How Much Does A Carport Cost?

The average cost to build a carport is between $4000 to $15000. Carports are an affordable solution for protecting your car from heat and sun damage. It is a covered space off of the side of a home, which can cover cars as well as items such as boats or RVs. This is a common feature in warm areas, as the carport can help to keep a car cool. A carport is a common alternative to garages.

How much does it cost to build a carport? The average cost of a carport depends on many factors, including building permits, location, size, materials, type of carport, as well as other enhancement and improvements added to the space.

Carport Costs

No matter what you intend to protect, from cars to boats to even a workstation, a carport is a perfect addition for your home. While a garage can be close to $23,600, a carport is on average $4000 to $15000, assuming a two-car carport. 

There are many things that will add on to the cost of building a carport. Let’s take a look at the carport cost breakdown. 

Custom Carport Price Breakdown

While you can purchase a prefabricated carport, if you choose to build a custom carport, you should be aware of the many parts involved as well as how they will affect the total cost. 

Task Cost
Excavation & Prep $3,539
Installation of Concrete/Cement Slab Up to $25/per sq. foot
Install Wood Framing Prices Vary Based on Design
Install Roof Depends on Material
Install Electricity $302
Painting $100 - $500
Various Materials $1,000 - $3,000

Carport Price Factors

Now that you have an overview of what to expect as a whole in terms of carport cost, let’s take a look at what can affect that cost. Some decisions can help to lower the total cost of construction. Carport construction costs are determined largely by the following factors. 

Preparation

Before you even begin construction, be sure to check local building permits in your area. Different local ordinances may prevent construction of a carport in specific areas of your lot, or it may restrict the size of the carport. 

You may also need special permits, which may add an additional $100 to $200 to the total cost. This is based on evaluation of the structure as well as an issuance fee. As they are not an entirely enclosed space, the regulations are usually less restrictive than garages, however, there still may be some special rules in your area. If the carport is more than 200 square feet in size, you will likely need a permit.

Carport Location

A carport must be built in a location that is level, protected from wind, and a convenient spot for you to park your car. Most people install their carports onto a concrete slab as they add durability as well as flexibility if you intend to later install a full garage. If you don’t think you will ever add a garage, you can add a carport over grass or non-concrete foundations. Be sure to check local ordinances to determine if there are areas where carports can not be installed. 

Carport Size

How much to build a carport? As with other construction projects, the bigger the project, the larger the price tag. A one car carport will include typical car measurements, which are 16’ by 9’ plus a few additional feet on each side for walkways. For the average price listed in this article, we are considering a two-car garage. An additional car will add to the total price by about $500. A carport cost per square foot will be more if the square footage is higher. 

Here are some example sizes, as well as the average price tag. These prices are for metal fabricated carports. Custom carports as well as carports of different materials will have a much different average cost.

Size (in feet) Average Price
12 x 26 $1,300
18 x 26 $1,400
20 x 26 $1,700
22 x 26  $2,000
24 x 26 $2,100

An average carport price can also be determined by the number of cars you intend to have in your carport. This cost is also based on fabricated metal carports.

Carport Size Price Range
Single Car (12 x 20) $2,400 - $7,200
Two Cars (20 x 20) $4,000 - $12,000
Three Cars (30 x 20) $6,000 - $18,000
RV (20 x 30) $6,000 - $18,000
Four Cars (40 x 20) $8,000 - $24,000

Carport Materials

A carport can be built out of numerous materials, including, but not limited to: wood, steel, and aluminum. 

Wood is recommended if you intend to build the carport yourself, however, it is more susceptible to the elements and it is more likely to rot. It is also the most affordable option.

Steel and aluminum, two metal options, are both extremely durable and reliable choices for carport material. Metal carports can handle the elements and will not rot, as well as require less maintenance. One thing to consider, however, is that unless the carport is portable, the installation will take much longer and require more manpower and more money. A metal carport, while expensive, can also add more value to your home. 

Another material to consider is your carport’s roofing. If you purchase a prefabricated carport, the roof will be included as part of the package. The roof’s materials are typically polycarbonate and metal standing seam roofs, which are either flat, angled, or curved. If building your own, you will need to put a separate roof of either traditional roofing shingles or a flat material such as metal or polycarbonate. 

Roof Material Average Cost
Shingle $200 to $300
Metal $500 to $700
Polycarbonate $500 to $700

You may also choose to add solar panels to your roof. If you choose to do this, the roof is entirely made of solar panels. While this limits the location, it can be a great way to make your carport more efficient. The average cost is around $60,000 for a solar carport that is capable of powering a home. Keep in mind, to have a solar panel roof, you will need a large garage, possibly bigger than two-cars. 

No matter the material, be aware that maintenance will be needed down the road. Metal carports may dent or rust, while wood carports may rot. Both will also need to be repainted eventually.

Carport Type

There are many different types of carports, outside of material. The three main types are portable, freestanding, and attached. Some types will work better for your specific home, so consider your options. 

Portable carports are temporary structures capable of being moved. They are typically made of metal with a fabric cover. The fabric will seal the inside, and provide waterproof protection. They are easily damaged by storms or strong winds due to their flimsy nature. Portable carports are between $400 to $1,200 on average. 

Freestanding carports can be installed just about anywhere on a property. A freestanding carport can be simple and include just four posts and a roof, or it may include a wall or two. Many materials can be used for freestanding carports. Freestanding carports, or detached carports, are between $900 to $6,000 on average.  

Attached carports will be built into the side of a home. Typically, there will be two support poles and a roof, attached to a wall of your home. Attached carports are typically made of wood, but metal and polycarbonate are potential materials as well. The more elaborate the structure, the higher the cost. The cost will be more expensive than other carport types as modification to an existing structure is required. How much does it cost to add a carport to your home? The average cost to add a carport attached to your home is between $1,200 and $10,000.

Prefab vs Custom Carports

Carports can be purchased prefabricated, or built-on site as a custom project.

Prefabricated carports will be created for a specific number of cars. For a prefabricated project, there may be a high transport or shipping cost added on to the total cost. Prefabricated carports are between $2,000 to $5,000

Custom carports are great if you have an odd-sized area or have unusual needs. For example, if you intend on parking trucks, you will need a custom carport. A custom carport will cost more, as more labor and manpower is required. Custom carports are between $4,000 and $10,000.

Slab Carport Foundation Costs

As mentioned, carports are often built on top of a concrete slab. Concrete slabs are typically between $4 to $8 per square foot. For a 12x20 foot, one-car carport, the cost will be between $1,500. Installation will require a professional, with labor costing around $75 per cubic yard for 26 cubic yards of concrete

Your concrete slab should be level and protected from the wind, as well as be in a spot where your car can easily get to the location. 

Enhancements and Improvement Costs

There are a few things you can add to your carport that can help improve quality of life, however, expect an additional cost.

Gutters may be installed to a carport if the carport is attached to your home. The gutter should be installed on a side that slopes away from the home. The cost to add gutters will depend on material, but assume a cost between $7 to $10 per linear foot.

Storage can be attached to the side of a carport. While a carport is usually open, it can be a great location to add another spot for storage. The price will depend on size and security. If adding a carport, expect the total cost to start at around $4,000 for prefab setups. 

Lighting will help assist you if you intend on driving at night. The average cost of outdoor lighting is from $3,500 to $4,500

Anchoring refers to anchoring the carport to a foundation or slab. Anchors are drilled into the slab and secured. This enhancement is usually within the project total cost, but if you intend to add it later it will be around $100 to $200

Painting will likely need to be completed whether it is metal or wood. Most carports are painted before it is constructed. Painting a carport will cost between $300 to $2000, depending on if you do it yourself or if you hire a painter. The paint will need to be designed for the material, as well as designed to withstand weather conditions. For example, wood carports will need paint to protect it from moisture and rot, and metal carports will need paint to protect it from rust and weathering. You will need to properly seal the paint, or you will likely have more repairs down the line.

Carport Installation Costs

If you purchase a prefabricated carport from a manufacturer or retailer, the price of installation may be included into the total. To install a two-car prefab carport, it will take around 16 hours of labor if done alone, but a team of four experienced installers may be able to finish within four hours. If you pay for installation separately, the total cost will be the team’s hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours required for installation. 

If you are building a custom carport and plan to hire professionals, the total cost will be the sum of materials and labor. For example, if building a wood carport, a carpenter will be needed. Carpenters are typically $70 per hour. With a wooden carport typically requiring around 30 hours of work, the total will be $1,200.

Carport vs. Garage Comparsion

The primary reason for building a garage rather than a carport is the total cost. Even if you decide to build a custom carport, the cost will still be much less than a garage. Most garages require the following, all of which are not required (but may be included) in a carport: walls, insulation, electricity, garage door, storage, flooring, and connection to a home. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Carpet

There are many advantages to building a carport. 

  1. The installation is less expensive than building a full garage as well as easier to install.
  2. Carports will properly protect your car as well as provide some storage space.
  3. Carports can be installed in one day.
  4. Carports can provide another location for solar panels.
  5. Carports may not require building permits or have extreme building restrictions. 
  6. Carports can provide shade and provide another outdoor porch area if you desire. 

However, while these advantages are fantastic and can add great value to your home, there are a few disadvantages.

  1. Carports typically do not have sides, so your car may still be damaged by some elements
  2. There is less security than a garage as there are no walls or insulation.
  3. They are smaller than garages, and will have much less storage.
  4. Carports can not be converted into potential living spaces down the road.

DIY or Hire a General Contractor?

If you have the skillset, you can create a carport through DIY means rather than hiring professionals. You can even create a prefabricated carport that simply needs to be put together, or if you have the skills, you can use basic carpentry to create a custom wooden carport. If you need to install a concrete base, we recommend hiring a potential as it can be easy to make mistakes. 

Building a Carport

There are a few steps to building a carport. While building one can be tricky if completing it through DIY means, the basic steps are as follows:

  1. Check with your city for building permits and local regulations. 
  2. Determine how many cars you intend on putting in your carport, and measure each. After, add a few feet for walkways.
  3.  Make sure the location is level. If not, hire a contractor.
  4. Buy materials.
  5. Lay out materials and test that everything is to the proper scale.
  6. Anchor posts into concrete using a continuous post, a prolonged anchor, or adjustable anchor. Add corner posts.
  7. Add support beams to connect the corner posts. 
  8. Build and attach rafters, add roofing materials.
  9. Attach additional materials for walls and sidings, if you desire.
  10. Double check your work and be sure the carport is sturdy.

Find a General Contractor Near You

If you’re looking for an affordable general contractor for your carport project, look no further. House Tipster can help you find the best general contractor in your area. Check out our professional section to find general contractors, and other professionals in your zip code. 

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