Panic, Trees & Carport Planning

We’ve been working a bit on our curb appeal on-and-off this year, mostly purely cosmetic things like the porch ceiling or the Spanish tile (and I still owe y’all a post on the door tile- oops). However, this time we need to take more of a form-over-function direction.

If you missed my photo-only post yesterday, the dying oak tree beside the driveway took out its post-rain wrath on my car’s window. My granddad always told me not to park under large trees because they can randomly huge drop limbs (especially the day after a storm), yet for some reason I never thought I’d learn this lesson the hard way by parking in my own driveway. You know, probably because of the conveniently placed driveway

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If we’re being honest, this was not the first time the car-eating tree dropped a limb on my car. The last time was about 18 months ago while we were in San Francisco for Robert’s cousin’s wedding. For whatever reason (probably that the limb only made a small ding on my hood that time?), we decided not to do the smart thing and listen to our parents remove the ailing tree then. We did pull a giant, been-there-since-we-owned-the-house, wedged-in dead limb out of the same tree back before Hurricane Irene, though. And there may have been some really ironic ”we’re such good, cautious homeowners” type high-fiving after that. Who knows what kind of damage that sucker could have done to my car.

Fast forward back to today. Robert and I have pretty much decided to stop taking chances by doing the bare minimum after the burst pipe in the guest bathroom wall. So rather than continuing to sacrifice our cars to the tree, we’re going to have the darn thing removed. We decided this amidst all the panicking and taping of bags over my car window, but we know it’s the right decision, and one we should have done months or years ago.

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We have also toyed with the idea of adding a carport along the side of our house, possibly with a covered walkway to the front porch. I don’t know that  both removing the tree and building a carport are really necessary, but better safe than sorry I guess. It’s not like there aren’t other tress in the area, and a carport would protect my car from things like hail, too. 

The (first) problem we run into is that we would be putting it on the guest room side of the house, where it may block most of the light coming in the window. Young House Love has the same issue with the window over their desk, but their office still seems to get enough light (of course that room also has a second window). As I told Robert, we could add some sort of tubular skylight later on if the room is too dark. (Though we haven’t priced those yet. Heck, we haven’t even priced the carport or tree removal yet.)  Another option is just making the guest bath window larger when we get to working on that project again, and then adding the window I’ve been wanting in the laundry room when we get to that. (Oh how projects snowball into one another.)

Getting back to carports, Kara Paslay and her husband Tim improved their house’s curb appeal by adding an arbor in front of the carport.

Kara Paslay’s carport

I also found this carport on Pinterest, but it is originally from a company that builds carports.

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And then there is YHL’s carport.

YHL’s carport

So that’s our latest need-based curb appeal project. We’re hopefully getting the tree removal estimate today, and after that we’ll work on figuring out what kind of carport we may add. We would love to one day have a garage (with a studio space above it), but after yesterday I think we’re planning on biting the bullet and putting up a carport, at least for the time being.

Anyone else have to make design choices after something unexpected happened? Any other tree horror stories? Or if you’ve seen any great carport designs I’d love to see them!

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15 Responses to Panic, Trees & Carport Planning

  1. Sara says:

    Its always sad for me when a tree has to come down. But ya’ gotta do what ya gotta do … I did see the photo post yesterday. Huge Bummer and first thing monday morning – salt on the wound.
    And yeah, I got my self into a situation where I now have to budget some money for a needed upgrade … while making a patio (the fun part), it became necessary to also repair the huge crack in the concrete steps that I was avoiding (not fun, but necessary). They are right beside the patio I am building and I can no longer ignore it. AM currently waiting for an estimate.

    • Cait says:

      It’s totally sad for me when a tree has to come down, too! I’m planning to plant a tree somewhere else on the property after we take this one down. Just maybe not an oak that might one day threaten the house.

      Oh no, that is a bummer! Hope the estimate isn’t too painful!

  2. Kristen says:

    Good luck with the tree removal estimates! Hopefully they aren’t too ridiculous.

    I’m personally a fan of garages (especially in the Winter when it snows and you don’t need to dig your car out) but if you’re not, I would definitely root for a car port. It’ll protect your car a little bit and in the long run will probably save you a ton of money you would’ve had to pay in repairs.

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Kristen!

      I would definitely prefer a garage, but I don’t think it’s in the budget anytime soon unfortunately. Maybe we can build a carport that we can covert to a garage later.

      Fortunately it doesn’t snow here, so we only have rain, possibly hail (but rarely) and random tree branches to worry about. We had hoped to find a house with a garage, but this one had everything else we wanted.

  3. Kate says:

    We have a tree that should probably come down in our front yard too, ugh. Don’t you love being a homeowner? lol Good luck getting it taken care of!

  4. Britt says:

    Oooh! I have some you should see! A friend of mine just started a carport project and asked me to find some “modern and functional” examples for her. I really liked the majority of the ones they showed on this site. They were simple enough to DIY with the potential of providing a cosmetic upgrade for the property. http://www.pacificcarports.com.au/gallery/single-carports

    You guys could DEFINITELY DIY a pergola-carport hybrid. (I would love to see a string of posts on THAT. That would be so sweet.) I bet you could even get a pretty good deal on pre-used pressure treated wood for it if you planned on painting over it. It’d probably have to be the more expensive variety, though… seeing as the humidity down here in the swampland is always 100%+ :6

    Can’t wait to see what you guys decide!!

    • Cait says:

      Thanks so much for that link, Britt! And I love the idea of pre-used pressure treated wood, I’ll have to look into that for sure.

      I have seen a couple of pergola-carports in the area, maybe I can subtley snap pictures of them (or make Robert do it, he wouldn’t care about being subtle) and then start a post on that!

  5. I love cute car ports. Esp ones with brick grounds!

    • Cait says:

      Oh yes, I totally love the ones with brick parking surfaces! I always imagine it could double as a front patio if we were the party-having type of people.

  6. Jami Graham says:

    I say dooo itttt!!! To the car port that is! You can totally DIY it too! Just take Ana Whites Pergola, http://ana-white.com/2011/04/weatherly-pergola, and change it up a tad bit!

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