Turn a Carport attached to a Garage?

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Topic: Turn a Carport attached to a Garage?

Home and Garden January 29, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Turn a Carport attached to a Garage?


If we have a permitted & original to the home attached carport can we enclose it and turn it into a garage permanently? Or put up removal more-so-enclosed things like screens, gate or doors at the entry to the carport?

It would seem as it already has a roof, concert floors, wall 1/3 of the way up on both sides & is attached to the house (on the ‘front’ of the carport.) It would not be effected by the storm water run off that stops so many garages from going up in DC.

Am I being too logical for the DC build codes people/rules? Wondering if I would even need a permit as there would not be any structural changes.

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It all will depend on the location of the property, the song, and the historic designation of the building and the neighborhood, all combined. Also, the floor area ratio, or percentage of occupied space by enclosed structures in your property. As per your description, you will need a permit to do what you plan to do. You will need a permit set of plans, showing how your future garage will relate to the house, and a new plat drawing and survey of the house, to show the improvements to the property. There are code issues frequently overlooked when people transform carport into garages, the most important of them is the co2 buildup in garages an its risk of poisoning the occupants of the new house. Hope this helps. Fell free to email me at odcstudio at aol dot com.


I don’t think the Co2 would be a issue when ‘enclosing’ with screens.

You mentioned a new plat drawing. I noticed the current plat that I see on-line appears to have sheds or other structures that are not on the property any longer. I don’t know when or why the other shed/structures were removed. (The home was recently renovated but covered/enclosed foot print of home it self was increased or not changed from the original design.)

I assume they would count those old structures against our green/structure ratio if we applied for a building permit. How do we address this when inquiring about building a garage or other enclosed structure? Do we submit a new drawing or does the city have to have some one come out? Is there a cost? Trying to find information… but have not yet learned to easily navigate the DC building website

So it will not be technically a garage when it is enclosed just with screens.
You will need a new plat drawing for all improvements in your house, as long as they have an impact in the foot print, or if the repairs or alteration change the function of any of the areas described in the drawing. In your case, since you’re changing the “nature” of the carport to that of a garage, you will need it.
A plat is different from a survey. What you are mentioning is an opine representation of what was in your lot, and what you need to do is to order a new survey of the property. For that you need to hire a certified surveyor in Washington DC (The office of the Surveyor of Washington DC, located at DCRA has a list of the surveyors that work in the city, and are certified in the district of Columbia, please notice that this service is a private contract between you and the surveyor, the city doesn’t recommend or endorse any of them, nor they regulate the fees they charge. This is the list of the surveyors: http://dcra.dc.gov/node/509332)
They cannot count against you any structure that no longer exists in the parcel.
To ask for the permission to enclose that part of the structure and transform it into a garage you need a set of permit plans, which will refer to the new survey and new plat (your surveyor will do the survey, and any additional information about the improvements of the house will appear in your permit set, and also in the plat -part of the permit set-that is required to demonstrate that there are or there aren’t changes in the footprint)
If you need more information you can e-mail me at odcstudio AT aol DOT com.


Does the survey provided to us with buying the property the same type of survey we need to complete for building on the property?
How do we accurately count the enclosed property vs non enclosed?
How might the new building codes/ green space effect this ratio? Can we ‘earn’ more enclose-able space by adding rain gardens and such?
Is there a difference between covered vs enclosed? For example installing a open pergola vs solid roof over a patio area?

The rules seem tight on enclosed space vs ‘green space’ how are so many builders able to blow out all these homes leaving no yard space???? And the average home owner is left jump through hoops of being forced to higher one these can get anything built contractors?

The survey is valid for six months, as per DCRA requirements, but it can work as long as it is reproduced in the drawings showing exactly what is on the land.
Area of the foot print of the covered property (all that is under a roof, it doesn’t matter if it is open) versus the area of the land, and the difference is the uncovered area.
New building codes/green space have nothing to do with FAR (floor area ratio) regulations.
You don’t earn anything by doing anything such as rain gardens or any other feature. It is an absolute number not a point system.
Open pergola is an uncovered area.
The rules are not about green space. The rules are about covered versus uncovered, paved areas that are not under a roof are as uncovered as green areas that are not under a roof.
There are differences in zoning, there are lots that have zero lot lines (houses that share a party wall) some other lots are semi attached. Some other lots have 100% coverage, all will depend on your zoning code.
Your zoning code, your zoning map, and the survey have the keys to what you can cover, or what you must left uncovered. It’s possible that the house next door is zoned differently, one must look in the zoning map and see where the boundaries of a particular zoning code lie.
DC Zoning Maps: http://maps.dcoz.dc.gov (here you enter your address and you will find under which zoning code your property is located)
Your questions about set backs (distances from the property lines to the exterior walls of the buildings) should be asked to a zoning officer at DCRA, as well as the questions about how much of your land can you cover with a roofed structure)
Zoning: http://dcra.dc.gov/node/546292
Surveyor: http://dcra.dc.gov/service/surveyor-services
Zoning brochure: http://dcoz.dc.gov/dcoz_brochure_013111.pdf

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