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How Much Does It Cost To Renovate or Convert a Garage?

Many homeowners only think about their garage as somewhere to park their car or store outdoor equipment.

But it can also be a great place to create more living space for your family. 

You see, while many homeowners choose to build an addition to expand their home, a more cost-effective approach is often to renovate or convert your garage. Why? Because given that the roof and walls are already in place, it’s often far more cost-effective.

But how much does the average garage renovation or conversion cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the typical cost for this type of project is between $5,945 and $22,314, with the national average being $14,130. Of course, the scope of the project, your choice of materials and even your location can all affect the cost, and it’s not uncommon for larger or more luxurious projects to creep closer to $50,000 or more. 

The intended end use of your new space will also impact the cost.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Garage?

Even if you don’t have an existing garage to convert, building one is a project that many homeowners consider for a number of reasons.

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average cost of building a garage is currently $27,768.

A single-story garage will typically cost around $50 per square foot to build, making the average price range for a garage construction project currently sitting between $16,751 and $38,941. 

As a general rule, of course, the larger the area of the garage’s floor space, the greater the cost.

How The Size of Your Garage Affects The Cost

The size of your garage is one of the most important things to be aware of as you design your space given that, in most instances, a garage build will be costed by the square foot – therefore, the larger the garage, the more expensive the project.

Take a look at this handy table to get a rough idea of how much you can expect your project to cost.

Garage SizeAverage Cost Range
Single car garage$10,500 to $27,000
Double car garage$14,500 to $40,300
Triple car garage$32,500 to $72,000
Four car garage$32,500 to $92,000
RV garage$36,000 to $140,000

The Cost of Brick Garages vs Cinder Block Garages vs Metal Garages

Cinder block is a popular choice for homeowners who are looking for a relatively low-cost building material without losing out on quality. The material is particularly popular in areas that may be prone to hurricanes or other extreme weather conditions, thanks to its high durability.

It is also highly suited to covering with stucco or siding, as the installation of these extras is simple and straightforward compared to installing on other materials.

In general, a cinder block garage construction will cost between $25,000 and $50,000 on average, although some factors can push the cost far beyond this upper level. The location of your property, for example, and the amenities and features you wish to add to the structure, will have an impact on the overall cost.

A brick garage structure will be more expensive in most cases. You can expect to pay around $100 per foot for a brick-constructed garage.

A slightly more cost-effective option may be to apply a brick siding over a cinder block base. Typically, this will add between $14 and $28 per square foot to the cost of building the cinder block structure.

Metal garages are often even more cost-effective, and you may be able to find a DIY kit for between $3,000 and $11,000. Another option for metal garage structures is to order a custom build, which may cost up to $40,000. Consult with your local Homeowners' Association to make sure this is permitted in your area.

Breaking Down The Cost Of A Garage

We already touched upon how many different aspects affect the cost of a garage construction project. Now, let’s take a look at those costs in more detail to help you handle your project budget.

  • Project location

If your project is on rough terrain or is in a difficult-to-reach location, this can increase the project cost. This is particularly true in terms of labor as it makes life difficult for teams trying to access your site

  • Garage size

As already noted, the size of your garage project is a key factor in determining costs. The base cost of your project will be derived from the garage’s square foot floor area. Projects carried out across multiple stories will of course carry a higher cost based on this.

  • Framing

Framing provides your garage with a strong and reliable structure. In order to be compliant with the regulations and requirements in your area, you need to make sure you get this framing right. You will generally expect to pay between $1 and $5 per square foot for framing, plus around $4  to $8 per square foot for labor.

  • Roofing

Your structure needs a good-quality roof to keep the elements at bay and to protect the contents of your garage. Roofing can vary a great deal in price, from $1,000 for smaller roofs to over $10,000 for larger projects. Labor will typically cost between $600 and $6,000 on top of this.

  • Slabs

Concrete slabs provide a sturdy foundation for your garage. There are a number of factors that dictate how expensive this can be. But, in general, you are looking at $4 to $8 per square foot. Remember that specialist equipment and techniques will be required to get the job done, which may increase labor costs.

  • Insulation 

Without insulation, your garage is not going to be protected against extremes of temperature in the summer and winter. Depending on the type of insulation, costs range between $0.50 and $3 per square foot. The total amount you can expect to spend will depend upon the type of insulation you choose, with blown-in insulation and batt insulation typically costing between $1,000 and $2,000, and spray foam insulation costing a little more at $1,300 to $3,700.

  • Wall coverings

Depending on your preference, you may decide to choose wood sheathing, plastic or vinyl panels, cement board, metal panels, or drywall to cover your wall area. For drywall, a 4-foot by 8-foot panel is going to cost between $8 and $12, but this does not include labor. Remember that you will be required to install fire-rated drywall for any surfaces that adjoin living spaces.

  • Windows

Not all garages will require windows. But if you would like windows built into your structure, expect to add between $100 and $1,300 to the project, dependent on the materials and on the size of the windows. If you need your windows installed, this will add between $100 and $300 for each window.

How The Cost Of Building a Garage Changes by Location

The cost of your project is also dependent on your location. Take a look at some general price distributions for different states.

StateAverage Cost Range
California$27,000 to $46,500
Texas$16,500 to $43,500
Maine$26,000 to $40,500
Colorado$19,000 to $32,500
New York$17,000 to $31,000
Kentucky$20,000 to $31,000
Washington$20,500 to $30,000
Oregon$17,500 to $30,000
Michigan$16,000 to $28,500
Minnesota$14,000 to $25,000
Illinois$11,500 to $25,000

How Much Does A Carport Cost To Build?

If you need a structure to shelter your car, but perhaps you don’t necessarily need a garage or a similar extension, a carport may represent a more cost-effective option that will still suit your needs.

A carport installation project will typically cost between $3,212 and $9,724 once factors such as materials, labor, and other elements are factored in. 

Why are Homeowners Building and Converting Garages in 2021?

We’re often fast to think about a garage as being somewhere to park cars or store things, but these are by no means the only reasons why homeowners are building garages.

Detached garages, especially, are often being used to create a space that the home lacks, with common uses often including:

  • Home gyms
  • Workshops
  • Home offices
  • Games rooms
  • Pool houses
  • Additional living space 

If you’re looking to add additional space and features that your home doesn’t have, a garage could be the perfect way to do this.

5 Reasons Why It Makes Sense To Borrow Money To Finance A Garage

Finding the right kind of finance gives you the opportunity to expand your horizons. Whether you simply need space to keep another car in great condition or you have something along the lines of a home gym or music room in mind, a garage build or conversion can make this dream a reality. With financing, you have the means to achieve this and make affordable payments over a period of time.

Stay in the Neighborhood You Love

You love your home, neighborhood, and people you know in your area. Why should you have to throw all that in just because you need extra space? The fact is, you don’t! You can simply get the funding you need to finance a garage build or turn an existing one into a new space for a new purpose.

Get the Project Done the Right Way

Perhaps you have been thinking of adding a garage to your property or renovating your existing one for quite a while now, but you just never seem to find the time or the funds. Maybe you’ve saved up a bit of money, but not quite enough to achieve the garage that’s right for you. With funding, you don’t need to do things by halves – you can get the financing you need to complete the project properly.

Get More from Your Budget

With a careful and considered approach to funding, you will find that you don’t need to destroy your savings or leave yourself saddled with overwhelming debt. Instead, you can select the funding product that suits your needs and budget accordingly in the long term.

Increase Your Home’s Value

Using the right materials and installation services makes your new garage an investment in the value of your property. This means you will be able to recoup the amount you borrow further down the line, and you may be able to use this price change to increase your borrowing power in some cases.

Does Building or Renovating a Garage Increase The Value of Your Home?

While a garage isn’t always going to be the first project that comes to mind when you think about adding value to your home, especially given that in many cases it’s more about practicality than luxury, questions around the increases that you can expect to see from this type of project remain common amongst those considering their options.

At the end of the day, if you’re investing an average of $27,768 or more, it’s only right that you want to know how much of this you would expect to get back in added value to your home. 

According to PocketSense, the average garage will deliver an 81% return on investment, meaning that you could expect to recover $22,492 against the average cost. 

But don’t forget the reason why you started looking into your options in the first place, with this likely being as a way to create the space you need that your home is currently lacking. Knowing, however, that you’ll be able to recover the majority of the cost of the build can give you the confidence you need to get going on the project. 

A garage conversion will typically see the same return on investment as a new build.

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