How Much Does a Carport Cost?

Typical Range:

$3,208 - $9,882

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 246 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated September 16, 2022

Reviewed by Ezra Laniado, Expert Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Building a carport costs between $3,208 and $9,882, averaging around $6,505. Factors include unit size, features, site preparation, permit prices, whether you install a concrete slab, and whether you want to paint it. A carport is an affordable way to protect your car from the elements or create a covered work or storage area.

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National Average $6,505
Typical Range $3,208 - $9,882
Low End - High End $900 - $25,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 246 HomeAdvisor members.

Carport Costs by Type

Prefab carports are the least expensive and most common type. Prefabricated carports are functional but not overly attractive, as they're simply covered outdoor areas under which you can park your vehicle. Custom carports are more costly but give you unlimited design options, so you can create a carport that matches your home's look.

Prefab Carport Prices

Prefab carports cost an average of $4,500, but can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000. Ranging in size from a small single-car unit to multi-car and RV-sized models, prefab carports are available already built or as kits ready for construction. 

The most common prefabricated carports are metal, although wood is also a popular option. Metal carports cost less than wooden ones, both in terms of materials and installation.

Custom Carport Costs

The total cost of building a custom carport is $4,000 to $12,000, with most people paying around $8,000.

For example, carpenters charge about $70 per hour, depending on locale. A simple wooden carport will require about 30 hours of work, which would cost $2,100.

The rate for electricians can range between $65 and $85 per hour. Wiring a carport with electricity requires at least four hours of work, for an average cost of about $300.

You’ll need to prepare the site and pour the slab. Site preparation is mostly demolition and excavation. It requires little in the way of materials, so the tools and labor could influence the cost entirely.

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Carport Costs by Size

Custom carports are available in whatever size you want them, but there are still standard sizes for custom or prefab units based on the number of cars you need to protect. For example, 24x24 carport cost

Size of CarportCost (Installed)Number of Cars
12’ x 20’$2,400 – $8,4001
20’ x 20’$4,000 – $14,0002
30’ x 20’$6,000 – $21,0003
40’ x 20’$8,000 – $28,0004

RV Carport Costs

RV carports cost between $6,000 and $21,000 and measure at least 20 x 30 feet. Because these carports have to be taller and longer to accommodate the height and length of the typical RV, they tend to be freestanding structures. Many people choose a carport for their RV because the cost to build a garage big enough to house an RV is comparatively prohibitive.

Carport Costs by Material

Carports are available in metal, wood, and polycarbonate. Wood is the more common option for custom carports because it's the most affordable for unique builds. Metal is the most common for prefab units, followed closely by polycarbonate.

MaterialPrice Range per Sq. Ft.Average Cost per Sq. Ft.
Metal$10 – $30$20
Polycarbonate$12 – $20$16
Wood$15 – $30$22.50

Polycarbonate is the most affordable option overall, at a price of $16 per square foot, installed. These units generally have an aluminum frame and legs and a polycarbonate cover that lets light through by filters out UV rays. 

Metal carports have a mid-point price average of $20 per square foot, installed. Prefab kits cost between $10 and $15 per square foot, but custom metal carports cost between $15 and $30 per square foot. They can have metal, polycarbonate, or fabric tops and are usually aluminum or steel, but can also be metal alloy or composite.

Wood carports cost an average of $22.50 per square foot. For prefab units, you'll pay up to $20 per square foot, and up to $30 per square foot for custom builds. Wood carports often have complete walls on the sides, and sometimes at the back end, too. Roof materials are often shingle or metal. Note that because wooden models often have walls, they consume more materials, so overall cost more to install.

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Carport Cost Factors

Aside from purchasing the carport itself, other factors influence the final project price, including labor costs to the type of carport you choose. For example, the brand you choose impacts costs; Carolina Carports may cost more than a local carport provider. 

Labor

While labor costs vary by region, national average prices are $8 to $10 per square foot. However, for high-end wooden custom builds with three walls, this price can increase to $20 per square foot; the job is more complex and time-consuming. You'll also need to budget for the cost of concrete slab pouring for the carport's foundation.

Carport Foundation

The cost of a concrete slab averages between $4 and $8 per square foot. Expect to pay at least $1,500 for a 12-by-20-foot, one-car carport. Many carports are built on a concrete slab, which includes piers. Installation requires a qualified professional and will typically cost $75 per cubic yard for about 26 cubic yards of concrete.

Slabs aren’t always desirable or possible for a carport, but garages require them. So, if you want to convert the carport into a full garage, pouring the slab will save you that time and money later.

Choose a level location for your slab, protected from wind, and convenient for parking your car. Your municipality may have zoning requirements for outdoor structures on your property. Call your local zoning commission to get the correct permits if needed. If you hire a contractor, they may be able to do this for you.

Carport Painting

The cost of painting a carport depends on the hourly rate, the surface area of the carport, and the number of coats you want. Painters typically charge between $25 and $35 per hour and could require 12 to 20 hours per coat to paint. The cost could, therefore, range between $300 and $2,000.

Painting protects the underlying material from the elements, especially water. Metal carports are susceptible to rust due to prolonged exposure to water, while wood carports can rot and warp. Painting can lengthen your carport’s life, whether made of wood or metal. Painting also enhances the carport’s appearance, especially when the color of the carport matches the house’s.

Paint is highly specialized nowadays, so make sure you use a type that works for the material. The correct primers and sealers are essential for maximizing your carport’s weather protection.

Permanent vs. Portable Carports

Portable carports are inexpensive, at $400 to $1,200, whereas permanent models cost anywhere from $2,000 to $30,000. Portable models are temporary structures with lightweight aluminum and a simple fabric top. They pop up and down like a portable gazebo but aren't suitable for long-term use or in wind- and storm-prone areas. However, they're often used by renters and those who take their classic cars to shows and want to protect them for a day or two while away from home.

Attached vs. Free-Standing Carports

Freestanding carports cost between $2,000 and $12,000, while attached models run from $6,000 to $30,000. Freestanding models can go anywhere on your property with vehicle access. These freestanding units have at least four supporting posts and a roof and may also have one or more walls. 

Attached carports affix to the side of your property and, because they require direct (although usually fairly simple) modification to your home, they cost a little more than freestanding models. They are usually custom builds; they must be sized and positioned accurately against your property. 

DIY Carport Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

While it's possible to build a simple carport yourself, it's better to call a local handyperson or hire a nearby carport pro to tackle the job for you. While you'll save on labor if you do it yourself, building anything other than the most basic structure requires a lot of time and skill. If you get it wrong, you risk weather damage to your vehicle or, in the worst case, the structure collapsing on top of your vehicle. Paying carport installation costs are well worth it to ensure proper installation. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to close in a carport to make a garage?

To enclose your carport, you’ll need to budget for the site prep, slab installation (if you don’t already have one), cost of building exterior walls (which depends on the type of siding you choose), and the cost to install a garage door (which averages about $1,100). You'll also need to think about adding windows and electricity to make the space truly functional.

Will a carport add value to my home?

Adding a carport could increase your home’s resale value if undervalued in your neighborhood. Consider building a garage instead if you’re interested in increasing your home’s resale value. Building a garage costs about $30,000 and has an estimated return on investment (ROI) of 80%. 

“Some municipalities require adding a carport in order to allow converting the existing garage into inhabitable space or a living unit, but on its own, the increased value of a carport would not be significantly more than the cost of the carport itself,” says Ezra Laniado, Expert Review Board member and owner of Landmark Construction & Development Group Inc. in Los Angeles. 

How long does it take to install a carport?

A prefab two-car carport typically requires at least 16 hours of work to install, so a team of four experienced installers should be able to do it in four hours. If, however, you want to lay a concrete slab, the team must grade the area, put the form in place, and pour the concrete. After which, it needs at least a day to set enough for foot traffic and cure for 10 days before you can drive even light vehicles across it. For larger vehicles like pickups and RVs, the slab needs a full 28 days to cure.

Do I need a permit to add a carport to my house?

Check with your local municipality to see if you need a building permit for your carport. If required, be sure to budget for building permit costs. Permits and HOA rules might regulate the size, style, and location of your new carport. Regulations vary by state and can differ significantly between neighboring counties or neighborhoods. 

“While many municipalities don’t require a permit in order to add a carport, more affluent neighborhoods may be more likely to heavily regulate adding carports in order to maintain a certain standard throughout the neighborhood,” says Ezra Laniado. “Similarly, your HOA would be more likely to regulate the use of carports in order to preserve a homogenous community.”

How do I get the best price on carports?

Need a carport on a budget? If you're a seasoned handyman, you could save money by assembling a prefab carport on your own, with some help. Leave tasks like electrical work or pouring a foundation to licensed contractors. Compare quotes from local concrete installers and nearby electricians to get the best price.

What's the best type of carport for my home?

The best carport design for your home depends a great deal on the site and your budget. Talk to your carport retailer or builder about what’s best for your lot and needs. If you have only one car and limited space, a single-car carport attached to your home is a smart, cost-effective, space-saving solution. If you've got the space and more than one car and want to make your carport into a feature of your property, choose a larger freestanding model and get a custom design that complements the look of your home