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Build quotes for new 2 car garage
Old 04-01-2021, 07:35 PM   #1
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Build quotes for new 2 car garage

Considering, and very close to committing to, having a 2 car garage (detached) built at our second home. Longer term plan is to sell the primary house and move there full time in '23. I drew up a floor plan for a 24' wide, and 34' deep garage. Two rollup carriage style garage doors, and a framed wall 10' off the back with an entry door in it. Separate workshop space back there. 2 double hung vinyl windows on each side, 3 across the back.

I spec'ed a completely finished outside, vinyl siding. Completely unfinished inside. No insulation, electric, dry wall. Just bare studs. (I'll do that, or GC it myself)

I reached out 4 CG's/builders. 3 responded. 2 came to the property and we spent a good amount of time looking at the site and discussing. The 3rd I just sent my floorplan via e-mail and he replied. They are an hour and 15 mins drive away, but said that they would be interested in the project.


Bids for the exact same spec came back at $48k, $75k and $85k. The low bidder was the one who never came to the site. I am really surprised at the differences between the bids. It's the exact same spec!

I am favoring the middle bidder, even though $75k is WAY more than I was hoping to spend. They are a well established, local builder with a nearly 50 year history building in the area, including 3 garages like my plan last year. The building inspector at our town hall knows them well. They will handle all the paperwork and permitting.

Has anyone here had similar project quoted? I know lumber prices have gone WAY up, but I still can't fathom the differences in the quotes. Or the costs. I was thinking $20-$30k when I started out.



Have a call with the $75k builder on Monday, building a list of questions to ask. Frustrates me that they just throw out a number with no breakdown of costs. I will ask about that. Good detail in their quote regarding build specifics though.

What would you ask?
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:56 PM   #2
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They going to pour a slab? Got 5 to 10 grand there.

Yeah, a lot more than you wanted to spend. But building supplies are at peak levels 'cause everyone is doing home improvement during the covid times.

Have fun!
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:01 PM   #3
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Cement work is included? How thick of pour and is there going to be a footing? Are you using rebar to code? An inspector should look at every phase of the construction that is the way it is done here for proper building specs.

Are they paying for the building permit?

How much of that 75K is labor vs material??
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Old 04-01-2021, 08:12 PM   #4
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I would definitely get a breakout of the material costs. Unless they are going to guarantee that they will not come back to you for material cost increases. I don’t know how best to handle it, but materials and the current situation with materials needs to be discussed. Best to you.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:10 PM   #5
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In 2013 we replaced our one-car garage with a 24x28 two-car garage with an attic loft.

We had the one-car garage removed from the site for free. The contractor removed the one-car garage slab, excavated for the new garage slab, and built the garage with vinyl siding, two skyights, one 16' garage door, two exterior doors and 3 windows. The perimeter slab had foamboard underneath the slab. The garage also included running conduit from the house for water, electrical and cable and a sewer line that attached to my septic tank which was only about 15' away from the garage because we planned to have a 1/2 bathroom in the loft.

Total unfinished cost was ~$37k....after the contractor was done, I had the roof rafters and gable ends spray-foamed, built-out the loft with a 1/2 bath, drywall ceilings and walls, storage shelves inside the knee-walls, pine doors for knee-wall storage, laminate flooring and a Rinnai propane heater. On the car level I insullated with Rockwool insulation and used OSB for the walls and put in a Hot Dawg propane heater.

All that jumped the total to ~$54k. BTD!
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:54 PM   #6
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Spent a good portion of my career engineering, designing, estimating large projects, figuring out where the money was coming from (which is actually the most fun) and then putting them out to bid. Was always leery of bid results when you get bids back that included one Lone Ranger who wasnít known in the area and his bid was significantly lower than the Contractors known in the area.

Sometimes that extremely low bidder, once awarded a contract, attempts to make all his/her money (profit) on numerous change orders. And that low guy was often under staffed, had employees who were not experienced/trained and was painfully slow in progressing with the work.

Ask lots of questions about length and type of experience, types of prior projects, backlog of current work and success of completing projects within customers schedule and budget. And hopefully the bid you received has costs broken down for the various aspects of the project (earthwork, concrete, framing, roofing, etc) for both materials and labor. Much easier for you to control progress payments to your builder as the work proceeds if you have costs for the particular features or phases of the build.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:13 PM   #7
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I had a concrete contractor here today, and he charges $6.00 a square foot including the ready mix. That would be $5K for your slab--for comparison.

I would be very wary of any contractor today that quoted one price on a job--with the rising prices of wood. You'd think any reputable builder would break out the job into the components--concrete slab, labor, roof and lastly the estimate of the cost of the wood.

It's almost enough to make someone build a minimal structure on 24" studs and finish it off with a metal roof.

My thoughts are to always build a little larger than your first impression--so there is enough room to get my crewcab pickup truck in there. And make it wide enough where you can easily open car doors without having to squeeze out.

I'm in the process of building a 24' x 36' garage on a metal frame/truss system with a 10' ceiling. The framing kit cost about $4K without labor. I'm going to put in 9' doors on each end so I can fit my 24' boat with trailer inside along with one car.

I'm not going to have electricity in mine, as a second power pole comes with a meter and a good size minimal electricity bill. I will have a solar panel and 12 volt lighting. Any time I need 110 volt power, I've got a heavy 100' extension cord that can run from the house.

Thankfully we have no building codes in our county--of any kind.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:16 PM   #8
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We built our own, so our experience does not dovetail with others. It's a 24x40, 16' carport in front of 24x24 garage. I subbed out the footing forms and the flatwork.
I'd be tempted to get a materials package quote from your local lumber store. That will help you to understand the bids you do have.
Get at least the dry in goods:
Framing, truss package, sheeting, siding, roofing, doors, windows.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:52 PM   #9
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I recently got a rough quote for a very similar garage project. 30*30 with a 12' covered carport area on the side.The quote came in around $75k also. I'm having plans drawn up now so I can get a final quote.

I'm in Connecticut and the lumber prices here are almost triple what they were a year ago. No doubt that's the same all over. So we are planning on waiting maybe until next year to see if things come back down.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SteveNU View Post
.... So we are planning on waiting maybe until next year to see if things come back down.
I'm thinking of delaying any big building work until 2023 or later, I figure by then the wood prices will fall back down a LOT..
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Old 04-02-2021, 05:46 AM   #11
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OP - Ask for an itemized quote. Tell the contractor that you want to see a breakdown to see if there are any items that appear high where you could cut some costs.

And ask for specifics to gauge how much of the cost is materials and labor - and the quality of materials that they are spec'ing.

Concrete thickness. Rebar, mesh, thicker around the edges or frost wall?
Sheathing - plywood or osb?
Type of shingles, roof vents?
What vinyl siding is being spec'd
Details on doors and windows - lots of $ there.
Details on garage doors.

Not much to a garage, but difference in material quality can add up to a lot of $.

It's been more than 20 years since I built a garage, and I was in the mid $20's for a 22x24 all in including electrical, insulation, and drywall. Your $75k bid sounds high to me, but maybe it's about right given the current cost of materials.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:21 AM   #12
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We built our own, so our experience does not dovetail with others. It's a 24x40, 16' carport in front of 24x24 garage. I subbed out the footing forms and the flatwork.
I'd be tempted to get a materials package quote from your local lumber store. That will help you to understand the bids you do have.
Get at least the dry in goods:
Framing, truss package, sheeting, siding, roofing, doors, windows.
This is great advise and getting a base line for materials would be beneficial for you.

I would do the building myself if I were to do a project like that.

I agree 75K seems high.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:27 AM   #13
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Unfortunately, $75k is probably on the cheap end right now. If you knew how much raw materials were going for right now you would:

a) Sell all of your bonds

b) Buy stock in lumber companies

c) Cry if you are building a house
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:43 AM   #14
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Here's an interesting building style that may be of interest. I don't know if you have anyone in your area that builds this way. From the video, it is a lower cost build.

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Old 04-02-2021, 06:48 AM   #15
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Unfortunately, $75k is probably on the cheap end right now. If you knew how much raw materials were going for right now you would:

No kidding, a neighbor threw out about 15-- 2x4s, 6 of them were 12ft long. I picked up 11 of them, the others were crooked. I don't have an immediate use, but couldn't see them going to the trash man.
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Old 04-02-2021, 06:59 AM   #16
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DoneAt54,
I got a quote for a 2.5 car detached garage that included removing the old one.
This was pre Covid. I didn't do it, mainly because, my life got busy. I purchased a Florida place, met a new woman, and now I'm deciding if I'm going to stay living at my home.

The quote I got was for $38K. It will be interesting to see how much it increased if I decide to proceed now.

I've heard about the material cost increases. I'm wondering if there is any chance of material costs going back down some as they become easier to obtain. I suspect that is just dreaming.

Take care, JP
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:21 AM   #17
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You have a freestanding building plan basically. Windows and doors, roofing, etc.

And what area are you in that requires certain building codes (wind storm, etc) - all these will impact prices for different states and regions. A garage in FL is going to have very different local requirements than one in Michigan.

In your shoes I'd ask them to add the electric and insulation you were planning on DIY'ing, it might be better to just have them do it all and cost less time and work in the long run. Get a dream spec, then whittle it down, vs. a basic spec with later add ons.

But the price really doesn't surprise me.
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:24 AM   #18
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Based on what I have been seeing the past two months, with building season just getting started and probably a whole new slew of gulf hurricanes this year, I think materials will be going up even more.

Add to that all of the free money and the $75k quote will probably turn into $100k by July.

CDX plywood, which is about the worst grade, is $58 a sheet now for 3/4 inch. This is the stuff that has voids you can drive a car through.

OSB, which is kind of like pressed together used cereal boxes, is $40 to $44 a sheet.

Steel is still pretty cheap though. It would be fairly cheap to build a house out of steel and gold rather than wood.
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Build quotes for new 2 car garage
Old 04-02-2021, 07:35 AM   #19
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Build quotes for new 2 car garage

Here is a contractor (Kenís Karpentry) in Vermont that gives a good breakdown of the price of building garages based on Jan 2021 prices.

https://youtu.be/jbs2x1OrM
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:37 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the good tips/ideas.

The quote includes demolition and disposal of an approximately 12x24 wood framed shed on the site now. It sits on a partial field stone and part poured frost wall now. Presumably that (cement and stone) can all be pushed inward and used as fill. Another contractor quoted $1600 extra for that.

The quote is for a reinforced poured foundation with 4' frost wall (code here for that size garage). When I expanded my shop at my main house in '08 by around 400sf, I think the earthwork and pour were around $5k.

I am suspicious of the low bidder as well, and have a good "gut" feel for the $75k builder. I called them because they are doing a huge expansion of a vet clinic around the corner and had a big bill board outside of the job with their name. He is pretty responsive also.

I considered "pole barns", metal prefabs, etc, but I think it will be worth the investment to make this look a little nicer. I am comfortable with the investment not really knowing if this 2nd home is a med or long term place for us as we bought it almost 2 years ago and I have made a lot of low dollar, high sweat improvements on it and feel like (at least in today's market) I could get a lot back for that if I sold it. It's a waterfront property too.

Plan is to make the street facing end look real nice with a "pent" roof over the doors, and the more expensive cedar shake type siding, and carriage doors.

Will see how the call goes Monday. If this goes through, I'll post some pics here.....
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