CARBANA: How to turn your carport into a private cabana

Updated May 8 2020
meggyfin
Top: Before… just a carport. Bottom: AFTER! The CARBANA!!

My parents don't have a garage in their Maui house, so when they're off the island their truck gets covered and parked under this carport to avoid the sun and rust (ah, island life).

While they were on island over this past Fourth of July holiday, my mother (of nautical hemp lamp fame) decided to turn their empty carport into a space to entertain.

Basically, she turned their carport into an outdoor cabana lounge that she now calls The Carbana!

Of course, you don't have to have a home in Maui to enjoy some relaxing cabana-style backyard action.

If you have a carport instead of a garage, you could totally pull off this affordable, cheap way to create a covered outdoor lounge area.

How to turn your carport into an outdoor lounge

  1. If your carport has sides, take them down and stow 'em away.
  2. Get several sets of inexpensive gauzy white curtains
  3. Cut each panel to the length of each carport section.
  4. Attached five grommets onto each panel and then hooked the panels by the grommets to the rod that runs around the top of the carport, using zip ties.
  5. Attach several rattan floor mats to match the length of the carport
  6. Hang a funky light fixture or chandalier in the middle of the carport
  7. Bring your lounge chairs and a couple of outdoor tables over

BOOM! Meet the carbana! Your instant, party-ready, backyard lounge area!

    • Of course! If ANY of you do this, I need to see pictures though. Because I'm just a little obsessed with carbanas now.

  1. I could totally do this with our ramshackle "outside room"! We already tore the walls down because they were falling to pieces, so it's opened up now, and looks… less than good. Pretty fabric and some mats on the floor (plus getting rid of old spiderwebs… ick) could totally improve things!

  2. What brand of car port is that? Most I've seen are completely enclosed, walled with semi-gloss plastic sheeting and rather less visually appealing.

    • It actually wasn't a kit! We made it from galvanized pipes and connectors that are readily available at hardware stores. The carport ("carbana") measures 10' X 20'. and the vertical poles were sunk into concrete. The vinyl top measures 10' X 20' as well, and was obtained via the internet. We used hardware store 7" and 10" bungees to secure the vinyl top to the frame.

  3. If you build a frame like this clear plastic panels for the walls will make it a great greenhouse for winter veggies too! or a dry outdoor play area for offbeat kids.

  4. My dad did this on half of his driveway. Except he made a little fence around it, and turned it into a sort of patio area, with a potted garden in it and twinkly lights. Very nice in summer!

  5. my friends just did this for a kids b-day party that got rained out. They put table, chairs, toys, coolers, etc, under the carport area. decorated with kid-themed decor and streamers. it worked out great as an alternate party spot!

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