Sail Shade as Carport (Complete Project Guide)

Why buy a carport when you can make one? What do you need? Some posts, ropes, and fabric . Sounds easy enough.

But before we get into the details of how to make your own shade sail carport, there are some things to consider first.

What is a Shade Sail as a Carport?

Shade Sails are large fabric structures that provide shade to buildings and areas. There is a D ring at each corner of the shade, and these can attach to the fascia of your home. We recommend a rectangular sail shade when you’re making a carport.

We’ve found the triangular shaped shades to be too large to provide useful protection from the sun. A 8’x10′ sail shade would provide more coverage from the sun as a equilateral triangle with sides of 13′.

Why Choose Shade Sail as a Carport over Other Solutions ?

There are many reasons that people choose to use a sun shade as a carport. I’ll list a few we’ve heard most often below:

No Building Permit Required Adding a sail shade is not considered a structural change, and I am not aware of any state or city that requires getting a permit to add one. You may need to work with your HOA and check the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CCR).

The CCRs of communities can be overly explicit in what you can or can’t do. Our current HOA requires any and all changes to the exterior of the home to be approved by the architectural review board.

Shade Sails as Carports are Cost Efficient The fabric for a high quality shade sail will be around $40 and you’ll spend another $20 for the connectors. Two of the four corners can attach to the home which means you would either need to buy two poles or use existing supports such as trees or fence posts.

Each support pole cost around $120 as I’m writing this post which would put the total price of a sail shade carport around $300. You could also expect to spend a couple hours one weekend if you need to set the poles.

Home advisor estimates the cost of a custom built carport to be between $3184 and $7185. (Source). As many of our readers are in the DIY community, you can buy kits to create a hard metal roof carport for around $1100.

When you compare the $300 of a sail shade carport to the other options that are in the thousands of dollars it’s clear why so many people go with sun shades.

Stand Along Fabric Canopy CarPorts

The biggest expense when using a sail shade as the roof for a carport is the support poles. If your home is setup that you want to have the shade structure away from your home, it can be far more economical to purchase a carport kit.

We’ve included a link to our favorite fabric canopy carport.
  • 【4 Adjustable Heights】- There are 4 options for the side height of this metal carport, which are 6.5ft, 7.0ft, 7.5ft, 8.0ft, accordingly peak height 9.5ft, 10.0ft, 10.5ft, 11.0ft. You can choose a suitable height for all kinds of your needs.
  • 【Waterproof Canopy Cover】- This carport is made of heat-sealed, triple-layer 180g polyethylene fabric, which is Anti-UV, Waterproof, and can protect your car or boat against all four seasons elements, like sun, wind, rain, dust, hail, and snow.
  • 【Heavy Duty Metal Frame】- This carport shelter consists of 1.5inch diameter galvanized steel poles with 8 solid legs, 1.2mm Thick and 1.65inch diameter connectors, 16 steel pegs, and 8 auger anchors, to make the whole steel carport much safer and more stable.
  • 【Easy to Set Up】- The tool-free frame makes its set-up super quick and easy. Foot pads and anchors for added stability and easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions are included. Usually, two or more adults can install this portable car tent in half an hour.
  • 【1 Year Warranty】✔ For Poles and Canopy Covers, we provide a one-year warranty for them. And for other accessories, like connectors, foot pads, pegs, anchors, or elastic bungees, we provide a lifetime warranty. Please rest assured to buy!

Sail Shades Carports are Temporary Structures

For a lot of homeowners, they will only need the extra shade a few months of the year. Whether this is to provide a space for a college student coming from home or a covered place to park a boat in the cooler month, sail shades have the ability to provide shade when you need it without permanently taking up space in the yard.

How to Make your Own Shade Sail Carport

Adding a sail shade as a carport is a fairly easy project that the average DIY homeowner can accomplish in an afternoon. We’ve included a video of someone adding a sail shade to their home where you can watch all the steps.

There are no special restrictions for using it as a carport.

When is the best time of the year to setup a sail shade as a Carport?

This really boils down to temperature more than anything else. As we live in Arizona, we don’t have to worry about the ground freezing. There is also no ‘Off Season’ meaning that any work you want done won’t necessarily be cheaper during parts of the year.

Some regions of the US though have an ‘Off Season’ in winter for outdoor projects. Because so many people are focused on the holiday season in December, the number of outdoor projects fall making it the best time of the year for many projects in the landscaping or outdoor space.

That being said, you need to ensure the temperature is over 25 degrees on the day you install the support poles. At these temperatures, the ground will be frozen making it very difficult to install the support poles. (source )


If you are looking for a cost-effective, custom built carport option that won’t permanently take up space in your yard, consider using a shade sail. This is especially true if you live in areas with heavy rain and it saves you from having to constantly wash your car. Shade sails can also provide shelter or cover when needed without taking up too much space on the property! Let us know how this article was helpful – we’re always here to help our clients find solutions that work well for their needs.

Final Thoughts

As my normal reminder, please remember that I I am not a licensed contractor or awning installer, but rather someone who does a rather someone who shares my experience as an ‘Do-It-Yourselfer’ with moderate skill.

The information in this post is simply my opinions based on general information that I’ve gathered over the years. If you are looking for specific professional advice, I suggest speaking with an awning company who will be able to provide advice for your specific area and issues.

If you have general questions or suggestions for this post, we’d love to hear from you. Either visit our twitter page at @newawning or send us a message via our contact form.

Last Updated:March 24, 2024