Carport vs. Garage Which Is Best For Me?

Have you been wrestling with which is better, a metal garage or a metal carport? In this guide, you will find pertinent information to help you make the right decision for your vehicle storage application. Let us begin by defining the two structure types.

What Is A Metal Carport?

A metal carport is a partially enclosed steel structure that consists of a roof supported by a gridwork of beams and posts. The carport walls (more commonly referred to as sides) can be left open, partially enclosed, fully enclosed, or a combination of the three options. The roofline is available in three design styles which change a carport’s appearance and functionality slightly. Metal carports are the most economical way to protect a vehicle from the weather.

a vehicle sitting underneath of a carport

What Is A Metal Garage?

a two car metal garage

A metal garage is a fully enclosed steel structure consisting of a metal framework, roof, and sidewalls. Windows and doors are placed at desirable locations in the walls to offer convenient access and allow the flow of natural light into the structure. Like its carport counterpart, a metal garage has several roofline design styles which change appearance and functionality slightly. 

Metal garages not only provide protection from the weather but also give added security. Since a metal garage uses more materials and labor for construction than a carport does, it stands to reason the garage will cost more as well.

What Is The Difference Between a Carport and a Metal Garage?

Understanding the key differences between metal carports and metal garages will help you make the correct purchase decision. We have laid out some of the key differences in a side-by-side comparison to help you define the differences.

Metal CarportMetal Garage
Gravel Pad AcceptableConcrete Pad Highly Recommended
Open on One or More SidesEnclosed Building
Partial Protection From the WeatherFull Protection From the Weather
DIY FriendlyRequires Building Expertise
Lacks SecuritySecure Building
Cheaper Than Metal GaragesMore Expensive Than Carports

Carport vs. Garage, Considering The Pros and Cons

Choosing between a carport and a metal garage could impact your life for years to come. To help you make the correct decision we have compiled a number of points for your consideration.


The average carport will cost significantly less than a garage of the same size since they require less material to construct. The garage costs more because it includes wall materials, doors, windows, and trim. 

If price is a determining factor a carport will be the cheaper option. Remember that we do offer financing for carports and metal garages.

Available Storage Space

A garage provides significantly more dry storage space than a carport of the same dimensions. While you can add an enclosed storage space to your carport, that space is divided by a wall and cannot double as vehicle storage. If a significant amount of dry storage space is important to you, a metal garage may be your best choice.

Convenient Access

The open sides of a carport offer convenient access to all sides of your vehicle at any time. Carports work great for storing an ATV by the house for everyday use around the farm. No opening the garage door first, or closing it before you pull away. Just jump on and drive away. If convenient access is a priority for you, then a carport beats a garage hands down.

Curb Appeal

Appearance is often a factor when making a decision between a metal carport or a garage. A metal garage is more easily blended into the aesthetics of your property. Garage walls and trim can be matched to colors on existing buildings. With a carport this is not as easily accomplished.

Increased Property Value

In many cases a carport will increase the value of your property when you go to sell it. That being said, a metal garage will increase it significantly more than a carport. Either way, both structures tend to be a good return on investment.


If you are considering a carport or metal garage as a DIY project, carports are much easier to install than garages. The materials for a carport are lighter weight, and installation takes less time. Metal garages can be a bit complicated to construct and are not conducive to construction by a novice. 

Not up to the challenge of constructing your own carport or garage? Not a problem. The manufacturer will gladly have their installation team construct it for you.

Multipurpose Space

Both carports and metal garages can serve as multipurpose spaces. Hosting a large event at your house? Your garage can be opened up to provide protection if the weather turns bad. A carport will serve the same purpose if the weather is not exceptionally bad, but it also serves well as an open-air patio for your guests to gather out of the sun.


Permits can be an important part of your decision between purchasing a carport or garage. Laws vary from one location to another, so you will want to contact your local municipality and inquire if a permit is required for a garage or carport. In some locations, a permit is required for either, while in other locations no permit is required for a carport.

If your property falls under the jurisdiction of a homeowners association you will also want to consult with them on any regulations that may be in place that prohibit the installation of carports.

Secure Storage

Live in a neighborhood where security is a concern? Want to keep your personal property or equipment out of sight? A metal garage constructed from steel and equipped with locking doors will bring an added layer of security to your valuables, while a carport is an open-air structure that does little to add security to your storage space.

Weather Protection

If your car is like most, it will spend 95% of its life parked, so a protected parking space is vital to its longevity. An enclosed garage offers optimum protection from hail, rain, snow, wind, UV rays, and other weather elements. A garage is a popular choice when vehicle protection is of utmost importance.

Carports are open on one or more sides while still offering weather protection to a limited degree. The garages vs. carports comparison is closer than it may first appear in the area of weather protection. A carport roof overhead at the proper height provides significant protection against the elements of nature. If the sides are even partially enclosed, a carport offers even more protection. Still, if you are in need of optimum protection a metal garage is the better choice.


Carports are naturally ventilated and need no additional ventilation in any climate. Garages are fully enclosed, have limited ventilation, and can get stuffy in the summer heat. Additional ventilation options are available to accommodate user requirements.

Carport or Garage? Making The Right Choice

Carports and garages both offer significant value to property owners, so the choice comes down to what you want from your metal building. If you are looking for easy installation, low cost, and adequate vehicle protection the carport might be your choice. If you are more interested in large amounts of dry storage space, security, and complete protection from the weather, then a metal garage is the better option.

Whether you choose a metal carport or a metal garage, the building specialists at Carports4you are ready to assist you in adding the protection of a reinforced steel building to your property.

a vehicle sitting underneath of a carport
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