What Are the Costs in Building a Garage?

When you are designing a garage, one of the steps is to set a budget. This includes determining how much exactly everything will cost, right down to the paint. This process can be arduous since prices vary widely from supplier to supplier. Furthermore, price instability is a factor. Analyse the market of every item you must purchase, in order to develop an accurate budget for your garage project.

Lumber Costs

Lumber is a major factor in cost analysis. Lumber prices vary widely with the season and month. Also, the economic forces of supply and demand play into the price. For 2010, lumber prices for two-by-fours peaked in mid-April, at about £195 for a 1,000 board feet wholesale contract. April is also when most people receive their income tax refunds, so the demand tends to go up slightly. When obtaining quotes for lumber, negotiate with suppliers on holding the price firm for a time period. That way, when it comes time to actually buy the lumber, you aren't shocked by a price increase. Consider buying in the winter -- when lumber is historically cheapest -- and storing the lumber until summer.

Siding Costs

Siding costs can also vary widely. Determine how many square feet of siding you need, and develop a price chart accordingly. The architect who designed the garage can assist you with this. Negotiate with various suppliers to find and hold the best price.

Concrete Costs

Pouring a concrete slab is not a one-person project. You must pour, surface and finish the concrete slab within a narrow time frame. Concrete is very quick setting. If not done correctly, it will set up before the job is done. For this reason, only let large crews handle this. Negotiate with several reputable concrete companies, and arrange for a pour day.

Labor Costs

If you and a few friends have the knowledge to do carpentry, then you can save costs. If not, then you must negotiate with a carpentry crew to build the garage for you. Labor costs are usually based on man-hours. A man-hour is how much work a person can do in one hour. The carpentry company will review your blueprints and quote you a price accordingly.


Prices vary according to the quality of the roof. Traditionally, people use asphalt shingle roofing. Many roofs come in warranty periods -- usually 10 year, 20 year and 30 year roof warranties. Some companies are even offering a limited lifetime warranty on roofing materials.

Packaged Kits

Many lumberyards sell packaged kits because they know people want to build garages. These kits include all the building materials, such as the lumber and roofing materials. Sometimes, buying a bundled kit is cheaper than buying components separately.

Professional Packages

Many professional building companies quote prices on complete garages. The company includes all the subprices, such as the cost of the slab. Investigate several companies and obtain quotes. Investigate the reputation of the company. All reputable companies have building licenses and are in good standing. Also, inquire at the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints. Lastly, all good companies have a list of satisfied customers whom you can contact.

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About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.