Can a Detached Garage Be Moved? (Laws and Requirements)

Can a Detached Garage Be Moved

So, you are planning to move to a new place. But, to your surprise, the new residence does not have a garage. You currently own a detached garage with everything you need, including proper space to store your vehicles. However, can a detached garage be moved?

Detached garages can be moved locally or across the country, but you need to receive permission from the government before beginning the process. Common permits you will need include planning permits, building permits, and, in some cases, electrical permits. This process is easier when there’s a moving company involved.

You should not leave your garage-moving plans to the last minute. Thus, in this article, we gathered all the information about detached garages, what things you need to keep in mind when considering moving them and what requirements you need to comply with to ensure you don’t accidentally break the law. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

You can move your detached garage after you retrieve the necessary permissions requested by your state or city. However, keep in mind that it takes a lot of planning. And if you prefer to do this on your own, there are tools you should consider getting first.

Since you need materials to secure the structure before moving it, it’s not surprising that they are mostly available online. You’ll likely need these:

1. Heavy-Duty Jack BottleThe more resistance, the better. This jack bottle is capable of holding up to 40,000 pounds. It is a perfect tool to lift your garage, especially if it’s a two-stall structure.

2. Cordless Drill Kit It does not only include the drill. It also includes all the necessary tools you need for the drill. So, there’s no way to lose with this one!

3. Straight Claw Hammer Add this product to your collection of tools. Your garage will thank you for it.

Detached Garage Worries

You can move a detached garage from one place to another, but a question still remains. Is it legal? If not, you’d break the law and be subject to huge fines. So, let’s discuss this common concern below.

How Do You Move an Existing Garage?

The best way to move an existing garage is by using a truck to tow it, preferably putting rafters or rollers underneath the structure after securing it. This process is best done under the guidance of moving professionals. 

Moving an existing garage requires preparation, beginning with a list of things to consider before moving and then decluttering your garage.

You need boxes of all sizes and shapes, including tool boxes, to keep the smaller items safe.

You should also know all the requirements for moving your garage and the necessary permits. Many states, including Minnesota, require a moving permit you must get before you begin the process.

How Do You Lift and Move a Garage?

You can consult with a contractor to learn how to lift a garage, which is very recommended because the structure of your garage needs to be secured before you move it. After, you can dig underneath the sides of the structure and place jacks to lift it.

However, remember to ensure you have the permits you need to begin the process. For example, you may require a building permit and a relocating permit.

Additionally, since this project requires digging, it’s not a bad idea to consider calling 811 before beginning. 

Calling 811 is a requirement in most states, especially because it’s vital to avoid damaging utilities that could be beneath the ground.

Although utilities are unlikely to be located too close to a structure, it is still recommended to do so to avoid any accidents.

Is It Legal to Move a Detached Garage?

Moving your detached garage can become illegal if you do not get building permits from your government’s building department or moving approval from your city’s transportation department. The requirements for each vary depending on your state.

You usually have to fill out a building permit application form, in which you have to describe the project’s scope. Additionally, the government website provides documents that speak about other regulations about attached and detached garages.

Here are things that you should keep in mind when moving a detached garage: 

  • How the law perceives your garage structure. Detached garages are considered accessory buildings, not exactly part of your residence. Thus, they are not considered in the total square feet of your house.
  • Most cities will define the setbacks your garage structure must comply with to remain legal.
  • Many cities will require your garage to look similar to the main residence. For example, if your residence’s color is blue, you can’t have your garage looking pink. They have to look similar and be built with similar designs and materials.
  • Certain detached garages may require an extra permit if they’re made of metal finish and exceed 120 square feet.
  • In most cities, detached garages cannot obstruct within five feet. You should consider this when deciding where to place your garage. If your project requires a contractor, they will have better insight into this.
  • Most cities will require you to file for planning permission and a building permit, which are both included in the form you must sign to file for them.
  • Some cities require that your detached garage complies with landscaping regulations within its building codes.
  • The law can vary depending on your state and city, hence why it’s best to check your government website thoroughly before beginning any project that can potentially alter the look of your current or future residence.

Can You Move a Detached Garage on Rollers?

Moving a detached garage on rollers is possible after securing the structure. In fact, moving companies use this method as a safety precaution. Some structures may be heavier than others, so doing it this way is preferable.

Besides, a human can’t carry a detached garage alone without the proper tools and help from experts. Thus, you should not hesitate to contact your local moving company to ensure everything proceeds smoothly.

Is It Possible to Relocate a Detached Garage?

It’s possible to relocate a detached garage, whether this is a few feet away from its original location or if it is across the country. Thus far, it is better to consult with a moving company that can help you achieve your moving goals.

However, you should be aware that moving a detached garage involves getting moving permits from the state you are planning to move into.

Other times, since you’d be altering the structure of a residential lot, you’ll need a building permit. In case of doubt, check your city’s website.

How Much Does a One-Car Garage Weigh?

One-car garages can weigh around 25,000 pounds, often influenced by the construction type and the materials used. Therefore, to calculate the total weight of your garage, you need to consider all its components.

You have to gather information about the area of the garage space (usually measured by square foot), the length of the interior and exterior walls of the structure, the length of the garage door, the type of extension wall, and the roof slope and material. 

You can calculate the weight of each of those components and finalize by summing everything. The final result of this calculation will be the total weight of your garage.

Once you have this number, you must make adjustments to secure its structure. 


You now know about the legal concerns regarding the detached garage. However, there is a big difference between having an idea for a project and actually executing it. Let’s explore this topic below.

How to Move a Single-Stall Garage?

After securing the building structure, you need a big group of people that can help you lift the single-stall garage and place it on rollers. Once that is done, a truck can move the garage to the desired destination. 

Securing the structure is important to avoid accidents. Not only could it harm your garage, but it could potentially harm you or the people helping you.

For short-distance moving, you may need around 20 people to lift the garage and move it gradually.

However, for long-distance moving, you need a moving company that can help you. Doing it yourself is also possible but not recommended due to its many complications.

In addition, if something happens, it could lead to a larger expense than estimated.

How Do You Lift a Detached Garage?

After bracing the garage, you lift it by using 2×10 beams on the walls and distribute them according to the size of your garage. Under each one of these beams, you have to use jack bottles to be able to lift the garage.

Once you lift the garage using jack bottles, you can place the iron rails underneath all the sides of the structure to lift it evenly. However, make sure there are no complications for this. 

Your path should be free from obstructions, as well as your garage. If your garage has any utilities connected, cut them before moving. That way, you’ll avoid unnecessary incidents, and the process can be much easier.

How Do You Move a Garage From One Place to Another?

To move a garage from one place to another, secure the structure from within and ensure that there are no obstructions on the way. After you’ve done this, dig on all sides of the structure and place jacks underneath to lift the garage.

Once the structure is lifted, place rails underneath the structure and then add a wheeled device under the beams. Attach it to a towing truck and then proceed to move it.

Make sure to have at least four or five people around to ensure everything’s in order. 

How Do You Move a Detached Garage Building?

You can move a detached garage building by lifting the structure and attaching it to a moving vehicle that can take it to its final destination. Ensure to have all the permits necessary before beginning this process.

You need 2×6 beams to secure the structure. Make sure to get each corner and X across the structure from within to ensure the roof doesn’t fall off. 

Moreover, it’s easier if you try to release the structure from the extra weight. Sometimes you may need to remove the roof to ease the moving and lifting process. It’s safer that way and less complicated.

The beams won’t only help you secure the structure. It will also help you create lifting points. Most of these projects will require you to dig on the sides of the structure so you can place rails or rafters underneath. This will aid you with moving. 

You have to use jack bottles to lift the garage but put them on the “lifting points” you create with the beams. If you see that one side is higher than the other, try to adjust it and make it level. 

After all, this is done, and the building is set with moving wheels or rafters underneath, simply move the structure with a strong tow truck and take it to your desired destination.

This process is swifter with a trusted moving company. 

How Can I Move a Detached Garage by Myself?

Although it’s possible to move a detached garage, it is not possible to do it on your own since there are certain things that you need help with. For instance, lifting the garage or securing the structure could use a few other hands.

The reality is that this project is complicated, so you should not hesitate to get help. Garages weigh a lot, and one person can’t lift them or secure them alone. 

That’s why you need to consult with people who can help you with this project or hire a moving company that can guide you throughout the process.

It’s important to ensure your safety before anything else, so you should do what’s best for you.

Costs to Move a detached garage

Any type of project will come with unique costs, so you must prepare yourself for this. Additionally, you also have to prepare your pocket for unexpected situations. Read below to discover what is the cost of moving a garage.

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Garage Forward?

Moving a garage forward could cost you $5,000-$10,000, depending on how extensive the project is and if you decide to hire someone. But, of course, the price for this also depends on the square foot of the structure.

You’ll likely need jack bottles, beams, nails, hammers, or drills. These materials will only help you secure the property so it can be lifted and moved. If you decide to do this project yourself, these materials alone could cost up to $1,000.

However, a moving company could charge you more for this project if it involves complications, such as the need to remove the roof and the like.

Thus, exploring all your options and saving a solid budget is better before making a life-changing investment.

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Detached Garage?

Moving a detached garage can cost you up to $5,000 depending on the size of the garage and how far the move will be, although it will also vary depending on the moving company you hire. Buying the needed equipment alone is a huge expense.

Unlike any other type of garage, moving detached garages is relatively cheaper. In addition, since it’s not attached to your home structure, it is easier for moving companies to work with it. Your only concern would be the requirements you must fulfill to proceed with this project.

For example, some companies may require you to remove the roof from the garage to reduce its weight. This could also imply that you need to get approval from your local building department and your local department of transportation.

Other times, cities may require you to detach the roof from the detached garage, regardless of whether the moving company requires it or not. This is to ensure the safety of both the movers and yourself whenever this movement goes forward.

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Garage?

Raising or lifting a garage could cost $5K to $10K, s depending on how the structure is placed on the foundation. It will also depend on the type of garage and whether extra work will be involved with this process.

Detached garages may cost lower than this average, and it’s because working with them is much simpler than with other types of garage structures. Usually, a moving company can tell you an exact price for this project and whether it’s safe to move forward.

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Two-Car Garage?

Moving a two-car garage can easily cost around 10 thousand dollars since it will weigh more than the average garage. However, the price may vary depending on the labor involved in the project and the company you choose to work with.

The materials you need for this type of project could increase the total price of this work, so you should not take an all-exclusive budget. Instead, prepare a budget higher than estimated, just in case uncalled things happen. 

For example, if you require building a new and strong foundation on your new residential lot, you may need to save extra cash. On top of that, getting the necessary permits or approval for this work could be even more costly. Hence, the reason for proper preparation.


A detached garage is part of a residential lot, but it does not share walls with the structure of your house.

Nevertheless, it is still part of your property, so you may want to know how adding or removing a garage can affect it. So let’s dig deeper into this issue.

Is a Detached Garage Considered Part of the House?

A detached garage is considered part of your property’s lot but not part of the house, nor is it considered a habitable space. Therefore, it is not considered when calculating your residence’s square foot. 

Generally, detached garages are considered accessory structures in most states.

An example is a law in Colorado Springs, which says that detached garages, sheds, and similar structures only count as accessory structures that you cannot build without an existing main building structure.

Can You Move a Building That’s Set in a Foundation?

Moving a building set in a foundation is not only possible but also quite common, especially if the residence or structure needs a new foundation or if the owner simply decides to switch residential lots.

Sometimes, homeowners need to upgrade their foundation, which is why they’ll hire a moving company that can lift their house or moves it entirely to ensure that they can work on the foundation. 

Whether this type of project will continue depends mostly on the local ordinances within that city. However, if it does move forward, there are still some regulations that most movers need to consider to avoid breaking the law. 

Sometimes, homeowners decide to hire these moving companies to add a crawlspace or basement underneath their homes.

The requirements for these projects will change depending on the complexity of the work involved.

Are There Garage Moving Companies?

Although they are not cheap, garage moving companies can also offer packaging services that include an extra cost. It’s best to consult with a local moving company if you believe that professionals are the best to handle this project.

It’s less complicated to move your garage when hiring a moving company because they already possess the tools needed for these types of work.

And not only do they possess the tools, but they also have better guidance and ideas on moving your structure without harming it.

You might also enjoy our post on How Close to a Property Line Can I Build a Garage?

Related Questions

Can You Extend a Detached Garage?

You can extend a detached garage if you believe you can repurpose that space, creating a small gym space or fitting another car in. Theoretically, there are at least four common ways to extend your detached garage.

Here are ways you can extend your garage:

  • Lengthening your garage to create a larger workspace.
  • Widening your garage to fit more vehicles.
  • Raising your garage to store larger cars.
  • Adding a second floor to your garage space.

Can You Move a Small Barn?

Moving a small barn is not so different from moving a detached garage, so it’s still possible. However, a small barn can weigh less than a garage, so the process may be easier for most.

Just like with a garage, you can choose to hire a moving company to help you, or you can call a group of friendly neighbors to help you do this project yourself.

Nevertheless, you should secure the property’s structure to avoid it from getting damaged due to the movement.

And likewise, you’ll probably need jack bottles and other construction tools to help you move the barn smoothly and without much struggle.

Is a Detached Garage With a Breezeway Considered Attached?

Even though a breezeway connects the detached garage to the house’s structure, it is still not part of the house, which means it is still detached regardless. Thus, even though it’s still part of the residential lot, it does not count as part of the house.

For a garage to be detached, it has to have a separate foundation from the house. It also, often, does not have access to the main house, nor vice-versa. 

The breezeway only allows a specific path to receive air flow, but it still does not mean it makes the garage share walls with the house. Therefore, it is not considered part of the main structure. 

Final Thoughts

A detached garage can be moved from your current residence to your future one. However, it is a complicated process that requires preparation and much planning.

A moving company can give you better advice and details about everything regarding moving garages. Additionally, there are regulations you have to pay attention to if you want to avoid being fined for not following the law.

Even if you believe moving your garage is appropriate, you may want to consider building your garage shortly. Sometimes it’s worth it to begin anew.

But, yet again, you should only make the decision that is best for your current situation.

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