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How to Build a Carport Step by Step

van parked under wooden carport

When considering an inexpensive yet reliable shelter for your vehicles, look no further than carports. Not only can they protect vehicles from sun damage and harsh weather elements, but carports are also versatile spaces. People can use them for shaded outdoor recreation, extra storage space, and more.

If you’re looking for a great DIY project that will add value to your home, this guide will show you how to build a carport, step by step.

Factors to Consider Before the Project

Before you begin the construction process, there are a few important factors to consider. 

Size 

Measuring the size of your vehicle will help determine the approximate carport size and space you need. For example, carports for RVs are at least 12×35 feet to fully cover them.

Type of Carport

As for the building material, most DIY carports are made of wood. However, when considering durability and maintenance, some people prefer metal carport kits instead. Unlike wood, metal can withstand fire and extreme weather conditions.

carport with wooden beams

Cost

Building a carport for two cars (20×20 feet) can cost around $4,000 to $12,000, depending on the size and materials you choose. On the other hand, prefabricated metal carports like our products are a cheaper alternative. Our 20×26 metal carport kits start at $2,795. Check our price chart for specific pricing details.

Building Permit

Your local zoning office may have regulations and guidelines for installing new structures. Many garages, sheds, and carports are subject to building permits, depending on the work performed. It’s also a good idea to share your plans with your homeowners association (HOA) if your neighborhood has one.

Foundation

Carports need a foundation to provide stability for the structure and an even surface that is low maintenance. Most carport foundations are made of gravel, which is more affordable than concrete. Keep in mind that gravel foundations can shift and create trenches over time, so you’ll need to level the space periodically.

Tools and Materials

If you don’t already have the following items for your project, here’s what to add to your shopping list:

chart illustration of tools and materials to build a carport

Build a Carport in 5 Steps

man installing carport framing

Our expert installers would be happy to build your carport for you at no cost, but if you’d rather take on the task of putting it up yourself, follow the instructions below:

1. Measure the Perimeter

Check the area for any plumbing, gas, or power lines beforehand, ensuring the area is safe to build. Next, plot out the space. You’ll need to measure at least 12×18 feet to accommodate one vehicle. Once you have the perimeter measured, clear and level the ground. 

2. Dig the Post Holes

After marking the perimeter, drive pegs into the ground at each of the corners, tying string between them. Check the angles of the string at the corners to be sure that your sides are square, and make adjustments if needed.

3. Lay the Foundation

If you choose to pour a concrete slab, you’ll be able to anchor your carport to the slab using concrete anchors once it’s dry. If you’d rather anchor your carport directly to the ground, make sure that the ground is solid and level.

4. Assemble the Frames and Panels

Assemble one peak, two side posts, two rafters, and two height extensions, if needed. Repeat this process to create the second end frame for your carport. Assemble the rest of the parts the same way to create the interior framing. 

Starting at one end of your base rail, place one of your end frame assemblies (the ones without trusses) on the vertical pins of the first base rail and screw in place. Repeat with the interior frames, finishing with the other un-trussed frame at the opposite end. Use anchor bolts to secure the beams into the ground, if needed.

5. Add the Roof

Lastly, fasten the roofing sheet on the top of the rafters with screws. You’ll want to start at the peak and work your way down. Check to make sure everything is secured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does adding a carport increase home value?

Yes, a carport can increase the value of your home, especially a style that complements the look of your property. When you purchase one of our carports, you can choose from different roofing styles, such as a vertical roof for RVs, as well as from a variety of colors to coordinate with your home. 

Can you build a carport yourself?

Yes, if you’re experienced with home projects that involve the use of advanced construction tools, you can build a carport from scratch. However, if you’re new to DIY construction projects, a preassembled carport kit might be easier for you to build.  

Alternatively, if you prefer leaving it to the professionals, we sell a variety of carport sizes and styles to accommodate your cars, farm equipment, and other large items. Conveniently order and design one using our 3D customizing tool below. Once completed, we’ll deliver and install the structure for you for free.

Get an instant price for your new carport or metal garage.

Customize today

About the Author

Alan Bernau Jr. has helped more than 50,000 homeowners design and install custom carports and garages. If you need a custom carport, and you live in the eastern half of the United States, Alan’s Factory Outlet is here to help.

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