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How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage?

Last Updated on February 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Adding a garage to your property can provide valuable parking and storage space. However, constructing a new garage involves significant expenses. Understanding the costs involved will help you plan and budget for a successful garage addition project. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the factors that influence garage construction costs and pricing estimates.

A new garage involves major investments in design, materials, labor, and special features. However, a garage can also increase your home’s functionality and resale value. Careful planning and budgeting will ensure your new garage meets your needs without breaking the bank.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage?

Garage construction costs vary widely depending on the specifications, with basic single-car garages typically ranging from $20,000 to $35,000 or more, mid-range two-car garages averaging between $35,000 and $60,000, and upscale oversized garages costing $60,000 to $100,000 or higher. The size, materials, finishes, and additional features all contribute to the final price tag of the garage.

Let’s break down what goes into these price ranges.

A standard 240 square-foot single-car garage with basic finishes starts around $20,000. With nice finishes like decorative garage doors, epoxy floors, and some shelving/storage, expect closer to $30,000. Luxury doors, premium siding, and high-end electrical can reach $35,000 to $45,000.

For a 480-square-foot two-car garage, you’ll pay $35,000 to $45,000 for a simple detached structure with basic finishes. Mid-range models with nicer doors, windows, lighting, and storage systems will average $50,000 to $60,000. High-end custom designs with premium features can cost $70,000+ for a spacious two-car garage.

Oversize two+ car garages allowing even more parking capacity. A 750-square-foot four-car garage with luxury finishes could cost $100,000 or more. The sky’s the limit for top-of-the-line custom garage designs.

Regional construction costs also impact pricing. Expect to pay 10% to 20%+ more in high-cost-of-living areas.

According to Maverick Steel Buildings, the cost to build a garage ranges from $20 to $30 per square foot, with an average cost of $35 to $60 per square foot. The average cost to build a garage is between $9,600 to $28,200.

HomeGuide.com writes that the average cost to build a garage is $35 to $60 per square foot, with an average range of $19,600 to $28,200 for a single-car garage, $19,600 to $28,200 for a two-car garage, and $28,200 to $42,700 for a three-car garage.

HomeBlue.com notes that the cost to build a garage in Southern California ranges from $46 to $69 per square foot, with an average cost of $26,000 to $40,000 for a two-car garage, while for a four-car garage you can pay up to $53,000 to $79,000.

Factors That Impact Garage Construction Costs

Several important considerations will influence the total pricing for your new garage:

  • Garage size – The overall square footage and dimensions determine materials needed. Standard single-car garages start around 240 square feet while two-car designs are typically 480 square feet. Larger custom garages cost more.
  • Attached vs. detached – Attached garages typically have one or more shared walls with the home. Detached garages are standalone structures requiring additional foundation and roofing work.
  • Construction materials – Basic garages use cost-effective wood framing while brick or stone masonry will add expenses. High-end doors, windows, and finishes also increase costs.
  • Customization – Opting for premium features like insulation, electrical, storage systems, or luxury finishes will drive up pricing. Simple concrete flooring is the most budget-friendly route.
  • Project scope – Are you building a garage from the ground up or converting existing space? Garage additions to an existing home will require integrating the new structure.

Carefully evaluating these factors will provide realistic expectations when estimating your garage building costs.

Planning and Budgeting for Your Project

New GarageThe most cost-effective garages match your needs without overbuilding. Focus on must-have features and size requirements to avoid budget creep. Here are some tips:

  • Get quotes from 3-4 contractors to compare pricing
  • Prioritize essential features like size, roof, and garage door type
  • Consider prefabricated garage kits to save on labor costs
  • Choose affordable finishes like concrete floors and standard overhead doors
  • Scale down square footage and custom touches if needed
  • Discuss ways to optimize costs with your contractor
  • Secure financing if needed to spread out upfront expenses
  • Architectural design fees typically range from $1,500 to $5,000+ depending on garage size and complexity
  • Building permits often cost $800 to $2,000, varying by location and project scope
  • Site preparation work like grading and excavating averages $2,000 to $5,000
  • Prefabricated garage kits can save 20% or more on construction labor costs compared to building fully custom

Leave room for contingency costs as unexpected issues can arise. Aim to set aside 10% to 20% of total budget for contingencies.

Thorough planning and smart budgeting will help control expenses while delivering real value for your home.

The Garage Construction Process

Building a garage involves carefully orchestrating numerous construction stages:

You might also like our articles about the cost of building a house, a guest house, or a duplex.

Excavation and Foundation – The site is prepped and dug out before pouring a concrete slab or foundation. Concrete foundation cost is around $5-$8 per square foot, including materials and labor

Framing – The garage structure is framed out using wood or masonry materials. Attached garages use wall framing to join with the existing home. Framing labor runs $5 to $10 per square foot for materials and carpenter wages.

Roofing – Shingles, metal panels, or other roofing will protect the garage interior from the elements. Basic asphalt shingle roofing starts around $1.50 per square foot; metal or tile roofs cost $3 to $20+ per square foot.

Siding – New siding, typically matching the home’s finishes, is installed on exterior walls.

Garage Door Installation – Sectional overhead doors are commonly used. This involves installing tracks, openers, motors, and wiring. Standard pre-hung exterior doors average $300 to $700 installed; insulated garage doors range from $800 up to $5,000+.

Interior Finishes – Drywall, paint, trim, and optional insulation make the interior space usable. Drywall installation averages $1 to $3 per square foot; finishing and painting adds $1 to $2 per square foot.

Electrical and Lighting – Wiring and lights are added to power garage activity. Electrical capacity should match intended use. Electrical wiring and installation typically add $2,000 to $4,000 depending on scope of work and complexity.

Final Landscaping – The garage exterior is completed by grading, drainage, driveways, and landscaping around the site. Grading, drainage, and concrete flatwork like driveways range from $8 to $20 per square foot.

Proper project sequencing ensures construction stages happen logically and efficiently.

Popular Options and Upgrades

Beyond the garage basics, owners can upgrade features for functionality, aesthetics, energy efficiency, and convenience. Common options include:

  • Premium windows – Natural light from additional garage windows creates an inviting space.
  • Insulation – Insulating garage walls and ceilings prevent temperature extremes and reduces energy costs.
  • Custom storage solutions – Wall-mounted cabinets, overhead racks, and closets add organized storage capacity.
  • Epoxy floor coating – Applying an epoxy floor finish is durable and easier to clean than bare concrete.
  • Automation – Automatic garage door openers, lighting, and other smart features add convenience.
  • Workbench and utility options – Built-in workbenches, wall-mounted pegboards, and extra outlets facilitate garage activities.
  • Security options – Motion-sensor lights, cameras, and electronic locks boost garage security.
  • Climate control – Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems make garage space more comfortable for use.

Upgrading selectively can increase functionality without necessarily breaking the budget.

Final Words

Constructing a new garage involves significant investment and coordination. But proper planning and budgeting for construction costs can make your dream garage achievable.

Understanding typical pricing ranges and customization options allows you to balance must-have features with overall affordability. This ensures smart investments that will benefit your home for years to come. With realistic expectations and thorough planning, you can build the perfect garage to suit your needs and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to build a garage?

The ideal garage location depends on several factors. The attached garages are convenient but limit house expansion. detached garages allow flexible placement but require additional costs. Locate detached garages close enough for easy access but consider drainage, trees, and landscaping impact. Side yards or back corners of the lot typically work well.

What is the most cost-effective garage size?

Single-car garages around 240 square feet deliver functionality at the most affordable construction price. Two-car designs around 480 square feet maximize space for the cost but require a larger budget. Limiting custom finishes and unnecessary footprints keeps garages cost-effective. Focus on the parking capacity and features you need rather than overbuilding.

What is the most expensive part of building a garage?

The costliest component of constructing a garage typically lies in the foundation and structural elements, including excavation, concrete work, and framing. These fundamental aspects provide the necessary support and stability for the entire structure and can significantly impact the overall expense of the project.

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