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A Guide to Adding a Garage or Carport In 2023

By George Hadgelias

Thinking about adding a garage or carport to your house? Work out how much it’s going to cost, where it can go and what else you need to consider with our helpful tips.

With cities getting denser and more cars being on the road, finding a place to park can be hard for those without a dedicated space.

But garages aren’t just a spot to park, after all, they can add much-needed space for storage, a hobby space – as well as a spot to charge an electric vehicle.

Furthermore, it’s not just a consideration while you’re living in the home – a garage or carport can make a huge difference to the sale price, especially for inner-city properties.

Here’s what you need to know about adding a garage or carport to your property.

Jump to each section:

Garage and carport types

If you’re thinking about adding a parking space to your home you’ll want to decide whether you’d like it closed-in, which is great for security, or open-air.

Those looking to build out of bricks and concrete will be up for a higher cost, but they’ll be able to enjoy more amenities from the space.

While those wanting to erect a parking space as quickly and cheaply as possible will be more interested in pre-fabricated car-port kits.

Freestanding garage – prefabricated metal

Essentially a large shed with a garage door, this garage arrives at your house already made or in ready-to-assemble pieces.

A prefabricated garage – generally steel – is a popular choice for renovations, because it’s a cheap alternative and in some cases you may also be able to erect a kit garage yourself.

This garage is especially popular in country areas with larger blocks, where it can be used for a variety of applications.

Freestanding garage – non-prefabricated

Building a garage from scratch is a more expensive option but allows you a lot more freedom with the design.

You might find building from scratch will allow your garage to blend in with your house much better – be it brick, cement rendered, weatherboard, and so on.

You’ll need to contact a small architect and/or builder who can bring your ideas to life, before a garage door manufacturer brings in the final and most important part.

Garage built into the house

Adding a garage to the side of an existing house is a rare choice for renovators as it’s the most expensive option and requires more extensive planning if you’re messing around with the structure and load-bearing outer walls of your home.

However, using this method can add greater value to your home, not to mention the convenience of having your car easily accessible from the house.


A carport offers the cheapest solution for a car shelter, and also offers the greatest range of DIY styles. You can buy steel kits and erect one yourself, or you can opt for a more traditional, federation-style wooden frame.

Although they offer little security compared to garages, carports may be cooler in summer than a steel garage as you’re shading the area but not enclosing it.

Carports can also be expandable, by adding more roof area onto the end as your needs, or perhaps budget, increase.

Some carports are even designed so that, should the need arise, they can be enclosed and turned into a garage, with a door attached to the roof.

How much space do you need?

The general rule for storing cars is that you need 3.6m x 7.2m of space per car. A double garage, therefore, should be 7.2m x 7.2m.

But don’t forget to allow space for larger cars, storage and other items which might end up in there.

The area you have available will often determine the type of structure you choose.

If you have good access to the surrounding space then a garage in the backyard is a good option.

This is more convenient for storage and more flexible for future conversion to another use, such as a granny flat.

What should I make my garage out of?

Just like houses, there’s an array of building materials from which a garage or carport can be made. The design of your garage and carport should ideally blend in with your house.

If it’s part of your frontage, it should complement the rest of the street, too.

But before you even consider which one you prefer it’s best to speak with your local council to make sure you’re aware of any restrictions before any decisions are made.

If the garage is to be an additional living space, or you’re making an existing garage habitable, then you’ll need to consider things like insulation and waterproofing.

A steel garage will be hotter in summer than a brick one, so it’s best to consider potential future uses, budget and how much time you’ll be spending inside when choosing a garage material.

In general, all garages and carports sit on a concrete slab, so you’ll need to have space to lay one. The slab will need to be of a greater thickness if it has to support a heavier structure.

How much does it cost to add a garage to a house

The national average cost to build a garage is between $1200 – $1700 per sqm but depends largely on the size and material you decide upon.

Complete prefabricated steel single carport kits can start from as little as $3500, not including the cost of the concrete slab.

Higher-end double brick garages can cost up to $40,000 or more, depending on the roof, electrical accessories (such as automatic roller doors) and finishes you select.

How much value could a garage add to my property if I sell

Also worth considering is whether your investment into a car space could make you money if you decide to sell.

Depending on its location and the availability of off-street parking, a garage or carport could drastically increase the amount you can expect to sell for in some markets.

Installing a garage in inner-city properties with very little available parking could see a return on investment in the realm of over $100,000 in some cases.

Apartment-buyers in Sydney’s urban areas regularly fork out huge sums to park their car near or at home.

Back in 2015, REIV found that homes with car spaces sold for an average of $100,000 more than those without.

Homes with car spaces are also more attractive to tenants, which means higher rents can be charged.

Also worth considering is the value having additional living space could bring if the garage could also be converted to a study, home office, granny flat or even just extra storage.

Since the pandemic the rates of workers who spend some or all of their time working from home has increased dramatically and experts suggest this is a long-term change.

Agent Spiros Karagiannidis from Nelson Alexander Reservoir says that homes with a dedicated work area are becoming increasingly popular with buyers:

“We’ve seen vendors transforming garages into study spaces or granny flats.

“Now more than ever buyers are looking for balance in terms of inside and outside the property.”

2. Planning and layout

If you’re planning on building more than a space to park a car then it’s worth considering the layout before you get too far down the process.

How many cars will be parked there? Do you want to include an area for a workbench? Will you include space for extra storage? Do you want the option of adding an extra room or living space now or at a later point? Do you want the appearance to mirror the look and feel of the home?

All these items will affect the layout and planning of the space and will have a huge impact on budget.

You’ll also need to consider lighting, power points, roller doors and whether you want to include a EV charging point.

3. Materials

Once you’ve decided on how the space will be used it’s time to decide on which materials you’ll be using.

Steel kits will be cheaper initially, but they limit the potential future uses of the space.

Insulated brick or weatherboard garages are much more expensive to build but give you almost limitless scope to make it into a multi-use space.

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