What’s It Cost to Build a Garage?

Filed Under: Home repair    by: ITC

The cost of building a garage is driven by several factors that will be unique to the area that you live in, as well as the type and size of garage you choose to build. Going in chronological order, the first cost you will run into, assuming you already have a plan, is the preparation of the build site.   Typically you’ll need to pay for a some excavation and leveling of the ground where the foundation will go, followed quickly by the pouring of the foundation.  This cost varies based on local market prices, and the size of the garage’s foundation.  

The rest of the cost is largely driven by your choice of size and design.   The cost of siding, for example, will be lower if you choose a pre-fab type wall panel than it will be if you select a higher end building face, like brick or stucco. Similarly, your choices on doors, windows, roof and shingle type will drive cost as well.

Here’s a quick rundown of choices that will determine the cost of your new garage:

Size and Type:  Perhaps the biggest factor driving cost will be the size and type.  For example, an attached garage is almost always less expensive than a detached garage, not only because it leverages an existing wall, but also because of the ease of wiring, and the possibility that your driveway is already either there, or close to being in the right spot.   Size, of course, matters.  Not only is a two car garage (typically 400 square feet) larger than a 1-car (typically around 250 sq ft), it requires a more expensive door.

Material Selection  The choices you make on building materials will affect the cost.  Opting for upgraded siding, additional windows or doors, or a higher quality roof are the most common upgrade choices.

So, What’s the bottom line?

A quick way to calculate costs is to use an average cost per square foot.  While this does vary by region, what we’ve seen is $35 to $50 per foot for a “basic garage”, and $50 to $70 if you opt for higher-end materials.  Doing the math:

  • 1 car garage (250 sq feet):   $8750 to $12,500 (basic),  $12,500 to $17,500 (upgraded).
  • 2 car garage (400 sq feet):  $14,000 to $20,000 (basic), $20,000 to $28,000 (upgraded)

Of course, you can save quite a bit if you choose to do some of the work yourself.   One popular approach is have the builder make the garage, but leave the painting and roofing to the homeowner.   It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact savings on this approach, but something you could discuss with the contractor.

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