How much does it cost to build a garage?


How much does it cost to build a garage?

Garages preserve and protect your vehicles, sporting equipment, garden tools, and whatever else you can’t keep in the house. But while garages can certainly be useful additions to any home, building a garage comes with some important questions. The most common one we get is: how much is building your garage going to cost?

Every project is different, but we can certainly help you understand the typical costs that come with building a garage. We’ll also show you how different factors may influence your final figure, and teach you when you’ll need to hire specialists for certain features. Keep reading, and learn how to budget properly for your dream garage build.

Size Matters

The cost of your garage will depend mostly on how large you want it to be. Here’s where the problems with trying to find an “average” cost begin. After all, a single car garage is going to be a lot smaller (and less expensive to build) than a garage that’s meant to hold 2 or more vehicles. So the first step in calculating the price of your project is to think about how many cars you want your garage to hold.

The next step is to find the average size for the type of garage you plan on building, and multiply it by the average cost per square foot for garages. That’s $40 per square foot for a garage that’s being built onto the side of your home, or $70 per square foot if it’s being built as a brand new standalone building on your property. Let’s apply this math to a few examples.

Single Car Garages

Most one car garages have dimensions of at least 12 x 20 feet, giving them a surface area of 240 square feet. That means a reasonable price for an attached garage would be $9,600, while building one from scratch would cost $16,800.

Two Car Garages

Two car garages can be as small as 20 x 20 feet. The total surface area for a project like that is 400 square feet, which means building an attached garage would cost $16,000 and a new standalone garage would cost $28,000.

However, most homeowners prefer a two car garage to have dimensions of at least 24 x 24 feet. The extra space makes it easier to leave room between two vehicles that are both parked inside the garage at once, and provides space to store other objects around them.

The surface area for a rectangular garage that is 24 x 24 feet is 576 square feet. That drives the price of an attached garage up to $23,040. Building a detached garage of that size would cost $40,320.

Other Factors Influencing Garage Costs

Of course, the size of a garage isn’t the only thing you’ll have to factor into your budget. Adding different features or choosing different materials can affect the price substantially. Here are a few examples:

    • Foundations: since the ground tends to freeze during those harsh Alberta winters, you can’t just get away with using a simple concrete slab poured on grade for your garage foundation. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your foundation has a footer underneath the frost line. Expect your foundation to cost an additional $5 per square foot.
  • Windows and skylights: the average cost for each standard garage window is about $300 (although you won’t have to account for labour, since it will be factored into the overall construction costs for a new garage). Putting in a skylight normally costs about $125.
  • Siding: you’ll pay different costs per square foot for garage siding made of different materials. Here are a few examples of what different siding usually costs once it’s installed:
      • Vinyl: approximately $4 per square foot.
  • Metal: $3-$8 per square foot. Steel siding tends to be more expensive than aluminium.
  • Hardie board: usually $8-$10 per square foot.
  • Stucco or brick: $6-$9 per square foot.
  • Roofing: roofing costs are normally measured in squares that cover 10 x 10 foot areas. A 24 x 24 foot garage with a surface area of 576 square feet will need 6 squares to cover the roof completely. Asphalt shingles are the most common material for roofing squares, typically costing $80-$100 per square, while tile roofing costs considerably more ($700-$800 per square on average).
  • Electrical wiring: garages are usually required by code to have at least some basic electricity, but the costs for wiring a garage can be hard to predict. Wiring a smaller space with existing service nearby (like a single car garage attached to a home) might cost less than $1000, whereas a larger garage that needs service pulled to it can cost up to $4,000.
  • The garage door: most of the materials discussed above will be factored into your builder’s price, but you’ll probably need a separate contractor to install your garage door since they’re uniquely qualified to deal with sensitive components like tension springs. Purchasing and installing a garage door for a single car garage usually costs $1,000-$1,300, whereas the cost is normally $1,500-$3,500 for a two car garage.

Optional Additions

Maybe you don’t want an average garage; maybe you want to soup it up a bit. If that’s the case, there are a few additional costs you might want to consider:

  • Plumbing: adding water fixtures to your garage can make it a much easier place to work, but you’ll also have to pay to have the lines installed. Simpler setups like adding a single utility sink can cost as little as $300.
  • Finishing the inside walls: not all garages have finished interiors, but they add protection for vehicles and make the space more energy efficient. Expect to spend an extra $0.50-$3.00 per square foot for materials, and an extra $2.00 per square foot for labour (unless you decide to try doing it yourself).
  • Adding a nanny-suite: converting a portion of your garage into a living space is a lot easier if you’ve already installed plumbing and finished the inside of the space. Average costs for this kind of work range from $20,000-$50,000 depending on the amenities you want to include—putting in an entire bathroom from scratch could cost $15,000-$25,000 alone.

For the Best Estimate, Consult a Garage Specialist

Tallying up all those numbers by yourself leaves a lot of room for error, especially if you want your garage to have an unusual shape or include features not listed above. The best way to predict the costs associated with building your new garage is to contact a business that works with garages of all kinds on a regular basis. We’ll be happy to talk about your project with you and provide a detailed estimate based on your specific needs.