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Does adding a carport increase home value? The idea of adding a car shelter to your home may seem like a luxury, but if you are looking to build equity and protect your investment, the addition of a carport can be a viable option and may be one of the best home projects. A quality carport will also protect your second biggest investment – your car – from the vagaries of bad weather, and could even add to the aesthetics and value of your biggest investment – your home.
Yes, adding a carport will increase home value. The US Census Bureau suggests that the median value of a home with a carport is $10,000 more than a home without. The exact amount will depend on the size and quality of the carport.
So a carport does add value to your home, but perhaps not in the way you think. Find out more by reading on below…
Carports come in many different sizes and styles, so the first step in choosing one is to figure out what you want. If you are looking to protect your car from the elements, the size of the carport doesn’t matter as much. If you are interested in a carport that will also give you extra living space, then you will need to consider the size of it. Check out our Buyers’ Guide to Heavy Duty Carports.
They may have lightweight frames with four open sides, or draped in fabric, or even clad with brick, wood or siding. They can be bought as a free standing structure, or attached to your house. Portable carports are readily available, which provide the ultimate in flexibility. An example of this is below. However, if you’re asking “Does adding a carport increase home value?” when you’re talking about this type of carport, the answer is probably no (but you can take them with you!).
Do you want a cost-effective way to add value to your home? Many homeowners ask us, does adding a carport increase home value? Installing a carport is definitely a smart move, an attractive and profitable way to increase the value of your property.
Before you market your home, there are always a few improvements you should consider to value to your property. While a major addition or refurb may seem daunting, many people go ahead with it thinking it is the only way to add value to their property. However, the installation of a carport can instantly add a stylish and practical solution to your property without committing to a costly makeover.
Adding this relatively simple feature can make a big difference as it can serve as a smart and functional solution for several reasons. According to our experts, here are the top fourteen reasons the installation of carports add such great value for properties.
Top 14 Reasons Why Carports Add Value
1. It’s Cheaper Than a Garage
If your main reason for thinking about getting a carport is to protect your car from the elements, then uppermost in your mind will be the relative cost of a carport set against a garage. Costs for each vary greatly, depending on the specification of each, but the broad range of costs for each are shown in the table below:
Relative Average Costs of 20 x 20 ft Garage v House-attached Carport (inc slab)
2. A Carport Protects Your Cars
This is the most obvious one – it can protect your second biggest investment – your cars – from the worst of the weather. Hail damage can be very expensive to repair, but the car’s paintwork can also deteriorate as a result of a host of things, including rain, snow, leaves, bird poo, and UV damage from the sun. A carport will help to save your car from all these things.
If you cannot afford a carport, then a car cover could always give you this sort of protection, but there are so many more advantages of a car port.
3. An Extra Layer of Security
Potential home buyers always keep safety in mind before making a purchase. When installing a garage, a prospective buyer will see this as an added layer of protection for their property and it will immediately increase the value of your home. However, whilst the level of security in a carport is much lower than a garage – the usual carport design is open on at least 3 sides – a carport does provide a measure of enclosure for your car and acts as a deterent to anyone thinking of interfering with your property, particularly if it is attached to your home.
4. A Carport Can Serve as an Outdoor Entertainment Area
For homeowners who love to entertain, carports offer a splendid solution to an annoying problem. Where can you store the barbecue and garden furniture when not in use, or even when in use? Your perfectly planned barbecue or party could be saved from disaster should the weather turn bad if you have a large undercover area to retreat to.
A carport could also be a perfect place for the children to play in an outdoor space, whilst protected from the heat of the sun. It provides one of a variety of garden spaces in your home.
Want to get fitter? Set up a home gym in your carport. Here are some ideas.
5. A Great Opportunity to Make a Great First Impression
When selling a home, the first impression a potential buyer has is usually the last. Houses with vehicles parked in the street, or on the lawn can make a home cluttered, long before they even get into your property. Also, if you park on your own lawn, your property does not appear to be serviced as there are tire line marks that will remain on your lawn for a long time.
6. It Doesn’t Take Parking Spaces
A garage encloses an area of your drive which might otherwise be used for parking cars; as we say below, a good proportion of garages are taken up with storage, not cars, so that space is lost for parking cars. A carport, on the other hand, is used primarily for parking your car.
7. A Carport Complements the Existing Structure
Image credit: Michael Coghlan
A well-designed exterior extension built like a carport can perfectly complement your existing structure. By partnering with a professional construction company, you ensure that your carport is installed and designed to match the style and color of your home and your neighborhood.
You want to make an excellent first impression, offer an additional layer of security while giving the impression that this space has many other benefits, all the time maintaining the impression the carport has always been part of the property.
8. Carports Make More Efficient Use of Space
By installing a carport, you can place it exactly in your garden where you want to store your car, hence, it will take up much less space than the garage. Since many are relatively simple structures bolted to the ground and fixed to the wall of your house, in the vast majority of cases, you may not need a permit or permission before building one. If you are installing a garage, this isn’t the case, you may have an extended wait period for the correct permits and you may also need to consider any boundary walls before building or expanding your property.
9. A Carport is Flexible – A Conversion Is relatively Easy
The erection of a carport isn’t necessarily a long-term decision; you could decide to take it down relatively easily or even carry out a garage conversion if the carport is made from a substantial steel frame with foundations.
10. A Carport Will Boost Sale Value
It’s very difficult to get a realtor to estimate what additional value a notional carport could add to a property, as there are so many things that could be relevant, such as the style, materials, and workmanship. There’s also the question of what the buyer is looking for – they could be after a garage in the drive instead of a simple shelter.
Nevertheless, a carport will certainly make a house more attractive than showing your car displaying a simple car cover or tarp.
Nevertheless, the US Census Bureau suggests that the median value of a home with a carport is $10,000 more than a home without. This assumes the carport is of good quality and will last for a decent time.
If not, you may find it will either act as a reason for the buyer of your property to try and negotiate a reduction in the price or perhaps even put the buyer off entirely. The lesson here is that any carport you decide to build needs to be of good, durable quality, and of a design that complements the style of the house; ensuring these will stand you in good stead in the property market.
Of course, you’ll have to do the math so you can compare any additional value with the cost, which, to give you a rough idea, can be anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 including installation costs, depending on its quality and size.
Even if it doesn’t end up making a huge impact on the value (and, let’s face it, you’re never ever going to be able to tell, as you won’t be offering your home with and without a carport!), it will certainly make it more desirable to a prospective purchaser.
11. It Could Be a Powerhouse
By careful positioning of the carport, you could cover its roof with solar panels, thereby offsetting its costs by generating electricity during the day – perhaps a source of power for charging your electric car, or improving the energy efficiency of your home. With such a large roof area, the annual energy yield could be high.
12. Lower Insurance Costs
In some cases, your home premiums may be lower if it has a carport. Check this with a local broker to see if this might apply to you.
13. Free Up Your Garage
If your home already has a garage, a new carport could mean that you have a load more storage space, whilst still being able to protect your car from the elements. 25% of homes apparently have so much clutter in the garage that there’s no room for the car (US Dept of Energy).
14. It’s Not Just For the Car
A large carport could not only shelter the car, but also other large items you want to shield from the weather, such as a boat, jet ski, tractor, trailer, or even RV.
Image Credit: SteelMaster Buildings
Now that you see the obvious benefits of adding a carport to your property, the next step is to make sure the installation is correct. Choosing any old carport will not work. By following these four tips, you can be sure of a return on your investment.
4 Tips When Choosing a Carport
- Make It Legal
Depending on where you live, you may need to file for a permit before you start the carport build. Laws differ from State to State, and according to the floor space of the carport, but the good thing about carports is that they don’t need to conform to the same standards as garages, which are usually more rigorous.
However, if your State does require you to get a permit, and you ignore this requirement, it could turn out to be a costly mistake when you come to the time to sell up, as your purchaser will want to see the permit, or seek a reduction in price. It’s worth biting the bullet and taking the legal costs hit.
In the UK, you’ll need to check with your local planning authority, but generally, for the lighter constructions, carports fall within permitted development and don’t require planning permission. The exceptions occur when the carport is near the property boundary.
Similarly, for the lighter carports, Building Regulations approval may not be required.
Check out our guide on permits and carports, here.
- Don’t cut corners
While one of the primary considerations people make when choosing to install a carport or garage is cost, this doesn’t mean you need to rush out and cut more corners instantly. Resist the urge to build it out of cheap materials and squeeze it into a corner of your garden. These things would ensure you save money initially, but any flaws that are revealed during an inspection process will have an impact on the value of your property in the long run and may result in additional costs in maintenance.
The position of the carport will also influence its design and construction. Check on the prevailing weather conditions if you’re new to the area.
A more exposed location, where bad weather is more likely to affect the shelter, would call for a more robust construction from durable materials. Deciding on a quality build at the outset will not only ensure a longer-lasting carport but will also reduce maintenance and help keep its shiny appearance.
- Look at your target market
If your intention is to increase the value of your home, one of the first things to do is consult a real estate agent to find out the demographics of potential buyers for properties in your area. When potential buyers are looking for a new property, they want something that meets their vision and needs. If your installed carport doesn’t enhance that vision, it will alienate a certain percentage of buyers.
Think carefully about which target market you will use for your carport, and consider any possible attractive feature. If your area is popular with young families, then positioning your carport as an outdoor play area will make your property more appealing. Conversely, If you’re targeting more mature buyers, building a carport that provides coverage for an RV with spare space could make your home the perfect place to move to.
- Take care of your carport
Once you have your shiny new carport in pride of place next to your home, make sure you keep it that way to keep its value – and that of your property – at its maximum. It’s probably a good idea to think about this even before you choose your design, as maintenance will depend very much on the type of material it’s made of.
Image credit: bertknot
For example, wood will need more maintenance sooner than metal, even though there might be a cost differential in wood’s favor. Polycarbonate plastic is very durable, as well as being crack-resistant whilst being lightweight and requiring very little maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a roundup of questions you may still have around the question of does adding a carport increase home value:
How Much Value Does A Carport Add to a Home?
The US Census Bureau suggests that the median value of a home with a carport is $10,000 more than a home without. This assumes the carport is of good quality and will last for a decent time, for example, a metal carport.
Do Carports Protect Cars?
Yes, they protect cars from rain, snow, and in particular hail, which can be particularly damaging. The small amount of insulation they provide will also reduce frost on the car, and make starting and driving the car easier and quicker. They also shield a car from harmful UV rays from the sun.
Carport vs Garage: Which Is Better?
A carport provides some shelter for your car, as well as a covered area for outside entertaining, and it is relatively cheaper. A garage on the other hand will give added security for your car and items stored but will cost significantly more.
What Is the Average Size of a 2 Car Carport?
The average size of a 2 car carport is 24 ft by 24 ft, with a minimum of 20 ft by 20 ft, by 6 or 7 feet high.
How Big Should A Single Carport Be?
A single carport should be a minimum of 20 feet by 12 feet, and 6 or 7 feet high.
Do I Need a Permit to Build a Carport?
This depends on the State you live in and you will need to check with your local government office. In addition, some States have restrictions on how big the carport can be; for example, the requirement in San Diego, California restricts carports to less than 1000 square feet.
It is clear that there are many benefits to installing a carport, and the evidence indicates that the value of your home could be increased substantially as a result. Because of this, installing a carport could be one of the cheapest and smartest ways you could go to increase the value of your property.
Image credit: Alan Levine