How Deep Should Footings Be For A Carport?

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I’m an old-timer, and I like to stick to vehicles I know. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when my family gave me a new car earlier this year.

But the real trouble started after that. My garage didn’t have room for another vehicle, and I sure wasn’t about to leave the new car out in the open. That’s when my husband and son decided to build a carport for my new ride.

The boys had the structure and plan all figured out, and the canopy wasn’t going to be much of a trouble. But the biggest challenge for them was figuring out how deep the footings should go, and there weren’t many useful online resources on the subject.

Finally, with a bit of ingenuity, combined with help from my neighbors, they managed to get the job done. But I was a bit miffed at the lack of information online on carport footings and decided to do something about it.

Howdy, folks! I’m Stacy Smith, and today I’m here to tell you everything I know about how deep should footings be for a carport. And if you're searching for the best carports, read these carport reviews.

Let’s begin.

My Guide To Carport Footings

What Are Carport Footings?

Before getting into the question of how deep the footings should be, let’s take time to understand what a carport footing is. If you think in the simplest of terms, a carport is nothing but a canopy propped up on four posts, and the footings are essentially the bases on which the posts rest.

As a result, you can well understand that the stronger the footings, the better the carport construction. In general, carport footings are made of concrete and have to be strong enough to hold the entire structure’s weight.

Now that I have that out of the way, let’s try and answer the actual question: how deep should the footings be?

How Deep Should Carport Footings Go?

This is the question that my husband and son were asking each other, but the truth is, there isn’t one correct answer to this question. The depth of the footings is dependent on a variety of factors, and can vary anywhere between 0.75 meters to 1.5 meters; sometimes, they can go even deeper.

So, there’s no standard footing depth for anchoring a carport to the ground. In the following section, I’ve discussed the factors that need to be considered when selecting the depth of the footing.

Factors That Affect The Depth Of Carport Footings

1. The Soil Type

This is the first thing that I recommend checking out in case you’re building a carport directly on the ground. The texture of the soil, together with the load that it can bear and material strength, must be considered.

However, if you’re building the carport on a concrete base, then the depth to which the footings should go depends on the base’s height.

2. The Canopy Size

The next factor that you need to take into account is the size of the carport canopy. Larger canopies will naturally require more support. This means you’ll need bigger posts, which in turn translate to deeper footings.

3. The Post Size And Height

Not only does the depth of the carport footing depend on the size of the canopy, but also the height of the posts. In general, you’re going to need a taller carport for storing, say, an RV than you would for a sedan.

This means that the taller your carport, the larger your post size and height. Naturally, to hold taller posts firmly, you’re going to need deeper footings. I even recommend making the footings wider to ensure that there’s enough concrete around the post.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to stick to a ratio of 3:1 when it comes to the height of the carport vs. the depth of the footing. By this, I mean that if your carport is 4.2 meters high, then you’d require a footing depth of about 1.4 meters.

4. The Wind Speed

Finally, the last factor that you need to pay attention to is the wind speed. Strong winds can be tough on a carport, and in case of stormy weather, the structure can get swept off its footings.

That’s why I suggest gauging the wind speed of your area before preparing the footing. Higher wind speeds naturally translate to deeper footing requirements, as this helps keep the carport firmly in place.

These are the top factors that you must keep in mind about carport footing depths. Of course, my neighbor Mr. Cross (who’s an engineer), helped my husband understand them, so he had expert help. In case you find the job too troublesome, it’s best to hire professionals to get it done.

Pro Tips

Before wrapping up this fun session on carport footing depths, I’d like to take some time to include a few tips that I gathered during the entire process. I’m sure these will be helpful for you in getting the best footings set up.

  • Don’t use quick-setting concrete, instead go for the standard variety.
  • Take time to shape the footings using a trowel after they’ve set. This will prevent water from standing around the posts and damaging the foundation.
  • Be sure to mix the concrete thoroughly before application; otherwise, you may end up with a weak footing.

Final Words

If you ask me, building a carport is a fun task, but one that you should undertake only if you’re willing to put in a lot of hard work and effort. Once you get the structure standing and the vehicle in, nothing compares to that feeling of pride and joy.

That being said, I won’t deny that building a carport can be challenging unless you have some help. That’s why, if you’re not sure whether you can tackle the task, I suggest you leave it to the experts.

And with that, I’ll take your leave for now. Bye!

About the Author

Stacey is a Texan at heart and a true daughter of the soil. She takes keen interest in everything related to lawn care, and has experience of over 30 years in tinkering with a variety of equipment. When she's not tending to her own lawn or helping the neighbors, she likes to blog about her journey with the rest of the world.

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