Blog > September 2013 > How to build a garage - What to estimate

How to build a garage - What to estimate

How to build a garage - What to estimate
First of all, is their any soil’s materials that you need to consider before beginning the work of foundations?


This part is significant because it depends on the excavation contractor who must provide heavy machinery; transport truck, compactor, gravel, sand and other necessary components whose costs need to be estimated. Learn from a specialist, because this part of the project is approximately 20% of total costs of a turnkey project. You know, one more day of additional work, excavation service and adding equipment to compact, can cost between 1000$ to 2000$ more.

After, there are the foundations. Is it required to get a wall in the ground under the freezing point or a floating slab? Your expert will give you advices on different prices. If you do not feel confident enough, don’t hesitate to ask questions. For example, a medium size building needs 5% more of the total cost, if you add a wall to the ground below the freezing line. This choice involves making further excavation, installing formwork elements and to put a certain amount of concrete to create the base and the wall of your garage. Do not forget to put sand all around. Workforce needs to be calculated too.

Never disregard the estimation of your foundations. Get advices from an expert that will allow you to plan your budget from the beginning. Also, learn the nature of your soil. Are there any rocks? So many questions to answer.


Once the foundation is completed, the frame’s wall will be build on this concrete surface witch bounds the floor. To have a great structure and insulation that follow the standards, it's good to question yourself. A good way to save money and to be ecological, without neglecting the quality of your project, is to use a bigger spacing between the timbered if standards allow it. For a medium garage, we get a ratio of 15% less timbers. So, 15% less on the price of the installation and on the raw material supply. It’s going to save some trees too.


Different existent standards like LEED, Novoclimat or R2000 prescribes construction processes to optimize the energy consumption factor. Soon we’ll even be talking about passive house. It’s wrong to believe that saving a few dollars on purchase of inexpensive materials can be a good energy saving material solution. This economic mirage covers other costs such as wasted energy, poor indoor comfort and not to mention the contribution to the upheaval of our ecosystem. Even if you build a garage, the energy savings and return on investment will be in a few years.

Then it will be economical, ecological and comfortable all his life. What should we consider for a wall? An outdoor extruded polystyrene (Styrofoam) of 1 inch (or more) will give you R5 more insulation. And a reflective interior vapour barrier could add R2,5. Such processes can cut thermal bridges and save several kilowatts per year.


Regarding the roof, it’s the same principle because there is a lot of heat lost through a badly insulated roof since it’s constantly trying to go up and want to escape. It is essential to retain it. So, a combination of insulating wool, extruded polystyrene (1 inch or more) and a vapor barrier will give a much better energy efficiency in your roof.

It is also important to know that the joints must be completely sealed. Even if you have R80 insulation in your ceiling and you leave 2 or 3 open seals, your investment will fly away. Well sealed your roof, as recommended by Novoclimat, LEED or R2000, helps make your ceiling waterproof and keep your heat inside.

Also, do not forget to plan whether or not you want to have storage in your roof or even a living room for a workshop, a fun room for children or simply to classify seasonal accessories. For a garage size 18x22, having a living room in the roof will cost approximately 10 000$ or more. A turnkey type of project will consider adding a floor structure, insulation walls, sidewalls, a cathedral roof, stairway, finishing and labour costs.

The Virtual Constructor is a building and planning estimation software that allow you to test several types of exterior projects, witch it will be for you to estimate all potential ideas in advance and make a wise choice according to your tastes and your financial capabilities.

Do not miss the next article where we are going to discuss about external coating to choose to build a garage. Follow us on Facebook to not miss anything!


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