A Garage By The Numbers
How much does it actually cost to design and build a garage? A couple in the Midway area of St. Paul wanted a simple garage designed and built. A couple in the Midway area of St. Paul wanted a simple garage designed and built. They had no garage and with winter coming they needed a place for their car, snowblower and tools. We collaborated to create a design, budget and timeline that worked.
How much does it actually cost to design and build a garage?
First I designed a one-and-a-half-car-plus-space garage that fit neatly within the tight setback requirements of the city. This design matched the home and had French doors facing the back yard for additional summer entertaining space.
Consistency, budget and materials
To save time and money and for consistency, the owners agreed to have me coordinate the building of the garage. They attained the building permits and acted as the owner/contractor. I contacted the subcontractors I knew and had worked with and got bids from them on the concrete work, framing and electrical.
The framing contractor said it was too small for him and that I would have a hard time finding someone to actually pound nails. Having built two homes and numerous garages and having over 25 years of hand-on remodeling experience I offered to frame it myself with a little help from the owners. They agreed.
I took the two bids and then added my time to frame it. I presented the total cost to the owners. We agreed that the owners would pay paying for my time and the materials I had specified.
We pulled the building permit in mid-September. The old concrete slab was removed and the new one was poured by the end of the month.
Lumber was delivered soon after and the walls were framed and sheathed. The roof trusses were then put in place and the shingles nailed down. Dry October days meant I could put in the doors and windows without delay. The only hiccup was the city inspectors were so busy that we had to wait 10 days for an inspection.
The result and total cost
In the end the project cost the owners about $30,000 which included my design time. This cost was a little less than the bid from a local garage building company. The garage company plans were not custom, were not designed by an architect and would not have incorporated the individually selected materials (such as siding , lights, and French doors) and the custom, extra space the client wanted as a workplace.
The owners now have a place to keep their car, snow blower and lawn mower (instead of in their basement) as well as space to do work. The result solved all of their issues at a cost that was on budget, on their timeline and with a design they loved.