Building a three car garage
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There’s nothing like running out the door on a frigid February morning only to find your car buried in snow to make you dream of having a garage.

Even if you don’t live in a snowy climate, you may want to build a garage for extra storage, work space or simply to protect your cars from the elements.

The cost of construction depends on the type of building and size and can range from $7,000 to $37,500, with a national average of $25,000.

How much does it cost to build a garage?

When it comes to garages, one size doesn’t fit all. Expect to pay about $40 per square foot—with an understanding that premium materials, obtaining permits and your contractor’s rate can drive that number up. Common sizes for a garage are:

  • One-car garage: 12’ x 20’ (240 square feet)
  • Two-car garage: 20’ x 20’ (400 square feet)
  • Two-car garage with storage space: 24 x 24 (576 square feet)

Keep in mind that if you want to use your garage as a workspace, you’ll want to plan for a garage larger than the recommended minimum.

Adding on a garage is expensive. A home equity loan can be a great way to pay for it.

Attached or detached garage?

Another important factor in determining cost is whether you choose an attached or detached garage.

An attached garage shares a wall with your home, which can keep costs lower. With an attached garage, your contractor can extend electrical lines, HVAC and even plumbing from your house directly to the garage.The shared wall also cuts down on material costs.

However, an attached garage may require structural changes to your home, so ask your contractor which option may be more cost effective before you decide.

A personal loan is another great way to pay for a new garage.

The cost of materials

The materials you choose for your garage will have a large impact on the cost of the project. When considering the material costs for your garage, take each of these factors into account:

  • Doors: Garage doors are a specialty item that most contractors will hire subcontractors to take care of, which makes them one of the costlier parts of construction. Garage doors can cost between $500 and $900 before labor costs (estimate six hours for that). Remember that if you’re planning for a two-car garage, you’ll need to double that.
  • Siding: Once your garage is built, it’s time to finish the exterior. You can opt for a variety of materials, including vinyl siding, aluminum siding, cement board and wood. These materials range in cost from $2 per square foot for vinyl to $6 per square foot for cedar siding.
  • Foundation: Your garage’s foundation will depend on the local climate and your home’s setting. If the ground doesn’t freeze where you live, you can likely get by with a poured concrete slab. In climates where the ground does freeze, you’ll also need footers that reach below the frost line. Either way, estimate $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot, allowing for higher costs if excavation is needed.

Finished versus unfinished garages

If you plan to only use your garage for vehicle storage, you may not want to finish the interior. This can save a good deal of money, since you won’t need to pay for insulation, drywall, or electricity.

However, if you plan to keep a workspace in your garage or to build a living space above it, you’ll want insulation, lighting and even an HVAC system. If the garage is important to you but cost is an issue, remember that you can always build the garage now and decide to finish the interior later.