A carport is a covered space off the side or front of the house under which cars, boats or RVs can be parked. Particularly popular in warm areas, carports protect vehicles from tree debris and provide shade to keep cars cool. Many homeowners add a carport to existing garages, while others build a carport when their home doesn’t have a garage. Carports can be constructed from prefabricated kits or built from scratch to match the home’s exterior design. The average cost of a carport addition depends on many variables including building permits, labor costs and, of course, the size of the carport itself.
Carport building permits
Unlike garages, carports aren’t considered enclosed or liveable space, so it’s usually easier to get local permits to build one. The guidelines are generally less restrictive. The local permitting agency is more likely to approve a carport that will be built on a level spot that doesn’t interfere with neighbors’ views or lines of sight to the street. To obtain a building permit, homeowners need to provide the city with a site plan of the proposed carport that shows its size and setbacks from property lines. The permit fee is based on the valuation of the structure plus an issuance fee, and generally ranges from $100 to $300.
Carport construction materials
Because a carport is just a supported awning with no walls, doors or windows, building a carport costs about half as much as constructing a garage. To last, a carport should be built from high-quality galvanized structural steel, according to Triple H Structural Steel Covers of Texas in Baytown, Texas. The cost of materials alone ranges from $3,000 for a small, one-car covering to $10,000 for a large, two-car structure.
Building a carport foundation
Carports are usually built over a concrete foundation, such as a driveway. To build a carport over a previously landscaped section of yard, most homeowners first have a concrete slab poured; it’s not necessary, but it tends to make the carport more attractive and offers additional protection for vehicles. Any concrete contractor, such as U.S. Construction Group in Centreville, Virginia, or Pound 4 Pound Construction in Beaverton, Oregon, can pour the slab in preparation for building the carport; this usually costs less than $2 per square foot.
Installing the carport
In general, metal carports are built with prefabricated legs; then the metal awning is attached to the legs, and then the structure is attached to the home and the concrete slab. Triple H Structural Steel Covers of Texas offers metal carports in the standard metallic color as well as red oxide. Homeowners can choose to add sheeting, trim, a gutter, sides and even a skylight; these extra features will increase the total cost of the project.
Hiring a general contractor
If there’s no carport specialist in the area, a general contractor, such as Pro.Com in Seattle, Washington, M&M Construction and Home Design in Concord, California, or KAI Vision Builders in Tampa, Florida, can handle the job.