Is it Worth Building a Three-Car Garage? Our Expert Opinion

A garage is a must-have home amenity for today’s homeowners. Everyone needs somewhere to park after all, whether that involves their cars, extra clutter, or seasonal bits and bobs. A garage can be a very valuable part of the home. But if you’re building a garage on your property, you might be asking yourself, how much space in a garage is useful, and how much is just overkill?

Is it worth building a three-car garage? The answer will vary from case to case, but generally speaking, it is worth building a three-car garage. While it can cost up to $11,000 more to build a three-car garage than a two-car one, it can increase the value of your home by nearly $50,000 more and add an extra 200-500 more square feet of space.

It sounds like a no brainer, but there are actually some cases where a three-car garage wouldn’t be worth it and can actually cost you heavily instead. When deciding on the size of the garage, you want to build, consider these three factors:

  • How will you utilize it?
  • How much are you spending on building it?
  • Are you planning on selling the property?

What will you need it for?

To figure out the worth of your project, you have to figure out the cost. To figure out the cost, you’ll have to ask yourself: what are you building your new addition for? Car storage? Extra storage space? Workshop? An extra room? The possibilities are endless, but each of these popular garage uses requires unique features that will affect the overall price and value of your garage.

If all you plan to do with the garage is store your cars, then all you need is the basics: Concrete floors, three walls, one to three doors, power and light fixtures, and you’re done. This configuration will be the least expensive model of garage you can build, but it can look and feel boring. 

Your materials will have a lot to do with both the price and the quality. You definitely want it to match the house you’re building it for, after all. And maybe you don’t want your project to be a one-trick pony.

  • Maybe you want it to double as a storage room for all the junk you just can’t part with. And maybe you want it to triple as a laundry room. Make sure to factor in the cost of the extra space you need, the price of the shelves you’re adding in, and the water and gas lines you need for the washer and dryer hookups. 
  • If you’re trying to fit in a workshop, then make sure to add in all the outlets and surge protectors you’re going to need. Fire detectors, workbenches, and tool storage will add up quickly, but they add to the value of your property as well, so don’t be too shy about them.
  • The most expensive garage configuration you might be looking at is one that will be used as an extra room or one that you plan to add an extra room on top of. Even if you’re going to use less than half of the space of your three-car garage as a living space, you might want to consider the type of flooring you’re adding in, as well as plumbing and HVAC to make it comfortable for family or renters to live in.

How much should you spend?

Before you can think about building a three-car garage, you should know how much you’re about to spend. According to Homeguide, on average, you will spend about $50 per square foot of garage you build. That makes the average two-car garage cost about $24,000, while the average for a three-car garage about $35,000. 

Of course, those estimates are made for a basic garage made with basic materials for parking your cars in. Consider them a base and add the cost of amenities on top of that.

Also, $24,000 is what you would expect to spend on a two-car detached garage. If you’re building an attached garage, your cost should be much lower. The average two-car attached garage cost is $19,000, and the average three-car garage is $29,000.

I know how much I want to spend, but is it worth it?

Now that you know what you want and have a rough estimate on how much you’re expecting to spend, you should feel a little more sure about whether or not a three-car garage is worth it to you personally. 

It’s your property, and you should be taking into account what you want, what you need, and how practical it is to build it. Now the only question is: is it worth it financially?

Are you planning on selling the property?

If your planning to sell your house in the near future and you’re trying to add to property values, is it worth it to spend the money on building a garage? Again, in most cases, absolutely! A garage is a big item on the checklist for most potential buyers; not having even a two-car garage can get you passed over, especially in places with extreme weather, like snow or heavy rains.

Adding a garage can add $15,000 to $40,000 in property value over a property without one. And having a three-car garage can add $50,000 more value to a property than a two-car garage (Homeguide).

Final Tips to Consider for Three-Car Garages

But before you start your new project, there are a few things to keep in mind that might prevent your garage from being worth the cost:

  • Dimensions – Keep in mind that while we consider any garage 575-875 square feet a three-car garage, not all cars are made equal. A Fiat, for instance, is only about 11.6 feet long, but full-sized SUVs can measure 18–22 feet long. And, you want about 4-5 feet around a car for easy access in and out of it. Make sure to keep dimensions in mind, especially if you plan on advertising it as more than parking space. Overcrowding or miss-measuring can bring down the value of you project.
  • Exterior – If you plan on selling the house with an added garage, try and match the exteriors as seamlessly as possible; you should never let the garage look tacked on, a miss-match that can really tank the value, even if it’s fully functional on the outside.
  • Location, Location, Location – Everyone knows that the secret to real estate is location, but this should factor into your calculations of value as well. If your house is in less than a great location, surrounded by less than great property values, then you could build your house into a mansion, and it still won’t raise your property values past a certain margin. So, consider the neighborhood, or perhaps talk to someone in the real estate game before you start building your garage so you can get an individualized estimate of how much your property values can go up.

Final Thoughts

Do you have teens in the house about to reach driving age? Or young adult children who need a little extra space? Are you a festive person with a lot of seasonal storage needs? Are you preparing to sell your house in the near future or down the road?

If you fall into one of these categories, a three-car garage it something worth giving serious thought to. If you do all your homework and take a frank and honest evaluation of your wants, needs, and haves, then you could add some real value to your property. If not, you could be sinking some serious money on an indulgence turned nightmare!