Metal Carport Kit vs Carport Canopy: What’s The Difference?

Protecting your car from the elements is a smart choice, but the decision can get more complicated when choosing which carport option is right for you.  At, we manufacture prefabricated and custom metal carport kits. However, we know you have other carport options to consider.

In order to help make your decision process on the right carport less complicated, we have written this article that compares metal carport kits to carport canopies.

What Is A Metal Carport Kit?

Metal carports are outdoor steel structures with metal roof panels that are used as a covering for cars and outdoor equipment that provides shelter from rain, heavy snow, high wind and any falling debris. A metal carport kit arrives with the metal being precut and just needs the pieces to be put together for your metal carport to be fully assembled.

A metal carport kit is a cost effective and easy to assemble garage alternative that helps keep vehicles or other personal property shielded from the outside elements.

2 Car Metal Carport

Metal Carport Kit Pros And Cons

Metal Carport Kit Pros

Metal Carport Kit Cons

Greater durabilityNot portable
Cost effective solutionMore expensive
Can add home valueMore labor
Lower maintenance

Pros Of A Metal Carport Kit

  • Greater durability
  • Cost effective solution
  • Can add home value
  • Lower maintenance

A Metal Carport Has Greater Durability Than A Car Canopy

Arguably the biggest benefit of a metal carport kit over a car canopy is the durability. The strength of metal is far superior to any fabric material that can rip, tear, or completely come off when exposed to the elements.

A metal carport kit protects your vehicle from damage that can be caused by:

  • Rain, hail, and snow
  • UV rays
  • Tree sap
  • Bird droppings

Metal Carport Kits Are A Cost Effective Solution

While metal carports have a higher upfront cost, they have a much longer lifespan due to their durability. While car canopies will need to keep being replaced, your metal carport will last for years to come, bringing you savings long term.

Metal Carports Can Add Home Value

Depending on the style and placement of your metal carport, it can add additional value to your property when you sell your home.

Metal Carports Are Lower Maintenance Than A Car Canopy

Once a metal carport kit is assembled and placed in its desired location, there is minimal if any maintenance that will need to be done. However, fabric carports inevitably will tear and need to be repaired or even replaced.

Cons Of A Metal Carport Kit

  • Not portable
  • More expensive
  • More labor

Metal Carports Are Not Portable

While a fabric carport is built to be portable, a metal carport is only meant to be used in one location.

Metal Carports Are More Expensive Than Car Canopies

A metal carport kit is significantly more expensive than a car canopy. We get into cost in more detail below, but metal carport kits start at $2500 while the cost of a car canopy starts at $200.

Metal Carports Require More Labor To Assemble Than Car Canopies

While metal carport kits are a DIY project that can be completed in less than a day, they do require more effort and labor than a car canopy. Each carport building kit includes a set of stamped plans from the engineer to follow as you assemble.

Metal Carport Kit Prices

A prefab metal carport kit will cost anywhere from $2500- $9000.

Metal carport prices vary depending on the size and the finish that you choose. Painted metal carports will cost slightly more than galvalume carports, and the price difference between the two gets larger as the carport size gets bigger.

Below are some examples of metal carport sizes with typical pricing.

Metal Carport Size



2 car metal carport kitGalvalume$2,400
2 car metal carport kitPainted$2,600
4 car metal carport kitGalvalume$3,600
4 car metal carport kitPainted$4,100
10 car metal carport kitGalvalume$7,600
10 car metal carport kitPainted$8,900

What Is A Carport Canopy?

A carport canopy, also known as a fabric carport or car canopy, is essentially a tent for your vehicle to protect it from the elements and consists of a steel frame with a canopy cover fabric roof made from polyethylene. Car canopies come in many different styles with some also having fabric that covers the sides of the structure.

Carport Canopy Pros And Cons

Carport Canopy Pros

Carport Canopy Cons

Easy To Put TogetherLongevity
Simple Buying ProcessCannot Be Customized Or Altered

Pros Of A Carport Canopy

  • Affordable
  • Easy to put together
  • Portable
  • Easy buying process

Car Canopies Are Affordable

A carport canopy is much more affordable compared to a metal carport kit and is the most practical solution if cost is your ultimate deciding factor.

Car Canopies Are Easy To Put Together

A car canopy has a much simpler process when it comes to assembly and being used in general. While local building code in some areas requires a permit for metal carports, no permit is required for a portable fabric carport.

Car Canopies Are Portable

Need a car shelter you can take with you? A car canopy is a portable carport and lightweight for easy transporting.

Car Canopies Have A Simple Buying Process

If you need a carport solution today, a car canopy is your answer. Carport canopies are sold in big box stores like Home Depot, or can easily be purchased through sites like Amazon. However, going this route means you are limited to the sizes and colors that are in stock.

Cons Of A Carport Canopy

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Appearance
  • Cannot Be Customized

Car Canopies Have Less Durability Than A Metal Carport

A fabric carport’s biggest drawback is its lack of durability. If you live in an area with weather fluctuation that includes heavy rains and high winds, a car canopy is not the right solution.

The material of a car canopy can rip and tear and cannot handle the same snow load as a metal carport or protect from harmful UV rays the same way steel can. The steel of a metal carport kit has far greater strength when it comes to sheltering your vehicle from the elements.

Car Canopies Have Less Longevity Than A Metal Carport

Due to their lack of durability, a canopy style carport with a polyethylene cover will not last as long as a metal carport. The decision to get a car canopy should be made with the understanding that the canopy will have to be replaced every couple of years.

Variations In Car Canopy Appearance

There is a wide variety of styles and quality when it comes to car canopies, but overall the polyethylene material can fade and tear, making it more of an eyesore compared to a steel structure like a metal carport.

Car Canopies Cannot Be Customized

While metal carport kits are able to be customized, you have to find a fabric carport that meets your sizing requirements as they come ‘as is’ and cannot be altered.

Car Canopy Prices

Car canopies can range anywhere from $200-$900. The price varies depending on size, style, and quality of the canopy.

Deciding Between A Metal Carport Kit And A Carport Canopy

While both a metal carport kit and a carport canopy have the same goal in mind of sheltering your vehicle from the elements, they are for two completely different types of buyers.

A metal carport kit is best:

  • When looking for a long term car shelter solution
  • Durability is a top priority
  • You live in an area with harsh weather conditions

A carport canopy is best:

  • When looking for the most affordable carport solution
  • You want something portable
  • You want the easiest product assembly

If you are looking for a long term car shelter, offers easy to assemble metal carport kits in 5 different painted colors, as well as galvalume steel, and 10 different pre-engineered sizes with custom sizing available.

Ready to get started on assembling your very own steel carport kit? Request a quote for your carport kit today!

Do-It-Yourself Metal RV Carport Kits Web Banner 02