When it comes to building a garage, like any large-scale building project, a lot of factors affect the scope and total price. While garage construction costs vary greatly depending on the structure's style, size, materials, and features, most homeowners spend about $24,879 to build an average sized two-car garage. You will most likely spend in the range of $16,828 and $36,345, but that will depend on many factors.
Attached vs. Detached
Putting on an attached garage is more common and tends to be more affordable. Attached garages are building off of an existing structure, and can utilize that as a wall, which cuts down on the average cost to build. It is also less expensive if the driveway is already in place. For a detached garage, the construction costs go up because it's building from scratch. However, these tend to offer more options, like a bigger work space. Here are some other factors to consider when choosing an attached or detached garage.
Attached garages are considered the less expensive option of the two. It’s easier to build three walls rather than whole new structure. You can have either an open plan (no walls, just a roof), or you can enclose the whole space with walls. They can also be a good place to store fridges, freezers and other secondary supplies. The best benefit of this garage is keeping out of inclement weather. By having an entryway from your home to the garage, you avoid snow, rain or other bad weather as you get into your car.
Costs & Considerations
For a single car attached garage, you’ll pay between $7,500 and $10,000. Two car styles will be between $20,000 and $27,000, depending on materials. You’ll also have to pay electricians, painters and carpenters depending on how complex your structure is. The cost of materials could range anywhere around $40 per square foot or $5,000 to $7,000. This does not include the cost of hiring a contractor or paying for building permits. You will need to consult with several professionals and your local municipality for the best cost.
Detached garages are more expensive than attached, but they can be beneficial for the cost. If you don’t have room next to an entryway, you can build a detached garage behind the house or in a space that can fit one. These are also safer because you won’t get any carbon monoxide coming in to your house. You can also make the detached garage a secondary living space, if you add a loft space above it. While it costs more to start from scratch, you can see a lot of long-term benefits and ROI.
Costs & Considerations
The cost of a detached garage is between $9,000 and $12,000, since you have to start from the ground up. If you add electrical, plumbing or HVAC capabilities, the price will jump to around $14,000. It will be even more expensive if you add a living space above, potentially $18,000 to $20,000. The DIY cost of building a simple detached garage will be around $4,000 in materials, though you would still pay extra for electrical or plumbing. Factor in about $100 for a permit and then check with electricians & plumbers for their average prices.
Akin to other home improvement projects, size matters. The more square footage, the more materials and labor that go into the project. The size of your garage will depend on how many cars you want to fit, as well as if you want extra storage space or floor space for bicycles or other equipment. The most common sizes (in feet) include:
12 x 24
14 x 28
20 x 20
24 x 24
When determining which is the best fit for you, think about how many cars you have. The more cars you need to store, the bigger the garage will need to be.
Average car length: 14’ long
Truck length: 18’ long
SUV/van length: 20’ - 22’ long
Single car garage width: 10’, 12’ or 14’ wide
Two car garage width: 20’, 24’ or 28’ wide
If you intend to add storage, you should factor in about 4’ extra for items like bikes, tools, boxes and the like. For bigger storage items -- workbench, work area, freezer, fridges -- you should add about 8’ extra to the size. If you want to add mowers, 4-wheelers or an RV, you will need a garage that 32’ or longer.
The materials you choose will have a huge impact on garage construction costs. Upgrading the flooring to stain free or another higher-end floor, or adding a window, better roofing, designer doors, or a separate entrance can all add to the average cost to build. Here are the major parts of the garage to keep in mind and the materials you can choose from.
Depending on whether your garage is attached or detached, you have a few options. These include:
Drywall: This type of wall will probably be in place if your garage is finished. You need it to meet fire code requirements.
Wood sheathing: This is a simple and economic option. You can attach it to the framing with screws, and you’re done. It helps to support shelves and you can paint it or leave it as is.
Metal panels: These are good wall materials for high-end garages or work spaces. They come in finishes of steel and copper, to name a few. You can screw them right into the frame and be done.
Plastic: Fiberglass or plastic panels are the most low-maintenance wall type for garages. They are good against mold, mildew, moisture or pests. You might need wood sheathing or drywall underneath for proper installation.
Cement board: Like drywall, cement board is a good base wall panel to install, either with tile or stone veneer. It’s easy maintenance and handles most inclement conditions with its high durability.
In addition to the walls, you’ll need to make sure the ceiling has the right kind of material. Otherwise your car and other storage items could be in danger should inclement weather roll through. You have the choice of:
Drywall: Easiest material to add with some plaster and laid onto a board to look like a wall.
Gypsum: Ceiling panels made of rocks, you place them over the ceiling frame. They are less expensive than drywall but not good for moisture.
Popcorn: You can spray or paint this type of material on the ceiling. You can also texture drywall to look like popcorn with a sponge and plaster.
Styrofoam tiles: These are inexpensive materials to finish a ceiling. You can add them into the frame and be done.
Cork: This is an eco-friendly and nice looking material to use for the ceiling. They can come waxed or unwaxed, depending on whether you want a shiny ceiling.
Plastic tile: These are cost-efficient and come in wide varieties. They are fire retardant and can be finished with tin, copper or other metal types.
In addition to the ceiling materials, you should think about insulation for the ceiling. This is especially true if you want to use the garage as a living space or secondary storage facility. You can choose from:
If you want to have windows in your garage -- as a living space or work area -- you can choose from single, double or triple paned windows. Most windows are made of glass, though there might be alternatives. You should also consider weatherproofing the windows with a good frame and caulking to avoid any moisture or pests getting in. Most common frames are made of:
You’ll have to make sure the window frame matches the rest of the garage. If you find a frame that doesn’t quite match, you can have it painted or stained to match. You might need to add window treatments like exterior shutters for best results.
In addition to the garage itself, you need to think about the garage door. You want to make sure it protects your cars, and that it matches the construction of your garage. There are various materials you can choose from. Some popular garage door materials are:
Steel: This is the most popular material since it’s a good price, durable and doesn’t require a lot of care. You can paint it or have it appear like wood.
Aluminum: This material is similar to steel, but it’s lighter and less expensive, though more likely to dent.
Wood: These doors come in many styles, and you can have it painted or overlaid with hardboard panels.
Wood composite: These doors are made with recycled wood. They can be as strong as steel and painted or stained. They are less likely to rot or split.
Fiberglass: These aren’t as popular as other types of doors. The panels have aluminum frames, and they can be painted. They are less likely to dent.
As aforementioned, Sometimes homeowners opt to add an extra level to their garage, like an attic or suite above. These can even be used as an apartment. You could also add a loft space for storage. You might be able to even add a basement space, but you’ll need to keep the foundation and structural stability of the garage in mind.
In terms of added features for the garage, there are a wide variety of options. Some of the most popular items people add to their space include:
Storage: You could add plastic storage shelves, adjustable shelves or two-by-four sheets to build a platform for items.
Workspace: If you want a workshop for small home projects, you could add a countertop or cabinets for tools.
Lighting: You’ll need electricity to move the garage door up and down, so why not add lighting, too? You could use energy-efficient bulbs or sensor-operated lighting.
Climate control: If you have a well-insulated garage, you might consider climate control to keep the garage at a moderate temperature throughout the year.
Extra food storage: Since you’ll have electricity, you might think about a deep freeze for meats or a second fridge for alcohol or other small food & beverages.
When thinking about garage construction costs, just remember that it's all in details. Once the size is decided, from there the average cost to build a garage lies in the smaller upgrades and whether or not you want to utilize the space above. Some people opt to add custom organization, or hooks from the ceiling to increase storage space; others opt to add a guest bedroom or apartment. But your basic garage construction costs can be manageable if you stick to the basics.