Cost to Build a Two-Car Garage
Price your garage construction job based on size and materials
By Richard Asmus
Two-car garage building costs vary greatly, from $16 per square foot for the minimum-sized 20-foot by 20-foot prefabricated steel garage, to any amount you can imagine for your dream two-car garage. Rarely do homeowners complain about a garage being too big or too elaborate. In luxury neighborhoods, brick construction with tile or wood roofs may be required. And in isolated areas, the delivery of materials may drive your price up, even for the lowest-cost model. As a starting point for pricing your garage construction, pick up the latest edition of one of the books on square-foot construction pricing from publisher RSMeans, available online or at a building supply store; contractors use these books to set bids.
Location and Excavation
A two-car garage attached to a house may cost a little less because one wall is already built. But consider the cost of breaking into that wall, plus adding a door. A stand-alone two-car garage may also need a longer driveway, and if a considerable amount of dirt, trees or rocks needs to be moved, the costs will increase. Also in urban areas, a search must be made to ensure the excavation does not break telephone or electric wires, or water or sewer pipes.
Foundation and Building Permit
After excavation, a concrete foundation needs to be poured, even for prefabricated steel or modular two-car garages. The size of the two-car garage determines the price of the foundation, which may include a work area, complete with bench and storage spaces. Various sorts of concrete and finishes retard grease spills, and improve appearance by adding color, all at cost increases. Cost of building permits vary from area to area, but must always be considered in the total price.
Walls, Roof and Door
The simplest constructions will be the lowest cost, but many people want more than just basics, and your personal choices along with your environment can greatly affect price. Stronger walls and roofs protect from extreme weather such as hurricanes and heavy snow accumulation. The choice between a single door for both cars, or two individual doors changes the price, along with the cost of one- or two-door openers. Security features such as elaborate locks and alarms also increase the price.
In cold climates, you may want to add insulation and heating to the interior of your two-car garage to control the temperature and make your cars easier to start. You may also want to add drywall or paneling to improve the appearance. Many people include an office or a workshop in their garage, and want a more pleasant atmosphere. The cost of customizing the interior of a two-car garage can greatly affect the overall cost, depending on your personal choices.
A choice to build it yourself may save money but not time. There is also the risk of making mistakes and cost over-runs. Prefab steel and modular companies can include the price of delivery and assembly in an overall pricing package. A general contractor can do everything, including acquire permits, check for proper excavation, assemble or build and paint your two-car garage, all for one turn-key price. Take your ideas to your suppliers and builders, and always get at least three estimates.
About the Author
Richard Asmus is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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