Carports vs Garage: Which is the Better Option for Your Home?

When it comes to providing shelter and storage for your vehicles, two popular options are a carport or a garage. Both have their advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding what will work best for your needs and budget. This guide examines the key differences between carports and garages to help you determine the better choice.

What is a Carport?

Carports vs Garage

A carport is a covered but open-aired structure used to provide shade and defense from rain or snow for vehicles. They come in various shapes and sizes, but most feature:

  • A roof made from building materials like metal, aluminum, or shingles
  • Support posts anchored in concrete to hold up the roof
  • Open sides that allow airflow around the vehicles


  • Less expensive to build than a garage
  • Still allows ventilation around vehicles which reduces moisture and mildew
  • Provides shelter from sun, rain, and snow
  • More driveway space since the sides are open
  • Easier to clean than an enclosed garage


  • Less security from theft/vandalism
  • Less protection from heavy wind/hail damage
  • No storage space
  • No shielding from rodents getting under vehicles

What is a Garage?

Carports versus Garage

A garage is an enclosed structure designed to provide covered parking space along with storage for vehicles, tools, supplies, and other household items. Key features found in most garages:

  • A roof, walls, and garage door to fully enclose the interior
  • Permanent foundation and floor made from concrete or asphalt
  • Its doors that open manually or with automatic openers
  • Interior space for safely parking vehicles
  • Storage for tools, gear, appliances, etc.


  • Fully protects vehicles and contents from weather and thieves
  • Provides storage area for tools, equipment, supplies, appliances, etc.
  • Can significantly increase resale value of home
  • Room can be climate controlled for comfort while working
  • Private parking area separate from street traffic

Cons Of Garage

  • More expensive to build
  • Poor ventilation can lead to mildew or moisture damage
  • Items stored can fall prey to rodents or insects
  • Limits the driveway available on property
  • Costly if door needs repair

Key Differences Between Carports and Garages

Factor Carport Garage
Cost Less expensive to build More expensive to construct
Safety Minimal from weather/theft Maximum from elements & security threats
Ventilation Allows open airflow around vehicles Enclosed area prone to moisture buildup
Storage None beyond vehicles Flexible storage for vehicles, tools, appliances
Maintenance Low maintenance Potentially high for climate control, access, etc
Resale Value Minimal impact on home price Can greatly boost home resale price

Fun Fact

Did you know that carports and garages have distinctions when it comes to council approval and building regulations? As free standing structures, carports generally have a shorter lifespan than garages. However, they come in a wide range of sizes and styles to suit different needs. Unlike garages which require council permits, many carports can be built without approval if they meet building codes.

Which is the Better Option: Carport or Garage?

Determining whether a carport or garage better suits your needs depends on several considerations:

  • Budget – Carports provide basic covered parking at a lower project cost
  • Atmosphere – Garages protect against snow/hail storms which carport design allow inside vehicles
  • Security – Garages prevent theft & vandalism of stored items and vehicles
  • Existing Home Layout – Long narrow lots may only permit a carport alongside the driveway
  • Future Plans – Garages boost resale potential if you may sell in 5-10 years

Here are some quick tips on when to choose between the two:

  • Install a carport if you want basic vehicle protection but have a limited budget in a mild temperature.
  • Build a garage if your priority is security, storage, protecting assets, and boosting home resale value.
  • Get quotes on both if undecided – the price differential in your area may sway the decision.

Overall, garages provide much complete protection, extra security, and storage but have a higher upfront cost. For basic shelter on a budget, carports offer an affordable alternative, but won’t add value long-term like a garage. Carefully weigh your needs, elements, and budget to make the ideal choice.


When choosing how to shelter vehicles at your home, carports and garages each have pros and cons to weigh. Carports cost less but only provide basic weather protection. Meanwhile, garages better shield vehicles and valuables from threats while adding useful extra storage. Make an informed decision based on local prices, conditions, existing home layout, and current/future needs to select the best choice for you.