How much does it cost to build a carport?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to build a carport?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to build a carport?

$2,000 – $7,200average cost to build a single-car carport
$3,200 – $12,000average cost to build a double-car carport

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$2,000 – $7,200 average cost to build a single-car carport

$3,200 – $12,000 average cost to build a double-car carport

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
Are you a pro? Get new customers
Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer
Fact-checked by
Tara Farmer

Cost to build a carport

The cost to build a carport is $2,000 to $7,200 for a single carport or $3,200 to $12,000 for a two-car carport. The labor cost to build a carport is $3 to $5 per square foot for a kit installation or $10 per square foot for a custom build.

Average cost to build a carport - Chart
Average cost to build a carport - Chart
Average cost to build a carport
National Average Cost $6,000
Minimum Cost $400
Maximum Cost $30,000
Average Range $2,000 to $12,000

Get free estimates from patio cover installers near you.

Cost to build a carport by size

A carport costs $8 to $30 per square foot for the frame with a roof but no walls. Carport kits come in standard sizes according to the number and size of vehicles you need to cover. Prices are highest for taller structures, gabled roofs, and custom builds.

Carport cost by size
Size (feet) Capacity Average installed cost*
12x20 1 car $2,000 – $7,200
20x20 2 cars $3,200 – $12,000
30x20 3 cars $4,800 – $18,000
40x20 4 cars / 1 large RV $6,400 – $24,000

*Includes delivery and installation.

When choosing the carport size and capacity for your project, be sure to consider the following:

  • Available space – Measure your property and consider any limitations or restrictions, such as setbacks from property lines or other structures.

  • Number and size of vehicles – The carport size should be large enough for your vehicles, including any boats or RVs you plan to park there. Don’t forget to leave room for opening doors and exiting vehicles when measuring.

  • Future needs – Choosing a structure larger than you currently need can give you room for new vehicles or future expansion.

Two-car wooden carport with pergola-style roof
Two-car wooden carport with pergola-style roof

Cost to build a carport by type

A carport costs $2,000 to $18,000 or more, depending on whether you use a prefab kit or build a custom design. A prefabricated carport is cheaper and faster to build but is only available in standard sizes. A custom carport is more expensive and time-consuming but can be tailored to your specific needs.

Carport cost by type
Type Average installed cost* Pros Cons
Prefab $2,000 – $10,000+
  • Cost effective
  • Quick installation
  • Easier permitting
  • Only available in standard sizes and designs
  • Quality varies by manufacturer with many using the cheapest wood or metal materials.
Custom $3,000 – $18,000+
  • Tailored to your needs
  • More design flexibility to match your home’s architectural style
  • Increased property value
  • Higher cost
  • Longer construction time
  • More complex design process
  • More involved permitting process

*Includes delivery and installation

Prefabricated carport

Prefabricated carport kits cost $8 to $25 per square foot on average, depending on the materials used. Most manufacturers include delivery and installation in their prices. Some may charge separately.

  • Mass-produced prefab carports come in standard sizes and designs, which keeps costs down.

  • Kits typically include low-cost metal or wood, such as steel or pressure treated pine. Upgraded materials and extended heights cost extra.

A detached prefab metal carport installed on a concrete slab
A detached prefab metal carport installed on a concrete slab

Custom carport

Custom carports cost $3,000 to $18,000+, depending on the size, design, and materials. The installer builds your custom carports on site to your specifications. Complex designs, premium materials, and upgraded features can significantly increase costs.

Custom upgrades may include:

  • Lighting – Running power and installing lighting on your carport costs $450 to $850.

  • Solar panels – Adding solar panels to the roof costs $112 to $450 per panel.

  • Reinforced roofing and walls – Using reinforced materials for the roofing and walls increases costs but ensures the carport can resist water and wind damage.

  • Additional structural support – Carports in areas with heavy snowfall may need additional structural support to prevent collapse.

Cost to build a carport by material

The cost of building a carport also depends on the materials used. Wood is the most expensive carport material but is heavier and takes more time and effort to install. Metal is lighter and easier to work with, requiring less skilled labor.

Carport cost by material
Material Average material price (per square foot) Average installed cost* (per square foot)
Wood $10 – $20 $15 – $30
Metal $5 – $15 $8 – $20

*Includes delivery and installation

Wood carport

A wood carport costs $15 to $30 per square foot installed or $10 to $20 per square foot on average for materials alone. Wood kits are prepared for easy assembly and have the lowest installation costs. Custom wood carports require highly skilled labor at a higher cost.

Carport cost by wood type
Wood type Average price*
(per square foot)
Cedar $15 – $18
  • Naturally durable softwood that is resistant to rot and decay
  • Lightweight and easy to work with
Redwood $18 – $23
  • Naturally durable softwood with an attractive reddish color
Pressure-treated pine $10 – $12
  • Least expensive softwood
  • Must be treated with a sealant before using it for a carport
Douglas fir $11 – $14
  • Strong and affordable wood
  • Must be treated with a sealant before using it for a carport
Spruce $10 – $13
  • Lightweight and affordable wood
  • Must be treated with a sealant before using it for a carport
Oak $18 – $20
  • Durable and attractive hardwood
  • Can withstand harsh weather conditions

*Material prices only; labor not included.

A wood carport with a metal roof in front of a home
A wood carport with a metal roof in front of a home

Metal carport

Metal carport prices are $8 to $20 per square foot installed on average or $5 to $15+ per square foot for materials alone. Metal carport kits are cheaper and more common than custom metal carports.

Metal carports are sturdy, durable, and have lower maintenance requirements. However, they are less attractive than wood and are not easily modified or extended in the future.

Get free estimates from patio cover installers near you.
Carport prices by metal type
Metal type Average price*
(per square foot)
Aluminum $5 – $15
  • Considered an upgraded material for carports
  • Lightweight and easy to install
  • Highly resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • May not withstand heavy snow loads or severe weather conditions
  • Suitable for coastal areas where salt corrosion is a concern
Steel $5 – $10
  • Most common carport material used
  • Durable and strong material
  • Resistant to rust and corrosion when properly coated
  • Heavier than other materials
Galvanized steel $6 – $12
  • Strong and rust-resistant due to the galvanization process
  • Suitable for a wide range of weather conditions
  • Ideal in areas with moderate to high rain and temperature fluctuations
Corrugated metal $3 – $8
  • Affordable
  • Provides a rustic or industrial aesthetic
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Requires more maintenance to prevent rust
  • Best used in dry climates
Copper $10 – $25
  • Extremely corrosion-resistant and develops an attractive patina over time
  • Long-lasting and highly durable
  • Very costly
  • Prone to theft due to high scrap value
  • Suitable for most climates
  • Rarely used luxury choice for those willing to invest in a premium material.

*Material prices only; labor not included.

Cost to build a carport by style

Carport costs vary depending on whether you install a permanent or portable structure. Permanent carports cost $2,000 to $12,000 installed for more durable materials such as steel or wood. They are permanently affixed to the ground for better security in climates with heavy snow and high winds.

Portable carports and cheaper and easier to install than permanent carports. Costing $400 to $1,200, portable carports use lightweight materials such as aluminum and fabric. These temporary structures are less durable and not recommended for extreme climates.

Carport cost by style
Type Average installed cost Pros Cons
Permanent $2,000 – $12,000*
  • Durable
  • Able to withstand weather
  • More customizable
  • May increase home value
  • Higher cost
  • Requires professional installation
  • Requires occasional maintenance such as painting or replacing roof materials
Portable $400 – $1,200 (DIY installed)
  • Lower cost
  • Professional install not required
  • Easy to disassemble and move
  • Low-maintenance temporary solution
  • Less durable
  • Unable to withstand heavy snow or high winds
  • Does not add value to your property
  • Limited sizes and materials available

*Includes delivery and installation

A permanent metal carport attached to a home
A permanent metal carport attached to a home

Labor cost to build a carport

Labor prices for delivery and installation are often included in the prefabricated carport kit. If they aren’t included, you can expect to pay $3 to $5 per square foot for assembly. A custom wood carport has higher labor costs of around $10 per square foot. Additional labor costs apply for site preparation.

Site preparation

A freestanding carport should sit on level, solid ground for stability. Compacted soil, gravel, or a concrete slab provide a good surface for parking. While a costly concrete slab is not required, it can increase your property value.

Preparing the site for a carport may include the following costs:

Other cost factors

Factors that affect the cost of a carport include:

  • Size and complexity –Small, metal carports and prefab units are easier to install than large or wooden carports with added features.

  • Design features – Flat roof designs are cheaper than gabled or sloped roofs, which require more materials and labor. Carports with open sides are cheaper than those enclosed with side walls and garage doors.

  • Location – Labor and permit costs vary depending on your location.

  • Permits – Most carport projects require a building permit costing $75 to $300, depending on the size and location. In some areas, small, prefabricated carports do not require permitting.

  • Extras – Extras such as gutters, electrical outlets, storage, colored screws, and added braces increase the cost of the carport.

Carport maintenance

A carport can last 10 to 30 years with regular maintenance, depending on the materials used. A carport made with durable material and built on a level surface will last longer. Installing proper drainage and anchoring the carport to the ground will help prevent damage from snow, rain, and wind.

Get free estimates from patio cover installers near you.

To extend the life of your carport, you should also:

  • Inspect regularly – Routinely inspect your carport for signs of damage, including rust, rotting wood, or loose hardware. Make prompt repairs to prevent the damage from getting worse.

  • Clean often – Clean your carport regularly to remove dirt, debris, and mildew using a pressure washer or broom and hose. Professional pressure washing costs $0.08 to $0.20 per square foot.

  • Seal as needed – Apply a roof sealant costing $1 to $4 per square foot every few years to protect the roof from the elements.

  • Keep it clear – Trim any trees or shrubs that extend over your carport to prevent branches from falling and damaging your carport. In cold climates, remove snow as soon as possible to prevent the weight of the snow from damaging the roof.

Carport FAQs

What is a carport?

A carport is a roofed structure used to protect vehicles from the sun, rain, snow, or hail. The structure typically doesn’t have walls and is open on the sides. A carport can stand independently or connect to a building. They can have a slab foundation or sit over dirt or gravel.

Do I need a permit for a carport?

In most cases, any construction project that alters your property requires a permit. In some areas, there are exceptions for small, prefabricated carports that are less than a certain size. Check your local regulations to confirm.

How long does it take to build a carport?

A small prefab or metal carport takes 1 to 2 weeks to build, while building a larger or custom carport takes several weeks. However, many factors can increase the construction time, including:

  • Weather conditions – Excessive heat, rain, or snow can delay the project.

  • Roofing materials – Tile roofs take longer to install than metal roofs.

  • Installer’s experience – A more experienced installer is faster than someone unfamiliar with the kit or custom installation.

  • Foundation – Adding a concrete foundation takes extra time for the pouring and curing time.

How long does a carport last?

The lifespan of a carport ranges from 10 to 30 years, depending on the materials, climate, and maintenance it receives. A metal carport is the most durable and can last for 20 to 30 years or more, while wood carports last 10 to 15 years.

Getting estimates from carport builders

When getting estimates for your carport, follow these suggestions to find the best carport installer for your project:

  • Get multiple estimates with the same carport size and material to compare.

  • Check that the installers have licenses, insurance, and surety bonds.

  • Read installer reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Ask if the carport kit includes delivery and installation.

  • Request a written line-item estimate for a custom carport.

  • Confirm the carport installation includes a warranty.

Questions to ask a carport installer

Some helpful questions to ask a carport builder include:

  • How many years of experience do you have in building carports?

  • Can I see your references list and photos of past carport installations?

  • Which carport materials are you most familiar with?

  • How long will carport construction take?

  • Which carport designs are strong enough to withstand storms or snow loads in my area?

  • How will you anchor the carport?

  • What are the maintenance requirements for wooden and metal carports?

  • Which carport material do you recommend for my project and why?

  • Does your quote include all materials, labor, delivery, and cleanup fees?

  • Are there often unexpected costs on a job like this?

  • Are permits required for a carport?

  • Do you handle permits and zoning requirements?

Related articles