Advice Please - Do I get rid of the carport?

Brant Raven
February 16, 2019

Hello Community,

So those of you who have been looking through my other threads will know that I am doing a renovation of a Federation/Edwardian style house.

I have now started looking at the backyard.

The backyard has a a carport on one side...under which there is a small shed. One the other side is a very tall Betula tree...which is extremely close to the fence line. I have added pictures below.

My thoughts and questions;

  1. We are definitely getting rid of the little shed under the carport as is serves no useful purpose. We can build a nice tin shed down one of the side passages...but the car port is VERY close to the new part of the house and it simply doesn't look good. It has been suggested by the builder that we might cut the carport back to the gable to open up the space a little more...but I am wondering if maybe we should remove the carport entirely? This would open up the space completely and make it larger overall. We could retain the space for parking a car when needed, but it would be open.
  2. As much as I would love to keep the tree it is extremely close to the back fence line and I fear I wont be able to erect a proper fence. I really dont know what to do here. Should I get rid of the tree???


Thank you as always


Comments (12)

  • genkii
    The carport seems very dominating and overwhelms the relatively small yard. I’d pull it down to open up the space but leave the area with a base appropriate for car parking so that you have flexibility (and a car space is valuable in real estate terms). If you have kids they’ll appreciate the extra space. It could be paved or concrete or if you want it to be green you could use something like this

    You could also replace the current carport with a lightweight structure that allows light into the house. It could be used for outdoor entertaining or another use. I note you have an alfresco are in the plans.

    I’d try to keep the tree if possible. There’s nothing like sitting under a shady tree with a good book and a cold beverage on a hot day. If you take it out you need to think about shading and greening the space. I can’t comment on the proximity to the fence. I’m just a fan of shade producing trees.

    All the best with the renovation.
    Brant Raven thanked genkii
  • oklouise

    first check with Council about regulations for removing trees but it's an odd looking Betula so i'd invest in an inspection by an aborist to be certain of the species and health of the tree and then leave it alone...a fence can be designed to suit but a beautiful tree can take many years to grow and will affect backyard shade and is a special asset that improves the view from every direction ...the carport does use a lot of room but removal will mean the loss of extra potential outdoor living space not just space for a car....what about an outdoor barbq and dining area as the new alfresco is only big enough for a small seating area..think about how the carport could be modified for alternate uses...could you include a better looking narrow storage area for lawnmower and garden tools, add screen walls against the fence sides for extra privacy and replace panels of roofing with lazerlite to brighten the spaces but wait until the house is finished before you decide...only a few hours to be removed regardless of when it's done....

    Brant Raven thanked oklouise
  • Brant Raven


    I agree with what you have said. The carport as a structure is really dominating and I really dont think it suits the new space. I am very much leaning toward keeping the space but removing the structure so as to open up the space. The car would mostly be parked on street and would only ever be parked in the space if I were to go on holidays....which after this reno is highly unlikely :).

    I agree about the tree, but the root system has caused quite a lot of disturbance of the ground. Im going to have to get someone out to look at it.


  • legendaryflame
    I agree with the above posters: remove or alter carport and keep tree. You could possibly have the fence slightly higher from the ground as it runs past the tree to allow for root disturbance?
    Brant Raven thanked legendaryflame
  • Brant Raven


    Thank you for your perspective.

    Did you mean to say that it is an "old" tree??...or an "odd" tree as you have said? Either way I do agree that we need to get an arborist out there to consult. I really do want to keep the tree so I need to do what I can with respect to a nice fence. As a further note, regardless of fence, my plan would be to include some sort of backyard "window" similar to the photo below. I will also like to have a vertical garden. Also to note, I have a lane way at the back of my property so privacy and security are both factors.

    Regarding the I dont agree. I think pulling down the structure does not remove the use of the space. I dont care much for the little storage shed because I can install a much nicer looking version of this down the side of the house...and if shade becomes an issue down the track I can always set up some sort of shade sail.

  • Brant Raven


    Thanks for the idea. I didn't consider having a fence slightly off the ground as an idea. Its definitely worth a consideration.

  • oklouise

    i said it's an odd looking betula but probably depends on age and local conditions

    Brant Raven thanked oklouise
  • brizcs
    I support keeping the tree if possible. The back garden area will look suddenly very small when that third dimension is removed and only ground level remains, in the same way a room looks tiny during construction until the walls go up. But I do recognise that trees have finite lives. Get a real arborist’s opinion, not a tree lopper. Best of luck.
    Brant Raven thanked brizcs
  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    What a shame that the extension design didn't respond to the carport......the existing gable could have been exploited and stretched back to connect in with the house - it's actually got existing character - and the potentially the whole thing could have been integrated / seamless and possibly like a verandah extension continuing around the extended building and you could have had a garage to pantry/laundry into kitchen flow setup and then a whole lot more space/options internally where currently you're trying to sort out the laundry/bathroom/stair set-up......I digress...

    Back onto your questions, my 2 cents is (a) definitely keep the tree - you can replace buildings but not trees like that.

    (b) the carport, maybe the best option is to cut it back to the gable and see how it sits - at least it won't be completely on top of the new area and the form should sit better as a simple gable speaking to /referencing the back of the house

    Brant Raven thanked Paul Di Stefano Design
  • Brant Raven

    @ Paul Di Stefano Design

    Hi Paul...I was hoping you might respond.

    Regarding the second part of what you wrote...I do agree, we will try and keep the tree and we will get an arborist out there to provide advice. The carport is a very different story. I'm really not sure what direction we will take with that one. My gut tells me to get rid of it and open up the space entirely, but I am unsure.

    Regarding the first part of what you wrote...when we did our initial planning, we were looking at including the carport area as an integrated part of the house...but it simply didn't work! It didn't really make sense, unless we wanted to do away with a car parking spot...which is premium inner city. So we removed this inclusion. We also considered putting a garage in place...but again this made no sense as it was a small yard and would close it off even more with a garage. Hence we left it open. I think removing the structure would open it up even more. It would allow more light to come in and make the backyard look larger. Moreover, the space can be used for entertaining and can also be used as a car spot when it is required (about 4 times a year)

  • PRO
    Paul Di Stefano Design

    Your needs for your home should ultimately drive the's tricky jumping in and out on these things, particular after a design process has already occurred, as the projects developed as a result of decisions over various aspects and prioritising of the various goals. Function should drive the decisions one way or the other - THEN we work out how to make it aesthetically/spatially balanced one way or the other..........whatever you do you need to have solid reasoning and justification for all decisions.............. regarding your carport structure, you may well come to the confident conclusion that open private outdoor space/landscaping is a better use of that area for your and your property and that's the best option for you. Be careful not to get confused by differing advice here and whilst all ideas can be valid, the risk is losing your bearing with your own goals. I could argue both sides, a real estate agent may say you're diminishing market value, but you as the owner may prefer a larger rear yard. Not right or wrong, just different priorities and perspectives......

    Typically when it comes to this stuff, our instincts are the best compass........but be sure you have taken time to think through options and have the right info.....after years of doing this I can say instinct never fails, but less then ideal outcomes can occur by not trusting your gut

    Cheers PD

    Brant Raven thanked Paul Di Stefano Design
  • Brant Raven

    @ Paul Di Stefano Design

    Thank you Paul for a very clear response. I really appreciate your perspective. I wish I had come here earlier in the planning stages.

    At this stage, my gut really tells me that we should remove the car port as it is so dominating of the back yard. We can retain the space as a parking space should this be required...but importantly, it will open the area up very widely allowing more light and a greater feeling of space.