The average cost for building a garage is $23,500 for a 20' x 20' garage. Hiring a garage contractor, you will likely spend between $8,000 – $27,000. The price of building a garage can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local garage contractors or get free estimates from pros near you.
According to census data from 2016, 63% of new homes were built with a two-car garage, 22% had garages to accommodate three or more vehicles, and 6% had a one-car garage. Just 1% had no garage or a carport. For homeowners wanting to build a garage, they can expect to see somewhere in the region of an 80% return on their investment in relation to home value.
The cheapest and quickest solution to get a protective home for your vehicles is to buy a manufactured building rather than build a custom garage.
Because of the difference in visual appeal, and resulting impact to property values, most subdivisions and homeowners’ associations will have clauses in the regulations regarding the addition of a garage to the home that will eliminate the possibility of having a manufactured garage.
Research your local building permit regulations to find out what is prohibited and what is possible, and find out which permits you will need to bring your project to life. The authorities setting these rules and granting permission are your homeowners’ association and city or local municipality.
Traditionally, the more rural the area, the fewer the restrictions and the quicker the approval process. Likewise, the closer you are to a metropolitan area, the more robust, specific, and controlling the regulations are. Your contractor should know exactly which permits are needed and get them for you before building begins.
When researching the price, call to determine the average time between application and approval, and if that varies by month or season.
The blueprints will detail the dimensions, location, and different elevation views of your garage. They will be needed to process your building permit application. Blueprints will also include the thickness of the walls (timber frame or concrete blocks).
If you think any of your neighbors might object to the design or location of your garage, share your plans—sketches and blueprints—with them so they are aware of where it will sit within your property lines. This will help keep any miscommunications or misunderstandings to a minimum. If you don’t have a survey for the land that shows your property lines, you may need to hire a surveyor to create this for you. For a surveyor, you can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $600.
Usually there will be a few baseline numbers to get to rough numbers for your project. Generally, you will add in:
The essentials - the width, length, and height of your garage, and the type and depth of foundation.
The options - for siding, roof pitch, type of roofing materials, overhangs, garage doors, entry doors, windows
The internal finish options - including plumbing, electrical outlets, drywall, workbenches, etc.
Nationwide, an average price for a typical two-car garage measuring 20 x 20 is around $23,500, which reflects a per square foot price of just under $60, with about 66% of that being materials.
From $12 to $50 per square foot
When considering the garage structure itself, unless working with the assembly of a metal barndominimum-style structure, the two options for the garage walls are timber frame and concrete blocks.
Timber frame is definitely the typical choice thanks to its light weight for delivery, eco-friendliness/sustainability, low cost, insulation properties, ease of use, and quick build time.
Concrete block, or CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit), structures are gaining popularity in certain geographies across the United States because of the advantages structures built with blocks possess. Those advantages include: being airtight, energy efficient, structurally sound, and not susceptible to termites or mold.
Once the concrete walls are up, you will still need to have the contractor install a timber frame for the purposes of running the electrical work and any plumbing through it, on top of which the drywall will be installed.
$1.75 to $10 per square foot
In order to maintain any energy efficiency garnered by your choice of materials for the walls, you will have to finish out the ceiling to help insulate the garage. If you only plan on parking the car in the garage and don’t plan on spending any time in there, or you live somewhere that has a perfect temperature year round, then this might not be a consideration for your project. For finishing out the ceiling, material options include cork, drywall, gypsum, plastic tile, or Styrofoam tiles.
$50 to $500
Not all garages have windows, but if you plan on spending time in the garage, it is nice to have natural light, and it makes for a more interesting exterior, to have windows instead of plain walls. Shutters can be added to accent these details even further. Most detached garages have at least one window, and a larger two-car garage with a workshop area or storage features could have as many as three windows. Windows for your garage are typical residential windows, and the traditional choices are steel, vinyl, and wood.
$100 to $2,500 for high-end security options
When it comes to doors, they can also be a design and safety feature for your garage. In a home where the garage is part of the house, the door between the garage and the home can be quite plain; but with a detached garage, depending on the budget and your priorities, it will generally be a door with a bit more flair to it.
$500 to $2,800 for one-car garage door and $650 to $5,000 for a two-car door
The garage door will be the largest investment other than the structure itself. In keeping with that, you can choose from a broad range of design options and construction materials to make sure it complements your creative vision for your garage. Aluminum doors are the least expensive, but they are also more likely to exhibit dents and physical damage than the next cheapest option of a steel door. Fiberglass and wood doors generally offer a more diverse range of designs. Each material type for your door will also come with energy efficient ratings, making some more suitable for your area. The more secure you want the door to be to protect the contents of your garage, and the more insulated you want it to be, the closer you will get to the upper end of the price range.
$120 to $500
While the vast majority of garage doors are overhead doors, there are still some that swing open like traditional doors. It is important to get the right type if you are installing the opener yourself after the garage has been built.
In order to do all you can to help narrow down the list of potential contractors, we suggest you look for contractors who have as many as possible of the following boxes checked:
In order to make a final decision on a contractor, put a list together of 3–5 contractors that are the closest match for your budget and timeframe. Solicit bids from them that include setup and cleanup costs and a reasonable timeframe for the project. Clarify anything that may not have been clear on a bid, and you will be ready to make your final decision.
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