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Can I Build My Own Garage? Costs, Risks, and Considerations

man checking garage plan

Building a garage is a popular idea among homeowners. Build a simple structure, increase the value of the property, and enjoy the convenience and perks that come with the space. It’s a no-brainer, right? Well, you certainly can build your own garage, but whether you really want to, is a question that requires more thought.

Building a garage may seem like a simple add-on project, but there are several things to consider before jumping into this kind of build. Let’s take a closer look.

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Key Considerations for Building Your Own Garage

There are many things to think about before starting the garage. At the top of the list, you need to check your zoning laws. Getting into it with the municipality you live in isn’t a good idea, so just make sure that any designs you choose or have made are compliant.

You’ll likely need to put together a comprehensive plan with the city, the public, and other municipal bodies who have interests in the zone. Having a complete plan is important in dealing with all of them.

Next, you need to think about what kind of garage you are going to build. Will it be added on to the house, or detached? Your local zoning laws may dictate which this is, but if you have the option, there are pros and cons to each, as outlined below.

Garage Door
Image Credit: DUO Studio, Shutterstock

Add-on vs Detached Garage Pros and Cons

As this is one of the biggest decisions associated with building a new garage, we thought we’d help weigh out the options:

Add-On Garage

  • Convenient for bad weather
  • Build is less costly
  • Can install plumbing and heating
  • Raise property values
  • Narrow lots present space issues
  • Greater fire risk
  • Vehicle and fumes are attached to the home
  • May present a security risk
garage with yellow car
Image Credit: Janinchen_Kaninchen, Pixabay

Detached Garage

  • More building options
  • Able to make more room for cars
  • More room for work and recreational areas
  • Less convenient in bad weather
  • More challenging to set up plumbing and heating
  • Can dominate yard space

As with any building project, your options will be limited by time, money, and depending on where you live, permits. So, what kind of money do you need to get this project off the ground?

brown garage door
Image Credit: Piqsels

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage?

While every project is subject to variables each job is inevitably going to be subject to a different set of circumstances. Now, keeping that in mind, we can still make some generalizations. For example, an attached or add-on garage is going to cost somewhere around 10–15% less to build than a new detached garage.

A new 1–2 car garage will set you back somewhere around $16,000–$39,000, while a 3-car garage will run you upwards of $50,000.

The convenience of entering an add-on garage from the home certainly is nice. With that said, if you have the space and permit allows, a large, detached garage can also serve a second purpose. A workshop makes a great example. This of course comes with added expense, but there are many out there who would find value for some extra room. It would be a great place for a gym or just about any other type of studio, as well.

garage interior with car
Image Credit: studiovin, Shutterstock

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Depending on your needs, a garage may be worth it to build. It’s important to acknowledge that there are some challenges to keep in mind. However, with some care and due diligence in planning, it is possible to mitigate these hurdles and get a new space to store your vehicle, or even work and play in. Just be sure to consider all the details.

Featured Image Credit: Roman Samborskyi, Shutterstock


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