If you have no garage but want to keep the sun, rain, and snow off your car, a good solution is to build a carport. Carports are open structures that are freestanding or attached to your home. They may be as simple as a roof on poles or have up to three walls, a roof, and a concrete pad. They also come in a range of sizes for accommodating different vehicle types, sizes, and numbers.
Because of these factors, there is a wide range of costs associated with building a carport. The national average is $2,000 to $10,000, with most homeowners paying around $8,439 for an installed 18’ x 18’ x 8’ galvanized steel carport on a 4” thick concrete slab with 2 walls. This project’s low cost is $896 for a 12’ x 12’ wooden flat-roof carport constructed DIY. The high cost is $33,002 for a professionally installed 30’ x 35’ x 15’ galvanized steel carport with 2 walls on a 6” thick concrete slab.
|Carport Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$8,439|
Carports are simple structures with a roof but no walls. They can be freestanding or attached and made of many materials in different sizes and designs.
They can be constructed using two methods. The first is prefab construction. In this case, either the entire building is constructed off-site and delivered to your home for final assembly or shipped in a kit to be assembled and installed by your contractor or DIY.
The second construction method is custom. In this case, your contractor builds the carport from scratch using readymade or custom plans you design with your contractor. This type typically takes longer and costs more but provides an appearance or size that may not be readily available in a prefab design.
Both types can be used for different materials and give you a range of styles. Below are the average costs to build a carport using both construction types.
|Type of Construction||Average Costs (Labor Included)|
|Prefab||$2,000 - $7,000|
|Custom||$4,000 - $12,000|
The average price of a prefab carport falls between $2,000 and $7,000. They are available in many sizes, styles, and materials. Some materials, such as metal carports, are most commonly found in prefab designs. Other materials, such as wood, may be found in prefab and custom construction. Depending on the company, they may build and deliver the finished structure or send you a kit. If they send you a kit, you need to contract separately with a builder or handyman to install it.
The price of a custom carport averages $4,000 to $12,000. Custom carports are a good choice if you build it to attach to your home. This can allow the carport to blend with your home’s exterior. For example, you may use the same roofing materials on the carport. Custom carports are also a good idea if you want a unique size, shape, or style. Building the carport on-site gives you more control over the structure’s appearance. Custom carports often take longer to build and are more expensive than prefab.
Carports can be found in many configurations and sizes. Ideally, you need enough space to hold the car or cars and room to maneuver around the car for entering, exiting, loading, and unloading. You could have a range of costs from $10 to $35 a sq.ft., depending on if the carport is prefab or custom. Prefab tends to be less expensive, starting at around $10 to $15 a sq.ft.
Prices for custom carports start at around $15 to $20 a sq.ft. and reach $35 a sq.ft. for very large structures that need additional support.
Carports come in some basic sizes that can match recommendations for sizes meant for one, two, or more cars. You can also build them in nearly any size. Below are the average costs for carports in several of the most common sizes.
|Square Footage||Custom Costs (Installed)||Prefab Costs (Installed)|
|252 sq.ft.||$3,780 - $8,820||$2,520 - $3,780|
|288 sq.ft.||$4,320 - $10,080||$2,880 - $4,320|
|378 sq.ft.||$5,670 - $13,230||$3,780 - $5,670|
|432 sq.ft.||$6,480 - $15,120||$4,320 - $6,480|
|576 sq.ft.||$8,640 - $20,160||$5,760 - $8,640|
|648 sq.ft.||$9,720 - $22,680||$6,480 - $9,720|
Carports are readily available in many standard sizes. It is easy to translate the necessary size into standard dimensions because most people store a set number of vehicles in their carport.
However, you may want more space or a differently sized space. You may use your carport to store ATVs, RVs, boats, or other non-standard vehicles. You may need another size in this case. Many manufacturers make a range of prefab sizes. In some cases, you may want to have a custom size built if it is not available as a prefab.
Below are the costs of different-sized carports. Some are available as custom and prefab, while others are available as custom only.
|Size||Average Cost Range (Custom)||Average Cost Range (Prefab)|
|10’ x 16’||$2,400 - $5,600||N/A|
|10’ x 30’||$4,500 - $10,500||N/A|
|12’ x 12’||$2,160 - $5,040||N/A|
|12’ x 24’||$4,320 - $10,080||$2,880 - $4,320|
|12’ x 36’||$6,480 - $15,120||$4,320 - $6,480|
|15’ x 30’||$6,750 - $15,750||N/A|
|16’ x 16’||$3,840 - $8,960||N/A|
|16’ x 20’||$4,800 - $11,200||N/A|
|18’ x 20’||$5,400 - $12,600||N/A|
|18’ x 36’||$9,720 - $22,680||$6,480 - $9,720|
|20’ x 20’||$6,000 - $14,000||$4,000 - $6,000|
|20’ x 30’||$9,000 - $21,000||N/A|
|21’ x 22’||$6,930 - $16,170||$4,620 - $6,930|
|22’ x 36’||$11,880 - $27,720||$7,920 - $11,880|
|24’ x 24’||$8,640 - $20,160||$5,760 - $8,640|
|24’ x 26’||$9,360 - $21,840||$6,240 - $9,360|
|30’ x 20’||$9,000 - $21,000||N/A|
The two biggest cost factors for a carport are the materials and size. Many people build carports for single cars or two cars, and there are also some circumstances when you may want to create a carport for three or more cars or an RV. Below is a range of costs associated with carports based on the number of cars parked there for custom and prefab structures.
|Size||Custom Cost (Installed)||Prefab Cost (Installed)|
|Single Car (12' x 20')||$3,600 - $8,400||$2,400- $3,600|
|Two Cars (20’ x 20’)||$6,000 - $14,000||$4,000 - $6,000|
|Three Cars (30’ x 20’)||$9,000 - $21,000||$6,000 - $9,000|
|RV (20’ x 30’)||$9,000 - $21,000||$6,000 - $9,000|
|Four Cars (40’ x 20’)||$12,000 - $28,000||$8,000 - $12,000|
The price of a custom single-car carport is $3,600 to $8,400, depending on the material. The cost of prefab single-car carports averages $2,400 to $3,600. It measures about 12 feet by 20 feet. This size allows you to park most modern cars comfortably and fully open both doors. Single-car carports are good for smaller properties because they do not use as much space. They are easy to construct at the end of a driveway or beside a house.
The cost of a two-car carport averages $6,000 to $14,000, depending on the material. The average price of a prefab two-car carport ranges from $4,000 to $6,000. Two-car carports usually measure 20 feet by 20 feet on average, but some measure 24 by 24 feet. Two-car carports can be one large space or have a small divider down the center. This size can also be easily installed at the end or side of a driveway or against a house. This size can also be used to hold a single car with outdoor equipment or recreational vehicles, such as an ATV or snowmobile.
The cost of a custom three-car carport ranges from $9,000 to $21,000, depending on the material. The price of a prefab three-car carport averages $6,000 to $9,000. For three cars, carports generally are around 30 feet by 20 feet in size, although they may be larger if you park three trucks or other large vehicles. Three-car carports are good if you have two cars but need additional space, such as if you like to work on your cars, frequently load large items, or have two cars and recreational vehicles. Three-car carports offer more flexibility with the space’s function.
The price of a custom RV carport is $9,000 to $21,000, depending on the material. The price of a prefab RV carport averages $6,000 to $9,000. It is very common to build this type of structure for an RV because they generally do not fit inside garages. The average size of this type is 20 feet by 30 feet. These carports are taller than standard carports. For this reason, they are more likely to be freestanding and away from the home rather than attached like some carports designed for smaller vehicles.
The average cost of a custom four-car carport averages $12,000 to $28,000. The cost of a prefab four-car carport ranges from $8,000 to $12,000. While more unusual, it is possible to construct this structure to hold four cars. They typically measure 40 feet by 20 feet. This is a good choice for small apartment buildings and duplexes that do not have garages because it allows tenants to park cars in a designated area. Four-car carports sometimes have small dividers between the spaces, particularly when used in a rental building.
Carports come in several materials, including wood, aluminum, steel, and a blend of polycarbonate 1 and aluminum. Each has associated costs and attributes making one a better fit for your project than another. These materials are readily available in prefab kits and structures. The most common material to build custom carports from is wood. While you can build custom carports from the other materials, it is much less common and considerably more expensive. Below are the average costs per square foot to build a carport in custom and prefab construction from each material.
|Material||Average Custom Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)||Average Prefab Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)|
|Metal||$15 - $30||$10 - $15|
|Polycarbonate||$15 - $20||$12 - $15|
|Wood||$20 - $30||$15 - $20|
Metal carports cost between $10 and $30 a sq.ft. installed, depending on the metal and style. Prefab metal carports cost $10 to $15 a sq.ft., while custom ones cost $15 to $30. Metal carports are made of several different materials, including aluminum, steel, and metal composites. It is very common for some metal carports to have a polycarbonate top, but they may also have metal or even fabric tops. Metal carports are generally built from kits or prefab sets, and they are usually open on the sides. They may be attached, freestanding, or portable.
Polycarbonate carports cost $12 to $15 a sq.ft. for prefab designs and kits. Custom structures cost $15 to $20 a sq.ft. Polycarbonate and plastic carports are not completely plastic. Instead, they are usually made from an aluminum frame with aluminum legs or posts. The top is covered in a thick polycarbonate plastic that lets light in, but it filters UV rays and keeps out the rain and snow. They are freestanding or attached but do not usually have walls. They have a very modern appearance and are often designed to be put together DIY.
The cost of a wood carport is $15 to $20 a sq.ft. for prefab structures. The price of custom wood carports averages $20 to $30 a sq.ft. Wooden carports are one of the most common for custom structures. They may be built out of several woods, have complete walls, and have a range of styles and roof materials. Wooden carports may have traditional shingle 2 roofs, metal roofs, or even polycarbonate roofs if desired.
Carports come in several types, materials, and styles. Some types work better for a specific installation than others, with space and area taken into consideration. Portable carports are often considered temporary and can be moved easily. These are almost always prefab and often have fabric covers rather than full roofs. Freestanding carports are the most common designs and can be installed in different areas on your property. However, attached carports often must be custom built to match your home. Below are the average costs to install each type.
|Type||Average Cost Range (Custom)||Average Cost Range (Prefab)|
|Portable||N/A||$400 - $1,200|
|Freestanding||$4,000 - $12,000||$2,000 - $7,000|
|Attached||$6,000 - $30,000||N/A|
The price of a portable carport averages $400 to $1,200. Portable carports are temporary structures, usually made of a metal frame with a fabric covering. They are lightweight and easy to move. The fabric completely seals the inside, so it provides some weatherproof storage for items not often used. Because they are lightweight, they are easily damaged by storms. These prefabricated structures are usually assembled DIY because they are light and easy to build.
The average cost of custom freestanding carports is $4,000 to $12,000. The average price of a prefab freestanding carport ranges from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the material. Freestanding carports may be installed anywhere on your property. They may be as simple as four posts and a roof, or they may have one or more walls. They are made of any material and come in many sizes and styles. Prices for this type are largely driven by the size, material, and how enclosed the finished design is.
The price of an attached carport averages $6,000 to $30,000, depending on the material, size, and building method. Attached or lean-to carports are built onto the side of your home or building. They consist of two support poles and a roof or have additional walls beside the one provided by the structure they are attached to. Attached carports are usually made of wood but may be metal or polycarbonate as well. The more walls and elaborate the structure, the higher the cost. Because they require modifications to your existing structure, their starting costs are slightly higher than freestanding carports. These structures also must be custom because they need to be built on-site to attach to your home.
The cost to build your carport varies depending on whether you have a prefab kit assembled or a custom carport built. In most cases, it is recommended that you have a concrete slab 3 poured first. This gives the entire structure stability and gives your car a level, easy-to-maintain area to park. The average cost of a monolithic slab is $4 to $6 a sq.ft. installed. While a level concrete slab is recommended, it is possible to put the carport on footings. These vary in depth by location because they must extend 6 inches below the frost line for your area. However, they cost considerably less than a full slab for larger carports, with costs of around $100 per footing.
The cost of building a carport on-site is around $8 to $10 a sq.ft. for labor, out of the total costs of $15 to $35 a sq.ft. Labor costs vary depending on the material and site.
Many prefab carports include the cost of assembly in the price. They expect you to have the slab ready for installation, but the setup is usually easy and included in the total project cost.
At the most basic, a carport is a supported roof over your car. When purchasing a prefab carport, the roof is part of the package. For these carports, polycarbonate and metal standing seam roofing are usually the best options. They may be flat, angled, or curved. Prefab wooden carports usually have wooden framed roofs that can be clad in many roofing types. Some companies have many options, while others only use one material, such as shingles 2 or metal standing seam 4. Check with the manufacturer to explore your options.
When building a custom carport, you have more choices for the roof. In nearly all cases, the roof must be framed at $9 to $11 a sq.ft. After that, you have costs for the roofing itself. This can be any shingle type. If yours is attached or near your home, you may want to match your property’s roofing. You can also choose other options, such as metal roofs or polycarbonate roofs. Below are the average costs for building the roof on a carport using different materials.
|Roof Material||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Shingle||$840 - $3,168|
|Metal||$960 - $8,640|
|Polycarbonate||$1,000 - $9,000|
If you are considering installing solar panels for your property, putting in a solar carport is a good choice. In this setup, the roof is made entirely of solar panels, angled to catch the sun’s rays. This limits where you put your carport, but it keeps the panels off your roof while creating a parking area at the same time.
If you want the panels to also power your home, the carport needs to be larger than a single car and, in many cases, larger than a two-car carport. The average price is around $60,000 for a solar carport that is capable of powering a home.
A carport is a shelter for your car that is open to the elements. It may have one or more walls but is generally open. It may be possible to enclose an existing carport, but this depends on location, whether it has a foundation, the material, and how many walls it has. Many carports are not good candidates for enclosing, in which case you may want to consider building a garage instead.
Having a carport keeps your car out of the elements. Carports provide shade in hot areas, so your car does not become superheated in the sun. And, they also keep your car dry in the rain and free from snow in the winter. If your carport has a fabric cover or additional walls, it is also a place to store things outdoors when not in use.
In some instances, carports attached to the home also give you access to and from the car without having to step into the weather on bad days.
However, carports are not secure and do not protect your car from thieves or vandals. While they keep out the elements, there is no insulation and no way to keep the wind from blowing precipitation onto your car because there are no walls. If your carport is freestanding, there is no protection when you go to and from the car.
Many inexpensive carports are also not as strong, durable, or long-lasting as a garage. They do not raise your property values like a garage.
Carports and garages are both places to park your car to keep them out of the sun and elements. However, these are two very different structures.
Carports are essentially just a roof over your car. They may have a single wall but do not have doors and are not designed for security. While they may attach to the house, they are still open on the other sides and are not designed to be an entrance into your home.
Garages are fully enclosed spaces, whether they are attached or detached. They can be locked and offer better protection from the elements and security for your car and belongings. Garages are usually larger, so you can store more items than in a carport. Garages also increase your property value in a way that carports do not.
However, carports are less expensive to build. They also take less time to build than garages and are considered less invasive. Below are the average costs to build a carport and an attached garage.
|Structure||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Carport||$2,000 - $10,000|
|Garage||$23,000 - $45,000|
If your carport is attached to your home and near your foundation, you may want to have gutters installed on one side so that it slopes away from the house. This is only necessary if yours has a pitched roof. You do not need gutters on a flat roof. The price to add gutters ranges depending on the material, but expect costs of between $3 and $30 a linear foot.
Carports are usually open structures, but if you choose, it is possible to purchase a carport that has attached storage on the side. This varies depending on size and the security you want for the storage, but expect prices for this type to start at around $5,000 to $7,000 and reach $30,000, depending on the size and needs.
Whether your carport is attached or freestanding, you may want to add outdoor lighting to make it easier to navigate at night. You can add many light types to your carport. The average price of outdoor lighting is around $2,000 to $4,000.
If you have a wooden carport built, you need to paint or stain it to protect it from the elements. Painting can also help your carport match your property’s color and style. The average cost to paint a carport is around $450 to $900, depending on the size.
Most carports are anchored to the slab they sit on. The anchors are drilled into the concrete or asphalt and help hold it securely. This is usually included in the project cost, but if done later or you need additional anchors, it may be added for $100 to $200 per anchor.
Not all carports may be enclosed. Check with a builder or engineer to find out if yours is eligible. Expect costs of between $18,000 and $30,000 if you have a slab. If you need a slab, your costs are higher.
This depends on the metal type and the roof shape and type. Some may be able to have gutters, but others not. Your carport needs a slope to the roof and a foundation that you need to drain water from.
Ideally, you want a slab for a carport and not footings. However, if you choose footings, they need to extend a minimum of 6 inches below the frost line for your area.
No, carports do not add value to a home but may increase curb appeal, depending on the style. They can make your property seem more attractive if there is no garage.
The average size is around 20 feet by 20 feet for a 2-car carport. However, some opt for 24 feet by 24 feet for the extra room.
8 feet to 14 feet is the average range for a carport height, unless you have an RV. You may need 15 feet or more in this case.
It may stop frost if it is attached to a building and has at least one other wall, but many do not.