The national average cost to build a garage is $24,000. Garage costs depend on its siding material, foundation and finishes, like electricity and garage door style. A single-car, detached garage kit starts at around $7,250 while an attached three-car garage with a loft can cost $50,000.

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Key Takeaways

  • Single or two-car garages are the most common options.
  • Garage costs vary based on siding material, foundation and finishes (electricity, garage door style).
  • The average cost to build a garage is $24,000.

Average Cost to Build a Garage

Garage Cost Per Square Foot

A two-car garage costs an average of $52 per square feet to build. Custom garage construction costs, like a slab foundation, security system, and livable loft space, mean you could pay between $35 and $90 per square foot.

Single-Car Garage Cost

Single-car garages come in a lot of different shapes and sizes each with their own price tag. Choose a slightly larger footprint for additional storage space.

2-Car Garage Cost

One of the largest cost factors for multi-car garages is the number of garage doors you need to install. Depending on your lot size and how you plan to access your cars, you can choose to park side-by-side or front-to-back, also called tandem.

3-Car Garage Cost

Garages that accommodate three or more cars cost the most because they require the most square footage. They are great for families with multiple vehicles ranging from economical cars to recreational vehicles.

Detached Garage Cost

Detached garages range in price from $1,500 for a no-frills stainless steel kit that fits one car to $50,000 for a barn-like custom garage that fits three cars and an in-law suite. How much you pay depends on the size, functionality, materials and labor. Budget for the cost of a foundation as well as the cost of a driveway to your new garage.

Stainless steel garage kits with manual garage doors and no insulation are the most affordable and fastest to build. You can find these at outbuilding and shed retailers near you. On the other hand, detached garages with siding, trim and roofing that match your home will cost more.

Hire an electrician if you’re adding or updating electrical to your detached garage to accommodate automatic garage door openers, lighting or a security system. Hire a plumber to install wet features like a drain, hose or work-station sink.

Attached Garage Cost

Attaching a garage to your home costs an average of $26,000. However, you could pay anything from $10,000 to $43,000 depending on how many cars you’d like to accommodate and whether it includes livable space.

It costs less to run new electrical or plumbing to an attached garage, especially where those features connect with existing lines. For instance, if you want a garage with an apartment, choose a floor plan that allows new wet rooms to share walls with your existing laundry or bathroom.

You may also need to replace the door connecting your home to the garage with one that is fire-rated. Check local housing codes or talk to your garage contractor.

Garage Material Costs

To build a garage, you’ll need to start with the foundation. Budget for the cost of a concrete slab foundation, which averages $4 to $8 per square foot. Measure the length and width of your new garage foundation to create a rough project budget with the following costs per square foot:

Don’t forget to coordinate concrete installation with any plumbing, drainage or HVAC system needs. Hire a general contractor to complete your project successfully and on budget.

On top of the foundation you’ll either need a prefabricated garage kit or a custom wood frame to erect the walls and roof. From there, it’s time to install the garage door and any exterior doors and windows. Take a look at the following per-unit costs, including materials and labor, and add them to your project budget:

If you opt for a finished garage, you’ll also need electrical to install a garage door opener, lighting and electric vehicle charging stations. Once optional plumbing and electrical are installed, it’s time for insulation, drywall, painting and features such as storage solutions.

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Factors That Affect the Cost of Building a Garage

Several factors will affect the final cost of building a garage, from the size of your garage to labor costs to insulation and much more. To budget accurately for such a large home improvement project, it is essential to understand each factor’s cost.

Size of Garage

The cost of building a custom garage is typically determined by square footage. Most contractors charge approximately $35 to $70 per square foot for a standard garage. For instance, a single-car attached garage at approximately 240 to 380 square feet can range from $10,500 to $20,400. A double-car garage at approximately 440 to 620 square feet can range from $20,000 to $40,300. A three-car garage at approximately 620 to 820 square feet can range from $30,000 to $45,000.

Labor

Building a custom garage is a large home improvement project, and it can take multiple laborers to complete the project. Therefore, labor rates will comprise roughly 50% to 70% of the overall bill. The more you DIY, the more you can reduce labor costs.

Insulation

For those who plan to utilize a garage beyond just parking a car, consider insulating it. Whether using it as a workspace or storing temperature-sensitive items, insulating your garage will help reduce rapid temperature swings. 

The insulation cost typically depends on the insulation type you choose. For instance, blown-in insulation ranges from $.5 to $1.5 per square foot. Batting insulation ranges from $1 to $2 per square foot. Spray-in insulation ranges from $1.5 to $4 per square foot.

Security

Whether you are building a garage to park your car, store your belongings or both, it may be wise to install security features to ensure your item’s safety. Security features such as a garage security system can cost anywhere from $100 to $2,500. But for extra security, you may also want to invest in an automatic garage gate or door compatible with your garage security system. These can range from $200 to $4,000 in addition to the security system.

Windows

Some people prefer windows in a garage to add some natural light or match the home’s exterior. Of course, depending on the window type, size, placement and how many windows you’d like, the additional cost for windows in a garage is approximately $100 to $600 per window.

Materials

Building a garage is a large project requiring various materials for the foundation, the framing, the roofing, the wiring and the gutters. Therefore, the price of your garage will depend on which materials you choose for each element of the garage. On average, materials in total typically account for between 30% and 50% of the final cost. 

Number of Doors

Typically, the number of doors in your garage determines the square footage and installation cost. The more doors, the greater the cost. The cheapest option is usually a single garage door spanning the width of a garage entrance, followed by double-garage doors. A custom garage door will cost the most.

  • Single door: $600 to $1,500
  • Double door: $800 to $3,500
  • Custom door: Over $1,000

Additional Costs to Consider

When it comes to the exterior or interior of your garage, the sky’s the limit. From a custom garage door to an HVAC system to different finishes, the more unique features you add to your garage, the more it will cost.

Garage Door

An automatic garage door opener is a popular, convenient feature most people like to add to their garage. Although they are a one-time cost, they are certainly an add-on. While the garage door opener costs around $120 to $288, you can also expect to pay an additional $127 to $199 to install it.

HVAC

If you spend an extended amount of time in your garage, customized options like an HVAC system may be something you should consider adding, although costly. Extending HVAC ductwork from your home is approximately $15 per linear foot.

Garage Finishes

The perk of building a garage is that it lets you design it how you’d like. From installing plumbing to painting the door to adding a separate entrance to even constructing an apartment above it, you can add various finishes to make it your own. However, it will add to your final bill.

When Do You Need a New Garage?

Due to the high upfront cost, you should carefully consider the decision to construct a new garage. Part of understanding the right time for a garage upgrade requires knowing the key indicators that you need for a new garage. From the seamless mechanical operation of the garage door to the structural soundness of the foundation, each facet plays a critical role in evaluating your garage’s overall condition.

Mechanical Issues

If your garage door isn’t operating as smoothly as it used to, or if it’s not opening or closing correctly, there could be an underlying problem with the garage door system. Mechanical issues can also be indicative of wear and tear over time. For example, if your garage door is exhibiting unreliable operations, experiencing frequent malfunctions in the motor or opener or encountering persistent problems with the garage door tracks, it might signal that your garage requires attention. Additionally, aging or deteriorating components within the garage door system can contribute to a decline in performance.

Recognizing these mechanical issues early on can prompt necessary repairs or lead to the decision to invest in a new garage for improved reliability.

Foundation Issues

On the one hand, foundation problems are a more serious concern related to the stability of the entire garage. Visible cracks or damage to the foundation can compromise the strength of the structure. An uneven or sagging garage floor may indicate foundational problems and structural instability can pose safety risks. Addressing these issues promptly is crucial to prevent further damage and maintain the overall safety of the garage. You should also continuously closely monitor your garage for signs of moisture or water damage that could affect the foundation, as these can worsen structural problems.

Benefits of a New Garage

When considering constructing a new garage, it’s important to consider all the advantages that come with it. In addition to providing additional space to store your car and belongings, new garages also guard your assets against the elements and increase the aesthetic appeal of your property.

Protection

Investing in a new garage has many advantages, but enhanced protection is one of the best benefits. A new garage provides a secure shelter for your vehicles and belongings, shielding them from the elements and potential theft. The structural integrity of a recently constructed garage ensures that your possessions remain safe and well-protected, contributing to the overall security of your home.

Higher Home Value

A new garage can be a good investment. Potential buyers are often drawn to modern and well-designed garages, viewing them as valuable additions to the property. A new garage not only offers functional space but also enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home, thereby contributing positively to its market value. The investment in a new garage proves to be a strategic move, not only for immediate benefits but for the long-term appreciation of your property.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

When you’re embarking on a garage installation project, you’ll have to choose: Do you want to take the DIY approach or hire a professional? The DIY route allows individuals to control the project fully, offering a sense of accomplishment and potential cost savings. However, it demands a significant investment of time, a thorough understanding of construction and the ability to navigate potential challenges, such as adhering to building codes and ensuring structural integrity.

On the other hand, opting for professional garage installation brings the advantage of specialized expertise. Professionals possess the skills and experience necessary to efficiently navigate the complexities of garage construction, ensuring compliance with local regulations and industry standards. While this option may involve a higher upfront cost, it often translates into time savings, enhanced quality of work and peace of mind. Ultimately, the decision hinges on carefully considering personal capabilities, project scope and the desired balance between hands-on involvement and professional assurance.

Tips to Save Money on the Cost to Build a Garage

Building a garage is a big undertaking, and managing the associated costs can be challenging. Fortunately, there are strategic approaches and practical tips that can help you trim expenses without sacrificing the quality and functionality of your finished space.

  • Plan accordingly: Planning is the key to avoiding unnecessary expenses. If you want to avoid making costly changes later in the project, you need to clearly define your garage’s purpose and size.
  • DIY construction: If you have the skills and time, consider handling certain aspects of the construction yourself. This may include tasks like painting or even some basic carpentry.
  • Get multiple quotes: Research and compare prices for construction materials from different suppliers. Look for discounts, promotions or bulk purchase options to get the best deals without compromising quality.
  • Select cost-effective materials: More affordable but durable materials can significantly impact costs. For example, consider cost-effective siding options and roofing materials that provide longevity without breaking the bank.
  • Consider prefabricated options: If you’re on a budget, consider prefabricated options. Prefabricated garage kits or modular structures can be a cost-effective alternative to custom-built garages. They often come with pre-cut materials and instructions, reducing labor costs and construction time.
  • Choose off-season construction: Construction costs can be affected by the season. Building in high-demand seasons is more expensive, so consider scheduling your garage construction during off-peak months when professionals may offer lower prices due to reduced demand.

Bottom Line

Building a well-constructed, secure garage can be a good investment for your home. You’re likely to increase your ROI by adding livable square footage as your household grows or to accommodate guests or tenets. Single- or two-car garages are most common.

A properly installed garage can increase the square footage to store sporting equipment or tools, protect your vehicles from theft or inclement weather and even charge your electric car. The cost to build a garage is often worth it.

To arrive at the average costs in this article, editorial team members surveyed a range of providers on national and local levels. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.



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