides (house on one and fence on the other).

Another option for attaching a carport to your home is where the front design of your home is not square on to the street.  These L shaped homes are much more adaptable to adding a carport as they give you maximum area to connect to the house.

Of course there is no right and wrong with this decision, owners of homes with a double garage will often extend a carport from above the garage doors out up their driveway, which effectively provides them with four under cover spaces for their cars.  This is great if you are a family with young adult children who have their own cars.

Free Standing Carport from the Project Centre in NarreWarren

When to build a free standing carport:

If you do not have a building near to where you wish to build your carport, it is clear that you will have to build a free standing carport.  Many other home owners choose to go free standing purely because it can look so much nicer than having it attached to the home.

There are a number of things to remember when building a carport though and something that may influence even this very first and very basic decision of whether to go attached or free standing is your local council’s building rules and regulations.  We look at these in our next installment of Building a Carport.  It is important in Australia to fully consider these before you finalise a decision on design.

What does your carport look like?

Next you will need to consider how you want your carport to look and again there are many different options and alternatives.  The best way of scouting for a design you like is to take a photo of the front of your house.  Then with it in front of you go to google images and type in ‘carport’ this will bring you loads of options.

If you find one you like consider how it would look on your home, would it suit the design of you home?  Is it in keeping with the street? Does it have the basic elements that you need?

Remember that you can change the colour and the materials used, you are just looking to create an idea file at this stage.  When driving around, do the same thing, most of the best ideas for an Australian carport will be found in your surrounding neighbourhood.

What next?

You now should have a preference for whether you want a free standing or attached carport.  You should also have an idea about the design of the carport.  So now you need to measure up the area and ensure that you have ample room to fit your carport in and then it is time to start enquiring about your local council restrictions and requirements.

We’ll go through those with you tomorrow.  In the meantime remember that you can get all your building tools from the DIY Bargain Bin.  Check out the Garden Sheds, Barns and Carports section for kits.

Wasp on a nest. This fantastic image was expertly captured by Cordan.

Yesterday we brought you how to prepare to remove a wasp nest safely and today we will provide the detail behind each of those options.

Removing the wasp nest safely:

1. Freeze / drown the wasps

This option requires two people to implement, and for you to have a large plastic box with a tight lid that will seal the wasps inside.  It is important to ensure that the plastic box is larger than the wasp nest to make this successful.  The way this technique from eHow works is to have one person hold the box under the nest and the other to clip the nest from its position using a long handled pruning tool.

As soon as the wasp nest lands in the the box, the assistant will need to quickly seal the lid over the wasps.

My issue with this technique comes into play here.  You will then need to have either a big enough freezer to place the box inside, which will allow you to freeze the wasps, or you will need to fill your bath tub with water and use a brick on top of the plastic box to submerge the wasps till they die.  Using a clear plastic box is obviously going to be easier to judge the results.

The main thing for me with this technique is that you need to bring the wasps into your home and for me I just don’t like that idea no matter how sealed they are.

2. Burn out the wasps

I don’t even want to think about this one, there is far too many things that can go wrong with trying to burn out wasps, especially as wasps are most common in the summer when the risk of fire is so great.  In addition fire really aggravates the wasps and you are much more likely to get stung, not to mention your exposure is longer.

3. Use a pesticide

This is a really good option for many people.  Ensure that you have your assistant on hand to hold the ladder and help you with the application.  Both of you should be well covered and you should have fully read the instructions and warnings prior to using it.

If you have kids or pets make sure that they are well away from the area that you are going to spray and that you quarantine the area for some days after.  Better still go for an all natural pesticide.

Another tip is to look for one with a long distance spray, which will enable you to stand well away from the wasps.  Try to ensure that you are not directly under the wasp nest either as this is where the wasps will be most likely to attack.

Spray the wasp nest in one long continuous spray covering as much of the surface area of the nest as you can.  Then remove yourself from the scene.  If you like you can repeat the process the following day and then you should be right to safely remove the nest 24 hours after that.  Ensure that you are still fully protected on both of these subsequent tasks.

4. Use a Soap and Water spray

This is my favourite method as it is safe to use, will not leave any chemicals anywhere that kids or pets may come into contact with them and it is effective.

Make up a large batch of very soapy water and using a spray gun or something similar spray and coat the wasp nest thoroughly.  Like with a pesticide, do one continuous spray to coat as much as possible and then remove yourself from the scene.

Soap and water clogs the wasps pores and weighs it down.  Eventually the wasp will suffocate and die.  You are likely to find clumps of wasps on the ground after using this method, but remember it may take them some time to die and they are still able to give a mighty sting at this time.

Use a long handled pruning tool to cut down the nest a few days later.  Be prepared just in case there are more wasps.

A great video on this process is here.


All in all remember to protect yourself and ensure that this video is not you – Not only is this person stung but they could have been seriously harmed.  We strongly recommend that you use your assistant to help you rather than video you! 🙂  More information on how to kill wasps can be found here.

The wrong way to take down a wasp nest.

Wasp nest. Image courtesy of Corey Carter

A wasp nest can be a very difficult problem if it is one right next to your home.  The reason is obvious, the wasps don’t generally take kindly to being relocated so will react with anger trying to attack those that it sees are trying to upset their happy house, after all, they specifically chose that spot over all the others on offer.

None the less as the actual home owner, it is fair enough that you don’t want these irritable squatters sharing any part of your house or garden.  So today we are going to take you through how to safely remove that wasps nest.

The key to this is ensuring your safety throughout the whole process.


1. Get an assistant – removing a nest is a lot easier and safer with two people.

2. Cover up – the goal is to ensure that as much of your skin is covered.  Think protective clothing, like a hat, veil, gloves, long sleeve t-shirt, long pants and socks.  There are a few extra tips with your dressing, such as to tuck your pants into your socks to ensure no wasps fly up them.  Wear a jumper or long sleeved t-shirt over a button up shirt (less areas of access, i.e. between the buttons), tuck a layer into your pants.  With your gloves get the kind that you can tighten around your wrist.  As you can see you are trying to seal up as much of yours and your buddy’s surface area.

3. Locate your wasp nest and plan your attack – It is best to locate the wasp nest in the day, but leave treating it until the evening when the wasps are less active and less likely to pose a threat.  Wasps are attracted to light so avoid using a flashlight.

Options for removing the wasp nest:

There are four main ways of attacking a wasp nest, they are:

  1. Freeze or drown the wasps
  2. Burn the wasps
  3. Use a pesticide
  4. Use a home mix of soap and water.

Tomorrow we will go through each of these to show you the best way of killing your wasp problem.

Garden Shed from Popular Mechanics website

So you are considering building your own garden shed, but need a design.  Well here we have scoured the internet to bring you a range of different garden shed options and what we like about them!  Most come with a stack of advertising, but it is a small amount for you to endure in exchange for your free plan.

1. Mitre 10 – Have a great little no window garden shed instruction brochure on their website.  The brochure contains all you need to know and what you’ll need to buy to make this 3.6×2.1 metre shed.

2. My Backyard Plans – this website displays a range of different size and variety shed plans along with step by step images to take you through your construction.  They include a gable shed and a gambrel shed.

3. Popular Mechanics – Provides simple step by step instructions for a 9x13foot garden shed.  Along with a photo for each of the 16 steps and instructions with each, this is one of the better internet plans available.

4. Black and Decker – Have a small 8×12 foot shed plan available on their website.  Lots of images and directions.

5. Build Eazy – Show how to make a simple storage shed for your back yard.  The online version is free of charge, but you can download the plans free of advertising for $5USD.

6. Extreme How To – Have a very small no back tool shed that you can build.

7. Just Sheds – Offer one free detailed design for a 10’x8′ storage shed.  You can download this plan, though it is loaded with self promotion.  Paid shed plans range from $15USD to $35USD on their website.

8. ArchChemicals – Provides a one page shed design, with simplified instructions. Probably best to only attempt this one if you are familiar with building such structures!

9. Bioengr – Have a small 6×8 foot garden tool shed plan on their website which includes shelves and counter!

10. Better Homes & Gardens – Potentially if none of those other sheds suit your requirements, maybe a four door shed is what you are after?  Really this is like a storage closet, but can be built cheaply using second hand doors.

Remember you can source your wood and hardware for this project from the DIY Bargain Bin Hardware section and the DIY Bargain Bin Timber Structural / Construction section.

Or if you decide to get a kit garden shed, the DIY Bargain Bin Garden Sheds, Barns and Carport section will have just what you need.