Considering Building Codes for Carports and Garages

We’ve analyzed a few building codes pertaining to carports and portable garages on this blog for different areas. While building codes vary with each town and sometimes even between neighborhoods, one distinct aspect common to many of these codes or ordinances pertaining to codes is that all structures need a building permit and few are allowed on the front lawn. However, an article was published recently, with a building inspector as the author. Because carports and portable garages are popular and practical structures to put up, he listed some pointers from his town of Hot Springs, South Dakota:

• Nearly all portable structures require a building permit to be obtained. This isn’t usually the case for pop-up canopies and other such temporary structures. Getting a permit usually entails filling out an application for the building department and submitting your building plans with it.
• The location of the structure in relation to your home, the streets, and your neighbors is important. In Hot Springs, a carport must be 25 feet from the street, eight feet from the house, and five feet from the property line.
• A carport cannot be placed in the front yard.
• Pay attention to the amount of space your portable structures, such as carports, portable garages, and sheds take up. In Hot Springs, such structures may only take up 30 percent of the lot’s area.
• If a carport has two enclosed walls, it’s considered a garage, which has different local building codes, including being anchored.

No matter where you live, such points need to be taken into account when you’re purchasing a carport or portable garage. The sizes you can choose from may be limited, particularly if such a space requirement or location restriction is part of your local building codes.