Carport vs Garage: Which One is Best for Your Home?

metal carport vs metal garage guide

Whether you're a homeowner in search of a sheltered parking solution or simply curious about the differences between a carport vs garage, our experts in metal buildings have got you covered.

The metal carport and the metal garage both serve the common purpose of protecting your vehicles, but each comes with its own set of advantages and considerations. That’s why our metal carport and metal garage specialists from Metal Carports will examine various factors of each steel structure to help you make an informed decision about which building fits seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Choosing an Attached vs Detached Carport or Garage

When it comes to selecting between attached carports and garages vs detached carports and garages, the decision ultimately depends on factors such as your preferences, space availability, functionality, and aesthetic goals.

Ideas for attaching a carport

Attached Garage or Carport

An attached garage or attached carport is physically connected to your home, sharing a wall or roofline. It relies on the existing structure of your house for support. This connection ensures stability and often allows for easy access to your vehicles from within your home.

Detached Garage or Carport

A detached carport or detached garage, as the names suggest, stands independently and is not connected to any other structure. It requires its own supporting structure, such as posts or columns, to provide stability and support the roof.

The Differences Between Metal Carports and Metal Garages

When it comes to protecting your vehicles, metal carports and metal garages are two popular options to consider. While both structures offer shelter for your vehicles, they have distinct differences.

Design and Construction

Metal carports typically consist of a roof supported by posts or columns, providing overhead protection for vehicles without enclosing the sides. They offer an open-air structure that allows for easy entry and exit. On the other hand, a metal garage is a completely enclosed room with walls and a roof, providing complete coverage and security for vehicles. Garages can be designed with various options such as garage doors that are either roll-up or hinged, for added convenience.

Protection from the Elements

Metal carports shield vehicles from direct sunlight, rain, and snow, preventing damage from exposure to these elements. However, they do not provide full protection against wind-driven rain or extreme weather conditions. Metal garages, with their enclosed structure, offer comprehensive protection and insulation, shielding vehicles from all weather elements, including heavy rain, snow, wind, and hail.


When it comes to security, metal garages have an advantage over carports. Garages can be fully secured with solid walls, a lockable garage door, and windows, providing a higher level of protection against theft, vandalism, and unauthorized access. A simple carport, being open on the sides, offers less security as vehicles are more exposed to potential risks.

Additional Storage or Living Space

Metal garages typically provide additional storage space beyond vehicle protection. With enclosed walls, these metal structures can accommodate not only vehicles but also tools, equipment, and other belongings as well as double as additional living space if needed. Metal carports, on the other hand, are primarily designed for vehicle protection or outdoor equipment, and offer minimal storage space. While carports can be used to store some small items, garages provide more flexibility for storage needs or workshop space.


In terms of cost, metal carports are generally more affordable compared to metal garages. Carports have a simpler design with fewer materials and construction requirements, making them a cost-effective solution for a permanent structure that offers vehicle protection. Garages, with their enclosed structure, additional features, and larger size, tend to be more expensive to construct.

Maintenance and Repairs

Both metal carports and metal garages require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. However, carports may require less maintenance due to their simpler design. Regular cleaning and inspection of the roof and posts are essential for both structures. When it comes to repairs, carports are relatively easier and more cost-effective to repair compared to garages, as they have fewer components.

Advantages of metal carports vs metal garage

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Metal Carport

Metal carports offer a cost-effective and practical solution for vehicle protection. This versatile, freestanding structure can be installed quickly and comes with aesthetic appeal. However, it's important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before deciding if a metal carport is the right choice for you.

Advantages of Metal Carports

Some of the benefits of a metal carport are due to its:

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Easy installation
  • Versatility
  • Aesthetically pleasing design options
  • Good ventilation

Disadvantages of Metal Carports

In contrast, metal carports' drawbacks include:

  • Limited protection of vehicles and possessions
  • No security
  • Fewer storage options
  • Lack of extra space
  • Not suitable for extreme weather
  • Maintenance challenges
Creative metal carport ideas

Advantages and Disadvantages of Garages

Garages are popular structures that provide comprehensive protection for vehicles, offer additional storage space, and enhance the overall functionality and security of a property. Additionally, garages add to the home's appearance while offering extra protection to your existing property. However, there are several factors to consider when comparing a metal garage's pros and cons.

Advantages of Metal Garages

Benefits of metal garages include:

  • Comprehensive protection for vehicles and possessions
  • Advanced security from theft and vandalism and overall privacy
  • Extra storage space
  • Additional living space
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Versatility for creative uses
  • Increased value to your home


When it comes to metal garages, some of the disadvantages of these structures can include:

  • High cost
  • More complex installation process
  • Limited ventilation
  • Demands more maintenance over time
  • Less suitable for smaller properties

Key Considerations Before Choosing a Carport vs Garage

When deciding between a metal carport or a metal garage for your property, it's important to take several key considerations into account.

Local Climate

If you experience extreme weather conditions like heavy snowfall, strong winds, or intense heat, a garage may provide better protection for your vehicles compared to a carport. Garages offer enclosed structures that shield vehicles from harsh elements, whereas carports provide only partial coverage.

Available Space

Carports are generally more flexible in terms of location and require less space than garages. They can be attached to an existing structure or stand independently, allowing for greater versatility in placement. Garages, on the other hand, typically require more land area and need proper planning to ensure they fit within the available space.


Metal carports are generally more cost-effective due to their simpler design and construction requirements. Garages, with their enclosed structure and additional features, can be more expensive. Consider your budget constraints and prioritize accordingly.

Maintenance Needs

Both steel building structures will require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. However, carports generally have simpler designs and fewer components, resulting in potentially lower maintenance needs compared to garages.

Security Concerns

Garages provide superior security compared to carports as they can be fully enclosed and locked, protecting your vehicles and belongings from theft and vandalism. If security is a significant consideration for you, a garage may be the preferable choice.

Future Plans for Your Property

If you anticipate needing enough space for storage, a workspace, a home gym, or living areas, a garage can offer more flexibility and potential for expansion. Carports, while primarily designed for vehicle protection, may have limitations in terms of future adaptability.

Which is Best for You: A Carport or a Garage?

Let's explore when a carport is ideal and when a garage is ideal, and then discuss making the final decision for your home or business.

When a Carport is Ideal

  • Budget: If you have budget constraints and are looking for a more affordable option, a carport may be the ideal choice. Carports are generally more cost-effective compared to garages due to their simpler design and construction requirements.
  • Flexibility and Versatility: Carports can be attached to an existing structure or stand independently, allowing for various placement options. They can also serve multiple purposes, such as providing shade for outdoor gatherings or storage space for equipment.
  • Partial Protection: If you live in an area with mild weather conditions and primarily need protection from direct sunlight, rain, or snow, a carport can offer adequate coverage.

When a Garage is Ideal

  • Enhanced Protection: If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, such as heavy snow, strong winds, or extreme heat, a garage provides superior protection for your vehicles.
  • Security: If security is a top priority, a garage is the preferred option. Garages can be fully locked and provide a higher level of security compared to carports. They offer privacy and protection against theft, vandalism, and unauthorized access.
  • Additional Storage and Functionality: If you require additional storage space or want the flexibility to use the structure for purposes beyond vehicle protection, a garage is the better choice. Garages provide ample storage space for tools, equipment, and other belongings. They can also be converted into workshops, hobby areas, or even additional living spaces.

Making the Final Decision Between a Metal Carport vs Metal Garage

Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on a combination of personal preferences, practical considerations, and budget limitations. Both carports and garages offer their unique advantages, so weigh the factors that matter most to you to make an informed decision that aligns with your needs and enhances the functionality, protection, and value of your property.

Ready To Build Your Dream Carport or Metal Garage? Check Out Our 3D Builder or Contact Metal Carports Today

Whether you're ready to build your dream carport or metal garage, we have the tools and expertise to bring your vision to life. We invite you to check out our 3D builder for our steel buildings, where you can customize and visualize your ideal carport or garage design.

If you prefer a more personalized approach or have specific questions, our team of custom metal-building experts at Metal Carports is here to assist you. Contact us today to discuss your project, get expert advice, and receive a detailed quote.

Call us at  877-517-4422 or fill out our contact form below to get started.

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