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Thread: Garage cost...are you kidding me?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Wentzville, MO
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    127

    Garage cost...are you kidding me?

    I retired from the Air Force close to two years ago. It took us until now to find the house we wanted. So, I was ready to finally have a space dedicated for a wood shop instead of cramming into here or there as we moved every three years. We have a great house with some land and a perfect spot for a detached garage. I received the first estimate and about died. I was hoping to have a fully complete ~32x24 garage built. It came in at $110k which didn't include any heating or cooling. I asked for a scaled-down 2-car size with an option for no electric (other than run a 100 amp box), insulation, drywall and only french doors. It still came in at over $80k. I have another contractor working on an estimate at this time.

    I had also requested the drive be extended (about 10x40 of concrete) in front of the garage.

    Is this the going rate for those that know? If so, looks like I'll be stuck in the attached garage for a while.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    61,335
    Robert, yes, the cost of structures is a lot higher than it was a few years ago because of material and labor costs being elevated. For this reason, I'll suggest that you seriously consider alternative building types for your project. That's exactly why I'm doing post frame for my 24x36x10 shop building that is scheduled to "go up" the second week of September. I totally ruled out "stick built" right from the start because of costs and it came down to metal post frame ("car port") or wood post frame (what is often called pole barn) for my project. In the end, the cost was similar because the metal structure required a monolithic slab vs the floating slab for the post frame. The end look is identical and in my case, is exactly color matched to our home. My building with concrete and basic electric will be under $35K and I do expect to put maybe $10K more in for internal finishes and the mini-split for HVAC.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    157
    Wow, that seems ridiculously high to me. I had a 24 by 36 garage built with a 36 by 41 drive in front of the garage back in 2009.
    Total cost with separate electrical service, 2 garage doors, (1 18' and 1 9') minimal wiring as needed to pass inspection total was just under $26,000. I did the interior walls and wiring myself for probably another $2,500. A couple years later I installed gas heat for another $500. Still not even close to your estimates

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Spartanburg South Carolina
    Posts
    368
    If you don't need to borrow the money it may get better as interest rates rise. Maybe by then materials will normalize. I would wire and install interior myself but when I run the numbers in my head I keep coming up with 80k ~ 100K and I am not sure the resale of the property can support that investment. Till something gives I work out of a 10'X16' shed with AC and heat and switched to mostly hand tools. Its working so far.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    61,335
    Sam, you cannot compare 2009 costs with 2022 costs, unfortunately. The 2200 sq ft home addition we did in 2007-2008 at our old property was about $330K and it would easily be close to $550K or more at present costs for identical, according to the GC who did the work. I sometimes watch a channel on the 'Tube for a guy up in VT that builds "garages" and he's pretty vocal and transparent about costs. He's currently running at least double the material cost from early 2020 and what he might have built for $20K then is running $40K now. There are indications that materials costs are going to come down as lumber futures are half what they were at the start of the year, but it will take a few more months for that to trickle toward the retail side of the supply chain.

    Hence, my suggestion to be flexible on building type because there are cost advantages that can come from that flexibility without compromising the end result.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hartmann View Post
    I retired from the Air Force close to two years ago. It took us until now to find the house we wanted. So, I was ready to finally have a space dedicated for a wood shop instead of cramming into here or there as we moved every three years. We have a great house with some land and a perfect spot for a detached garage. I received the first estimate and about died. I was hoping to have a fully complete ~32x24 garage built. It came in at $110k which didn't include any heating or cooling. I asked for a scaled-down 2-car size with an option for no electric (other than run a 100 amp box), insulation, drywall and only french doors. It still came in at over $80k. I have another contractor working on an estimate at this time.

    I had also requested the drive be extended (about 10x40 of concrete) in front of the garage.

    Is this the going rate for those that know? If so, looks like I'll be stuck in the attached garage for a while.

    I know it doesn't help but I have been in the exact same situation, with just slightly different dollar$ The cost per square foot is as much (now it's more) as the cost of a house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    1,973
    I haven't checked but I did read a headline saying the price of lumber is dropping fast. If we are headed into a recession the price to build anything will drop as contractors scramble to find work. If possible I would wait until at least fall before deciding on what to do. Next spring could even be better. Hopefully by then the price of gas will settle out. That alone will help lower costs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    3,061
    Try $750,000 for a parking space in Beacon Hill (Boston). (the article is behind a paywall, and no actual selling price is reported. One did sell for $460,000 in that neighborhood a number of years ago) That's space for one car, not much of a shop.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    1,144
    A 2x4x8 is now down to $5.28 at Home Depot, and Advantech has dropped from $91 a sheet to $81. Prices are still high but at least they're trending down a bit. I want 16 sheets of Advantech to go over the foam insulation on my shop floor sometime this summer or fall, before it gets cold. I am hoping it'll get back down into the $50-60 range in a few more months but that is probably just wishful thinking. I bought rough cut wood from the Amish to build my shop and am glad I did, it saved me several thousand and built a stronger building. If you have any of them down your way you might want to get a quote from them, they build buildings as well as selling lumber.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    126
    I built a 20x30 shop in NC for a little under 24K by acting as my own contractor. It's more work, but huge savings. You need sub contractors for Concrete, Framing(my framer did framing, siding and roof), and electric. I installed my own mini-split for heat and air that works great, I'm so glad I didn't have central A/C installed. The inspections (soil, framing and electric) were the worst part. I only failed framing once, but all of the inspectors were the biggest A-holes I have ever met. Hopefully they are better where you are.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    265
    I was quoted $750 a square foot for an unfinished shop this year. Hard pass on that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
    Posts
    551
    Unfortunately, all the “inputs” to construction costs are increasing. Some material prices may be stabilizing a little bit, but labor costs continue to rise, transportation/fuel, etc …
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    725
    I watch the same guy on YouTube, lots of fun. I think it's obviously going to vary, but I feel like he keeps quoting more in the 50-60K range for what you're asking for. Obviously VT is not MO, and there are signs that the inflation is likely going to end in deflation/recession, and then perhaps back to 2% growth again. Or not. Who knows.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    61,335
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I watch the same guy on YouTube, lots of fun. I think it's obviously going to vary, but I feel like he keeps quoting more in the 50-60K range for what you're asking for. Obviously VT is not MO, and there are signs that the inflation is likely going to end in deflation/recession, and then perhaps back to 2% growth again. Or not. Who knows.
    Yea, Ken's prices have increased substantially but nowhere toward what the OP is getting quoted in his market. The escalation in Ken's prices are largely due to materials because his system of pre-building panels and keeps the labor sane, IMHO. His structures go up fast, even though they are "stick built", per se.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Wentzville, MO
    Posts
    127
    Thanks for all the info. I'm still waiting on two more estimates, so I'll see if the first was just high. I could take on a lot of the work myself, but at this point my time is more precious. Looks like the right answer may be to wait a year. Fortunately I'm not financing the build, so the rising rates won't hurt. We just moved in, so a lot of other projects to work on. I do have a list of things my wife wants me to build, so I'll have to make do in one bay of the garage for now. It could be worse right? I did woodworking while stationed in the Netherlands in a cellar with 6.5 ft ceilings and high humidity. I managed to build my current bench and a tool chest there.

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