Custom carport connects family

Posted 4/28/22

There are some things about the South, and Texas especially, which identify the design of homes over the past 50 years. One of the most common is the carport.

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Custom carport connects family


There are some things about the South, and Texas especially, which identify the design of homes over the past 50 years. One of the most common is the carport. 

There is something uniquely personal about a carport. People generally are carport people or garage people, akin to Ford or Chevy drivers.

Despite people’s personal connection to carports, one doesn’t often see them customized. However, just west of Mineola, a beautiful example of a customized carport sits atop what locals call “windy hill.” 

With a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, Gary Ison explained the project which converted his carport to “the room where we all hang out.”

The genesis of the conversion, as Ison related, was the fact that he and his wife, Rhonda, are the most-favored destination for their grown children and especially their 12 grandchildren.

“We spent a lot of time outside and in the back grilling or swimming, and the carport became our area to relax,” he explained.  

The Isons have been in their present home for seven years, and the idea evolved over time. A couple of years ago, they used heavy plastic sheeting to keep the cold at bay. The plan, to enclose the carport, had begun to take shape in Ison’s mind.

A maintenance director with Crosspointe Management Group, Ison has a wealth of knowledge of building and construction techniques.

Crosspointe manages 1,300 properties in the greater Tyler area. As anyone knowledgeable of building maintenance can attest, the profession exposes all kinds of construction techniques, across the whole spectrum of quality. 

Ison bought the required material over time, all the while drafting the plan in his head. 

“One day, last year, when I had what I needed, I just built it…went up in a weekend,” he noted.

The design is straightforward, requiring the south and west walls to be constructed, windows and a door installed.

“I also built the door,” he added.   

The construction was straightforward.

Ison framed the walls with 2x4s and used wooden planks for the exterior and interior. He insulated between the planks. Three small windows face the front, with the door to the side of the carport. 

A further improvement was installation of a heating unit, complete with intake and venting. The result was a very satisfactory temperature throughout this past winter.  

As with any project, there will be further improvements.

“I’m looking at replacing the windows with some type of sliding glass,” he noted.

One got the sense from chatting with Ison that idle hands are not a problem for him.

In the brief few minutes talking about the carport, he also mentioned three other improvement projects forthcoming, including a new fence to replace what he called (with a grin) his “nostalgic fence.”

The front of the Ison’s property is quite beautiful, with well-tended flowers and a welcoming appearance. The interior of the carport is welcoming as well and can be appreciated as that place where the family is. 

“It was a labor of love,” he said with a sense of satisfaction in his voice.