Car Garage vs a carport – what’s the difference?

Most car owners prefer to keep their vehicles undercover to protect them from weather extremities or even accidental damages, for example, a falling branch. To keep their vehicles safe, some homeowners may prefer carports or garages. However, most homeowners may be torn on what structure to put up. This article highlights some of the differences between a carport and a garage. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision. Check out Fair Dinkum Builds to check out more options.

Materials used in construction.

To understand the difference between the two, we need to start by looking at the materials used in constructing the two. Modern-day homeowners use steel tubular framing with steel siding to build their carports. The older versions were, however, built using wooded framing for the outer walls with roofs stretching to one side of the house. In comparison, these structures are still overshadowed by fully framed garages built from wood, insulated, and fitted with standard materials used to build the entire home.


To be called a garage, the structure must have four walls. This is probably the most prominent difference between a garage and a carport. Omitting one wall from a garage automatically converts it into a carport. Garages can be fitted with doors on either side. However, these doors have to close to form an enclosed unit. Carports are usually built with at least one side missing.


Carports are basically built with either two or three exterior walls, and this feature significantly reduces their sizes. Carports have limited room for increment. The degree of increment usually depends on the structural beams used in construction. It’s a nightmare trying to find a prefabricated carport 19 feet wide as most come just shy of an extra one foot. However, with garages, you can have them constructed to any size and layout, depending on your garage needs. Most homeowners find it easy to extend their garages through custom designs, an option not available for people with carport.


Both options are usually built as an extension of the main house with a single door connecting them to the main dwelling. However, homeowners may choose to build a free-standing structure for extra storage space or convenience. Traditional carports were built against the home for increased support since they are a little price to build as stand-alone structures. Garages, on the other hand, can support its self even when attached to the house. Opting for a detached design doesn’t affect the integrity or price of the construct at all.

Resistance to Storm Damage.

With proper reinforcements, carports are able to stand on their own. However, they are susceptible to strong storms and windy environments due to their light nature. In most cases, they are either blown off or tipped over. On the other hand, garages are designed with enough weight to withstand strong storms. Garages offer full protection against run-off water from floods or strong wind. However, with a carport, you are in constant worry about the damage to the structure itself and your vehicle.

Energy efficiency.

Garages can be adjusted to become a workstation for your hobbies. However, before turning it into a workstation, you may have to upgrade it to improve its energy efficiency. Due to their enclosed nature, this is relatively easy. With carports, this becomes a hard task due to the open sides. This feature leads to a massive loss of energy when cooling or heating your workspace.

Garages can be properly insulated during construction to ensure energy efficiency. New carport models are being designed with metal frames that seem easy to insulate. However, this may prove difficult due to the numerous gaps in the framing.


This is another major difference between the two. Due to their enclosed nature, garages are arguably safer than carports. This feature also makes it easy to convert the garage into a work station or even a living space without any alterations. Carport, on the other hand, is difficult to secure without doing a complete structural change. Burglars and trespassers can easily gain access to your carport. When it comes to garages, simple modifications such as reinforced doors and alarm systems can go a long way in securing your property.

Future Use.

Over time your household needs may evolve, needing you to expand. With garages, you have little to worry about when it comes to finding extra space to accommodate your growing household. Garages are usually built using the material as the house making them easy to insulate and modify to fit your new needs. Carports, on the other hand, are relatively difficult to modify into a workspace or living quarters regardless of the design. To convert a carport into a useful space, you may be forced to add a wall or two, which may prove challenging if different materials are needed for the project.

This means that to convert carports into a useful space, you will have to dig deeper into your finances and do a full job on the structure.


Building garages are fairly expensive upfront compared to carports. Because they are built to secure your property, you may have to spend a little extra in getting the layout right and choosing the best materials to construct them. Carports, on the other hand, only require a few framing options and roofing materials, and you are good to go. When it comes to maintenance, garages tend to have a low maintenance cost compare to carports due to their enclosed nature.

Before making a decision, take your time to review your plans and needs for either of the two. For a professional opinion.