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How to Install Solar Carport the Right Way

 If you have ever wondered how to construct and install a solar carport all by yourself, then you are in luck. In this article, we will guide you on how to construct this amazing structure yourself.

Let’s get started already…

The process can be divided into four main phases:

1. Casting the concrete footings

2. Erecting the timber posts

3. Joining the beams & rafters

4. Solar panels installation.

We will explain the steps for each phase in detail.

Casting the Concrete Footings – Phase 1

The carport needs a stable base to prevent it from falling. Hence, the casting of concrete footings is important as this will determine how strong the wooden posts will be. Read this article to find out more about concrete footings.

We expect that you should know beforehand where the carport will be. Hence, you need to mark the spot where each post will be. Ensure the holes are straight and in line.

The depth of the concrete footing should be one-third of the post’s length. The width, on the other hand, should be twice the post’s width.

For instance, if you want the carport to be 7 feet tall, then the depth of the concrete footings should be 2.3 feet. If the post you are using is 4 by 4 inches, then the concrete footings should be 8 inches wide.

Note: We’ll be using the above measurement as an example as we continue.

Steps to Cast the Concrete Footings

Step 1: The first thing is to dig the spots that you marked for the posts. Ensure that the length and width are the same as what you calculated. Using our example, the width should be 8 inches, while the depth should be 2.3 feet.

Tip: Don’t bother making the edges of the hole smooth. The rougher it is, the more friction resistance it gives to the post.

Step 2: Mix cement, sand, and water in a ratio of 1:2:0.5. In other words, the sand should be twice the cement, and the water should be half the amount of cement.

Step 3: Pour the mixture into the holes you dug.

Tip: Use gloves while mixing and pouring the concrete to avoid concrete burns to your hands. Visit to learn more about concrete burns. Also, ensure that all the holes are filled in a single day.

Step 4: Allow the concrete to dry. Some cement takes 48 hours to dry while others might need a week. Therefore, if you are using the latter, ensure that you do the job when it is less likely to rain.

Tip: During the period the concrete is drying, you have to wet it to stop it from cracking. You should wet the concrete once every day for about 3 days.

Erecting the Timber Posts – Phase 2

After the footings are dried, the next thing is to erect the timber posts. To do this, you need to bolt anchor bases to the concrete. Ensure that the space in the middle will accommodate your timber posts.

Once you have done the above, take the timber posts and sand them properly before you insert them into the bases. Take the screws and secure them into the bases.

Ensure that the timber posts are stable. If they are shaky in any way, it could cause the structure to collapse. If you find it necessary, add extra braces for support.

Joining the Beams & Rafters – Phase 3

Before you do begin this phase, a datum line needs to be created. This will ensure that the attached beams are level.

Get a timber post that is 7 feet long; you can take another measurement to be double-sure. Now, with the aid of a string and spirit level, mark other posts to confirm that they are all level. If you discover that they aren’t level, then you have to unbolt the posts and either cut or sand them: Any of these actions will ensure that they are the right size.

Once you are certain the posts are level, attach the beams to the posts. For this purpose, we recommend that you use timber housings. This way, the beam can rest and stay joined to the timber posts. 

Still using the example we used earlier, you need to get beams of two sizes: 2 by 12 feet and 4 by 9.6 feet.

One aspect that might be tricky for some folks is getting the roof to slope slightly to enable water to run off the panel rather than remain on the panels which can cause damages.

Therefore, at the point you want the slope to be, take a measurement of 0.15 in. downwards from the beam’s upper part. Now, attach a string starting from the point you just measured to the beam’s top part at the opposite side.

The next thing is to connect the rafters and beams. Ensure that the rafters are evenly spaced (4 feet from each other). Each rafter’s upper part should align with the hanging string.

Tip: Once you are done with all things timber-related, you can go ahead and stain and also seal the timber. This should be done once you are done with every drilling. Any drilling done in sealed wood will cause water to enter into the timber.

Solar Panels Installation – Phase 4

As much as we would love you to DIY this phase yourself, the truth is that not everyone can do this. Not only will you have to install the solar panels, but you will also need to wire them and then set up the solar system if it is not set up. If it is, you will have to connect the solar panel you just set up to your solar system.

Besides, the different types of available solar panels don’t make it easy to just explain the installation process in this brief article. Therefore, we recommend that you ask a technician to help you with this phase. However, if you have the technical know-how, you can go ahead and install it yourself.

Once you are done with the process, don’t be surprised to see that other family members would be eager to use the carport. This is not strange as the installation of solar carports increases the use of parking lots, especially in commercial areas. Most of them are designed with charging places for vehicles and other interesting features.


As technical as it might look, you can build a solar carport yourself. However, as we said, you might need professional help with installing the solar panels. If you can’t do it yourself, don’t feel bad about asking for help. After all, the major part of the work was done by you; you can be proud of that.