How Much Does It Cost to Build a Garage? Understanding the Price Factors

In this article, you’ll learn the factors that determine the cost of building a garage, helping you to estimate your own project’s budget.

Key takeaways:

  • Size affects the cost of materials and labor.
  • Foundation complexity is determined by terrain and soil conditions.
  • Framing materials (wood or steel) impact cost.
  • Roof type (gable, hip, mansard) contributes to overall costs.
  • Labor expenses vary regionally.

Factors in Calculifying the Cost to Build a Garage

Size directly impacts material and labor costs: A larger footprint demands more materials and longer construction time, while a smaller garage requires fewer resources.

Foundation complexity varies by terrain and soil conditions: A standard concrete slab is common, but slopes or unstable soils might necessitate specialized foundations, increasing costs.

Framing forms the skeleton of the garage: Traditional wood framing is typical, but metal framing could be an option, potentially altering the expense.

Roof type contributes to overall costs: A simple gable roof is less costly than a more intricate hip or mansard roof.

Labor expenses vary regionally: Local labor rates affect the final cost, with metropolitan areas generally presenting higher labor costs compared to rural settings.

Garage Size

When considering the dimensions for your new garage, understand that size directly affects cost. A compact single-car garage, typically about 12×22 feet, is the most economical choice, perfect for a sole vehicle and limited storage.

For every additional vehicle, add approximately 10 feet in width, ushering in higher costs due to more materials and labor.

Opting for a larger garage, like a standard 24×24-foot 2-car layout, provides versatile space not just for vehicles but also for a workshop or extra storage.

The larger your vision for the space, the more you’ll invest. Custom dimensions, like a 30×30-foot or larger for a spacious 3-car garage or work area, naturally command a premium.

These larger plans might also demand a beefier foundation and roof support system, translating into an uptick in your budget.

Lastly, the ceiling height is another dimension to contemplate. The standard 8-foot height suits most vehicles, while a taller garage, around 12 to 15 feet, accommodates lifts for car maintenance or loft storage, leading to an adjustment in the investment.

Foundation Installation

Selecting the right foundation is critical for the longevity and safety of your garage. A poured concrete slab is the most common choice due to its durability and robustness. Costs will vary depending on thickness, with 4″ being typical for residential garages, and 6″ or more for heavier use. The price per square foot may increase if additional reinforcements, such as fiber mesh or rebar, are necessary for structural integrity.

Preparation is essential; the ground must be level and properly compacted to prevent future settling. Drainage considerations are implemented at this stage to avoid water issues, which might involve grading or installing French drains. Local building regulations may require specific groundwork or insulation below the slab, particularly in cold-weather regions, to prevent frost heave.

Obtaining professional quotes is advised as the costs can range significantly based on soil type, terrain, accessibility, and regional labor rates. Local builders or concrete specialists can provide a clearer picture of expected costs tailored to your project’s specific needs. Remember, skimping on your foundation can lead to costly repairs in the future, so prioritize this element within your budget.


When it comes to erecting the skeleton of your garage, wood and steel stand as the primary choices. Wood framing, a traditional candidate, offers affordability and ease of modification. On the other hand, steel provides unmatched durability and resistance to pests, albeit at a higher price point.

The complexity of roof trusses and wall framing also contributes to cost variability; the more intricate the design, the higher the expense. A clear span truss system, which eliminates the need for interior supporting walls, generally ups the price but offers more usable interior space.

Keep in mind, local building codes may dictate certain standards on materials and construction methods, influencing the overall framing budget.


Selecting a roof for a garage is a crucial decision impacting both cost and durability. Asphalt shingles are affordable and widely favored, costing approximately $2.50 to $5 per square foot installed. Metal roofing, while pricier at $7 to $12 per square foot, offers a longer lifespan and can better withstand the elements.

Flat roofs, common in urban settings, use EPDM or similar materials, with expenses ranging from $5 to $10 per square foot.

Pitch can play a role, too; a steeper pitch increases labor and material costs but can offer extra storage space and improved drainage. Complexity matters as well; a roof with dormers or multiple valleys requires additional labor and materials.

Spanning from basic gable roofs to complex hip designs, the final price reflects both geometry and materials chosen. Always consider local weather conditions and building codes, as these will influence the appropriate materials and design for durability and compliance.


Is it cheaper to build your own garage?

Building your own garage can be more cost-effective, potentially saving you an average of about $8,000, although it's important to consider the feasibility of managing all tasks involved.

What is the most expensive part of building a garage?

The most expensive part of building a garage is the construction and labor, accounting for 50-75% of the total budget.

How much does it cost to build a garage in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, the average cost of building a garage ranges from $17,800 to $26,300, with a custom garage in Louisville approximately costing $23,000.

Is it cheaper to build a detached garage or attached?

On average, building an attached garage is less expensive compared to a detached one due to the extra costs involved with wiring and plumbing for the latter.

What are the material cost considerations when building a garage?

The material cost considerations when building a garage include the price of concrete for the foundation, the cost of framing materials like lumber or metal, roofing materials, siding, doors, windows, and electrical components.

How does geographical location affect the cost of building a garage?

Geographical location significantly affects the cost of building a garage due to variations in labor costs, building materials prices, and local regulations or codes.

Can costs significantly vary based on the type of garage – single, double, or triple?

Yes, the costs of building a garage can significantly vary based on its type, with single garages being the least expensive, and double or triple garages costing more due to larger sizes and additional materials required.