How Much Does It Cost To Build A Carport?
Most homeowners spend between $3,997 to $5,361 nationally.
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If you live in the South or along the West Coast, a carport is an affordable solution to those who want protection over their car. The cost to build a carport is a fraction of the average garage building cost, but there are nonetheless certain carport price factors to be aware of.
Review all carport building cost factors below and then use ImproveNet to find the best garage contractors near you!
National Build a Carport Costs
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|National Average Cost||$5,974|
|Average Range||$3,997 to $5,361|
How do we get this data? This info is based on 118 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.
Table of Contents
- Carport Cost
- Carport Cost Breakdown
- Carport Price Factors
- Carport Costs Vs. Garage Costs
- Carport Painting Costs
- Advantages Of Carports
- Disadvantages Of Carports
- DIY Or Hire A Garage Contractor?
- Building A Carport
- Find A Garage Contractor
Whether you want to protect your car or need a covered work station, carport additions are perfect for those who don’t require a full garage. In fact, the average garage installation cost is $23,600. Luckily, the average cost to build a carport is just under $6,000, with most homeowners spending between $4,000 and $7,100. This price assumes a two-car carport.
Like any home addition, there are plenty decisions that go into any carport installation. These choices, while they may seem small, can have a compounding affect in your final carport price.
Carport Cost Breakdown
You could buy a portable carport that is already put together, most homeowners install permanent carports. If you choose the latter, you should know exactly where all your money is going.
Site Excavation & Preparation
Install Concrete/Cement Slab
Up to $25/sf
Prices vary based on design
Depends on materials
$100 - $500
$1,000 - $3,000
Carport Price Factors
Now that you have a broad overview of all costs that go into building a carport, we can jump into specific factors. As you will soon see, the decisions you make before construction begins can greatly influence your final carport cost.
Before you do anything, you have to check with your city. Zoning and permits may restrict you from building a carport at a specific location or restrict the size of your future carport. You can’t change the rules, but regardless, you should call your zoning commission to see what rules you must follow. If you need special permits, you may have to pay an additional $100 to $200.
The location for your carport should be level, protected from wind and also convenient to park your car. Most carports are built on top of concrete slabs. Beyond being more sturdy, concrete slabs give you more flexibility down the line should you choose to install a full garage. Of course, if you don’t have a concrete base, your final carport price just went up. You’ll most likely have to pay a concrete professional to excavate the land, delivery concrete and level the slab.
If you know you’ll never install a garage, you can add a carport over grass or over another non-concrete foundation where you are already parking your car. In fact, you may not be able to pour concrete over certain areas. If this relates, check codes and permits to make sure it’s allowed in your neighborhood.
As you might imagine, increasing the size of a carport also increases the price. A typical car measures 16’ by 9’ and most carports add an additional few feet for walkways.
Luckily, a double garage, or one that holds two cars, is included in the price range above. However, adding additional parking spaces will increase the total carport price by $800 per car. Garage carports, which have doors to close off the space, are also more expensive, but they can be a smart choice in snowy or windy climates.
You can built or purchase a carport in the following materials:
If you plan on building your own carport, without a garage contractor, we highly recommend wooden carports. Wood is much lighter than metal, easier to cut and shape, and perhaps most importantly, more affordable than metal carports.
Unfortunately, wood is more susceptible to the elements and can rot if not properly cared for.
Steel and aluminum are two metal choices that are durable, relatively lightweight and preferred by experts. Metal does not chip, break, or split like wood. You don’t have to worry about mold or rot with steel or aluminum carports, unlike wood. Finally, carports demand a lot less maintenance than wooden carports.
On the downside, unless you’re adding a portable carport, metal carport installations take longer and require more manpower. Finally, steel carports are generally more expensive than both wood and aluminum, but, it could also raise the value of your home.
Portable or Solar Carports
Often, the costs for both of these carports are similar. A portable carport is one that is partially or completely built already. It’s typically lightweight and can be moved to cover any vehicle, even one as large as a full RV.
Solar carport materials are more expensive, but there are a few differences that offset some of those costs. Regular carports are usually taller, requiring more materials. Solar carports also require less land to build on, again, saving you on materials.
Both carports range from as little as $300 all the way to $3,000 and more for just materials.
Carport Costs Vs. Garage Costs
The primary advantage of building a carport versus a full garage is the cost. No matter what material you choose for a carport (max. of $8,000), you would pay at least double that amount for a full garage ($23,600).
Most garages demand some, if not all, of the following:
- Garage Doors
- Connection to Home
To build a carport, you won’t need more than wood/steel and the proper permits. Even if you hire a pro, the cost to build a carport is much less than the cost to build a new garage.
Carport Painting Costs
No matter what material you choose, wood or metal, you’ll most likely have to paint your carport to protect it from the elements. In fact, most homeowners like to add some color to their exterior and paint the carport before it goes up. Of course, this raises your total carport construction cost. Painting carports will range between $300 and $2,000, but more often than not, the price will depend on the painter you hire.
If you opt for wood, you’ll have to paint your carport to protect it from moisture and rot. If you install a metal carport, you’ll have to paint it to protect it from rust and weathering. If you don’t properly seal both types of carports, you’ll pay for more than a few repairs down the line.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your paint adheres to the carport material and is a sealer intended for weather protection.
Advantages Of Carports
Carports do a lot more than just protect your car. Just like garages, all carports bring about numerous benefits you must be aware of before you install:
- Carport installation costs are less than half that of a garage
- Carports are easier to install than a garage
- Carports provide storage, just like a garage
- Carports protect your car, like a garage
- You can install a carport in one day
- You can install solar carports
- Carports require less permits than garages
- Carports don’t have as many city regulations as garages
- You can use the carport as an outdoor porch as well
- Carport can raise the value of your home
- Carports provide shade
- Most carports do not have walls or doors, providing easier entry
Disadvantages Of Carports
No structure is perfect, including carports. As you might expect, most homeowners prefer garages to carports. Below are some of the reasons most Americans install garages over carports:
- Most carports do not have sides, so your car will face some elements.
- Carports provide much less security than garages.
- Carports provide no insulation.
- Animals and burglars can see your car.
- Carports are usually smaller than garages, providing less storage.
- Carports can’t be used as extra living areas.
DIY Or Hire A Garage Contractor?
Unlike a garage, if you have A DIY mentality, you can install a carport on your own. In fact, even if you don’t purchase a premade carport, those with basic carpentry skills can build their own carports.
On the other hand, if you need to install a concrete base, we highly recommend you call in the pros. Delivering and installing concrete is not easy and one mistake can be permanent.
Building A Carport
It’s time to build a carport. While building a carport can be tricky in certain situations, the basic steps below apply to most carport installations:
- Permits & Regulations: Check with your city. If you need permits, pull them. If there are restrictions on your carport, make note before you start any building.
- Measure: Determine how many cars you need to cover and measure each. Account for height, length and width. Add a few extra inches for walkways.
- Site: Make sure the land is level. If not, we recommend calling in a professional contractor.
- Materials: If you’re buying your own materials, gather all now. Make sure you have enough for the roof and siding (if you want siding).
- Test It: Lay out your materials to ensure you have everything to scale.
- Corners: Anchor the posts into your concrete using a continuous post, a prolonged anchor or an adjustable anchor. Add all corner posts.
- Connections: Add support beams to connect the corner posts. Drill pilot holes before connecting.
- Roof: Build and attach rafters. Cover with your desired roofing material.
- Walls & Siding: Attached desired materials, if necessary.
- Extras: Make sure your carport is sturdy. If not, you may need to install braces between the posts and support beams or extra posts between corners.
Find A Garage Contractor
If you’re looking for an affordable solution to cover and protect your car, a carport is a great alternative to a full garage. While you can DIY, building a carport is not always simple. For help along the way, use ImproveNet to find reliable garage contractors eager to build your next carport.
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Last updated on Nov 27, 2017