Carport vs. Garage: 5 Things To Know Before You Decide

You’ve no doubt considered the carport vs. garage decision when you need extra space. While similar, both types of structures have benefits and drawbacks that are worth considering before you invest time and money into building it on your property. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 5 things to consider as you weigh out the pros and cons of a carport vs. garage.

The Pros & Cons of a Carport vs. Garage

Carports and garages both offer great benefits for your home or property. If you’re working a tight budget, however, you’re probably thinking really hard about which one is best for you.

The Appearance Of Your Property

One of the first things to consider as you choose between a carport and garage is your home’s appearance. Deciding your desired look for your home will help you choose between the different styles of carports and garages available.

Carports are metal structures that can either be covered with fabric or a roof. Most carports are detached from your home and have at least one side open.

Usually, garages have four walls, a roof, and are either attached to your house or are a freestanding structure. Garages are likely to be the best option for you if you would like to match your home’s design style.

Your Storage Needs

Because garages are fully enclosed areas, they’re often best for providing full protection from harsh weather, theft, and other mishaps that can happen to precious items. Garages offer a better storage option for lawnmowers and other equipment, as well as for parking your car. Since they’re locked and usually accessible from the house, many people also use their garage as a living space. 

Though carports aren’t best suited for functioning as living areas, they can be a great way to protect your car from rain or snow. It’s best not to store anything else beneath a carport since they don’t offer much in terms of security.

The Time Required For Installation

Carports are extremely easy to install, with most installations completed within hours. You can usually install a simple carport by using a carport kit from a reputable carport manufacturer. 

For complex carport designs or for attached carports, it’s better to call a professional to help you. Typically, you’ll install the carport on a concrete slab, placed on level ground. Since carports don’t have garage doors or windows, they’re much quicker to install than garages.

Because most car garages have walls and a door, they can take between days and weeks to complete, depending on the specific needs and whether you’re applying an interior finish.

The Total Costs

The costs for a garage and a carport can vary depending on the style, dimensions, and other project factors. A simple carport is cheapest while a carport with walls will likely be more expensive.  

If you don’t already have a suitable concrete slab for your carport, the cost of pouring concrete will be an additional expense. For example, a 20×20-foot concrete slab would cost about $1,200, in addition to the carport kit and any labor costs. A permanent carport could cost you about $6,000, with the cost of a slab making it approximately $7,200. 

For a garage, your installation costs could be around $30 per square foot, making our 20×20-feet example cost $13,200. Adding in the cost of any finishing touches and necessary concrete could increase that price to $33,200.  

Permits & Regulations

Since carports aren’t regarded as an enclosed or livable space, the restrictions and zoning requirements are minimal, if there’s any at all. Some cities may require you to have a permit for your carport, but there are usually no restrictions on materials or sizes.

Garages, on the other hand, must comply with various building codes and may need various provisions, like fire-rated walls. Whether you have an attached or detached garage, being able to provide additional living space or make room for storage can be great. 

It’s best to weigh out the benefits and drawbacks of a carport vs. garage yourself and pick the right option for your home.

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