Residential Construction: How Wide Is a Standard Garage?

Every home buyer has their boxes to tick off when shopping for a dream house.  A fireplace? Check.  A sprawling backyard?  Check.  A garage?  Double check.  For a car junkie, the absence of a standard garage can be a major deal breaker…

While most home buyers balk at the idea of residential construction, building a detached garage can be a terrific investment.  The ability to store your beloved car or bike in a cool, dry space is also worth its weight in gold.

Standard Garages

Not Every Size Fits All

One-car, two-car, three-car, you name it—garages come in all sorts of sizes.  What’s size is a standard garage anyway?

When the Model T first hit the scene, the construction industry responded in kind by building shelters to protect these impressive investments.  Garages back in the day were considerably smaller.  Originally, these spaces were designed for the Model T which was about 11-feet long, compared to our modern-day sedans that demand a much roomier garage space.

As driving became an increasingly popular mode of transportation and an American pastime, the need for two-car garages spiked in residential construction.  Cars became more affordable, road trips became central to family vacations, and housing development quickly followed suit.  Two-car garages are now the norm, typically spanning between 20 to 24 feet wide and 20 to 24 feet deep.

Modern Garage Door Widths

Today, most developers construct two-car garages as square configurations of 20 to 24 feet.  For residential construction purposes, an 18-foot wide by 20-feet deep garage will accommodate two vehicles of an average size, however there won’t be a lot of extra room.

With garages being designed for much more than storing cars (consider projects, storage, and large equipment), you’ll certainly want a little more space if you’re able to build a new garage from the ground up.

With that being said, to estimate the appropriate amount of space for a two car garage, you’ll actually want to measure the vehicles you plan to keep inside of it.  When passing off these numbers to your residential contractors, you’ll want to account for the external dimensions, not just the internal measurements, possibly adding on 6-8 inches to account for additional room.

A good guideline  is to allow for a minimum of two feet around all sides of the cars you’re wishing to store in your new garage.  Typically, modern two car garages are 20-feet wide, allowing for both car doors to open freely without hitting each other.

Building a new garage

Before You Build

You might run into a few roadblocks if you’re planning on constructing a new garage.  These obstacles are usually in the form of local ordinances and regulations, as zoning laws can quickly put a damper on ambitious garage projects.

Zoning laws can restrict aspects of garage builds, such as the placement of the garage relative to the nearest property line, height of the garage, and others.  If you belong to an HOA, there could be restrictions on the materials used, the pitch of the garage’s roof, its maximum—or minimum size—and even its paint or siding color and materials.

Your contractor will be able to help you navigate these local laws and restrictions before drawing up the plans to build your new garage.  The last thing you’ll want is to get too far into your construction project only to find out that your Homeowners Association or local municipality won’t allow it.

Two Car Garage

Protect Your Car with More Width

Because today’s average vehicle is on the longer and bulkier side, consumers often need to opt for a larger garage.

The wider you make your garage, the more room you’ll have to protect your essential investments: your cars.  A standard garage should have generous dimensions that can offer more storage room and space for garage-based projects, too.

Do You Need A Bigger Garage?

At Danley’s Garages, we have garage styles and sizes that will improve the value of your home. All the stuff that you wanted to move out of the garage can be stored inside a two-car or even a three-car garage. Speak to a specialist about garage sizes and get a free quote  today.


Since 1959, Danley’s has been Chicagoland’s top choice for garage construction. Since then, we’ve built over 100,000 garages, making us Chicago’s largest and most trusted garage builder.

We offer an unbeatable combination of products, service and value for homeowners across Chicagoland.

Get a free quote now or call us at 877-DANLEYS today!

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