Carport costs

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How much does a carport cost?

Carports are a great way to protect vehicles from theft and damage and a far simpler construction than a garage. The average UK carport cost is around £3,000, compared to £13,600 for a garage - so if you want safe storage for your car on a budget, it's an excellent choice!

In this guide, we'll explain the cost factors that go into the required budget for a carport and the pros and cons to keep in mind.

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What influences the Cost of a Carport?

The most significant cost factor is always going to be the size. If you need a particularly large carport to park a truck or van or have multiple vehicles in your household, you're going to need a relatively large space. Of course, that all depends on the dimensions available alongside your property, too.

Most standard sized carports are around 2.5 by six metres, which is plenty of room for the average car (about 1.9 metres wide and five metres long). A single carport costs on average between £2,000 and £4,000, whereas a double carport increases to £3,500 to £6,500.

Your next consideration is around what sort of materials you'd like to use. There are all sorts of options on the market, from sleek contemporary steel finishes to natural wood.

  • Glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) is lightweight yet durable, so it won't put any pressure on the side of your property and yet has solid foundations to withstand the wind.
  • Steel is heavier and yet robust and doesn't rot, mould or require repainting.
  • Timber is a more natural material and a more eco-friendly option - although it will require maintenance. 

Roofing materials can vary, from a simple flat roof to a pitched roof with gutters and drainage. Pitched roofs are more expensive but can complement your property's appearance and are designed to last for many years.

The third primary cost factor is whether you need a foundation to be laid. Some carports are built next to a property on an existing driveway or level area, in which case this won't be a consideration.

You can also build a carport on grass, although it's important to recognise that this will wear quickly, and it's better to have some platform or support.

Building a concrete base or repaving the driveway might be more expensive than the carport itself - you're looking at around £2,400 for a concrete base for a single car space.

 

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Other Cost Factors in Building a Carport

As well as the carport itself and the foundations or paving underneath the structure, there are costs relating to:

  • Property access - if you want to improve security by accessing your property directly from your carport, you might decide to install an external door. If so, it’s vital to ensure you have sufficient security locks - you can request a Locksmith Call Out price via our quotation form.
  • Site preparation - such as clearing away shrubs and bushes, preparing the side of your property if your carport is a 'lean-to' rather than a standalone structure, and potentially Drain Repairs or paving slabs underneath. 
  • Painting and finishing - carports are available in various colours, depending on what material and finish you choose. Wooden carports tend to be stained with a weatherproof varnish, whereas GRP carport costs include a finished plastic surface.
  • Additional services - you might wish to Install an Outdoor Tap to make cleaning the car easier or add flood lights or security spotlights to your carport, so these costs should also be factored in.

Breaking Down Carport Quotations

Your quotation will usually provide an overall price for all of the work required - this breaks down into several elements:

  • Labour - most carports take two days to be installed. That could be longer if you have a large carport erected and if it is a more complex structure, such as a freestanding timber carport with space for multiple vehicles and a tiled roof. Labour costs around £130 per day, per person as a UK average.
  • Materials - depending on what sort of carport you have selected. Average costs, including labour, are £3,000 for a single carport, £5,000 for a double carport, and £2,400 for a concrete base. You will add to the price if you opt for a tiled or pitched roof.
  • Waste disposal - if you are replacing an old carport with a new one, the existing structure will need to be demolished and disposed of. Skip hire costs an average of £150 to £300 depending on the skip's size and how long you need it for.
  • Decorating and finishing - whether painting the carport itself or making good any marks made by the construction work or paving.

If you have any queries about what parts of the work and materials are included in your quotation, it's always wise to ask your contractor for an itemised breakdown, so you know exactly what is included.

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What are the Advantages of a Carport Over a Garage?

Garages and carports are the two primary ways to store a vehicle on your property without exposing it to the elements. There is also a safety factor, and installing floodlights or automated security lights is a strong deterrent to potential car thieves.

There are lots of reasons a carport cost makes sense, given that it is likely to be around four times more expensive to construct a garage:

  • Costs are substantially lower, and carports are easier and faster to install.
  • Protecting your vehicle from bird waste, dust and debris in the same way as a garage.
  • No planning permission requirements unless your carport is over five metres by ten.
  • It can increase your property's value as a permanent vehicle storage structure, yet it is relatively simple to remove if you would like to repurpose the space.
  • Prevents cars from frosting over in the winter or overheating in the summer.
  • Protects vehicles from paint damage and fading due to exposure to the sun.
  • Multiple options regarding materials, style, design, colour, roofing and the base or foundation material.

Most properties with a side return also have plenty of room for a carport, given that there aren't any thick insulated brick walls. 

Therefore, urban properties with a smaller footprint can usually accommodate a carport, whereas there would not be sufficient space for a complete garage construction.

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FAQs - The Costs of Building a Carport

If you're sold on the idea of a carport but have some questions, we'll aim to cover them with the below most common enquiries!

How Long Does it Take to Build a Carport?

If you opt for a prefabricated carport in GRP or steel, it will usually arrive on site ready to be erected - this takes just one or two days. 

That timescale can increase where groundwork or preparation works are required if you need a concrete foundation to be built or choose a pitched roof, which will need to be assembled on-site in most cases.

Double carports or multi-vehicle carports can take up to a week to construct.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Carport?

Not usually, no. A standard sized carport doesn't fall within the local planning authority's remit - although if you are building a substantial structure or are in a conservation area, you may need approval before building work begins.

If in any doubt, it's essential to contact your local authority to ensure you have the correct permission.

Does a Carport Protect My Vehicle from Theft?

Yes, carports reduce the risk that your vehicle is likely to be broken into or stolen. Any off-street parking is a safer option since cars parked close to a property are a higher risk for criminals and far more likely to be observed.

Although a carport doesn't have lockable doors as with a garage, they remain a preventative measure. 

You can increase security by running security lights or flood lights around your carport, putting up CCTV cameras if you are in a high crime area, and ensuring your vehicle is always locked securely, with the keys not visible through a window or door.

Some insurers will offer lower premiums for vehicles that are stored safely in a carport overnight, as they will charge less for insurance cover for cars parked on a driveway as opposed to on public street parking.

What is the Cheapest Material to Build a Carport From?

GRP plastic carports tend to be the cheapest option since the panels are pre-fabricated, and they are very lightweight.

However, GRP remains a sturdy material and is built as a permanent construction. You can opt for a standalone structure, which will be reinforced at the base to avoid damage from the weather or a lean-to structure built up against the side of your property.

Can I Build a Carport Myself?

Potentially, you could choose to buy a prefab carport kit and construct it yourself. We would, though, recommend using a professional to ensure the construction is completed correctly and is stable and robust enough to withstand the weather.

References:

  • https://a2zcanopies.co.uk/carports/how-much-does-a-carport-cost-uk-england#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20the%20average%20garage,into%20the%20location%20and%20design.
  • https://www.stormclad.co.uk/blog/do-i-need-planning-permission-for-a-carport/
car port installation cost