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The inside walls on my carport are not covered, so the framing is visible. It looks bad, and it's pretty dark at night. I was thinking of covering the walls with plywood and painting over it.

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  • Any recommendations regarding materials, e.g. is plywood suitable for this? It is an outdoor structure, so and I am concerned about moisture damage.
  • Would I need a permit for such an project? I live in Los Angeles.

UPDATE: Added photo

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Marine ply and a lick of light colored paint would do the trick and make it look very tidy. – Matt Apr 22 '14 at 21:54
I like Ecnerwal's idea of just painting it as-is. It would be much lighter, cheaper, easier (if you spray it all), and the 'seeing the bones' look is rather trendy. But if you insist on covering it, I'd save the effort of paint and heavy plywood and get white pegboard. Light, cheap, plus it's useful peg board! – DA01 Apr 28 '14 at 18:42
@DA01 Good call on the pegboard. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense - it would look better and also add usefulness. You could hang shelves and/or tools on the wall. – alekop Apr 29 '14 at 19:31

You could paint it white without covering the walls, and solve both the dark and potential permitting issues with the other approach. Paint is generally free of permitting needs (so long as you source it locally so it's VOC legal for California/LA air pollution issues, I suppose from afar.)

Permit/code issues would better be addressed by a local - as an interior low-cost project that doesn't change any doorways/windows, or add a structure to the property, it would probably be fine without a permit here. Cities tend to be a bit more irritating and/or want more pounds of flesh, so I'd guess you might well be in need of a permit given that you are in a big one. When in doubt, ask, as the consequences for doing without are usually a lot harsher than the hoops to jump through to get one. And you might actually find that you don't need one - but that's a local jurisdiction having authority issue, not something the internet can reliably answer for you.

Material-wise will depend on your local bug population and why the INSIDE of your carport (with walls, so presumably not a "roof-only, classic" carport, thus creeping closer to a garage) is subject to moisture damage. You might want to use something like tile backer board (Durock, Hardibacker, etc.) for the bottom 3 feet (it comes in 3x5 sheets) as being pretty much immune to bug and water damage. If it gets wet higher than that, either stick with the same product or choose an exterior-rated plywood. Tile backer is also nicely fire-resistant. If it's dry inside, drywall should be fine, as it is in many garages. A picture might help.

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