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Do I Need a Permit for a Freestanding Carport? (The Ins & Outs)

Building a carport will be the first go-to option for most car owners if they lack a garage in their homes. Carports can be very useful in protecting your valuable vehicle from the exterior factors that damage your car. But, before you build a freestanding carport, a few risks can harm safety if the local government does not revise the building. Thus,  a common question most car owners ask is, do I need a permit for a freestanding carport?

Freestanding carports are simple structures and far more affordable than building garages. But freestanding carports can also protect your Vehicles from U.V. rays, dust, debris, and other weather conditions. Though freestanding carports are a handy option to protect your cars if you do not have a garage, there are a few things you need to consider before building a freestanding carport for your home. Because according to local government law in the United States, you will need a permit if the building is permanent and cannot be moved. Since most are not aware of where the freestanding carport stands, you might be worried about facing legal issues. But you do not have to worry anymore because you are at the right place to discover the most awaited answer.

Do I Need a Permit for a Freestanding Carport?

You will need a permit for a freestanding carport before building it. Because according to U.S. government laws, any immobile structure is considered a permanent building.

Since Freestanding carports cannot be moved and is a fixed to your property, the local government or the HOA (Homeowners Association) has to inspect the freestanding carport and accept the permit if Freestanding Carport does not harm the property or cause potential risk to harm individual safety.

If the permit application is accepted, you must pay a small amount and get the permit. 

A permit for your freestanding carport permit is essential if the property or the space you chose to build is not safe. But if you continue to use the Freestanding carport, neglecting the local government’s laws, you can file a complaint for violating the rules.

How Close to the Property Line Can I Build a Carport?

Before you get a permit for your carport, there are a few legal tips you need to consider for your carport to get accepted by the law. Because the primary reason the law urges you to take a permit is to avoid risks caused to the property. Thus, before you build the carport on your property, it is crucial to consider how close to the property line you can build the carport.

According to U.S. law, building your carports at least a meter behind the building line is advised. But the standard length considered to increase safety and build any structure, be it carports or garages, should be between 5 to 10 feet.

However, how close to the property line you can build the carport also depends on the size and materials used to build the carport. Thus, it is always better to consult HOA (Home Owners Association) about the lengths.

What Happens If you Build a Carport Without a Permit?

You might wonder why U.S. law makes a tough call on carports and what can happen if you build a carport without a permit.

There are plenty of reasons why you need a permit to build a carport, but without a permit, the consequences that follow or the results will not make you happy. Because violating the local laws is not accepted by any country, and hence you will be fined more than it takes to pay for the permit.

If you continue to use the carport after a warning, you will have to face serious penalties by law and even end up in prison.

Apart from facing legal issues, building your carport without following the guidelines is dangerous because safety is on a risky line.

It can even be dangerous as harming your own life if the carport is not built in a safe area. An unsafe carport can jeopardize public health, property, and welfare because of the instability in the building.

Do I Need a Building Permit for a Metal Carport?

According to the local U.S. law, it is only considered a building if it cannot be moved or transported, but metal carports, in contrast, are different.

Do I Need a Building Permit for a Metal Carport

Most metal carports are portable and transportable because they are built in different parts, which you can remove and install only when needed. Thus, because a metal carport is not considered a building, you will not need a permit for the carport.

How Much is a Building Permit for a Carport?

Most people refrain from getting a building permit, assuming the permit fee will be expensive. Thus if you are looking at how much a building permit is for a carport, it depends on different factors. Because the size of the carport and the construction type will decide the cost of the permit, thus, if your carport is small and has the facility to park one vehicle, it can cost approximately $3000 for the permit.

If the carport is large and can accommodate more than two vehicles, the permit cost can increase to $10,000.


U.S. laws primarily forces a permit to protect public safety and avoid buildings that can harm properties. But, most may not be aware of what is considered a building according to the law and neglect the fact of carports. Because freestanding carport is a structure standing alone supported by four columns and is  a great alternative if you don’t have a garage.

However, recent times have made people more aware that you will need a permit for a carport because they are also permanent buildings.

Thus, in this article do I need a permit for a freestanding carport, we have included the most effective answer by contemplating the cost of a freestanding carport permit.

We also have discussed the length of building the freestanding carport from the property line and the consequences you will face if you build a carport without a permit.

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