How Much Does It Cost to Build a Carport?

Average range: $2,000 - $10,000
Average Cost
(18’ x 18’ x 8’ galvanized steel concrete on a 4” thick concrete slab, installed)

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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by

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 a 18’ x 18’ galvanized steel carport with 2 walls.

Cost to Build a Carport

Carport Building Costs
National average cost$8,439
Average range$2,000-$10,000​
Minimum cost$896
Maximum cost$33,002

Build a Carport Cost by Project Range

12’ x 12’ wooden flat-roof carport, DIY
Average Cost
18’ x 18’ x 8’ galvanized steel concrete on a 4” thick concrete slab, installed
30’ x 35’ x 15’ galvanized steel carport with 2 walls on a 6” thick concrete slab, installed

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Carport Cost per Square Foot

Carports are built in a number of styles and from several materials. They may be prefab and come in a kit that only needs assembly or are constructed on-site from custom plans. With this variation comes a range in costs from $12 to $35 a square foot fully installed. The average cost per square foot is around $18. But it may be much higher or lower depending on your location, project complexity, materials, and whether the carport is prefab or custom-built.

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Carport Cost by Material

Carports come in several materials, including wood, aluminum, steel, and a blend of polycarbonate and aluminum. Each has associated costs and attributes:

Cost to Build a Carport

Cost to Build a Carport

MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot (Installed)
Aluminum$10 - $15
Polycarbonate$12 - $20
Wood$15 - $30
Steel$20 - $30

Metal Carport Prices

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. They cost between $10 and $30 a square foot, installed. depending on the metal and style.

Polycarbonate Carports

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. They cost between $12 and $20 a square foot, depending on the style.

Wood Carport Prices

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 roofs, metal roofs, or even polycarbonate roofs if desired. They have an average cost per square foot of $15 - $30 per square foot, installed.

Carport Prices by Number of Cars

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:

Carport Prices Chart

Carport Prices Chart

Carport SizeMetal CarportsWood Carports
Single car (12’ x 20’)$2,400 - $7,200$3,600 - $7,200
Two car (20’ x 20’)$4,000 - $12,000$6,000 - $12,000
Three cars (30’ x 20’)$6,000 - $18,000$9,000 - $18,000
RV (20’ x 30’)$6,000 - $18,000$9,000 - $18,000
Four cars (40’ x 20’)$8,000 - $24,000$12,000 - $24,000

One-Car Carport Cost

A single-car carport measures about 12 feet by 20 feet. It costs between $2,400 and $7,200, depending on the material and style.

Two-Car Carport Cost

A two-car carport usually measures 20 feet by 20 feet on average. They cost between $4,000 and $12,000 on average.

Three-Car Carport Cost

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. They cost $6,000 approximately $18,000.

RV Carport Prices

It is very common to build a carport for an RV because they generally do not fit inside garages. The average size of this carport is 20 feet by 30 feet, and they cost around $6,000 to $18,000 depending on the material and style.

Four-Car Carport Costs

While more unusual, it is possible to construct a carport to hold four cars. They typically measure 40 feet by 20 feet and cost $8,000 to $24,000, depending on the material and style.

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Carport Prices by Size

Carports are commonly found in 12’ x 20’ and 20’ x 20’ sizes but may be custom-built in nearly any size. Below are the average cost ranges for differently sized carports:

Carport Prices by Size

Carport Prices by Size

SizeAverage Cost Range
10’ x 16’$1,600 - $4,800
10’ x 30’$3,000 - $9,000
12’ x 12’$1,440 - $4,320
12’ x 24’$2,880 - $8,640
12’ x 36’$4,320 - $12,960
15’ x 30’$4,500 - $13,500
16’ x 16’$2,560 - $7,680
16’ x 20’$3,200 - $9,600
18’ x 20’$3,600 - $10,800
18’ x 36’$6,480 - $19,440
20’ x 20’$4,000 - $12,000
20’ x 30’$6,000 - $18,000
21’ x 22’$4,620 - $13,860
22’ x 36’$7,920 - $23,760
24’ x 24’$5,760 - $17,280
24’ x 26’$6,240 - $18,720
30’ x 20’$6,000 - $18,000

Cost of a Carport by Type

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:

Cost of Building a Carport

Carport TypeAverage Cost Range
Portable$400 - $1,200
Freestanding$900 - $6,000
Attached$1,200 - $10,000

Portable Carport Prices

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. They cost $400 - $1,200 on average.

Freestanding Carport Prices

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. They cost around $900 to $6,000 on average.

Attached Carport Prices

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, at an average range of $1,200 to $10,000.

Prefab vs Custom Carports

It is possible to have a carport built on-site to your exact specifications, but many carports are available as a prefab kit or set. Prefab carports are usually metal or polycarbonate, although some wood kits do exist as well. They come in set sizes and are designed to be easy to assemble on site. In many instances, they are put together DIY, avoiding some of the associated labor fees. There is often a high transport or shipping cost involved that needs to be factored into the total cost.

Custom carports are built to your exact specifications. If you have an odd-sized lot, are parking three trucks beside one another, or have other unusual needs, a custom carport may be the answer. Custom carports may be ordered as a kit from some companies, usually at a higher cost than ready-to-ship prefab kits.

Of the two, custom carports tend to cost more, mostly in labor or assembly. Prefab kits are ready for assembly, so they go up faster with less labor and lower overall costs. Custom carports require more work to build, so their overall costs are usually higher. Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for most prefab carports with professional assembly, while custom carports have costs between $4,000 and $10,000 on average.

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Cost to Build a Carport

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 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 concrete slab is around $1,200 for most carports. 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 with costs of around $100 per footing.

The cost of building a carport on site is around $8 a square foot for labor costs. This means labor costs for a two-car carport are roughly $3,200, which includes the carport framing, roofing, and finishing.

Many prefab carports include the cost of assembly in the carport price. They expect you to have the slab ready for installation, but the setup is usually easy and included in the total project cost.

Attached Carport in exterior

Carport Roofing

At the most basic, a carport is a supported roof over your car. When purchasing a prefab carport like a metal or polycarbonate 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.

When building a wooden carport, you need to put on a separate roof either with traditional roofing shingles to match your home or a metal, polycarbonate, or any other flat roofing material.

While many carport roofs are flat, they are installed at an angle to allow water and snow to slide off easily. This helps keep the carport roof in good condition.

The cost of adding a roof to a carport is around $240 for a single roof or around $600 for a metal or polycarbonate roof.

Carport Roofing Cost

Roof MaterialAverage Cost
Shingle$200 - $300
Metal$500 - $700
Polycarbonate$500 - $700

Solar Carport Cost

If you are considering installing solar panels for your property, putting in a solar carport is a good choice. In this setup, the carport 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 cost is around $60,000 for a solar carport that is capable of powering a home.

Cost to Enclose a Carport

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.

Attached wooden carport in modern home

Cost to Enclose a Carport into a Garage

Not all carports can be enclosed into garages. You need to have the structure looked at by an engineer or builder who assesses whether this is possible. If it is, expect costs of roughly $120 - $200 a square foot to build and finish the structure.

Cost to Turn a Carport into a Garage

Not every carport can be turned into a garage. Most carports are designed to be open and are not framed for walls and doors. So in many cases, you need to remove the carport and build a garage in its place. In some cases, it is possible to turn a carport into a garage, at a cost of $120 - $200 a square foot. Keep in mind garages are larger than carports, and an existing two-car carport is unlikely to house two cars once it is finished as a garage.

Benefits of Carports

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.

Carport vs Garage Cost

Carports are not fully enclosed structures like garages, so they tend to cost considerably less than detached or attached garages. They do not have doors, are not securable, and often do not have walls. Garages may be locked and are better for storing things and protecting your car from extreme cold and from the sun and snow.

Carports cost around $7,200 on average, while a garage costs $35,000 to $52,830, depending on the type.

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Enhancements and Improvement Costs


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. The cost to add gutters ranges depending on material, but expect costs around $7 - $10 a linear foot.

Carport with Storage Prices

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 costs for this type of carport to start at around $4,000 for prefab setups.


Whether your carport is attached or freestanding, you may want to add outdoor lighting to make it easier to navigate at night. The average cost of outdoor lighting is around $3,500 to $4,500.

Carport Painting

If you have a wooden carport built, you need to paint or stain it to protect it from the elements. Painting also blends better with the rest of your facade. The average cost to paint a carport is around $450.


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, it may be added for $100 - $200 per anchor.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • No matter what material you build your carport from, it needs maintenance. Aluminum and metal carports tend to dent, while steel may rust. They need to be painted to keep them looking their best. Wood carports should also be painted regularly and inspected for signs of wood rot so that repairs are made timely.
  • If your carport is more than 200 square feet in size, you likely need a permit. In some areas, you may need one regardless of size. Temporary or portable carports do not usually require permits, but permanent structures do. Always check with your town or city hall before building.
  • Carports do not increase the value of your property. However, having a carport makes your property seem more attractive to potential buyers, particularly if you do not have a garage.


  • How much does it cost to enclose a carport?

Not all carports may be enclosed. Check with a builder or engineer to find out if yours is eligible. Expect costs between $120 and $200 a square foot if it is enclosable.

  • Can you put gutters on a metal carport?

This depends on the metal type and the roof shape and type. Some may be able to have gutters, but others not.

  • How deep should footings be for a carport?

Ideally, you want a slab for a carport and not footings. However, if you choose footings, they need to extend 6 inches below the frost line for your area.

  • Will a carport add value to my home?

No, carports do not add value to a home but may increase curb appeal, depending on the style.

  • What is the average size of a 2-car carport?

The average size is around 20 feet by 20 feet for a 2-car carport.

  • ​​How tall should a carport be?

8 feet to 14 feet is the average range for a carport height.

  • Will a carport stop frost?

It may stop frost if it is attached to a building and has at least one other wall.

Cost to build a carport varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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White metalic carport with black corrugated PVC roofing
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