How Much Does a Carport Cost to Build? (Beginner’s Guide)

Carports are an excellent investment for homeowners looking to provide shelter and protection for their vehicles. They offer a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional garages while providing many of the same benefits.

HomeAdvisor’s data suggests that the cost of a carport typically falls between $3,208 and $9,882, with the average expense amounting to $6,505. The final price tag for constructing a carport hinges on several elements. This includes the carport’s size, the type of materials utilized in its construction, and whether it’s a custom-made structure or a prefabricated one.

This article will explore the various factors that affect carport costs, including size, materials used, location, and installation method.

how much does a carport cost to build

Factors that Affect Carport Costs

There are a number of factors that contribute to the overall cost of building a carport. Understanding these can help you plan your budget accordingly.

  • Size: The dimensions of your carport will significantly affect the cost. Larger carports require more materials and labor, thus increasing the overall expense.
  • Materials: The choice of materials plays a crucial role in determining the cost. Carports can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and polycarbonate, each with its own price point. For example, a wooden carport may cost more due to the price of timber, while a metal one might be more cost-effective but less aesthetically pleasing.
  • Design: A simple, straightforward design will cost less than a complex one. If you opt for a custom design with intricate details or additional features like storage areas, the price will go up.
  • Labor: The cost of labor can vary based on the complexity of the project and your location. In areas with higher costs of living, labor costs will likely be higher.
  • Prefabrication vs. Custom Build: Prefabricated carports are usually less expensive as they are produced in mass quantities. Custom-built carports, on the other hand, are designed to fit your specific needs and aesthetics, but come with a higher price tag due to the extra work involved.
  • Site Preparation: Depending on the condition of the site where the carport will be built, additional costs may be incurred. This could include costs for clearing the land, levelling the ground, or laying a concrete foundation.
  • Permits and Inspections: Depending on local regulations, you may need to secure building permits or undergo inspections, which can add to the overall cost.

Average Cost of Building a Carport

The cost of building a carport largely depends on various factors, such as material options and location impact. On average, the cost to build a basic single-car wood carport can range from $2,000 to $6,000, while a metal carport may cost between $700 and $5,000.

Additional features such as lighting or storage space can add up to several thousand dollars more depending on one’s preferences.

Moreover, local codes and permits play an essential role in determining the final price tag of a carport construction project.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

DIY enthusiasts may prefer to save money by constructing their own carports, while others may prefer the expertise of professional installers. A DIY carport build requires basic construction knowledge and tools such as saws, drills, hammers, ladders and safety gear.

However, it is important to note that safety precautions must be taken seriously when working with power tools and sharp materials. Professional installers have the necessary experience and equipment needed to complete the job quickly and efficiently. They also offer warranties which ensure that any issues encountered during the installation process are dealt with promptly.

The choice ultimately depends on individual skill level, budget constraints, desired timeline for completion and personal preference towards installation methods. 

Choosing the Right Carport for Your Needs

The choice of carport materials will determine the longevity and strength of your structure. Metal carports are popular for their durability and low maintenance costs, while wooden carports offer a more attractive appearance but require regular upkeep.

Customization options such as roof style, color, and additional features like lighting or storage can also affect the final cost and functionality of your carport. It is essential to consider factors such as local weather conditions and intended usage when selecting a carport design that suits your needs best.

By carefully evaluating these considerations, you can ensure that your investment in a new carport provides long-term value with minimal maintenance requirements.

Maintenance and Long-Term Cost Considerations

Maintaining a carport and considering long-term costs is an essential aspect of owning one, as factors such as the material type, weather conditions, and intended usage can impact the overall durability and maintenance requirements.

It is important to balance durability vs. affordability when selecting a carport material; while metal may be more expensive upfront than wood or PVC, it is typically more durable and requires less maintenance in the long run. 

Energy efficiency should also be considered when choosing a material; metal carports are often designed with reflective coatings that can help reduce heat absorption and lower energy costs for cooling during hot summer months.

Regular maintenance tasks may include cleaning debris from gutters, inspecting for rust or corrosion on metal parts, and checking for any potential structural damage after severe weather events.

The Bottom Line

On average, homeowners can expect to spend anywhere from $3,208 and $9,882 for a carport installation. However, it is important to remember that there are long-term maintenance costs associated with owning a carport.

One interesting statistic is that according to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost for building a single-car wooden carport is $5,400 while building a double-car metal carport averages out at around $6,800. This shows how the type of material used can significantly affect the overall cost of construction.


Are there any building codes or permits required to build a carport in my area?

Yes, most areas require building permits and adherence to specific building codes to construct a carport. These regulations vary by location and often stipulate the size, height, and design of structures, including setback from property lines.
You should consult your local city planning department or zoning office to get detailed information about the requirements in your area. Not abiding by these regulations can lead to fines or removal of the structure.

Can A Carport Be Attached To My Existing Home?

Yes, a carport can indeed be attached to your existing home. This is often referred to as an attached carport. It offers convenience and often a more seamless aesthetic integration with your home’s design. However, it’s important to ensure that the attachment is done properly to avoid any structural damage to your home and comply with local building codes.

What materials are typically used to build a carport?

Carports can be constructed using a variety of materials based on your preferences and budget. The most common ones are:
Metal: Often steel or aluminum, these carports are durable and weather-resistant.
Wood: Offers aesthetic appeal and versatility in design, but requires more maintenance.
Polycarbonate: Usually combined with a metal frame, these carports offer protection from UV rays.
Fabric: Typically used for portable or temporary carports, it offers flexibility and ease of installation.

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