How much does building a garage cost?

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Are you curious to know how much building a garage costs in the UK in 2024? The cost of building a garage in the UK is around £15,000– £50,000. Our price guide provides detailed insights into what’s involved, helping you budget effectively for your project.

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Understanding the cost to build a garage is crucial if you are looking to add value and functionality to their property. It's not just about the structure itself but also about ensuring that the build meets your needs while adhering to UK building regulations.

Engaging a professional builder for this task ensures that your garage is constructed safely, efficiently, and to the highest standard. Professionals can offer advice on design and materials and can navigate planning permissions, making your investment worthwhile. Their expertise can prevent costly mistakes and ensure the project is completed within budget and timeline.

We'll cover the following topics in this pricing guide:
  1. Average garage build costs
  2. How long does building a garage take?
  3. How to reduce the costs of building a garage
  4. FAQ
  5. Your garage build checklist
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Average garage build costs

Building a garage means making many decisions, from selecting the appropriate materials to determining the dimensions and deciding on any extra feature. These choices significantly influence your project's overall cost.

When planning your garage, you may consider factors such as the durability and maintenance requirements of different materials, as well as how well the garage size will accommodate your current and future needs. Additionally, think about the functionality you require. Whether that’s vehicle storage, workshop space, or perhaps even a home office, this will dictate the need for features such as insulation, electrical wiring, and plumbing.

In the UK, the varying costs per square metre of building a garage reflect the diversity of options available to you. If you are budgeting, it’s important to think beyond the basic construction expenses and account for the costs associated with any specialised features or high-end finishes you choose to include. By carefully planning and budgeting for your garage build, you can ensure that the end result not only meets your practical needs but also complements your home's aesthetic and adds value to your property.

Below you find our breakdown of the average garage build cost per square metre in the UK:

Garage Build JobsPrice Range
Basic Detached Garage£1,200–£1,500 per m²
Custom Garage Build£1,500–£2,500 per m²
Garage with Workshop£2,000–£3,000 per m²
Double Garage£2,500–£3,500 per m²
Garage Conversion£750–£1,200 per m²
Labour£200–£300 per day

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Basic detached garage

This simple structure offers basic storage and protection for your vehicle. It costs around £15,000 to £25,000 and can be built within 2–4 weeks. The pros include cost-effectiveness and functionality, while the cons are limited space and basic aesthetics. Additional costs might include electrical installations or custom doors.

Custom garage build

Custom garages, designed to match your home's aesthetics or to include specific features, range from £25,000 to £50,000. The construction time is around 4–8 weeks. Benefits include increased property value and tailored design, but costs can escalate quickly with high-end finishes.

Garage with workshop

Ideal for hobbyists or home businesses, these garages cost between £30,000 and £50,000 and take 6–10 weeks to construct. They offer ample space and versatility but require significant investment and detailed planning for utilities and storage solutions.

Additional WorkCost Estimate
Electrical Wiring£500–£2,000
Removal of Old Garage£1,000–£2,000
Custom Door Installation£1,000–£3,000
Interior Decorating£500–£1,500

Factors influencing your garage build cost include size, materials, design complexity, and whether the foundation needs reinforcement. Labour typically constitutes a significant portion of your expenses, along with materials and any required planning permissions. If you consider the cost of building a garage, especially if you live in a listed building, you must remember that you will need to obtain both planning consent and listed building consent. These permissions are essential to ensure that your garage build complies with local regulations and preserves the historical significance of your property. If you fail to obtain these consents, you could face legal issues and potentially have to undo any work done, which would significantly impact the overall cost and timeline of your project.

How long does building a garage take?

Your process of building a garage is split into several phases, each with its own set of tasks. Here's a closer look at each stage:

Planning and design phase (1–4 weeks)

This initial stage is crucial for setting your project on the right path. It involves you to consult with architects or builders to create the design of the garage. During this phase, you should finalise the requirements, explore design options, and obtain any necessary planning permissions from local authorities. The duration largely depends on how quickly you will make your decisions and permissions are granted.

Foundation and framing (1–2 weeks)

After you have set the design, the next step is to lay the foundation, which is essential for a stable and durable garage. This phase includes excavation, laying the foundation, and framing the basic structure. Weather conditions and the complexity of the foundation can affect the timeline.

Roofing and exterior walls (1–2 weeks)

With the frame in place, the construction team will install the roof and build the exterior walls. Your choice of materials and the weather can influence how long this phase takes. It's a critical step to ensure the garage is weatherproof and secure.

Interior and finishing (1–2 weeks)

This phase covers electrical installations, door and window fittings, and any interior work like insulation and drywall. Finishing touches are also applied during this time, including painting and decorating if required.

Inspection and completion (1 week)

The final step involves inspections by local authorities to ensure the build complies with all regulations. Any issues found during the inspection need to be resolved before the project can be officially completed.

PhaseDescriptionDuration
Planning and DesignFinalise designs, obtain permissions1–4 weeks
Foundation and FramingLay foundation, erect structure1–2 weeks
Roofing and Exterior WallsInstall roof, construct walls1–2 weeks
Interior and FinishingElectricals, doors/windows installation, interior work1–2 weeks
Inspection and CompletionFinal inspections, address any issues1 week

How to reduce the costs of building a garage

Wondering how to reduce the costs associated with building a garage? You can employ several strategic approaches. These strategies not only help keep your expenses within budget but also ensure the project's completion without compromising on quality and functionality.

Choose standard sizes: When planning your garage, opting for standard sizes can lead to substantial savings. Standard-sized garages are typically faster and cheaper to build since builders and suppliers often have pre-set plans and materials ready to go. This approach minimises the need for custom cuts and designs, which can increase the cost and duration of the project. Standard sizes also ensure that your garage can accommodate common vehicle sizes comfortably, making this option both practical and economical.

Simplify the design: A garage with a simple design not only looks timeless but can also be more cost-effective to construct. By reducing the complexity of the design, you decrease the need for specialised labour and materials. A straightforward, functional garage eliminates the necessity for elaborate architectural features, custom fittings, and intricate details, all of which add to the overall cost. Focusing on a minimalist approach not only streamlines the building process but also leads to a clean, efficient space that serves its purpose well.

Source materials wisely: The cost of materials can significantly impact the total expense of building a garage. You can save money by sourcing materials wisely. This could involve purchasing materials in bulk, looking out for sales and discounts, or choosing slightly used or surplus materials that are often available at a fraction of the cost. Reclaimed materials can add character to your garage while also being environmentally friendly. However, it's crucial to ensure that the quality of these materials is up to standard to avoid future repair costs.

Try partial DIY: For those who are handy and have some construction experience, taking on parts of the project as DIY can lead to considerable savings on labour costs. Tasks such as painting, finishing work, or even installing insulation can be done by homeowners. This approach not only reduces the overall cost but also allows for a more personal connection to the project. However, it's important to be realistic about your skills and the time commitment required. Some aspects of the construction, particularly those involving structural integrity or specialised skills, should be left to professionals.

FAQ

When embarking on building a garage for your property, you're likely to encounter a range of queries. Below, we've compiled some of the most frequent questions asked by homeowners, along with their answers:

Can I build a garage myself to save on costs?

Undertaking a garage build as a DIY project can indeed offer savings on labour costs, but it requires a solid foundation of construction skills and a thorough understanding of local building codes and regulations. You may think about carpentry, foundation work, roofing, and electrical installation, alongside a deep understanding of local building codes, zoning regulations, and the process for obtaining construction permits. This expertise ensures that your garage is safe, functional, and compliant with all legal requirements. Without the necessary expertise, there's a risk of making errors that could compromise safety, lead to expensive repairs, or even necessitate a complete rebuild. Therefore, while DIY can reduce your expenses, it's crucial to evaluate your capabilities realistically and understand the legal and safety implications involved. Painting, decorating or removal work are more straightforward tasks you could take on your own.

How can I ensure my garage build stays within budget?

Keeping your garage construction project within budget demands meticulous planning and organisation from the outset. Start by clearly defining your project's scope and specifications. Selecting a reputable builder who provides a transparent and detailed quote can prevent unexpected costs. Ensure that your contract outlines all aspects of the project, including materials, labour, and any contingencies. Regular communication with your builder throughout the process will help identify and address potential overruns early, allowing for adjustments before costs escalate.

Are there any hidden costs in building a garage?

Yes, building a garage can involve several hidden costs that may not be apparent at the project's inception. These can include fees for planning permission, potential groundwork complications like poor soil conditions or water table issues, and unforeseen changes in the project's scope, such as upgrades to materials or design alterations. To mitigate these risks, it's advisable to allocate a contingency budget—typically 10–20% of the total project cost—to cover unexpected expenses, ensuring your project remains financially manageable.

Your garage build checklist

To ensure a smooth and successful garage building project, it's helpful to follow a structured approach. Use this checklist to guide you through the process:

  • Define your needs: Outline your requirements for the garage. Consider factors such as the intended use (e.g., vehicle storage, workshop, additional living space), size, style, and any special features like insulation, electrical work, or plumbing. 
  • Budget wisely: Budget for all potential costs, such as materials, labour, permits, and inspections. Keep a contingency fund of about 10–20% of the total budget to cover unforeseen expenses.
  • Choose the right builder: Research potential builders, checking their credentials, past projects, customer reviews, and membership of professional bodies. Conduct interviews to gauge their understanding of your project and ensure they share your vision.
  • Understand the contract: Before work begins, thoroughly review the contract with your builder. The contract should detail every aspect of the project, including the start and completion dates, payment schedule, materials to be used, and specifications of the work to be done. It should also outline how changes to the initial plan will be handled, including adjustments in cost.

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