How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage?
Costs to Build a Garage at a Glance
- Overall range: $7,500-$40,000
- Single-door garage: $7,500+
- Two-car garage: $13,300+
- Three-car garage: $18,000+
- Garage kit: $3,200+
It's pouring rain as you pull into your driveway with an entire trunk load of groceries. No one loves that mad dash from car to door in a downpour — and it's even worse when you have to repeat it several times to carry in all those groceries threatening to fall through the wet bottom of the paper bags you requested when checking out at the supermarket. If you've ever experienced this challenge — or myriad other weather issues that turn the simple act of coming home into an Olympic event — you might dream of building a garage.
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Read on to learn more about the cost to build a garage so that you can make an educated decision about your next potential home improvement — and make that dream of leisurely unloading your groceries without taking a fully clothed shower come true.
The cost to build a garage depends several factors, including:
- Whether you want it attached to your existing home
- How big you want it to be
- How many cars you want to fit inside
- How many doors you want
- The types of doors you want
- Types of materials you want
- Whether you want to add other amenities, such as an apartment on top
- Whether you plan to build it yourself or hire a contractor
Most pros will not give an estimate on how much it costs to build a garage without knowing a lot more information. But the costs can easily range from around $7,500 to $40,000 — and potentially go even higher, depending on the options you choose. Using a garage kit to install a single-car garage, you may be able to lower the total cost somewhat on a do-it-yourself garage build.
Size is typically the biggest contributing factor to how much your garage costs. While the total cost of any garage depends on other elements, you can see here how size might impact the potential price range you're working with:
- One-door (or one-car) garage, $7,500 and up
- Two-door (or two-car) garage, $13,300 and up
- Three-door (or three-car) garage, $18,000 and up
In addition to the size of the garage, here are some other elements that can contribute to the cost:
Unless you want to drive into a building with a dirt floor, you'll need a foundation for your garage. That usually involves doing the prep work and pouring concrete. The cost of this step is impacted by how much you need to alter the landscape to properly support the garage and how much square footage the garage will cover.
The number of garage doors can obviously drive up the cost of the job, but so can the types of doors you choose. Automated doors, which are typically preferred, will likely be more expensive than old-fashioned manual doors.
Windows and Other Exterior Extras
If you want to add exterior windows or a side door — or have to because of code requirements — you'll deal with extra costs for trim, doors and windows, as well as the work to install them.
Type of Roofing
Metal roofing is generally least expensive, followed by shingles and then tile.
Options for Finishing the Inside
How you want to complete the inside of the garage, including whether you'll finish the walls or install built-in features, impacts the cost of your project.
In most cases, you'll need to obtain proper building permits when adding on to your home or property. Which permits you need and how much they cost depends on your state and local requirements.
Whether You DIY or Pay a Contractor
DIY jobs tend to be less expensive than paying someone, though that depends on how experienced you are, whether you run into challenges that up the price and whether you have to take off work (and give up income) to complete the job.
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What’s the Cheapest Way to Build a Garage?
The least expensive garages tend to be the smallest, least “finished” options. That means the cheapest way to build a garage is to build a single-car garage with minimal internal finishing and the fewest doors, windows and other elements possible.
Building the garage yourself — assuming you have the skills and time to do it — can also help keep the job cost as low as possible. When you build the garage yourself, you're not paying for someone else's time and skills. However, it's important to realize that DIY isn't always the least-costly option. If you don't already have a lot of the tools you would need, for example, you may have to invest in them before you can start your project. In that case, you might find that paying a professional is the wiser investment.
Are Garage Kits Worth It?
Kits may be a way to reduce how much it costs to build a garage. These can be purchased from specialty retailers, as well as from home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. Typically, the kit comes with most of what you need to build the basic structure of a garage. Average kit prices start around $3,200 and can go much higher.
This might seem like the cheapest way to build a garage, but the kit doesn't account for the entire cost of the finished project. Many kits include only the frame basic structure, excluding doors, windows, foundations or any of the other finishing touches. If you're considering a kit, make sure you understand what it includes and what else you may need to purchase to finalize your garage build. That's the best way to determine whether a garage kit is worth the purchase.
Is Adding a Garage a Good Investment?
Once you understand the cost to build a garage, you might need to consider whether it’s a good investment for your home. It's a personal question with two main considerations:
First, consider whether you and your family will enjoy enough of a benefit to justify the price. Storage space, the ability to park cars in secure and sheltered areas, and protection from the weather as you move between car and home may be enticing enough to make the expense a no-brainer for you.
Many people also consider the value any improvement they make to their home. That means determining whether the sale price of your home could be driven up higher than the cost of the improvement project. In short: Will you make a profit from your garage addition if you ever sell your home? According to real estate studies, the answer is no.
The return on investment for a garage is usually around 60%. That means, if you spend $10,000 building a garage, you may raise the sale price of your home by about $6,000 on average. So, avoid adding a garage just to make your house a better choice on the market — and do so because you and your family really want a garage for functional purposes.
Keep in mind that adding a garage requires more than structure. You may need to run electricity or even plumbing into the space, depending on your needs and building plan. For these technical aspects of a garage build, you may want to work with professionals. And once you get any professional electrical systems up and running, you might consider staying prepared with a plan from HomeServe to help keep everything working in the future.