The cost to install an RV garage is $90,000 on average
The cost of an RV garage typically ranges between $36,000 and $140,000, though most homeowners spend about $90,000 on the project. On the low end, an RV garage can cost just $9,000, while large garages with lots of add-ons can run upwards of $180,000. When you’re not out on the road discovering all the great outdoors has to offer, you’ll want to park your RV somewhere safe and secure. An RV garage offers security, shelter from the elements, and an easier way to maintain and access your vehicle for your next adventure. Here’s everything you need to know about how much it costs to build an RV garage.
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RV Garage Cost Breakdown
The biggest factors in the cost of your RV garage project include the size of your garage, the materials, labor, site conditions, and permits. Here’s a breakdown of each of these factors.
Most RV garages come in the same general size, roughly 14-feet-by-50-feet or 700 square feet. Depending on the type of garage you choose, its design, and the materials used in its construction, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $140 per square foot. To get a more precise quote that’s tailored to your property, the RV’s dimensions, and your personal design preferences, contact a garage builder near you for a written estimate.
Depending on the method you choose, you might need a wide variety of materials to build your garage. If you’re constructing it based on architectural plans, you’ll need the base structure material, siding, roofing, a door or two, and possible windows. In most cases, RV garages are built using metal, with an average price of $5 to $15 per square foot.
Labor costs to build your RV garage average from $20 to $50 per square foot, representing an average of about 50% of the total project cost. Typically, general contractors don’t charge by the hour, so you’ll want to get competitive quotes for building your garage from at least three general contractors before you make a final decision. The quotes will also help you finalize a more accurate budget for your project.
Site Conditions and Location
The condition of the site you’ve chosen for your RV garage will have a direct impact on your total project costs. If your site needs to be graded to a level surface, or if it needs work to provide good drainage, your costs will increase, as will the total project time. The same is true if you plan to run power or water to the garage but the location is removed from your home’s plumbing and electrical systems.
Most municipalities will require you or your general contractor to acquire a building permit before constructing or installing your garage. The cost for a permit for an RV garage averages between $1,200 to $1,500, although your town or city may charge more or less.
Additional Costs to Consider
In addition to the main cost factors, there are other expenses that can rack up the price of your RV garage if you’re not keeping a close eye on your budget. With this in mind, here are additional costs to factor into your budget.
RV garage doors cost anywhere from $1,300 to $7,000, depending on the size. The type of material you choose for your garage door can greatly impact the price, with wood doors coming in toward the low end of the price range and fiberglass or wood composite doors coming in toward the high end of the price range.
Adding HVAC vents and ducts to an RV garage will cost between $475 and $2,100. If your garage is attached and can connect to an existing HVAC system, you’ll spend more towards the lower end of the price range.
Adding plumbing to your RV garage will cost anywhere from $375 to $1,900. Again, this price estimate depends largely on whether you can tap the structure into existing water lines or if you need to have new water lines installed entirely.
Adding electricity to your RV garage costs around $125 to $300 if you’re installing an attached RV garage with easy access to existing electrical wiring. If you’re building a detached RV garage, the cost to run electricity to your structure typically falls between $1,000 and $2,500.
The cost to insulate a garage is between $0.50 to $1.25 per square foot. Since the average RV garage is 700 square feet, you’ll pay anywhere from $350 to $875 to insulate your RV garage on average. If you want to install an insulated garage door on top of this, you could pay an additional $4,000.
Attached vs. Detached RV Garages
RV garage kits generally come in two distinct types: attached and detached. Which one you should choose depends on the space you have available, your budget, and your personal preferences.
Attached RV Garage
An RV garage that’s built off to one side of your home and is attached to the home’s structure can be less expensive to build than one that’s detached. However, you might have to spend more to install insulation in an attached garage.
Detached RV Garage
Most homeowners select a detached garage style to protect their RVs. This style is more flexible because you can put it anywhere on your property where it’ll physically fit, with allowances for driving and maneuvering the RV itself. It does tend to cost more than the attached version, but it won’t block your views from your home windows. Detached garages also give you more flexibility in choosing materials, which can help you save money overall.
Cost to Build an RV Garage Yourself
The easiest way to DIY your new RV garage is to purchase a prefabricated garage kit. At an average price somewhere between $15 to $25 per square foot. This is a cost-effective and relatively convenient way of installing your garage yourself.
When you build a garage yourself, you can save about half of the total project costs. At the average cost of $90,000, you would end up saving about $44,000. That amount varies depending on the size and type of garage you choose.
However, even if you choose the simplest DIY garage kit, you’re still looking at spending several hours to finish the job. You’ll also need assistance to help you maneuver the parts into place and secure them to each other and into the ground.
Finally, you’ll need to have access to basic tools like a shovel, circular saw, angle grinder, rivet gun, hammer, anchors, a level, and a hammer drill. If you don’t already own these tools or can’t borrow them from a friend, you’ll need to rent or purchase them. That will add to your cost. Given the time and labor involved, you may well decide that hiring a professional might be more cost-effective.
Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor
You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 per square foot for labor in building your RV garage. For the average-sized structure, which is about 14 by 50 feet or a total of 700 square feet, that’s a total labor cost range of $14,000 to $35,000 you’d save off the total project cost.
However, you’d also have to consider the costs of doing the job yourself, such as any tools or equipment you don’t currently own and the cost of additional labor to assist you in handling and fastening the garage kit elements together.
How You Can Save Money on an RV Garage
Installing an RV garage can be a significant investment. To save money on the project, consider the following tips:
Comparison shop for different methods of building your RV garage. Even if you’re leaning towards a DIY experience with a garage kit, check out how much it would cost to have one built based on available plans versus hiring a specialist to design and assemble one for you.
Get at least three quotes or prices from contractors. This is the most effective way to evaluate your options and make sure you’re getting the best possible price.
Explore different materials. You may be able to save some money by choosing a different material for your garage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Make sure you’re getting the right size to meet your space needs, including enough space both side to side and vertically to accommodate your RV’s features and allow you to safely move it in and out of the garage.
If you’re building an attached and enclosed garage for your RV, you’ll also want to give some thought to whether you’d like to add workspace, water or electricity, or additional storage. If so, you’ll need a garage with larger dimensions.
Most commercially available RV garage kits are sized 20 feet wide, 14 feet high, and 50 feet long in order to accommodate the average RV size plus extra space for safe operation. If you want to add extra features, such as electrical service or storage, you’ll need to calculate how much additional space you’ll need. Finally, check your city or town’s building ordinances, as they might specify certain minimum or maximum sizes for RV garages.
To build or install your RV garage, hire a professional general contractor, preferably one with garage-building experience. Alternatively, you can hire a garage builder, but check to make sure they have experience building the kind of RV garage you’ve selected.