July 13, 2019

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage

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A new garage can cost as little as $11,000 or as much as $100,000. Keep reading to learn which factors affect the price and how your dream garage may stack up.

The Average Cost to Build a Garage

The average cost of a basic attached garage is $40 per square foot. A detached garage may cost more based on the extra work required to wire electricity into an unattached unit.

Here's a list of average cost by size:

Number of CarsDimensionsAverage Cost
112' x 24'$11,500
114' x 28'$15,680
212' x 24'$11,500
214' x 28'$15,680
332' x 22'$28,000

Factors That Affect the Cost to Build a Garage

The choices you make when designing your garage can increase the cost. The most common factors are:

  • Site Prep
    Is the area you will build the garage safe and level? Is it clean? If not, the services to prepare the area will add to your total cost of building a garage.

  • Foundation
    The amount of concrete needed for the foundation plays a role in the total cost of the garage.

  • Wall Material
    Drywall is the standard garage wall material because it typically meets the local fire code. You can upgrade the wall material to plywood, metal panels, pegboard, or cement board.

    This may change the cost of the garage, but will give you the finished look that you desire.

  • Ceiling Material
    You can cut costs down by changing the ceiling material of the garage. Rather than the standard drywall, you can choose a popcorn ceiling, plastic tile, or cork.

  • Garage Doors
    Steel is the most common, but aluminum is another affordable option. Wood or wood composite and fiberglass doors offer a more stylish look for a higher price.

  • Attached or Detached
    Attached garages tend to be slightly less expensive because there's less work involved. You only need three walls built and probably already have the electricity and driveway completed.

    A detached garage is like building from scratch. You may have to prepare the site, build the garage, and wire it.

Does a Garage Add Value?
Your garage can add value to your home. Just how much depends on where you live.

Do you live in an area with extreme weather? If so, a garage may hold a lot of value because of the shelter/protection it provides.

Do you live in an area where most people have an attached garage, but you want to build a detached garage? You may see a lower rate of return on your investment in this case.

Finished or Unfinished?

The purpose of your garage will determine which type you need.

  • Is it a place to store your cars and extra "junk" lying around your house?

  • Do you need a place to do your handiwork?

  • Do you need a structure to build a second-story room for extra living space?

An unfinished garage is best for storing cars and personal items. If you plan to use the garage for anything else, including building living space above it, you'll probably want to finish it.

This may include any of the following:

  • Insulation
  • Heating or air conditioning
  • Lighting
  • Special shelving or storage

Other Factors Affecting the Cost of a Garage

  • Attic Space
    If storage is an issue, you may want to use your extra garage space to add attic space. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it can help you free up space in your home.

  • Windows
    If you plan to spend any time in your garage working, you may enjoy the natural light that windows offer.

  • Workspace
    A worktable or built-in cabinets can enhance your garage.

  • Insulation
    With an attached garage, you'll need insulation on the wall that the garage and house share. You can insulate the entire space if you want more temperature regulation.

  • Extra Power Outlets
    The more power outlets you have, the fewer power strips you'll need, which can reduce your risk of fire.

Does Converting a Garage Into a Bedroom Add Value?
Sometimes converting a garage into living space, such as a bedroom, can add value. Remember that the main function of a garage is to have a place to park cars.

If you remove that area and parking is a premium around your home, converting the garage into a bedroom could decrease a home's value. If there's ample room for parking or you have a small detached garage, it could have the opposite effect.

How Much Does It Cost to Convert a Garage Into a Room?

On average, homeowners spend $11,000, but many spend as much as $20,000 on the conversion. This may vary depending on the use of that converted space.

  • Living Space
    If you just want a basic living space without plumbing, you can convert your garage closer to the $11,000 average. You'll just have to focus on drywall, flooring, ceiling, and insulation.

  • Bedroom
    You'll need to focus on insulation, flooring, and a ceiling. You'll also want to add a closet if you want appraisers to consider it a real bedroom for valuation purposes.
    A bathroom can raise the price even higher, since you'll need to include plumbing.

  • Apartment
    A full-scale apartment in the garage will push you closer to the higher end of $20,000. You'll need not only everything the living space and bedroom require, but also wiring and plumbing for both a kitchen and bathroom.

Bottom Line

A basic garage will cost around $40 per square foot. But potential upgrades can raise the price significantly. Ultimately, the cost will be determined by your budget and/or needs.

More from CreditDonkey:

How to Save for a House

Home Buying Checklist

Steps to Buying Your First Home


Are You Ready to Buy a House

Just because you can afford to buy a house doesn't mean you're ready. Buying a house is a big responsibility. Here's how to find out if it's the right choice for you.

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