Building Tips

Detached Garages: How Much Does One Cost?

detached garage cost

Sources: Barn Lights | Planters

A detached garage offers a lot of benefits over an attached garage and ours has been a lifesaver. If you’re ready to take the plunge and build a detached garage, it’s best that you understand what goes into building the garage and what factors affect the cost to build a garage. 

A few months ago we wrote an article talking about if a three-car garage is worth the cost. And of course, we think the answer is a resounding “yes”. We received a lot of questions from that post, one of which was “What was the cost to build your three-car detached garage?” 

I thought it would be nice to do a breakdown of how much our three-car detached garage costs. Keep in mind, with this build and garage we were our own contractor, so this will reflect within the cost. We did not pay an overhead of 15-20 percent for someone to oversee the project. Serving as our contractor, we hired our own subs and paid each one directly. Doing this, we also knew exactly how much we spent out.

Also, as you know we like to DIY parts of our own builds. With the garage portion, we did our own painting and plumbing which saved us several thousands of dollars.

Keep in mind before any foundation work or building is started, the garage was staked out by a surveyor to plot exactly where the garage would go. I am breaking down the cost by each phase of the build. The estimate is based on a 1,000 square foot garage. Our garage includes an unfinished area at the top which would also be around 1,000 square feet.

Garage Foundation

The first step of building a detached garage is the foundation. We hired this out to a local brick mason and concrete company. The concrete for the footers and slab ran $3,000 including labor and concrete. The block and brick were $3,000 including labor and material.


Framing is the next step. We also hired this part out to the same crew who framed the house. To frame the entire 1,000 square foot garage the total cost was $12,700. We did get quite a deal because the framers were already here framing the main house structure. They framed the garage for a low price of $8.50 for a total labor of $8,500. The remainder $4,200 is for materials. Again, keep in mind our garage is basically two stories which required much more material. It also has three dormers which are more labor-intensive. These two factors increased the cost of the detached garage.

three car garage cost

Sources: Barn Lights | Planters

Wiring and Plumbing

The guy we hired to do the electrical for the detached garage also was very inexpensive because he was already here working on the main home. For the garage only, he charged us $2,000. This price was for material and labor which included wiring for 3 overhead lights, 10 electrical outlets inside and out, 2 floodlights, and 3 lights over each garage door.

Plumbing is not something that is typically included in a garage, but we added a small half bath for the pool area. We put in one small sink and toilet. Total material was around $700, and there was no labor cost since my Dad did the plumbing.


Hanging drywall is not a fun job and is always another one we sub out. For sheetrock materials and labor, it was a total of $4,400. We only finished the downstairs area, the top area is still left unfinished. The breakdown here is $2,100 for the material leaving the remainder $2,300 for labor.

Garage Exterior (Hardie Plank)

For exterior material, we used Hardie plank. This had to be put up and painted. For installing the entire Hardie plank for the garage trim and all, the cost was $2,200 and the material was around $2,800. This was a total of $5,000.

garage door cost

Sources: Barn Lights | Planters


On our house porches and breezeway roofs, we used standing seam metal. Everywhere else we used architectural shingles. We used this same shingle on our detached garage. For both labor and material, this cost was around $3,400.


We ordered the garage windows on the same purchase of our entire home. We have six windows in our garage. We ordered our windows the same as the rest of our home, black on the outside and unfinished wood on the inside. The total for all five windows was $1,640. The labor for installing the windows was included in the framing labor.

Exterior Doors

We purchased two exterior doors, both going into the pool area. They were each around $200 for a total of $400.


As for painting the garage, the labor was no cost considering we painted both the exterior and interior on our own. This is a great way to save several thousands of dollars if you can tolerate a few days of hard work and don’t mind painting. We did purchase the interior and exterior paint for a total of around $360 dollars.


The finishes of the garage are what really make it pretty and gives it the look you want. We used three black barn gooseneck lights above the garage. These were fairly inexpensive and gave the garage the look we wanted keeping with that same modern farmhouse style. We also used 2 floodlights, and three small flush mount interior lights for a lighting total of around $1,200. The price of installation was included in the electrical.


The guttering was installed for the entire home at the same time, but the garage cost was around $900.

Garage Doors

We have three basic garage doors that we painted black. The garage doors, garage door opener systems, and all installation totaled $1,290. 

Below is a chart with the breakdown of the total cost of the garage.

Hardie Plank$5,000
Exterior Doors$400
Garage Doors$1,290
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  • Reply Mark Davidson

    Wow, this is good information. I know you guys are enjoying the garage. It turned out great and definitely worth the cost. Thanks for the needed inspiration.

    July 4, 2019 at 1:23 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks, Mark. Glad you found it helpful.

      November 13, 2019 at 8:57 pm
  • Reply Lhag

    I want to build this exact garage! Help! Do you have plans you could forward or can you help fill in some gaps? What is the roof pitch? Where are the stairs located to access the bonus space? How tall is the exterior wall on the 2nd floor before the roof starts up?

    December 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm
  • Reply Stephanie Graham-Sims

    Do you have photos of the breezeway and how the house and garage attach?

    January 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Callie Childs

    Can you share where you purchased the gooseneck lights above the garage? Also are your doors recessed panels or raised? Hard to tell in this pic.

    February 1, 2020 at 12:03 am
    • Reply Sandy Hachey

      Would love more pictures of the interior and backside of the garage. I would’ve your plan if your sharing 🙂

      April 26, 2021 at 10:03 pm
  • Reply Eric

    My wife loves this garage, Where can I find the plans for it?

    February 28, 2020 at 3:32 pm
  • Reply Laura Alcantar

    Where can I find the plans for the garage?

    April 22, 2020 at 9:54 pm
  • Reply Ashley

    Hi there! Could you please share what size shade you selected?

    Thank you! 🙂

    May 7, 2020 at 2:53 pm
  • Reply Mary

    Hi – thank you for cost breakdown – it is a big help! Can you let me know where to get the plans for this same garage?

    July 7, 2020 at 7:27 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      We purchased from Authetic Historical Design Company, but it doesn’t look like their site is usable anymore.

      September 1, 2020 at 7:14 pm
      • Reply Thomas Garrett

        Would you sell a copy of your design pages? It appears the company that produced them is out of business?

        June 25, 2021 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Shelley Sardella

    This is great! We’re looking to do something similar. Do you have a layout of what the living space looks like?

    July 13, 2020 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Garrett

    You don’t mention the design. How much did you pay for that and the architects drawings? Looks absolutely fabulous!

    August 31, 2020 at 9:36 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello Garrett! Thank you for the kind words. The drawings were ordered and were only around $200. It is from Authentic Historical Design Company, but it doen’t look like their site if usable anymore.

      September 1, 2020 at 7:14 pm
  • Reply Nichole

    Beautiful ! What is the name of the exterior paint you used?

    October 9, 2020 at 9:24 pm
  • Reply Mark PERGOLINI

    I wish I had a dime everytime I said, “It would be great if these sites and videos would give a price/cost of thir projects.”I know every job is differently, but even a rough guess helps us plan and prevents us from spinning wheels on unrealistic projects.Thank You! One question (well one and a half).did you not have to excavate?is the plumbing tied into the house? I’M on septic, but we have county sewers available now..any new building has to be tied into the county which will cost me $12k not including my plumbing getting to the sewer. Except if I attach the garage…i can tap into my existing septic. Just wondering what tgat cost would be or if I bite the bullet and just pay.
    Again, thank you for the article and the garage looks awsome!

    November 12, 2020 at 7:23 am
  • Reply Vijayalakshmi

    I want to build exactly same garage in Virginia. Any help or recommendations who can build for me.

    August 3, 2022 at 6:06 pm
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