How much does a carport cost ?

You may not have a garage but that’s not to say that your car has to suffer blazing heat or freezing cold. A good, convenient and cost effective alternative to a garage is a carport. Forget about having to get into a car that feels like a 'roasting oven' in the summer or scrape the snow and ice off your car during the winter months, a simple carport can help protect your car and make life easier.

Carports come in a variety of different materials including wood, plastic, vinyl and aluminum. However, steel carports are by far the most popular as they are very durable and cheap to install. On top of that, they are basically maintenance free and present no fire hazard either.

Wooden carports are popular for people who want the carport to blend in with their home construction, especially if the carport is located adjacent to their home. While wood may seem more attractive, it doesn’t last as long as metal and requires regular maintenance such as painting or sealing.

Installing a Metal Carport.

One of the main advantages of a metal carport is that in many areas it is considered to be an outbuilding and therefore not subject to building permits. You should however still check with your local building regulations, as whether or not it is free-standing or attached to your home may make a difference. It’s considerably cheaper than constructing a garage of the same size and it’s quicker and easier to erect. Basic considerations regarding local winds, snow levels during winter should be taken into consideration when planning, but apart from that it’s fairly straightforward.

Carport Construction Costs.

Taking an example of a free-standing 26'X26' carport suitable for storing two vehicles and still with some space for storage and an additional small area for work use, it’s a job that may involve more than one contractor to cover concreting, erecting and any electrical installations. Here’s a breakdown of some typical costs involved in constructing a carport:

An approximate cost of $8.00 per square foot, or around $5,500 should give you an idea of the budget necessary.

Pouring of concrete foundations for the supporting piers and slab will cost around $0.75 per cubic yard and should cost around $2000.

Installation of corrugated PVC roof panels at an average of $12 - $15 per panel will cost around $450 plus the labor to install them.

Electrical installation may be from as little as $250 for a single external outlet and light, or more if you require additional outlets or anything other than basic lighting.

Painting the structure, if it is not already pre-treated, should cost around $20 - $30 per hour, but as the actual steel structure is minimal it shouldn’t take long.

Alternative Carport Uses.

Of course, a carport can be used for much more than just keeping your car safe from the weather. You can use it for storing your boat, jet-skis, mountain bikes, and any other recreational stuff you may have. It can also double as a porch, if you don’t already have one, and make sitting out with friends and family or enjoying a BBQ even better with a covered area to use leaving the patio or terrace free.

If your budget is tight, but you would like have the main advantages of a garage, then installing a carport is a great first step and very cost effective for the functionality it offers.

Ideally, as costs vary from state to state, you should get at least three quotes from different contractors to find out more about carport costs in your local area.

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