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Thread: Garage addition cost per square foot?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Upstate South Carolina, USA
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    174

    Garage addition cost per square foot?

    I am planning on adding a third garage (14 ft by 20ft ) to use as a dedicated shop. It will have a garage door, brick exterior (three walls), insulated and sheetrocked, but no HVAC at this time (maybe later). Will include 50 amp-220v service, with lights and many receptacles.

    What is your experience of cost per square foot of such an addition? I realize the costs would vary a lot - we are in South Carolina in a metro area.

    Thanks,
    Angie

  2. #2
    I would expect $50-$65/ sf on the low end if you are having everything done by contractors/subs. For this materials alone should run $25-30/sf.

    If it were unfinished shell space (no gyp, no insul, no elect) you'd probably be closer to $30-35/sf. Materials here will be 12-17/sf.

    Do note that with a brick veneer you add a significant cost that will drive pricing up. Concrete, roof truss, and hurricane protection requirements in your area will be different than mine (Maine) so I may be off on that too....

    Good luck!
    NWB
    "there is no such thing as a mistake in woodworking, only opportunities to re-assess the design"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Aurora, Colorado (Saddle Rock)
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    503
    In Denver, I would expect to pay about $40 a SF... but that all depends on the upgrades. As for your power choice, I would strongly suggest going with a 100 amp service. It is the cheapest upgrade you can make and it will give you plenty of room to grow. IMHO, a 50 amp service could be too small if you start running a 220v DC and another 220v tool. The price difference would only be a couple hundred.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    O'Fallon IL
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    488
    I paid $64/SF for mine two years ago, but about $10/SF was a special roofline and additional windows, and $1500 for a PTAC heat pump. That was with me doing the drywall & paint, and the one exterior wall that is brick. The other two walls have vinyl siding. That included a 100 amp subpanel and all electrical (and lots of it).

    Kirk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
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    7,133
    Per square prices are particularly hard to put on a "small" job. The best way to estimate them (other than getting an actual estimate) is to price it by its parts. Figure the slab, framing, electrical (which will be a significant part compared to a whole house), insulation, drywall, trim, paint, garage door, exterior (brick in this case) and roof. In the GVL/SPA area I am guessing in the $16.5K range which puts it about the $50 ft^2 area. It could vary a lot for a lot of reasons.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Collegeville PA (30 min west of Philly)
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    I tell customers that square foot pricing is where quality goes to die. I'm teasing partially, but not entirely. Two homes exactly the same size and shape, one well-built with a higher price tag, one with corners cut everywhere and lower price tag... that 2nd home (the poorer quality one) will have a better price per square foot. Where's the hidden cheap in the cheaper price?

    Anyways, tough to price your example, as things such as height to eave, roof pitch, number of windows, excavation (etc. etc. etc.) really change the equation significantly. I could easily price 2 car garages of the same size and shape.. one with a price tag of $20,000... and the same footprint for $120,000. Depends on what you want.

    Another factor is who you choose to build for you. A small builder may have less overhead. A larger builder may have advantages in other areas.

    Sorry, this doesn't answer your question exactly. My feeling is that by the time windows, shingles, brick three sides, slab, excavation, windows, garage door, man entry door, gutters, overhangs, insulation, wiring, sheetrock (finished, painted), base trim/window/door trim... Plus tie in to existing structure seamlessly... The price from my company would be much higher than $16K, likely double (although I only priced it very quickly with a lot of assumptions).
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    I tell customers that square foot pricing is where quality goes to die. I'm teasing partially, but not entirely. Two homes exactly the same size and shape, one well-built with a higher price tag, one with corners cut everywhere and lower price tag... that 2nd home (the poorer quality one) will have a better price per square foot. Where's the hidden cheap in the cheaper price?

    Anyways, tough to price your example, as things such as height to eave, roof pitch, number of windows, excavation (etc. etc. etc.) really change the equation significantly. I could easily price 2 car garages of the same size and shape.. one with a price tag of $20,000... and the same footprint for $120,000. Depends on what you want.

    Another factor is who you choose to build for you. A small builder may have less overhead. A larger builder may have advantages in other areas.

    Sorry, this doesn't answer your question exactly. My feeling is that by the time windows, shingles, brick three sides, slab, excavation, windows, garage door, man entry door, gutters, overhangs, insulation, wiring, sheetrock (finished, painted), base trim/window/door trim... Plus tie in to existing structure seamlessly... The price from my company would be much higher than $16K, likely double (although I only priced it very quickly with a lot of assumptions).
    What Bob said! This is the one "footnote" to /sf estimating that we deal with on a regular basis in commercial construction. well said!
    "there is no such thing as a mistake in woodworking, only opportunities to re-assess the design"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Upstate South Carolina, USA
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    Thanks for the information, everyone. That helps calibrate my thinking.

    Angie

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    West Michigan
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    630
    Man, prices have gone up. When I added a garage to connect my 2 car garage and my house in 2003 I only spent $8000. I added about 1000 sq. ft. Now I used the front wall of the garage and part of one wall of the house and I did most of the work myself (with the help of friends) but I figured $8@sq. ft. was a pretty good price. The only subs I used were for the concrete work and a boom truck for the trusses. My garage (and shop) is now 62 feet long and still not big enough.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Milwaukee, WI
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    5,088
    Three brick exterior walls? I'm guessing $30k. My next door neighbor paid $30k for a two car garage to get demolished, and a new one built in its place. And it has vinyl siding, little electrical, and nothing on the studs on the inside.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Crown Point, Indiana
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    850
    When you get prices, you might ask about how much is costs to add a couple of extra feet. I would also look at the electrical and determine if 50 amps is sufficient. It is much cheaper to upgrade now than later.

    As part of some house renovations, I had a third bay added to the garage but do not use it as a shop. However, I did have the bay made a few feet wider and it was worth it. Also, I had double doors put on the back of the garage that allows me to drive equipment through the garage and out the front and I love that.

    I do regret that I did not have enough electrical put into the new garage bay. As part of the renovations there is a new 100 amp sub panel that I willl add a couple of circuits to this next summer.

    We had the work done a year ago and found that the contractors were very anxious to get work. We were able to get the price down a little by allowing them flexibility for when they did the work and finished them. I also did not use the lowest bidder but check on the work done by three of them to determine who did good work. The lowest estimate was definitely not the one I wanted to use.

  12. #12
    In my experience as a builder, having retired from that business in '01, brick veneers were really expensive. Last bricklayer I hired charged over 1$ per brick, with me furnishing all the supplies. If you showed a picture of your house it would help, as tieing into your roof might be more difficult than in other cases. Just be sure to pour a stem wall around the outside of your addition, and do not fill under the slab with dirt. And the sand under your floor should be compacted. Does your outside wall have a brick veneer, which should probably be removed? Lots of variables which contribute to the cost.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Northeast Indiana
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    30
    My 33' x 30' garage with a 10/12 pith and a 20' dormer so I could have loft cost $31.00 a square ft. That includes all of the concrete work with the approach. I did not drywall or insulate it yet. The break down was 11000 for concrete work, 8,000 for framing and materials, 8,000 for siding, windows and doors, 1000 for a 200amp service and wiring ( I installed myself ) and 3,000 for sewer and water.

  14. #14
    I paid $15k to do my 17x20 garage and I did EVERYTHING myself, except forh the concrete slab, which was about $2k. So you're basically looking at just material costs. I'd assume at least double for something built by a contractor.

    As far as square foot costs go, don't go by them. They are in inaccurate metric, at best.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fallbrook, California
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    3,509
    You have some great answers from well qualified people. When I had my unattached 24' x 40' shop/garage built I got some actual estimates from contractors for the building that I wanted. Some quoted their price to $/sq. ft. and others didn't. BTW - in my area an unattached building was much cheaper and the property taxes are lower.

    Before you get started make sure that you can build what you want (check local building codes/requirements),look into any "special" requirements, i.e. fire sprinklers (required for all new construction in many places), setbacks, type of exterior siding etc. and find out how much your permits/fees will be. The "special" requirements and permits/fees for my shop/garage added almost $10 grand to my costs. It's amazing what some local governments are adding on to requirements, permits and fees to make up for other revenue that they have lost.
    Don Bullock
    Woebgon Bassets
    AKC Championss

    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
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