Our Finished-For-Now Carport (And It Only Took Five Years!)

Obviously, when I say it only took us five years to complete this carport, I’m saying that with tongue firmly planted in cheek. 😀 Had I not been in a Wonder Woman mindset five years ago, I would have had them complete the whole thing, from start to finish, in 2018 when the carport was started.

But my Wonder Woman mindset took over (as it often does), and I convinced myself that I wanted to do a lot of the finishing projects myself, like the wiring and lighting, installing the ceiling, etc. So when those things were still unfinished five years later, I decided it was time to call in reinforcements. And with the exception of a few much smaller projects that I’ll definitely do myself (I’ll get to those later), the carport is now finally finished!

Let’s just take a step back so that I can remind you of how this has looked. Here’s what I’ve been looking at for the past five years…

It had no lighting and no ceiling. Nothing that was added with the carport (like the new siding and trim) had ever been painted, which is why there are two colors of siding near the back studio doors. And it also had a bit hole in the roof from where the huge oak tree (that used to be right next to the carport) dropped a huge limb onto the roof.

And now, I have a ceiling, loads of light, a ceiling fan, and everything has been caulked, primed, and painted. And the roof has been repaired.

I can’t believe how much brighter it is in the carport now that the ceiling is finished! I had them paint the ceiling the same Behr Air Blue that I used on the front porch ceiling. And now, here’s that same view as the first picture I showed you above…

One of the small projects I still need to do myself is to paint the back doors. I can’t decide on a color. What I really want to do is paint those doors the same color (Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise) that I used on the front door and the side door of the studio.

Portico above exterior door with black pendant light and coral door

I’ll probably end up doing that just because I love that color so much, and I think the back doors into my studio deserve to be special right along with the front and side doors. But what keeps me from jumping right in is that I don’t really see a lot of people (if any at all) painting their back doors an accent color. Is that a normal thing? Have I just not been paying attention? Does it even matter?

I know it doesn’t matter what other people do on their homes. This is my house, and I can do whatever I want with it. I don’t have to do what everyone else does. So the doors will probably end up being the same color as the rest. And that means that I’ll probably paint all of the doors along the back of our house (after the addition is built) the same color. It makes me a bit nervous to commit to painting all of those doors the same color, but I just need to be bold and brave about it. 😀

The siding on the side of the studio is now all matching for the first time since the carport was built. For the last five years, it had been two colors just like the back of the house — the original siding that was painted gray, and the “new” siding that was woven in for the carport which was the Hardi siding primer color. But now it’s all painted Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. I can’t wait to get rid of that ugly gate and chain link fence!

The carport is what I use as my workshop for now, so it’s where my three big tools live permanently — miter saw, table saw and planer. So unfortunately, there’s no way to completely clear out the carport for now.

But there are some things I can do to organize and make things look a little better in here. Things that I no longer want to keep, but haven’t yet decided what to do with, always seem to make their way back here. There are a few of those things out here now, so I need to get rid of them. For the things I need to keep, I have some plans I’d like to put into place pretty soon.

But for now, I’m just so pleased to have the main structure finally finished, and I’m so thankful that I now have lights out here so that I can work past sunset. It’s always been a real pain to have to stop working when the sun goes down, especially during the winter when it gets dark at 5:30pm. I’ve always felt like I’m losing out on so much opportunity to get projects done. So now I can work past dark in the brightly lit carport.

One of my favorite things is that I had them take off the old Hardiboard that was originally covering the two posts, and I had them wrap and trim those posts to match the posts on the front porch. I love the cohesive look of this, and I also love that it really bulked up those columns so much more.

Here’s what they looked like before, and you can see that at some point, I started adding trim to the bottom of the Hardiboard that covered those posts. But I didn’t like it, so I never finished it.

Now they look like a more appropriate size for a carport.

Eventually, when we finally have a concrete driveway poured, this side will be the entrance to the carport. I’ll just pull in the drive way, and then park the van this way in the carport.

There’s plenty of room here for a very wide driveway and more than enough room (after the chain link fence, gate, and all these trash trees are removed) to turn into the carport.

I don’t use it that way now because this is about five or six inches high. It would be like driving over a curb every time I come or go.

So for now, if I want to park the van in the carport, I pull all the way to the back an go in this direction.

You can see that the lip here is only a couple of inches. This is also where we have Matt’s rubber ramp (made of recycled tires, so it’s very weather proof) so that he can easily get from the carport to the back yard.

So for now, I try to keep my tools and extra lumber over to the left side to keep the right clear for the van. When I’m working on a specific project (like sanding and painting cabinet doors, like I’m doing now), I’ll set up a work table on the right side that I can easily move out of the way when needed.

I was actually ready to have the driveway poured earlier this year, but several readers convinced me that it would be better to wait until after our carport is finished so that I won’t have all of that traffic (especially things like concrete trucks) on our new driveway. That sounded reasonable, so we’re still without a driveway as we await our addition. (Looks like I’ll finally be meeting with the architect tomorrow!!)

Another project I’d like to do relatively soon is to build a storage cabinet to the left of the back doors for outdoor tools like rakes, trimmers, leaf blower, etc.

And then I want to build two rolling carts for my big tools — one for the miter saw, and one for the table saw with a lower shelf for the planer And then I can roll those away to the side when not in use. I’d also like to have a cart for extra lumber that can be covered with a tarp and kept out here. So those are some of the projects I’d like to do to clean up the look of those things that need to stay out here.

So I do still have plans to make this carport a bit more functional and customized specifically for how I use it. But for now, I’m just so happy with how it turned out, even if I do still have a bit of a mess to deal with over on the left side.

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  1. Definitely paint the door Bird of Paradise. Wish I was brave enough to paint my own doors that color. But question: Do you ever worry about your tools being stolen?

  2. I love the exterior of your home and now with the beautiful carport, it is just exquisite. Oh and yes paint the door the same as your front door.

  3. That came out very nice and I particularly like the beadboard ceiling and fan. While I really like the Bird of Paradise door color, one thing to consider when painting the doors at the back of the house will be your fabrics and rug for the patio. I wouldn’t want to repaint that many French doors with all those panes just because they no longer figure into your overall design scheme.

  4. The carport looks great! And of course you can / “should” paint your back doors to match the front and side. It will look so nice and it will be something that brings a grin to your face every time you see and use them.

  5. Do you get much rain? I ask because of the uncovered section of the wheelchair ramp (wet head and shoulders for Matt?) and the high open sides of the carport (which wouldn’t seem to provide much rain protection for the large tools you store outside).

    Would love to be greeted by Bird of Paradise at the back door.

  6. I think it turned out great and your bird of paradise will brighten the space even more.
    For the time being – what a great area to use as a covered patio. Now that Texas is finally cooler you and Matt should enjoy the space in the evenings.

  7. Definitely paint those doors that gorgeous color. Eventually, you will have your backyard landscaped and you’ll be glad you included those painted doors in that plan. Besides, wouldn’t it be lovely to see that color every time you enter or exit those doors? Talk about putting a smile on your face.

  8. What a beautiful outside room you have created! I just love the recessed lights! I know it will be used as a carport and an outside work area, but it is also a lovely place for you and Matt to sit and enjoy your back yard. Congratulations!

  9. will you be putting gutters on the carport? Too bad you can’t get the workshop built now to store all of your tools in out of the weather. Looks great though.

  10. Wow! It’s almost too beautiful to put a car in! I could see an outdoor fireplace at the end facing the french doors…

  11. I think people don’t do the doors at the back of the house because they just run out of steam at that point. I’d go for whatever color makes you happy. Or black. Some people put this much planning into creating an outdoor kitchen and living area. Kristi does it for the comfort of her tools. Gotta love it!

  12. The carport looks so much larger than before. I’m glad you had it finished. You will enjoy it more now. Still lots of plans for lots of projects, but if you didn’t have them, what would you write about?

    Have a blessed day!

  13. It is great and will be even better once you add storage. Paint those doors, remember, as you’ve said, “it is only paint!” Good Luck in finishing your studio and not get caught up in making the carport even better.

  14. Its now absolutely fabulous. Yes, go for the same bird of paradise color on your doors to make the whole house cohesive. Love it!!!

  15. The first thing I thought of when seeing the finished carport was a special evening of your friends and family at a big ol’ table under the carport with lots of twinkly lights and yummy food! You could rent the table.

  16. Congratulations, splendid achievement!
    Paint those doors any color you want. It has never made sense to me that all of the more interesting elements are only put street side. While it’s nice to come home seeing a spiffy front most of us live more on the other sides of our home, see those on a daily basis more frequently.

    When I’m carrying in groceries, coming home from a long work day it puts a smile on my face to enter through pretty door, maybe adorned with a seasonal item.

    When we built our back yard garden shed I painted the ceiling light blue, the walls white, the floor a durable floor paint in cadet blue. It enhanced practicality by protecting from oil drips, dirt and bugs but it is light & cheerful workspace. Put windows in, shutters & pretty doors. It’s adorable year around with solar lights. Did the same with our new porch….. shakes in the peak, some square panels below the windows like a cottage. Actually was less $ than siding but it’s subtle interest that adds charm.

    You knock yourself out with interesting and pretty things. Matt no doubt enjoys them all too! It’s all even more important when you spend so much time at home.

  17. Looks awesome! Birds of paradise will look so good.
    I know you’ve talked about building a workshop in the future but have you ever considered buying a smaller shed to house your extra things in? You can have it set up to where it could be moved to another spot later on. Just a suggestion.

    1. Great idea! It could later serve as a mini serving kitchen for parties, or a shady she shed! Then when you want to host your friends, you can sometimes have it outdoors under the roof. Keep all the tools in the shed so you have the free space on the covered carport.

  18. So much better! As for painting the doors, we have always painted our doors to go with what other things are painted. At our 1st house, we had a small landing and stairs that we had painted green, so we did the door to match that. Our front door was several colors over 27 years, when I got bored with exsisting colors. When we built our second house, we had windows trimmed in white, so we just went with white all around the outside doors and windows. I eventually tired of the front door and painted it a few different colors over the years. Now we have another home, and I just went white again. I intended to change the front door, but after 7 years, it’s still white, because Mister won’t let me paint it Lemon Yellow or Pale Salmon! GRRR!!! 🙂

  19. It looks just wonderful! I think it is going to leave you feeling more organized and less stressed. And thanks for the reminder: “I know it doesn’t matter what other people do on their homes. This is my house, and I can do whatever I want with it. I don’t have to do what everyone else does.” That is what I love about your house — it reflects you and what you love. It’s a good reminder for all of us!

  20. You’re planning to paint your cupboard doors 72 colors, and you don’t know if you want a color you love on your back door? Who are you and what have you done with our Kristi?😆. Break out the coral paint and have at it!!

  21. That looks wonderful, and it looks like they did a great job. I’m so happy you allowed that to get done, and you can concentrate on some finishing things, besides your studio project. I think I would match the doors to the front…why not? Just please be careful how much work you do in the yard…like removing that fence…I don’t want you to do any damage to your back again! Start slow!

  22. Your carport looks fantastic. Your future plans for your concrete driveway and storage are some very good ideas and you have done a good research job on the planning of everything you plan to do. Especially the way your driveway entry will allow you to park under your carport.
    Those can lights under your carport are really a good idea. I love those. I love the way you beefed up the carport poles too.
    Please do paint all of the doors and such Kristi. They will be so classy and your neighbors will love the look. If they don’t then so what! It’s your house!
    I also love those blue shutters on your windows. The blue compliments the color of your house. You did an amazing job on those.

  23. Yes, do paint all the doors in back with your special color! It will make you and Matt smile as you are driving in or out in the carport working or coming in from the backyard. It is your home’s signature color!

  24. The carport looks really nice!! So happy for you that it’s done. That should be a load lifted from your shoulders. Love it!

  25. Your finished carport looks fantastic. Regarding painting the studio exterior doors, what about painting them the same color as your window shutters. I think it would all tie in together and look cohesive.