Easy Parking Space Stopper

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About: I'm a family man, with restless hands, so I try to think about crafty things that my kids can do.

I have the need for a stopper for my teenage driver so as to avoid costly damage to the house which would inevitably be incurred without one.

The stopper is much like you see in parking lots to stop cars from obstructing walkways, and from rolling into traffic.

The idea came when my child enrolled in Driver's Ed. We were not only going to need another car, but also somewhere to park said vehicle. My driveway is only single width, but the Garage is a double, so it is wider by the garage, giving me the perfect place to put a parking space.

This could be used in a garage to avoid hitting the back wall, or anywhere you would like a vehicle to stop to avoid damage.

Supplies:

3" PVC pipe, length is not too important as this could be pieced together. ( I used a length of 5'10")

Concrete mix

Concrete Caulk

Duct

Tape measure

Saw

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Step 1: Cut the Pipe

Cut the PVC pipe in half lengthways. I used a table saw, but a cutoff wheel on an angle grinder, or rotary tool would do the trick. The pipe needn't be pressure rated for this project, so if yours is soft enough, a simple hand saw would be just as quick. Even though I used a table saw, mine came out a little twisted, but I wasn't concerned because I needn't be the full 1.5" of the half-pipe.

If you used a shorter piece of pipe, you really only need to put it where the tires will hit, so you could just use the pieces for in front of the tires.

I went with what I had, and made it wide enough to reach both tires because I'm not sure of my own offspring's skills with backing in.

Attach the pipe halves together along their length to stop them from rolling while they cure/set.

Cap the ends of the pipe flush with duct tape leaving you with a double trough.

Mix the concrete per the instructions on the packaging. I used a 5-gallon bucket, and mixed it a little wet because this was left over from a driveway patch I'd done a few weeks back. Typically you would want something a little smoother than what I used.

Pour the concrete mix into the troughs, and leave them on a level surface to cure. Depending on the mix that you use, curing times will differ, but I gave mine 3 days. I made two, and so I filled both troughs, but if you're only doing one full length stopper, you'll only need to fill one half.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

I had painted lines on the ground where the car will go in order to truly create a parking space.

I pulled the car to the end of the line, and measured from where the tire touches the ground to the end of the back bumper as the rear end is longer from the wheel than the front is.

I used a scrap of wood, and placed it where it would need to go to be sure that the car would fit.

I then left the wood scrap in place for a few days while the pipes finished curing (and for the rain to stop).

Separate the pipes.

There is a step where the car would need to stop for my situation, so I took the measurement from the tire, and placed the now cured pipe down, pipe-side down, and then roll it over into place before separating the PVC from the concrete.

Step 3: Address Any Cracks

If you made this stopper full length as I did, then you're likely to have broken the stopper, likewise if you didn't fill the trough it likely broke when you turned it out.

Neither of these outcomes is a big deal because you have the caulk.

If you have broken the stopper into pieces, you can "Glue" them back together with caulk.

If, like me, you used a mix containing lots of aggregate, then you'll likely have spacing underneath the stopper too, which can also be caulked.

If you want this to be permanent, then it can be caulked to the ground, or staked with concrete screws if you have a hammer-drill, and masonry bits.

Step 4: Start Using the New Parking Space

This is the finished space in my driveway. I put my stopper off-center so that it can be seen from the driver's side more easily, but it is long enough to stop both tires.

These stoppers are only an inch and a half tall, so they're not tall enough to stop you from getting over them if you really wanted to.

So far the house/steps have not been hit, so this project has been very effective.

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    25 Discussions

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    itslisa

    4 weeks ago

    Really like this idea. Clearly written and that's appreciated. I wonder how it might work using a pool noodle as the form .... Thinking easier to cut for folks without lots of tools but you are limited by its length.

    1 reply
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    AndrewL5itslisa

    Reply 22 days ago

    I think the inside of a pool noodle only has a 1" hole. PVC pipe is relatively inexpensive, and multiple smaller pieces would probably be better. Thanks for commenting.

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    KMH

    26 days ago

    Just my opinion, but I really like your concrete stop target. It's low enough so it can be driven over if you need to, but tall enough to stop you at a slow approach. Concrete matches concrete, is termite proof, you caulked it on a good solid surface, so I predict a good lifespan. If your worried about tripping on it, the surface looks smooth enough for a strip of caution tape along the top edge, or paint.

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    AndrewL5KMH

    Reply 22 days ago

    I'll likely put something down for hi-vis if it becomes an issue, but it's close to the wall, so nothing should be there. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    bhvm

    27 days ago

    A wood piece of plank, about 4 inch high would be better, cheaper , faster.

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    AndrewL5bhvm

    Reply 22 days ago

    I used wood while this was curing, but the wife didn't like the look of it. She said it looked like I'd "forgotten to pick it up". This also doesn't need bolting down, and won't rot after an Iowa winter on the ground.

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    GTO3x2

    4 weeks ago

    I've cut PVC lengthwise before, and it pinches he saw after so much is removed. Did you have difficulties?

    1 reply
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    AndrewL5GTO3x2

    Reply 22 days ago

    I didn't have pinching, although were I to do it again, I'd snap a chalk line, and use a jigsaw.

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    JohnW855

    4 weeks ago on Introduction

    Wow, excessive, expensive, time consuming .... why not just fix a small wooded batten to the floor?

    1 reply
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    AndrewL5JohnW855

    Reply 22 days ago

    A wire hanger, or 5 would probably work, I never really had the forethought because it was a last minute decision to keep the piece 5 feet long. Smaller pieces would've allowed better drainage, and wouldn't have broken.

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    kwhit190211

    4 weeks ago

    The first time you hit it with your tires, it crumbles & turns to dust if you have no reinforcing in it, like SteveB333 said. Better with what JohnW855, and SanchezAr, suggested

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    AndrewL5kwhit190211

    Reply 22 days ago

    We're about a month in from this project, and it isn't even cracking and it's hot every time the car's parked. This is concrete, not plaster.

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    jeanniel1

    26 days ago

    So elegant, low key, and good looking. Yeah, reinforcement within might be a good idea for another one later, but it seems simple enough. I don't care for wood as bumpers - they don't look as good (maybe too rough?), and they'd need to be bolted down to stay. The hanging ball is good if you're using the same car all the time. Since you have two cars, they might swap and the windshield might not be at the same angle. I guess the same could be said about the length of the cars if they swap.

    3 replies
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    AndrewL5jeanniel1

    Reply 22 days ago

    I back my car in, and it's convertible, so a hanging ball in the garage doesn't really work as well.

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    SteveB333

    4 weeks ago

    A steel reinforcing wire set into the concrete might keep it from breaking into pieces. Not sure what diameter wire I would use or where I would get it... maybe a coat hanger?

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    SanchezAr

    4 weeks ago

    Great idea if you don't use your garage for anything else. Otherwise it is a tripping hazard.

    A soft ball hanging from the ceiling located so when it hits your windshield, you know to stop. A few inches one way or another will not matter.

    tennis.jpg
    2 replies
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    AndrewL5SanchezAr

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    I have a ball hanging in front of my wife's car, but I drive a convertible, and back in, so it suits my need.
    The project was mainly for my daughter's car, and I had enough cement for both mixed. You're right though, if my garage was for more than parking, I'd likely trip on it all the time.

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    stevesigmaAndrewL5

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    I will just quote You:
    "I have a ball hanging in front of my wife's car, the project was mainly for my daughter's car, and I had enough cement for both."
    :-> Devil's smiley :->
    PS: My daughter has no driving licence Yet, but when she grows up she should buy a tractor or tank. (I wasn't allowed to comment my wife's driving experience.)