How Much Does it Cost to Build a Garage in 2021?
If you’ve never had a home with a garage, you might not even know what you’ve been missing. A garage can greatly boost the resale value of your home because it’s such a vital area. Whether attached or detached, the extra space and utility that a garage provides are hard to live without once you’ve experienced them.
For a homeowner with no garage, building one could be one of the best modifications you ever make to your home. While it might seem daunting and expensive, it’s probably not as pricey as you think.
Average Prices Per Square Foot
Much like a home, when you have a garage built, you’re paying by the square foot. On average, a garage costs between $35 and $70 per square foot, but many factors play into this pricing.
To build a standard one-car garage, you’re looking at spending a minimum of $7,500. At the higher end of the spectrum, a one-car garage with all the frills will be closer to twice that.
For a two-car garage, costs range from about $20,000 to $30,000. Three-car garages start just below $30,000 and cost up to $45,000 on average.
Return on Investment
If you plan to keep your home forever, then you might not be concerned with the return on investment you’ll get from every update. Moreover, not every renovation or addition that you add to your home is going to pay you back well when you sell. But what about building a garage? It’s a pretty big investment, but is it a sound one?
Garages are one of the most consistent returns on investment when it comes to home renovations. They only return slightly less on the back end than major kitchen updates. You can expect to recoup 80% or more of what you spend on building a garage when you go to sell your home.
But there’s a return on investment here that’s much harder to quantify — the use you get from the garage while you own the home. Garages offer protection for your vehicles and valuables, storage for large tools and other objects, extra space for activities, and more. Don’t forget to factor in all these additional uses when determining how valuable a garage is to you.
Attached vs Detached Garages
One of the variables that makes the most difference in building costs is whether you’re building an attached or detached garage. Detached garages are considerably more expensive; nearly twice as costly, in fact.
The average cost to build a one-car attached garage is about $10,800. To build the same garage only detached would cost nearly twice as much at $19,300. Things look the same when comparing two-car garages. An attached two-car garage costs $13,200 on average while detached two-car garages cost $24,200.
Prices for Prefab Garages
Depending on where you live, you might be able to build a prefab garage instead of having one built on-site. This could save you a substantial amount of money. However, many homeowners associations refuse to allow such buildings, so you’ll have to check with the regulations where you live.
The price difference between site-built and prefab garages is massive. You can get a kit to assemble a steel two-car garage starting at about $4,000. You’ll still need to account for the cost of pouring a foundation, but compared to the average price of building a two-car garage at $24,200, a prefab kit is an absolute steal.
How Much Does a Foundation Cost?
Obviously, the cost of the foundation will be based on its size, meaning a larger foundation costs more. If you’re just looking for an average one-car garage that’s 16’ W x 24’ L, you might spend about $2,500. A two-car garage is usually a 24’ x 24’ square, which costs around $3,500 on average. For a three-car garage that’s an average size of 36’ W x 24’ L, you’re looking at an average price of $5,500.
Has the Cost of Construction Materials Increased?
Given all that has happened the past few years, it’s reasonable to wonder what’s going to happen to the cost of construction materials. Last year saw some of the highest material costs ever, with lumber reaching a record-breaking high of $1,000 per board foot traded.
The pandemic caused skyrocketing prices in materials as shipping problems created shortages. At the same time, wildfires raged, putting the lumber business in jeopardy. Unfortunately, many experts predict that construction materials will continue to rise in price and take longer to get.
How to Save Money Building Your Garage
Just because materials are going to be pricier doesn’t mean that you need to wait another year or several before building your garage. If the price is of major concern to you, there are several ways you can save money while building your garage this year.
Build a Prefab Garage
Prefab garages can be 75% cheaper than site-built ones. You’ll have to factor in some additional costs, such as a cement foundation and someone to assemble your building, but it’s still a much cheaper route than having a garage built. If you have a few extra pairs of hands and some decent DIY chops, you can assemble the garage yourself, saving you even more money on the overall cost.
Do Some of the Work Yourself
This will require a bit of DIY knowledge and some basic tools, but if you have these ingredients, you can save quite a bit of money by doing some work on the garage yourself. Have the builders leave it unpainted and paint it yourself. If you feel confident in your skills, you can even try finishing the interior to save some money.
Build it All Yourself
If you’ve really got some construction skills and tools, you can build the garage yourself. You’ll probably need to sub out some parts like the foundation, but otherwise, you could build the entire frame, roof, exterior, and interior yourself. You’ll still have to go through all the proper legal channels, getting inspections at every step of the way, but there’s no reason that you can’t build the garage yourself like people always used to do back in the good old days.
On average, you should expect to spend $35-$70 per square foot to have a garage built. Some factors can cause serious adjustments to that pricing, like whether you’re building an attached or detached garage, a site-built or prefab. Of course, the cheapest way to build a garage is to do it yourself, but you’ll need some serious tools and skills to accomplish that major task.
Featured Image: Brent Eckley, Flickr
- 1 Average Prices Per Square Foot
- 2 Return on Investment
- 3 Attached vs Detached Garages
- 4 Prices for Prefab Garages
- 5 How Much Does a Foundation Cost?
- 6 Has the Cost of Construction Materials Increased?
- 7 How to Save Money Building Your Garage
- 8 Conclusion