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I confess, I have always lusted for a garage or carport for my sweet autos. For my entire adult life, I promised every auto a roof. Once I managed a fabric car cover for my Miata at the condo. This week changed that angst.

In July, I updated my fourteen-year-old Mazda MPV for this cutie, a Mazda 5. Still considered a Happy Van, Baby 5 is more compact and efficient, yet she can still haul bagged mulch and market tables with style and gusto.

newer wheels for the key lime pie maker...

newer wheels for the key lime pie maker…

Since this four-wheeled jewel was a splurge, I decided to pull out all the stops and design/build a proper carport — here and now. I have owned/renovated this house for thirteen years and was more than ready to splurge again.

The design had challenges, as it had to fit between a driveway wall and an HVAC unit. The house has a hip roof, and I did not want the overall height to exceed the height of the gutter, a mere 9’6″. Fortunately, I know an ego-light builder, who accepted my budget and had three subs available for this three-day project. The overall footprint was 12’W X 14’L with a two foot overhang.

Following a few weeks of design clarification with the builder, ahem, we struck a chord. He has built houses for twenty-five years, has an entourage of talented/polite subs, as I am merely a former interior designer with a vision. This collaboration was a success.

how exciting holes can be

how exciting hand-dug, rocked holes can be

end of first day ~ posts set

end of first day ~ posts set

view from the very hot, sunny driveway

view from the very hot, sunny driveway

beginning of day two ~ calculations, calculations. This is where I glazed over...

beginning of day two ~ calculations, calculations. This is where I glazed over…

nothing like young muscle strength...

nothing like young muscle strength…Travis was a Rock Star! Polite, talented, and a true professional who was kind to answer my occasional questions. Nothing like a good man with the right tool!

precise, critical cuts made by Jimmy, Kevin's dad.

precise, critical cuts made by Jimmy, Travis’ dad.

rafters in place

rafters in place

this is where I step in as primer/painter...although posts were damp, I primed posts where attachments were to be made. I am a broad stroke woman.

this is where I step in as primer/painter…although posts were damp, I primed post sides where attachments were to be made. In six months, painter will return to finish priming/painting remaining boards and posts. I am a broad-stroke woman. Father and son are attaching OSB sheeting and 30lb. roof felt in this photo.

ooo, yea. All these MiraTEC boards must receive one coat of finish coat before being applied, said me. There were twenty-four, sixteen feet long. Yup, a challenge for this gal.

ooh, yea. All these MiraTEC boards must receive one coat of finish before being applied, said I. There are twenty-four, sixteen feet long. Yup, a challenge for this gal. Ante up!

When the weather cooperated, each board was lugged into place, just far enough apart to set my foot. My goal was to stay one step ahead of the builders' needs.

Staging is critical. When the dew point cooperated, each board was lugged into place, just far enough apart to set my foot. My goal was to stay one step ahead of the builders’ needs. Giddy up!

Since MiraTEC had to be attached 24"OC, framing was added between posts.

Since MiraTEC had to be attached 24″OC, framing was added between posts. This side receives hot western sun year round.

The roofing was my choice...Ondura. A green building product made from recycled materials and  SO practical.

The roofing was my find…Ondura. A green building product made from recycled materials and SO practical. Made right here in Virginia.

MiraTEC slats applied to posts and framing, one inch apart. These guys made building look easy...

MiraTEC slats applied to posts and framing, one inch apart. These guys made building look easy…and pre-priming makes my job much easier down the road…Notice how precisely the new roof meets the existing gutter. Awesome!!!

primer coats were never ending. This beadboard sucked up primer like a thirsty elephant.

primer coats were never-ending. This beadboard sucked up primer like a thirsty elephant.

prep for the ceiling installation. Never ending measuring and cutting.

prep for the ceiling installation. Never-ending measuring and cutting. This family stayed on course the entire time ~ total dedication to the task at hand.

the third and final day, I kept up with the men as they attached the slats, I applied finish coat. Smooth sailing!

nearly completed carport project. The third and final day, I kept up with the men as they attached the slats, applying the first finish coat. Smooth sailing! I must return with a second coat, yet I can take a wee break today. Baby 5 in her new apartment…Rack has yet to be primed/painted…ahhh.

my vision placed a minimal structure at the end of this hip roof, leaning toward contemporary.

my design vision placed a minimal, free standing structure at the end of this hip roof, leaning toward contemporary. I think it hit the mark. If this structure was in Iowa, folks would swear I designed a corn crib…

not bad for three guys and a truck and a gal with a vision, heh?

not bad for three guys and a truck and a gal with a vision…

The builders need to tweak one small detail at the rear fascia, yet I am breathless, humbled, and grateful to have collaborated on this project with such wonderful people. Now to re-think, re-do this front bed…a mass planting of lavender would be nice.

Copyright © 2014 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved