A garage is almost essential for additional storage or somewhere to keep your car. Unfortunately, not every home has one. Either they were built before cars were commonplace, or there’s not enough room. The latter reason, you can’t do anything about. But if you have room at the rear or side of the house, building a garage will be a great asset.
A typical single-car brick garage attached to your property costs £4,590-£5,580. In comparison, the double-sized version costs £8,100-£12,060.
Our article aims to inform UK households of all the elements of garage buildings, and you can use these estimated figures as a cost calculator to benchmark against your garage build quotes.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Garage?*
Calculating the cost of building a garage without any assistance can be challenging. You must decide on the garage type, size, and material before moving on. Unfortunately, there isn’t an official size for a garage in the UK. Still, British architects use specific measurements for an ideal garage when they design structures, 3m wide x 6m long (18m2) for a single-garage and 6m wide x 6m long (36m2) for a double-garage. Therefore, we’ll use these measurements in the calculator table below, which you can use to determine an approximate price for your structure. Estimated costs include material and installation.
|Size||Material||Cost/m2||Estimated total cost|
|Detached single-garage (18m2)||Brick||£310-£420||£5,580-£7,560|
|Detached double-garage (36m2)||Brick||£255-£420||£9,180-£15,120|
|Attached single-garage (18m2)||Brick||£255-£310||£4,590-£5,580|
|Attached double-garage (36m2)||Brick||£225-£335||£8,100-£12,060|
*We compiled these estimated garage building prices from various resources for five popular garage materials. Furthermore, vary depending on factors discussed elsewhere in this guide. Also, we assume a pre-existing foundation for the garage.
Building A Garage: Price Factors
When calculating the budget for a new garage, you must realise some variables can make the expenditure lower or higher. Here are some of the most significant:
You can build garages from brick, concrete block, prefabricated concrete or metal, and timber-frame. Each type uses various materials, needs different skills, and takes different durations. Thus, affecting the price accordingly.
Generally, prefab metal and timber-frame are the cheapest, followed by prefabricated concrete, with the most expensive being brick and concrete block.
When initially designing your garage, determine how large it should be. Usually, the overall price is directly proportional to its dimensions in labour and materials. Typically, a 18m2 detached single-garage average price costs £3,000-£7,500. In comparison, a 36m2 double-garage costs £4,100-£15,100.
Flat or pitched roof?
Additionally, you must consider the roof type. You can build a more expensive pitched roof using more materials and labour. Alternatively, a much cheaper flat roof needs fewer materials. But, it will require more maintenance in the long term. Also, an amateur shouldn’t attempt a pitched roof. However, some types of flat roofs are well within a skilled DIYer’s capabilities. Typically, a pitched garage roof costs around £1500 more than a flat roof.
Use these guidance notes on timber sizes if you insist on building a flat roof without professional help.
Single skin or cavity walls?
Many garage walls have a single skin which lowers the overall price compared to cavity walls. Although single skin is much cheaper, a double wall with cavity insulation reduces energy bills and the ingress of damp, especially if the garage is attached to your house or intended as a hobby room.
How long does the garage build take?
Duration (therefore labour time) depends on the complexity of the design, the materials and how many people are helping. Typically, single-garages take seven days, compared to double-garages taking around ten days. However, some prefabricated kits can take as little as 2-3 days.
You can choose from many garage doors designs in different price ranges. Some open manually, while others are automatic. Some are side-hung, up-and-over, and many more opening types. This decision is by far the most difficult when designing a new garage, and you should have professional help when doing so.
Attached or detached garage?
The main differences between an attached and detached garage are whether it’s connected to the house, and the number of walls involved in the construction. An attached garage has three walls, whereas a detached has four. Therefore, an attached structure will cost significantly less than a detached.
For an attached single-garage, you’ll pay £100-£115/m2 using a prefab metal garage kit, or £255-£310/m2 using brick. In comparison, a detached single-garage costs £170-£250/m2 using a prefab metal kit, or £310-£420/m2 using brick.
As with many home improvement projects, the prices vary depending on where you live. The cost of living is higher in London and Southeast England, so you can expect to pay up to 20% more for labour.
When initially deciding on your new garage, you don’t only decide on its size and purpose. You must also determine the garage type and building materials. Generally, the latter decisions largely depend on your budget and how quickly you want it built.
Brick & concrete block garages
These materials have many advantages over the others. The walls are solid and dense, can withstand most weather conditions, provide good soundproofing, and maintain the inside temperature when built with a cavity. However, a brick or block garage might need expensive repairs and modifications in the future, as well as heavy-duty foundations because of its weight.
A rough estimate for a brick garage ranges from £300-£450/m2. In comparison, a concrete block garage is slightly cheaper at £270-£400/m2.
Prefabricated metal kits
Prefabricated garage kits are made in a factory then delivered and assembled on site. Generally, a prefab is the cheapest to buy and easiest to install of all garage types. And when made from metal panels, they are simply bolted together onto a pre-existing foundation slab.
Often, metal garages are temporary storage solutions. Usually, they last only a few years, so if possible, choose concrete or timber-framed prefabricated kits, which last longer and are of higher quality.
One significant disadvantage is that you can’t easily alter a metal garage kit to suit your circumstances or add extensions at a later date. However, metal garage kits are quicker to construct, sometimes within 48 hours, as long as a pre-existing foundation slab exists.
Prefabricated metal garages don’t need painting as they usually arrive with a coloured plastic coating. However, this can be difficult to weatherproof scratches which expose the underlying metal.
Typically, a good-quality, detached metal single-garage kit costs £170-£250/m2. In comparison, an attached version costs £100-£115/m2. However, it’s possible to find inferior-quality kits for much less. Remember, low-quality products generally don’t last as long.
Prefabricated concrete kits
Prefabricated concrete garage kits are factory-made and assembled on site. Generally, compared to the other types, a prefab is the cheapest to buy and most straightforward to install.
Typically, prefab concrete garage panels are thinner than concrete block built structures. They consist of steel reinforcing bars embedded in moulded concrete. Then, the resulting panels bolt together to form the structure. However, unless you install insulating slabs on the inner surface, you won’t save heat, and it won’t be soundproof. Like the metal prefab, a concrete prefab garage also needs a pre-existing concrete slab to act as a foundation and base. One significant disadvantage is that you can’t easily alter a prefab concrete garage kit to suit your circumstances or add extensions later.
You must ensure concrete prefab panels are vertical and square when built, as excessive twisting stress will cause the walls to crack. Similarly, this also applies to ground movements. Once cracked, concrete panels are difficult to repair.
Prices for prefab concrete garage kits range from £280-£360/m2 for a detached single-garage or £150-£170/m2 for an attached version.
Timber frames are panels made from a timber lattice covered with exterior quality plywood. They’re easy to erect and assemble and, unlike prefab concrete panels, are more flexible and don’t crack with the slightest knock. Usually, the panels contain thermal and acoustic insulation. Once erected, the walls have a moisture-permeable membrane, wire mesh and often a render coat.
It’s easy to transport timber frames on a truck from the manufacturer. Alternatively, a DIYer can build the panels at home using simple tools and timber bought from a builder’s merchant. But perhaps, the best advantage is that you can add timber frame extensions to a ready made kit to accommodate future changes in use.
Typical timber frame prices range from £170-£280/m2 for an attached single garage. In comparison, a detached version costs £190-£320/m2.
Do you need permission for a garage?
Suppose you build the garage and house at the same time. Then, the planning application will be a joint one. Alternatively, you might add the garage to an existing home. In this case, you can build it under permitted development rights (PDR). However, there are specific requirements for building under PDR.
- The garage must be single storey.
- The garage must not stand forward of the house’s principal elevation.
- It must have a maximum eaves height of 2.5m and an overall ridge height of 4m for pitched roofs or 3m for other roofs.
- If the garage is within 2m of your neighbour’s boundary, the roof can’t be higher than 2.5m.
- It must not have verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
- You can’t have more than half the land area around the original house covered by outbuildings or extensions.
Other restrictions such as living in a listed building, within a conservation area, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty also apply, so check with your local authority before you begin.
Usually, you won’t need to comply with Building Regulations, so long as:
- A qualified electrician must do all electrical work to comply with Approved Document P of the regulations.
- It must not have living or sleeping accommodation.
- It’s less than 15m2 in area.
- If the garage is between 15m2 and 30m2, doesn’t contain sleeping accommodation, is at least 1m from any boundary, or is constructed mainly of fire-proof materials.
Consult the local authority’s Building Control office if you’re in doubt.
Garage Building Project Timelines
It’s essential to have a clear timeline when undertaking any project. Otherwise, it has a habit of dragging on indefinitely.
Many factors affect the timescale, many of which we’ve already mentioned. However, some of the most significant are the project’s complexity, size, and finished quality. Furthermore, assembling a prefabricated kit takes less than half the time needed to build a brick garage.
The steps needed to build a garage are approximately the same regardless of garage type; only the details change.
- Excavate ground and pour concrete foundations and floor.
- Erect the walls, leaving gaps for windows and doors. Ensure the walls are vertical and at 90⁰ to each other.
- Fit the roof joists and covering if it’s a flat roof. Alternatively, fit joists, rafters and tiles if it’s pitched.
- Install windows and doors.
The total time taken would be approximately:
- One day for excavation.
- Three days to lay concrete slab and foundations, including initial curing time.
- Brick single-garage – 7 days.
- Brick double-garage – 10 days.
- Prefabricated metal single-garage kit – 4 days.
- Prefab concrete single-garage kit – 6 days.
- Prefab concrete double-garage kit – 7 days.
- Timber-frame single-garage – 5 days.
- Timber-frame double-garage – 7 days.
What To Ask Your Builder
Unfortunately, many cowboy builders will do a shoddy job and charge too much. Therefore, it’s essential to ask your builder specific questions. Thus, weeding out the undesirables. Here are a few questions to ask.
- Have they any references you can look at?
- Does the contractor belong to trade associations? Typical associations to look out for include the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
- Are they on the Competent Person Register?
- You’d like a written quotation. This is like a contract and specifies how much the job costs and its payment terms. Most reputable builders request payment for materials as they arrive on-site and labour at the end of the job or in stages.
- Can they provide a written project timeline? You need to know when the job starts and ends.
Does a garage add value to a house?
Garages are in great demand when househunting. Not only do they protect the car during bad weather, but also are useful as additional storage. Typically, expect an increase in value of about 5%. Or, to put it another way, it can add a further £15,000 to a £300,000 house.
What is the cheapest type of garage to build?
The cheapest garage is an attached, single-car, prefabricated metal kit. However, this might not be the cheapest in the long run. Always build the best garage you can afford at the time, and if it means waiting a few more months for more funds, then do so. You won’t regret it.
Do I need a foundation for a garage?
Yes, all buildings need a foundation, even a garden shed. However, the foundation’s strength and type depend on the garage’s size and weight. Usually, the garage needs a floor of some kind. So, most builders incorporate a poured concrete slab floor as part of the foundation.
Can you build a garage by yourself?
You can build a garage yourself if you have enough motivation, spare time, knowledge, planning, and DIY skills. However, most people would rather hire a professional to build the garage to use it as quickly as possible.
What is the size of an average two-car garage?
The minimum size of an average two-car garage is 5.5m wide x5m long. However, this might be too tight for most modern cars, so the ideal size is 6m wide x 6m long.
Find Garage Builders Near You
Building a garage is an excellent idea to keep your car looking good and provide additional storage space for those items that won’t fit in the shed. Furthermore, a well-made garage can add up to 5% to the value of your house. But, you need a qualified and experienced builder to construct it.
Complete the form on this page, and we’ll refer you to qualified builders near you, who can provide up to four quotes for the cost of building a single or double garage, depending on your preference.