A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build a Detached Garage

Empty garage interior in American house. Northwest, USA

Are you interested in building a detached garage but aren’t quite sure how to get started?

While detached garages might seem old school, but detached garages are great because they come with many customizable options. They’re also perfect for those who don’t have enough space in their home and would like some extra storage or some extra space for a gym or home office.

If you’re interested in building a detached garage, read our guide to learn how it’s done.

Check Local Regulations 

Before you start building, it’s also important to check your local regulations. Most municipalities have strict rules when it comes to the size of the garage you can build.

Often, the size of the garage you’re allowed to build depends on the size of your house/land. Before approaching your local government, you should have a professional help you put together a design. A professional architect will ensure that your design fits within the necessary regulations.

Once you’ve been approved by your local municipality, you can apply for your permit and start planning how you’re going to finance the project.

Demolish Your Existing Garage 

If you already have a garage, your first step will be to demolish it. Demolition will usually take at least two days, but depending on the size of the project and your time constraints, it might take a few weeks.

While you can take care of the demolition yourself, unless you really know what you’re doing, you should hire a demolition team.

Understand the Costs 

While the total cost of a detached garage can vary greatly, generally speaking, you can expect to pay at least $45 per square foot for the material.

If you want your garage to be insulated or heated, then you can expect to pay at least $60 per square foot. For example, if you plan to build a single detached garage that’s 14 feet wide by 20 feet long, then your total cost will likely cost between $13,000 and $17,000.

If you build a double garage, you can expect your total cost to come to about $24,000. However, keep in mind that these prices only include the construction materials. If you plan to build the garage yourself, then you can budget for these amounts.

However, if you change your mind and decide to hire help, then expect the labor costs to drive up your final price. The exterior finish you choose will also have an impact on the final price. For example, if you choose brick for the exterior of your garage, it’s going to be a lot more expensive than if you were to choose PVC siding or if you use a metal building.

Prepare the Foundation 

Once you’ve figured out your budget, it’s time to get the foundation ready. If you want your garage to last for many years to come, then you need to set up a solid foundation.

During this step, you prepare and install the slab and the concrete foundation. The process will involve forming, prep working, and pouring the concrete. Here are some tips to keep in mind when laying a concrete foundation:

  • Begin by measuring the depth (the average concrete foundation goes three feet into the soil)
  • Before you begin pouring, remove everything that could potentially interfere with the project, such as branches, rocks, and debris
  • Use a compactor tool to flatten the soil and get rid of all air pockets (you should go over the foundation with a compactor tool a few times)
  • Install concrete support beams to prevent any issues with crumbling
  • Mix your concrete with water to ensure the correct consistency
  • Use a 2×4 straight edge tool to pour the foundation
  • Smooth the concrete while wet and allow the product to settle

Look at the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out how long you need to let the concrete set.

Construct the Garage Structure 

Once the concrete has set in place, it’s time to start constructing the garage. Depending on how complex the garage is, the construction process may take three to five days.

During this step, you’ll focus on the siding, roofing, framing, and trimming. You’ll also structure the windows and doors during this step. If you don’t want to build your garage from scratch, you can also purchase a prefabricated one. Prefabricated garages are not difficult to assemble, so they’re a great option for those who want to get their garage up and running right away.

Install the Electrical 

After you finish building the garage structure, it’s time to install the electrical. With a detached garage, you have numerous options for electrical installation.

Generally, it’ll take one to two days to install the electrical wiring, but it all depends on the type of wiring you choose. The installation timeline will also be affected by how far your garage is from your main electrical panel. The farther away the electrical panel is, the longer it’ll take to install.

How many outlets and lights you have will also affect the timeline.

Finishing the Installation 

Once the structure is set up and the electricity is installed, it’s time to put in the finishing touches. The finishing touches will usually involve cleaning up the construction site and putting in any creature comforts.

Depending on how you want to outfit your garage, this process may take several days or more. When you add up all of the times from each step, you can expect to spend about 6 to 8 weeks from start to finish.

Time to Build Your Detached Garage 

Now that you know how to build a detached garage, it’s time to get started. Pretty soon, your garage will be ready, and you’ll have a new space for your car, home office, or gym.

Be sure to check back in with our blog for more building tips and tricks.

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