What does it cost to turn a car port into a 2-garage? I want to know this before I put an offer on the house.

Asked by Cjames, 95124 Fri Apr 29, 2011

I'm buying a house that doesn't have a garage, but it has a 2 car garage port - or at least, a structure that can cover two cars in the driveway. Does anyone know roughly what it costs to build a basic 2 car garage? I'd like to know this before I make an offer since I want a garage and know it will help with resale value.

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Mary Pope-Ha…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat May 28, 2011
These are all great answers. I just want to add one point, which is that you want to double check on what's allowed or not allowed by your municipality before doing this work (yes, permits and finals) AND make sure that you are not going to harm the marketability of the house in the process.

There are many homes in the Drysdale area of Cambrian where garages have been converted to living space and a car port has been erected in front of the bedroom wing. In the case of those properties, making the carport into a garage would ruin any light getting into the windows behind it. Remember, bedrooms must have three things to count as bedrooms: a door, a closet, and a window. If you construct a garage and block the window entirely, you could lose a bedroom in the process. So don't just look at the garage angle - but instead the "whole picture".
1 vote
Jason Jegge, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi CJ;

I have had this quoted a few times in the last 6 months. If you want a currently attached carport converted, it runs about $15K. Depending on plumbing and set-backs, electrical needs (upgrade to current box needed, etc.?), materials costs go up and can run about 25K for a first class garage (with speckled wear-resistance coating on the floor, and cabinets). Bob Palacios Construction has decades of experience. Call him at 408-426-1159, and tell him Jason of Century 21 Alpha sent you!

Best Regards.

Jason Jegge
C21 Alpha
1 vote
Barbara Hunt, , Cupertino, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi Cjames,

Another consideration is permits. Since you say “... - or at least, a structure that can cover two cars in the driveway” it sounds like this may not have been part of the original building and if so may not have been done with permits.

A 2-car garage built with permits would be an excellent enhancement; done without permits it would not be nearly as valuable and could even be a liability in resale – if it violates certain restrictions such as setbacks you could be made to tear it down. One of the first thing buyers ask when additions or renovations have been done is "Was it done with permits?" Contact the local building department to find out what would be required.

Barbara Hunt, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
408-921-6495 cell
DRE# 01126864
1 vote
Thuan Nguyen, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi Cjames,

Chris is right. It would be best to call a couple local contractors. It will mostly depend on the quality of the material, your needs, labor, and permits. Will you need electricity and water running to the new garage? If you need an motorized garage door then electricity is a must. Other considerations: stucco, drywall, side door, window, skylight, matching roof, gutters, trash bin for old structure, etc.

It's key that you know what you want then call at least 3 contractors to quote and bid on the project.

Good Luck,
1 vote
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
I would recommend contacting a couple of local contractors and ask for estimates based on the actual property. One big question will probably be is it possible to use the existing structure or would it need to be removed?
1 vote
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Sat Dec 6, 2014
Around ~$100/sf with permit.
0 votes
Calvin James, Home Buyer, Orem, UT
Wed Nov 26, 2014
You can't really turn a car port "into" a garage. You would have to get rid of the port and build the garage. What is the problem with the port though? I know they're not the greatest looking but they get the job done at a fraction of the cost! http://www.allweathershelters.com.au/product-range/veranda/
0 votes
Michelle Car…, Agent, Coppertino, AL
Sat Aug 24, 2013
Be sure to check the permit cost and assess whether you would lose light (and qualification of bedroom) by making the change. You could incorporate skylights for light-or make sure there's a window on a different wall.

My advice would be to walk/drive the neighborhood to see who's done something like what you want to do and approach them to get their opinion as to cost and how well they like the change. Perhaps they'll be kind enough to show you and share resources.
0 votes
J, , Los Gatos, CA
Wed May 30, 2012
All of these answers are useful. I want to emphasize the importance of getting permits and using licensed contractors for the job. Unpermitted/unlicensed construction is often not covered by insurance or square footage should you decide to resell the property. You may want to call a contractor or your buyer's agent with specifics of what you want in a garage, such as extra workspace, finishing or storage. Good Luck!
0 votes
Manesh Hardeo, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Sat Jun 4, 2011
I agree with the others...definitely check with your city inspections/permits department to see if there are any issues you can run into. Do not piss off the inspectors or they will make life difficult. It's always better to be upfront and very nice to them to get things done and questions answered.

It may be the fact that you are in California, but $15k does seem awfully steep. We've had many projects where whole new 2 car garages including a new concrete slab being laid down costs in the $10-12k range, so I'm not sure if that's a regional thing.

I'd find an experienced investor in the area that may be able to get a reliable contractor with experience working in the area to get a bid for you. An experienced contractor will likely have very good insight into dealing with the inspections/permits department.

I hope this helps.
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat May 28, 2011
Hi Cjames

Hope you did land up buying the home. Several issues to consider, namely. Permits, and whether the finished garage would be attached to the home. You are looking at $15k to $25k on the high side.

Good luck.
0 votes
Gabriel Nguy…, , Campbell, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
Hi Cjames,

First, I recommend you to get couple bids from contractors who is licensed and bonded.

Second, go to city hall and ask for permission.
Web Reference:  http://Www.4reohomes.com
0 votes
Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
To get an accurate estimate it would be best to have a couple of contractors give you bids. I have used this company and so have a couple of my friends and clients: http://www.delgadoconstructioninc.com/
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2011
If you are working with a buyer's agent they should have these resources for you.

All the best to you.
Web Reference:  http://terrivellios.com
0 votes
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