Detached Garages vs Carports: Which is Best?

If you live in a home without a garage and you’re thinking about building a detached space for your vehicle, chances are you’re considering one of two options: a garage or a carport. Then again, it could be that you’re shopping for a totally new home altogether, and are looking in an area where the garages (or carports) are usually detached.

True, these days, most homes have a built-in garage, but there are many areas of the country where the homes are older, or space is limited, or the weather makes outside storage possible. If one or any or all of those options apply to the range of homes you’ve looked at, the question of detached garage or carport becomes a key factor.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each and see what makes the most sense, analyzing factors like curb appeal, safety, usability, cost, and living space. Once the dust settles from this no-holds-barred combat, a clear victor will emerge as the best choice for your home.

detached garages vs carports

Round #1: Curb Appeal

When it comes to carports, all your junk is out in the open. Not to be crass of course, but when we say junk we’re obviously talking about your vehicle. That’s right, whether you have this year’s Benz convertible or a beat-up Datsun from the eighties, your vehicle will be on display.

Of course, if your car bears more similarity to the first option we mentioned, that will become a security concern, which we’ll get into later. But if your car bears more similarity to what’s behind door number two, then your property has picked up an eyesore that blemishes your home’s appearance every time you’re home.

Of course, you could cover it up with a tarp, but who wants to take that on and off every time they need to go out? By contrast, an enclosed, albeit detached garage allows you to conceal your vehicle, which is a great boon to expensive car collectors and sloppy jalopy owners alike.

Then, of course, there’s the appearance of the detached garage itself. While a carport usually tends to be a flat utilitarian tar and gravel roof supported by sturdy metal beams, a detached garage is a full-on building with four walls and a roof. That said, there’s more opportunity for a detached garage to match the appearance of your home.

There’s just something stylistically appealing about a small structure that mimics the appearance and style of your home, whether it’s a cottage, a pool house, or a detached garage. It’s a stylistic element employed in European palaces for hundreds of years—to have some sort of miniature palace in the gardens behind the actual palace.    

True, a carport could also be made to match the appearance of your home. But if you’re going all out with looks, you might as well finish walls. Moreover, when it comes to extant carports on properties you might be looking at, we can almost guarantee you’re unlikely to find one that jives with the facade of the house since they serve a mainly utilitarian function.

Round #2: Safety

This fight is short, sweet, and to the point. It’s much easier to break into a vehicle (or steal it) if you don’t have to break into anything else. That’s why, when it comes to security, a detached garage is a much better bet for your home.

The garage door can be locked from outside, only opening for the person who utters Open Sesame (or who has the remote). Because it’s detached, you don’t really need a door, or even windows (although windows make it look nicer), further increasing its security value.

Round #3: Usage

A carport is not a great place to store things other than your vehicle. The elements (rain, snow, sleet, and sunlight) can destroy the things you stack there—in addition to the fact that it just looks bad to turn your front yard into something that looks like a perpetual rummage sale.

By contrast, a detached garage provides an enclosed space where you can store all those things you don’t need year round…you know, like holiday lights, canoes, and random Halloween parts. Your yard won’t have a cheapened appearance, and people won’t be able to eyeball your priceless comic book collection.

Another benefit of a sturdier detached garage (over a carport) is that you can also build some residential quarters on top of or to the side of the garage. It’s a great way to create some living space for guests or extended family members.

detached garage made out of brick siding

Round #4: Cost

When it comes to cost, a carport does seem to have an advantage here. Of course, if you’re building a detached garage unit, you’ll also probably need to deal with more permits and paperwork.

Even so, just remember when it comes to the cost of home improvements, they have a disproportionate effect on the value of your home. Putting more work into your residence, like a detached garage, will seriously add value to your property and make it a whole lot easier to resell—at which point, you’ll probably be happier that you paid a little more.

Round #5: Fun

If you don’t mind hanging out in front of the neighbors, a carport might do the trick for you if you need of a man cave…until you realize that you won’t be able to plug a TV in anywhere, unless you run an extension cord out the kitchen door.

By contrast, a garage creates an enclosed space where you can hang out with your friends, jam out, and/or watch the game (perhaps all those activities at once?)

In most places, if your detached garage has a walk-through door, you’ll be required to wire the place for lighting, which means that you might as well get it wired for other plug-in items such as a television or a guitar amp.

A detached garage can create an awesome home away from home for social events and introverted recharging time. If you want to work on your car or do some sort of project (like woodworking) an enclosed garage creates a space where you can do that.

Conclusion: Detached Garage

When it comes to an all-out brawl between carports and detached garages, you’ll find that it’s better to pay up and get a detached garage…in any case, the money and time you put into it will come back to you on a two-fold down the road once you sell your home.

Now, if you’re home is a place where you flip burgers in the kitchen and waitresses on roller skates bring them out to patrons waiting to eat in their vehicle, a carport might be your best bet. But if you live in something else, like most people, then ditch the open air eyesore of a flat roof with supports and embrace the added value an enclosed detached garage brings to your home.

The added security, curb appeal, storage, and usage provided by your enclosed detached garage will really be features that you continue to enjoy through home ownership.

Finding a reputable company that specializes in detached garage construction is not easy. The checklist for your new garage is never too big. Whether it’s one, two or three car garage, Danley’s got the reputation for builder over 100,000 custom detached garages of all sizes. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.



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Since 1959, Danley’s has been Chicagoland’s top choice for garage construction. Since then, we’ve built over 100,000 garages, making us Chicago’s largest and most trusted garage builder.

We offer an unbeatable combination of products, service and value for homeowners across Chicagoland.

Get a free quote now or call us at 877-DANLEYS today!

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