Is It Time to Put in a New Garage?
Does your garage lack the space you need to fit your cars and all the other belongings you’d like to store there? Or maybe your home has no garage and you want a safe place to keep your car at night? Whether you have no garage at all or simply need more room than you currently have, building a new garage can be a wise investment that will both increase the value of your home and benefit you on a daily basis.
Building a new garage has been proven to add value to your home, usually bringing in a return on investment between 55 and 65 percent. It can provide more storage space for any number of things or even be used as additional living space, so why not get started right away?
While building a garage may seem like a great idea and a relatively straightforward task, there are always a number of practical considerations that need to be taken before undertaking an intensive building project. Plus, if you plan on generating any kind of return on investment, you have to be willing and able to first make that initial investment. So before you start building, the real question you should be asking is: how much does it cost to build a garage?
Give Me the Numbers
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of building a garage is about $25,000, though the price can range anywhere from as little as $6,000 to more than $50,000. When calculating the cost per square foot, $30 is a good estimate for a generic, attached garage with no bells or whistles.
The main factors that will play into the cost of building your garage are the size, whether it is attached or detached, the materials used to build it, and any additional features you choose to include. Plus, you need to consider the cost of installing a garage door, which also must be done in order to complete your project.
Another factor that will play into the cost of your new garage is whether you hire someone to build it for you or decide to build it yourself. Either way, you will need to acquire the proper building permits, which can be costly, though they will vary in price depending on where you live.
Why Build a Garage?
Before you can start drafting plans for your new garage, you need to determine what you intend its primary use to be. This is the best place to start because it has a significant impact on almost every decision you’ll have to make while building.
Do you plan on using it solely for your vehicles? If so, how many cars does it need to hold? Do you want additional room for storage or extra space for a workbench? Are you wanting the garage for additional living space as well? These are all things you need to ask yourself so that you can accurately plan your new garage and have a much clearer idea of the cost.
How to Determine Garage Size
Size is obviously going to affect the cost of your garage because the larger it is, the more building materials it will require and time it will take to complete. Garages can be a variety of sizes depending on how many and what type of cars they need to hold and what other items they might be used to store. Some of the most common garage sizes include:
- 14’ X 20’
- 18’ X 20’
- 20’ X 20’
- 22’ X 22’
- 24’ X 24’
What it really boils down to is how much you want to be able to fit into your new garage and how much extra space you’d like to have. The average car is about 14 feet long, while trucks and SUVs tend to range between 18 and 22 feet in length, meaning most garages are at least 20 feet long or longer. If you only have one car, your garage could be as few as 10 feet wide, but you could need as much as 28 feet in width if you are building a two-car garage, especially if you have larger vehicles.
These dimensions also do not take height into consideration. The ceiling of a single-story garage needs to be at least 7 feet, but 8 or 9 is a little more generous and better accommodates taller vehicles. You also have to account for garage door clearance, so it is important to know what type of door you intend on using before determining how much overhead space you will need.
Attached Vs. Detached: Which To Choose
One of the next things you’ll need to determine when building your new garage is whether or not you want it to be attached to your home. There are benefits and drawbacks to both options, so it really depends on what will best suit your needs.
Attached garages tend to be more common and are usually more affordable than their detached counterparts because it is cheaper to build three walls onto your existing home than building an entirely new structure from scratch. You can also save on HVAC, ventilation, and electricity costs when building because it’s easier to expand these systems from your existing home into the new addition rather than integrating them into a separate structure.
Convenience is another major benefit of having your garage connected to your house because it allows you to access the space without ever having to go outside. This is handy when the weather is bad so that you can get in and out of your car or get to something stored in your garage without braving the elements.
Some of the disadvantages to installing an attached garage include space limitations, difficulty with zoning and permits, and potential safety and health concerns.
Depending on where you live, especially if your house is downtown or in a large city, there may not be room on the side of your home to build an attached garage. Or if there is, it might not be adequate to give you the amount of storage space you are looking to add. Also, depending on the zoning in your area, it can be more challenging and costly to obtain building permits for existing structures than it is just to build a separate, freestanding garage.
While it may come as a surprise to many, attached garages actually pose a greater safety risk than one separate from your home. If someone were to break into a detached garage, they would only have access to the things you have stored there, while gaining entry to an attached garage could potentially give them access to your entire house and even to you.
The health concerns related to an attached garage are not major, but having one can lead to a greater risk of exposure to carbon monoxide, gasoline and oil fumes, and any chemicals you might have stored there.
Most of the advantages and disadvantages to building a detached garage are just the reverse of those for attached garages. Detached garages can often be more expensive but offer more flexibility in regards to location, size, and layout. They are less convenient to access, which can be troublesome in the dead of winter or in the middle of a storm, but are generally easier to obtain permits for and safer in regards to both security and health.
Building Materials: What Should I Use?
Once you have determined what type of garage you are going to build and how big you want it to be, the next step is to figure out from which materials it is going to be constructed. The cost of materials will be the bulk of the money spent for this building project, so the materials you decide to use will drastically impact the final price tag of your garage.
There are several components of the garage, each with multiple material options available from which you can choose the ones that best suit your needs and budget. Depending on whether your garage is attached or detached, your options may vary slightly.
Laying the Foundation
Before you can build your garage, you’ll need a strong foundation to put it on. As long as you have decent soil conditions, pouring a concrete slab-on-grade foundation is generally the most affordable option and is both durable and structurally sound. Most homeowners opt to have this step done by professionals, but it is possible to do it yourself with the right skills and resources.
Other types of concrete foundations include frost-protected, rubble trench, and t-shaped, which may be better suited for your garage, especially if you live in a region where the ground has a tendency to freeze. It is important to find out about the specific building regulations in your area, as there may be certain foundation standards that need to be met.
What About the Walls?
We often take our walls for granted and never stop to think about what it is they are made of or how well they protect us. When choosing which building material to use for your garage walls, you want to pick something that will provide your desired level of protection and utility, as well as being aesthetically pleasing if intended as a work or living space.
The materials used for the walls in your garage could include drywall, wood sheathing, metal panels, cement board, or plastic. Drywall is certainly the most common option and often used to meet minimal fire code requirements for attached garages, but that does not mean that it is the only option or what will best suit your needs.
Wood sheathing, such as plywood or oriented strandboard, is one alternative to drywall that is a sturdy and economical option for your garage walls. It can be easily connected to the framing using screws and serves as a suitable surface for shelving or any other additions you might want to add to your walls. Metal panels also have the advantage of being easy to install and can give a stylish finish to a space intended for use as a workshop or specialty garage.
Cement board is a lot like drywall in that it works well as a base wall panel to which you can then add a tile or stone veneer. It’s both durable and easy to maintain, but the most low-maintenance material used for garage walls is plastic. Both plastic and fiberglass panels are easy to take care of and can withstand mold, moisture, and pests.
Selecting a Ceiling: Here’s What’s Up
Of all the important decisions you have to make about your garage, picking the right ceiling material is probably not at the top of your list. However, this seemingly small choice can make a big difference in how well the things stored in your garage are protected. The most popular ceiling material is easily drywall, but alternatives like wood, plywood, cork, and either plastic or styrofoam tiles are also valid options.
Drywall is often used by both professional builders and DIYers because it is inexpensive and easy to install, while still providing adequate protection. It can be nailed directly to the structural beams and is easy to paint if you want to give your garage a more finished look. Drywall can also act as a base for other materials if you ever decide to upgrade to something a little more high-end.
Both wood and plywood can be used for your garage ceiling but may take a little more work to put in place. Real wood can be installed in the form of panels, tiles, or strips and will give the space a more inviting and finished feel. Plywood is a cheaper alternative, which can be found in pre-cut pieces and nailed directly to the wooden trusses in the ceiling.
Cork is a good option for your ceiling if you want something more environmentally friendly, and it is easy to install. You can usually find it both waxed and unwaxed, which gives you the option of either a shiny or dull finish. Both styrofoam and plastic tiles are cheap and straightforward to install, but plastic tiles tend to be a better option, as they are fire retardant and can be finished with different types of metals to increase durability and add a more polished look.
Before you move on and start thinking about roofing, you should consider the advantages of installing ceiling insulation as well, especially if you intend to use your garage to store delicate items or as additional living space. Common insulation types include batt, blow-in, and spray foam, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, depending on your specific needs and the climate in your area.
And to Top It All Off: Finding the Right Roofing
The roof is the final step in building the actual structure of your garage, and you want to make sure you choose a material that is durable, compatible with the slope of your roof, and looks good, especially if your garage shows from the street or is to be used as a living space. If your garage is attached, you will likely use the same type of roofing as is used on the rest of your home, but there are several options when building a detached garage.
Asphalt shingles are the most predominant type of roofing used, especially for attached garages (since most homes have it as well), but these work best on roofs with steep slopes. Rolled roofing is a good choice if your garage roof has a low slope, for which asphalt shingles are often too heavy. It is made from the same material but is thinner and lighter. While it is not as durable as other roofing options, it does have the benefits of being the most affordable.
Metal is another type of roofing commonly seen on garages and has the benefits of being easily installed, flame-resistant, lightweight, and energy-efficient. Aluminum and steel are the two most prevalent types of metal used, but metal roofs can also be made of zinc, copper, and tin. While metal may be a little more expensive than standard roofing when first installed, it also lasts a long time when properly maintained.
What Additional Features Can I Add To My Garage?
Most people use their garages for more than just their cars, so these additional functions should be figured in when deciding on dimensions and calculating the cost of your new garage. Garages most commonly act as extra storage space but can also serve as workspace or additional living space. Some people will even build a second level on their garage, which can be used as an attic, workshop, office, game room, guest suite, or apartment.
Including things like windows, extra storage or workspace, lighting, climate control, and additional levels will all play into the final cost of building your garage, though the exact amounts can vary significantly depending on the quality and scale of your additions.
How Can Mr. Garage Door Help?
Mr. Garage Door is a national garage door company that specializes in garage door repair, maintenance, and installation. We are known for our affordable, expert service and can help you complete your building project by making sure your brand new garage is outfitted with the right garage door.
Aside from the initial installation, we provide top-notch maintenance service that will extend the life of your garage door and opener and save you the cost and inconvenience of needing more extensive repairs further down the road.
Building a new garage is a major endeavor that takes careful planning and is a serious financial investment. Give Mr. Garage Door a call at (844) 900-3015 today to ensure the garage door on your brand new garage is one that will last.