How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage? How To Build a Budget For a New Garage

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Photo: istockphoto.com Typical Range: $16,747 to $38,926 National Average: $27,774 Garages are a great way to boost home value. They offer secure storage space, protect cars from the weather, and can serve as a workshop. Adding a garage is no small feat, though, and costs vary based on size, complexity, […]

Photo: istockphoto.com

  • Typical Range: $16,747 to $38,926
  • National Average: $27,774

Garages are a great way to boost home value. They offer secure storage space, protect cars from the weather, and can serve as a workshop. Adding a garage is no small feat, though, and costs vary based on size, complexity, and location. Homeowners may prefer to leave a new garage unfinished with bare drywall, while others prefer to add built-in cabinets, heating or cooling elements, or a customized work space. The price to build a garage ranges from $16,747 to $38,926, with an average cost of $27,774. Spending $40 to $70 per square foot is common for standard garages without significant upgrades. Just ahead are the most common factors that determine the cost to build a garage to help you identify the price for a design that suits your style.

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Factors in Calculating the Cost to Build a Garage

Cost to Build a Garage Factors in Calculating the Cost

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As with most construction projects, size is a primary factor in determining estimated costs, from one-car to RV-size garages. Homeowners will also need to decide if they prefer windows and full insulation and how much electrical wiring to put in. Attached garages typically cost less than a detached garage, but every new construction will require a foundation and roof, both of which make up a good portion of the overall cost. Building permits are also needed to construct a new garage, and those costs will vary by location. The following factors for estimating the price of a garage will give you a better understanding of what to expect when asking for a quote.

Size and Number of Garage Doors

The average cost for a new garage ranges between $40 and $70 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor. A single-car attached garage is the least expensive option and averages $10,500 to $27,000. This size includes approximately 240 to 384 square feet. A 2.5-car garage is a popular option that allows a small amount of work space in 520 to 744 square feet and has an average cost of $20,800 to $52,000.

Permits

Local building codes might have requirements regarding garage structures and often include an inspection of the final construction. Before building, the contractor will need to obtain a permit. A permit may cost between $200 to $1,500, depending on the region. Some HOAs also could have fees associated with new construction.

Labor

Since garage building is a large project that involves several kinds of laborers to install the foundation, walls, roof, and electrical components, labor will be a primary part of the cost. Labor rates can cost 50 to 70 percent of the final price.

Windows

A garage may rely on windows in the garage door to provide natural light, or some homeowners may opt to go without natural light altogether. Other homeowners prefer to have windows installed for extra light or to match the home’s exterior. Windows are an additional cost, and a quote will not typically include the price unless requested. The cost to install a window ranges between $200 and $1,300 depending on the size, style, and number.

Insulation

While not an option for brick or metal garages, homeowners can choose to include insulation in their new wood garage. This includes blown-in, batting, or spray-in insulation. Insulating an attached garage can help prevent the garage from affecting the ambient temperature of the house during extreme temperature swings. On average, insulating a garage costs approximately $0.50 to $2 per square foot.

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Gutters

Installing gutters on a new garage is essential to protect the structure from long-term water damage. Homeowners can choose from aluminum, vinyl, or steel varieties to best suit the garage style. Downspouts will be positioned to prevent water from pooling near the foundation. On average, gutters cost between $4 and $8 per linear foot.

Foundation

The garage foundation is a critical component of a new garage structure and can sometimes make up a significant portion of the cost. The size of the pad is a determining factor in overall cost. The average price of a garage foundation is $1,500 to $8,500 or an average of $140 per cubic yard.

Roof

The most common style of roof is asphalt shingle. This type of roof has a long lifespan of 20 to 40 years, depending on the quality of the materials. Roofing costs have a wide price range based on the size, style, and potential additional features like skylights. On average, expect to spend between $1,000 and $10,000 with $600 to $6,000 more on labor. The price might be quoted per square (100 square feet) or square foot.

Framing and Entry Door

Unlike a carport, garages include four enclosed walls, which means framing costs will need to be included in the cost if homeowners are not using metal garage kits or concrete blocks. Wood framing is a standard and cost-effective option. Garage framing costs $1 to $5 per square foot and $4 to $8 per square foot in labor. The entry door can range from simple to high security for a detached exterior door, and the average cost ranges from $100 to $2,500.

Electrical and Wiring

Running electricity to a garage is a common and helpful feature, though it’s an additional cost. Homeowners can use the garage, power tools, or other electrical equipment at night when lights and outlets are installed. An automated garage door will require electricity, and some building codes require a minimal amount of electricity to be installed. Including electrical and wiring to build a garage typically costs $6 to $10 per square foot on average.

Attached vs. Detached

The average cost of $40 to $70 per square foot still applies whether the new garage is attached to or detached from the main house; however, an attached garage typically costs about 10 to 15 percent less overall than a detached garage. This is because it shares wall space with the house, and electrical wiring can be pulled more easily.

Cost to Build a Garage Additional Costs

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Additional Costs and Considerations

After you’ve determined the basic structure of a new garage, it’s time to consider additional features to create the style and accessibility you need. Adding an automatic garage door opener is a popular, convenient feature that is not too expensive. Customized options like plumbing or an HVAC system will be more costly. Other costs to consider include garage accessories like a workbench, cabinetry, or appliances and finishing costs. These additional features can help to create a functional and unique garage.

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Garage Door Opener

Garage doors come in manual or automatic styles. Choosing an automatic garage door adds more long-term value for prospective buyers and makes for convenient everyday use for the family. A garage door opener requires electricity to operate the motor and controls. Expect to spend between $247 and $487 for a garage door opener.

Garage Accessories

Adding a work space is a popular option for homeowners who need space to work with tools or equipment in an enclosed environment. A workbench can increase the cost by approximately $375 to $600, and built-in cabinets could cost up to $3,400. All-in-one cabinet systems are available, and a contractor or the homeowner can install them. Fridges and freezers are also popular items that many homeowners choose to add to their garage.

Upgrades

Installing an HVAC system is helpful for homeowners who spend a lot of time working in their garage. The average cost runs between $700 and $1,500. Plumbing is an additional upgrade if running water is needed. It costs between $600 to $1,600 per plumbing fixture.

Finishing Costs

A bare-bones garage might not include any electricity, paint, shingles, or even a garage door. Finishing a garage will consist of the cost to drywall and paint the interior, which costs an average of $30 per square yard and $1.50 per square foot, respectively.

Cost to Build a Garage: Garage Types

Homeowners should consider the exterior aesthetics they prefer, which can influence the type of garage selected. Not every homeowner needs a 3-car garage or a place to store an RV, but 2- to 3-car garages are popular options for most new garage construction projects. Sharing wall space with an existing house as an attached garage can reduce total costs, but increasing the number of cars or overall square footage will push prices higher.

In some cases, choosing to use a prefab (or prebuilt) garage kit can be cost-effective, but metal prefab kits are usually not approved by HOAs since they have less aesthetic appeal. Be sure also to consider walking space between cars when deciding on the preferred width of the garage. Here are the most common garage types and their average costs.

Attached

For convenience and reduced costs, attached garages are the most popular garage type. They share existing structure space, which makes it easier and cheaper to run electrical or plumbing if needed. Building an attached garage costs approximately 10 to 15 percent less than a detached garage because of these factors. A single-car attached garage usually starts at $10,500.

Detached

Detached garages have their appeal for some homeowners, too. Many include an upper living space, or they’re built large enough to store an RV or enclose an auto workshop. Running electrical, plumbing, or HVAC to an exterior location will cost more, so on average, a detached garage starts at $14,250.

1-Car Garage

Building a 1-car garage is becoming a less popular option since most families have more than one car and want additional work or storage space. The typical width of a single-car garage is 12 to 16 feet, and the length is 20 to 24 feet. For a basic 1-car garage, the average cost is $10,500 to $27,000.

2-Car Garage

A 2-car garage has become a common choice for most homes, with the most common 2-car garage dimensions being 22 by 26 feet wide and 20 by 24 feet deep. This can accommodate most cars, but SUVs may require additional width. A standard 2-car garage costs between $14,500 and $40,300. Another popular option is to build a 2.5-car garage that provides extra work space alongside the two cars. These can cost up to $52,000 on average.

3-Car Garage

For larger homes, a 3-car garage might be a great option to hold an extra car or recreational vehicle. These are usually 31 to 34 feet wide and 20 to 24 feet deep. It’s common to have a double door and a single door installed for a 3-car garage. On average, the cost to build a 3-car garage is $28,200 to $57,100, with a 3.5-car garage costing up to $67,200.

4-Car Garage

A 4-car garage is an excellent option for car enthusiasts who want some extra work space to fix cars. Homeowners can choose whether they want to have two double doors or four single doors in a row. Typically, it costs an average of $32,000 to $73,900 to build a 4-car garage. Adding extra features like plumbing or HVAC will boost that cost over $100,000.

RV Garage

An RV garage is a custom option that costs more than an average garage due to the size and height required to fit an RV. Adding sewer and power hookups will cost more, too. At a minimum, the door height should be 12 to 14 feet, and the length of the garage should be 40 to 50 feet. The average cost of an RV garage is $36,000 to $140,000, depending on the materials used.

Prefab Garage Kits

A prefab (or prebuilt) garage kit is the cheapest solution to quickly building a garage—if your HOA allows it. The appearance of prefab garages has improved over the last several years so that a wooden single-car prefab garage kit can look just as good as a site-built garage. On average, these kits are about half the price of a standard garage, which puts their cost between $3,000 and $10,000 on average.

Cost to Build a Garage Do I Need a New Garage

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Do I Need a New Garage?

The range of costs to build a garage may feel intimidating since the price quickly increases with each change or addition. Granted, it’s a more extensive construction project than some, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the associated costs. Whether the new garage is for daily use or to store recreational vehicles, your property value will increase with a well-built garage, and you’ll generate more interest from future homebuyers.

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Your Garage Is Old

A crumbling foundation, rotting wood, broken garage door, or undersize space are reasons to consider building a new garage. The average cost to tear down and rebuild a garage costs from $44 to $85 per square foot. If the original pad is in good shape, then you won’t have to pay for a new concrete pad—unless you’re expanding the size.

Your Garage Is Structurally Compromised

In some cases, a garage may become structurally compromised during a natural disaster or another unfortunate incident. A professional can inspect the garage to determine the extent of the damage and decide the best course of action. A structurally compromised garage is a safety hazard that should be addressed as soon as possible.

You Need a Larger Garage or Want to Repurpose the Space

Homeowners might want to expand their garages to hold extra cars, create a workshop, or park recreational vehicles. A professional contractor who can determine how to extend the space properly should assess the situation. Expanding or doubling the space typically costs the same as building a new garage. On average, the cost to expand a single-car garage to a 2-car garage is $12,000 to $21,000.

A New Garage Can Increase the Value of Your Home

A garage that’s in severe disrepair or isn’t large enough to suit the house brings down the curb appeal and may turn away prospective buyers. Rebuilding an old garage gives homeowners an immediate investment return of almost 80 percent on the project. It’s worth noting that a prefab garage kit typically does not boost the home value as much as a site-built garage.

Cost to Build a Garage: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Building a new garage is a multilayered project from foundation to roof. Prebuilt garage kits are a useful and cost-effective way for a homeowner to install a new garage with relative ease since all the sourcing, measuring, and cutting are done ahead of time. But prebuilt kits don’t have the same value as a traditional garage, and most HOAs don’t allow them.

If building a traditional garage, a skilled DIYer could tackle tasks such as framing, drywalling, or painting. Still, most jobs are best left to professionals familiar with electrical wiring or roofing, for instance. Making one mistake on a roof truss, building a crooked wall, or installing electrical wiring improperly can have severe consequences. Hiring professionals is the safest way to protect your investment in building a garage.

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A general contractor has a skilled team or set of subcontractors who are comfortable with every aspect of a new garage project. Qualified contractors are familiar with local building codes and best practices, and they are also insured against accidents. In many cases, a warranty could also be available to homeowners. Using professionals to plan and build a new garage is a good investment as they can access more resources to complete a polished project. They’ll also be able to order the right supplies, schedule subcontractors, and offer suggestions or ways to save money. When you’re ready to talk with a general contractor, search for “garage builders near me.”

Cost to Build a Garage How to Save Money

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How to Save Money on the Cost to Build a Garage

The cost to build a garage can vary significantly, but it’s still possible to save money. Most of the money-saving opportunities are in the planning stage—choosing the size, exterior, and extra features. Consider these ideas for how to save money on the cost to build a garage:

  • Forgo the windows or skylights. Windows and skylights are a fast way to increase the cost of a garage. Opt for windows installed in the garage door for natural light.
  • Build to size. Rather than building extra space for a workshop that might not be used, only build to the size that’s needed.
  • Eliminate upgrades and accessories. While an HVAC system might be nice, consider how much time you will actually spend in the garage to determine if the extra cost is worth it. The same goes for custom cabinets or plumbing.
  • Install your own shelving or cabinets. Cut down labor fees and install the storage accessories you need on your own time.
  • Do the finishing work yourself. Save money by doing your own sanding and painting after the garage is built.
  • Choose an asphalt shingle roof. A metal or tile roof is more expensive, so opt for a cheaper, more common style.
  • Use reclaimed wood. If you have access to a lot of reclaimed wood, and the style suits the rest of the house, consider using reclaimed wood on the exterior of the new garage. With a bit of sanding and staining, it can look like brand-new shiplap.
  • Speak with a contractor. Contractors are familiar with how the project will go, so they can offer advice about where you could reduce costs by changing materials or making other adjustments.
  • Build in the off-season. Depending on your region, it may be possible to build a garage during the cooler season and get a discount from a company that’s happy to keep busy.
  • Shop around. Get a quote from more than one contractor and factor in warranties.
  • Consider a prebuilt garage kit. If you don’t have an HOA, using a prefab garage kit might be a great option and will cost almost half of a traditional garage.
  • Review the project. When the contractor has the project ready, review each line item and ask questions about anything you’re unfamiliar with. A contractor may assume a common material or addition that you don’t need.

Questions to Ask About the Cost to Build a Garage

Finding a professional that you trust can make the project flow smoothly and avoid stress. The best contractors have seen and done it all, so they’ll be prepared to handle any questions or challenges that may arise. Referrals are a great way to find a trustworthy builder, so start your search by asking family and friends who they might recommend. With a few leads in hand, narrow down your choice by asking the following questions:

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What kind of warranties do you offer?
  • How long have you been building garages?
  • Do you have photos of other garages you’ve built?
  • How long will it take to complete my project?
  • What could affect the timeline?
  • Will you need to hire subcontractors? Who hires them?
  • Who pays the subcontractors?
  • Am I responsible for permits, or do you obtain them and bill me separately?
  • Do you require a down payment?
  • Can we review the itemized project or quote together?
  • Can I do the finishing work myself?
  • What if I want to add a feature after we’ve started the project?
  • What’s the best insulation choice for our region if I want to avoid increasing my home’s energy bill?
  • How will you handle any problems that arise during this project?
  • Do you have a recommendation for a garage door company to maintain and service my garage door after it’s installed?

FAQs

Homeowners can face many questions and concerns when choosing to start a big project like building a garage. Here are some frequently asked questions about the cost to build a garage.

Q. How much does it cost to build an unfinished garage?

The cost to build an unfinished garage varies by project, depending on what tasks the homeowners can capably complete on their own or are willing to live without. Usually, painting is left off of the contractor’s project. Painting costs $1.50 per square foot on average, and installing your own cabinets will reduce labor costs by a few hundred dollars. An unfinished garage typically costs only a small percent less than a finished garage, but the rates vary by region.

Q. How much does it cost to build a 24-foot-by-24-foot garage?

A 24-foot-by-24-foot garage can hold two cars. The average cost ranges between $23,000 and $40,300 to build.

Q. How much does it cost to remodel a garage?

On average, homeowners spend between $6,000 and $22,000 to remodel a garage.

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