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There is nothing quite like hitting the button and pulling into a nice warm garage during the cold, snowy, Wisconsin winters. However, while many people think of garages as being best attached to your home, detached garages have become more popular in recent years. In today’s blog, we are diving into the value of adding a detached garage to your home!

What Is A Detached Garage?

In the most general sense, a detached garage is a structure that’s fully separate from your main dwelling. This means it does not share a wall or a roof with your home. The separate entity is built away from your main home and can fully support itself. Detached garages can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, housing anywhere from 1 to 8+ cars, depending on the property. So what do you need to know about them?

The Pros

In frigid Wisconsin winters, having a garage of any kind has many pros. Your standard baseline argument for any garage addition is that it keeps your vehicle covered and protected from the elements, saving you much-needed time and energy when your neighbors are out scraping down their snow-covered cars by hand. 

However, there’s a bit more to it than that. From a design standpoint, having a garage that’s separate from your home allows for much more flexibility in design and function. 

  1. It can be placed anywhere on your property and isn’t limited based on where your existing structure is located (unlike attached garages).
  2. Attached garages are typically required to match the design of your existing home, whereas a detached garage can be customized and designed as a separate entity.
  3. A second story or loft area can be added without a significant increase in cost. This allows for more space and additional options when it comes to creating a multi-purpose space. This could include a home gym, a home office, a lofted apartment, or even just some additional storage. The possibilities are endless!

Therefore, detached garages are much more versatile than their attached counterparts and can vary in use from a one-car option to a large, two-story, 4-car detached garage. Depending on your budget, space, and zoning limitations, some structures even mimic the size of a normal size 2-story home! 

Therefore, while it’s assumed that a garage is just a place to store your vehicles, it’s clear that the benefits extend to include a safe space for your belongings as well as additional square footage added to your living space. 

The Cons

There are, of course, a few cons to consider when building a detached garage. While your vehicle might be protected, as a Wisconsinite you are still required to make the walk from the structure to your existing home, in all weather conditions.

Also, since you are building more walls, some estimates put detached garages at a higher price point than attached alternatives. It is important to note that while this is true, there is also additional labor involved in attaching a new structure to an existing external wall. Ultimately, it usually comes down to function, and it’s often argued that the flexibility in design and function outweighs the drawbacks when adding a detached garage to your home. 


When it comes to cost, the bigger you go, the higher the price. Typically speaking, the average detached garage is somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 with standard national costs for different sized detached garages as follows: 

  • One-car: $18,000 
  • Two-car: $52,000
  • Three-car: $84,000 
  • Four-car: $101,000 

However, the overall cost will depend on your choice of materials, any added design features, whether you choose to heat the space, if you need to add a driveway, or if you choose to fully finish and furnish it. 

Another consideration will be local permits. Although they are minimal in cost compared to the overall cost of the garage, they are an important part of the process and will need to be added to the budget. Your contractor can help you with that. 

Resale Value

While there is a significant cost involved, decisions such as adding a finished home office or home gym can significantly impact your home’s resale value. It’s important to consult with a contractor who knows your local market to discuss how you can maximize the value of your addition while making it work for you. 

While different elements, like the size and features of the detached garage, change the resale value of your home, nationally speaking, a homeowner can stand to recoup 65% of their investment by adding a garage. However, it’s important to consider the climate and the contextual impact of the features you choose to include. For example, in Wisconsin, you’ll likely want to add heating to the garage to maximize its appeal to other buyers. 

A detached garage undoubtedly has the ability to add valuable space to your home that you would not be able to get without a major remodel or adding a new structure to your property. But due to the financial investment of building a detached garage, it is important to be fully informed and work with contractors who know the market, have experience with different types of garages, and can help accommodate both you and the market. 

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