Turning a Carport Into a Shady Play Area for Kids: Tips and Ideas
If you've decided to put in a carport to create a sunny place for your kids to play, you may want to keep a few special tips in mind. Wondering how your design should differ from a standard carport? Here are some issues to consider:
1. Create soft flooring.
In many cases, carports are placed over slabs of concrete. If you are modifying an existing carport to turn it into a kids' play area, you can put some foam mats on the concrete to provide a bit of cushion underfoot. If you are putting in a new carport, skip the concrete and surface the area with wood chips, recycled rubber patio pavers or something else soft. Fake turf also works -- it gives your kids the feeling of grass, but you don't have to worry about watering or sunshine.
2. Strategically tilt the carport roof.
If you are working with a designer to create a carport for your property, ask about tilting the roof for maximum shade value. Ideally, you should figure out where the sun is at its highest point during the summer, and you should ensure that the carport roof is tilted to block those incoming rays.
3. Add shade with curtains.
Whether you tilt the roof of your carport or not, you may want to increase the shade for your children by adding curtains to the carport. You can use outdoor curtains to cover the edges of a carport. Alternatively, not all carports have to be opened sided. You could ask the designer to put a wall with windows on at least one side of the carpot, and then, you could hang curtains from that wall.
4. Add power to the carport.
If you anticipate that your kids will use this new, shady play area on a regular basis, you may want to have an electrician wire it for power. Depending on the design of carport you select, you could have outlets added into the walls, placed up near the roof of the carport or inserted into the outer wall of your home if the carport is next to that. Make sure that the outlets feature a ground fault circuit interrupter -- that is essential for outdoor outlets that may get exposed to water. Once they are installed, you can use them to add light to the area, to plug in a TV and video game console, or to use power for other purposes.