How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage?

Normal range: $16,291 - $39,516

Building a garage costs an average of $27,896, but most homeowners pay between $16,291 and $39,516 depending on materials, garage size, and add-ons.

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Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Reviewed by Robert Tschudi
Updated September 28, 2022
forward view of yellow and brick house with double and single garage and concrete driveway
Photo: Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

A garage is a haven for your vehicles, as well as a place to keep your tools organized, and your holiday decor tucked out of sight. But how much does it cost to build a garage from the ground up? Garage building costs an average of $27,896, but can run as low as $5,000 and up to $63,000 depending on where you live, whether the garage is attached or detached, as well as its size, style, and the materials you choose. The high end of the price range includes all the extra things to consider when building a garage, such as add-ons like wiring, plumbing, windows, and workstations.

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How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$16,291 - $39,516
  • Average
  • $27,896
  • Low end
  • $5,000
  • high end
  • $63,000
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Cost Breakdown to Build a Garage

If you look at the big picture, garage building cost factors are split between labor and materials. You'll pay between 30% to 50% of the total cost toward materials, and 50% to 70% toward labor.

Size

Square footage will offer a ballpark cost of building a garage. You'll pay about $50 per square foot on average between labor and materials when working with a professional. However, you'll find prices as low as $29 per square foot for simple, attached garages and up to $120 per square foot for detached, high-end garages with all the bells and whistles.

Style

The cost of your garage goes hand-in-hand with the style, but will vary depending on the design. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect for the standard garage layouts.

One-Car Garage

The average cost of a one-car garage ranges from $10,500 to $27,000 on average, with prices ranging up to $32,000 if you add extra workstations or storage space.

Two-Car Garage

The cost to build a two-car garage is anywhere from $14,500 to $40,300, yet again, depending on materials, placement, and add-ons.

Three-Car Garage

Due to their custom design and the number of extra materials and space required, a large three-car garage will cost $28,200 to $57,100 without any add-ons for a living or workspace.

Garage With an Apartment

Garages are excellent opportunities to expand your living space or rental opportunities. The cost to build a garage with an apartment costs between $60,000 to $270,000, though there are some budget-friendly tricks for garage apartments to keep the conversion costs low.

RV Garage

A garage large enough to accommodate an RV—typically at least 40 feet deep—will cost between $36,000 and $140,000 before any add-ons.

Attached vs. Detached Garage

Attached garages already have the benefits of being close to your home's electricity, plumbing, foundation, and insulation. Expanding the garage off of the existing structure will lower your costs compared to a detached structure. You'll pay as low as $29 per square foot for an attached garage and between $40 and $70 per square foot for a detached garage, according to HomeAdvisor. If you’re already taking on the cost to build a new house, you may want to consider building a garage at the same time.

Average costs for one-car, two-car, and two-and-a-half-car garages, ranging from $10,500 to $52,000

Labor

The 50% to 70% addition of labor costs to building a garage is quite hefty, but for good reason. Building such a significant structure typically requires certification, licenses, and a good deal of experience to get it right. The cost range for labor ranges from $20 to $49 per square foot on average, but this will vary depending on a few factors. 

Your location highly affects labor costs. The general cost of living and labor rates are the primary factors. Access and travel costs can also add up if you live in a remote area. Additionally, features that require additional specialists—such as bricklaying, plumbers, or electricians—will add to the total.

Remember to include the cost of labor for pre-building fees such as drafting and architectural fees. These will make up 8% to 15% of the total cost.

Materials

Materials will account for between 30% and 50% of the final cost. Let's take a look at each major category to get a better sense of the cost breakdown.

Framing

The materials you choose to build the frame and facade of the garage have the largest impact. Considering the average costs for a detached garage, you'll pay the estimate below.

  • Brick: $27–$45 per square foot

  • Brick-Veneered: $5–$30 per square foot

  • Cinderblock: $29–$62 per square foot

  • Metal: $3,000–$22,000 total

  • Stick-Built: $40–$70 per square foot

  • Prefab Pole Barn: $40–$85 per square foot

Foundation

A concrete slab foundation costs $4 to $25 per square foot. The total cost of a foundation for a garage ranges from $2,000 to $7,000.

Roofing

The roof of your garage will cost anywhere from $1,600 to $16,000 total depending on its size, style, insulation, and materials.

Gutters

Protect your structure from rain, snow, and debris by installing gutters. Gutters cost between $4 and $30 per linear foot

Wiring

The majority of garages have basic wiring to operate the lights and electric door. The cost to add wiring to a garage is $1,000 to $2,500 on average.

Permits

Just like any major construction project, you'll need to acquire local permits before the building begins. Permits can cost between $1,200 and $1,500 for the whole project.

Additional Costs to Consider

Ongoing maintenance for your garage will not differ much from the exterior of your home. You may occasionally need to consider the costs of siding repairs, which run from $2 to $50 per square foot

If your garage door acts up, expect to pay between $150 and $2,400 in garage door repair costs. The repair cost depends on how extensive the problem is. For instance, fixing small dents in the panel will cost on the lower end of the spectrum, while full panel replacements will cost far more. You should call a local garage door contractor to handle any large repairs. 

Outside of repairs, the ongoing costs of a garage typically only include minimal electricity use.

Cost to Build a Garage Yourself

With the cost of labor accounting for up to 70% of costs, you can save some serious money by building a garage yourself. However, it is not always ideal or possible to take on each task yourself. Garages have complex features such as necessary ventilation, foundation, and wiring that are not ideal for DIY work. 

You may be required to hire a licensed contractor to receive a building permit in the first place. In many cases, calling an experienced local garage builder will save you money and ensure your structure is safe.

Instead, consider taking on small tasks during the garage building process. Collaborate with the architect to discuss your needs and vision, paint the exterior of the garage yourself, or consider adding shelving and a workstation.

Cost of Common Garage Add-Ons

Let's say you're dreaming of a highly equipped, multi-purpose garage that stays warm in the winter, opens when you press a button, or is cozy enough for a home office space. Here are the costs of popular garage features.

Windows

Adding a window will cost anywhere from $300 to $2,100 per window, depending on the style of the window and its placement.

Automatic Door

Automatic doors are nearly standard in garages today, but you will pay between $220 and $520 between installation and parts on top of your garage building costs.

Insulation

Insulating your garage has plenty of perks, and not just if you plan to spend time working on your latest project. Expect the cost to range from $1 to $5 per square foot.

Storage and Organization

The cost of garage storage systems can range between $600 and $2,600 depending on the size, style, and weight capacity of the system.

Finishes

The sky's the limit when it comes to garage upgrades both inside and out. Some specialty add-ons and their costs include:

  • Extending HVAC ductwork from your home: $15 per linear foot

  • Adding plumbing to a detached garage: $900–$1,300

  • Painting a garage door: $1–$4 per square foot

  • Adding a separate entrance: $1,500

Ways to Save Money When Building a Garage

The best way to save money when building a garage is to work with an experienced local contractor with a trusted team. Hiring each professional and managing the process piecemeal often adds up to more money in the end. We recommend speaking with at least three contractors and requesting quotes before beginning.

Additional ways to cut garage building costs include:

  • Taking on small details yourself

  • Choosing a metal or prefabricated frame

  • Opting for an attached garage when possible

  • Cutting out extras like insulation, wiring, and plumbing

  • Booking your project outside of the busy season

Frequently Asked Questions

You can save money by purchasing a prefabricated metal garage kit for between $4,000 and $11,000. However, this does not include the price of labor and permits, which can account for more than half of the project cost.

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