Residential Construction: How Wide Is a Standard Garage?
Every home buyer has their boxes to tick off when shopping for the 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…or is it?
Consider this: residential construction to create a garage that could make a potential home a dream home. While most home buyers balk at the idea of residential construction, building a standard garage can be a viable option. The ability to store your beloved car or bike in a cool, dry space alone is worth its weight in gold.
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 15-foot sedan that demands a much roomier garage space.
Single car garages have grown to the standard sizes of 10, 12, and 14 feet for average widths, but a 10-foot wide garage is awfully cramped, not fitting much more than a Smart Car or a motorcycle. According to contractors and residential housing developers, for a single car space the dimensions for a standard garage is 12-feet by 24-feet and 14-feet by 28-feet.
As driving became an increasingly popular mode of transportation, even bordering on 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 were now the norm, as was the average American family owning two cars.
Modern Garage Door Widths
Today, most developers construct two car garages as square configurations of 20 or 24 feet. For residential construction purposes, an 18-foot wide by 20-feet long will accommodate two vehicles of an average size of 6-feet wide by 18-feet long, but there won’t be a lot of extra room.
With garages being designed for much more than fitting cars (consider projects, storage, and stowing bigger 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 your two 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 to measure off of is to allow for a minimum of two feet around all sides of your cars you’re wanting to stow in your new garage. Typically, modern two car garages are 18-feet wide, allowing for both car doors to open freely without hitting each other. For a one car garage, consider a garage that’s 12-feet wide (which would allow for an 8-foot or a 9-foot garage door) as that would allow for a decently sized sedan or even a minivan.
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 like placement of the garage to the nearest lot property line, height of the garage (although there are minimal laws to the actual dimensions of a garage), and any kind of expansion projects. If you belong to an HOA, there could be restrictions on the materials used, pitch of the garage’s roof, its maximum—or minimum size—and even its paint or siding color.
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 your Homeowners Association or local government won’t allow it, costing you in expensive fines and setbacks.
Protect Your Car with More Width
Because today’s average vehicle is on the longer and bulkier side, the standard dimensions to house them have also gotten larger. This is good news for you if you’re choosing residential construction as you won’t need to erect a custom-sized garage to enjoy an appropriate amount of space.
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, we have all the 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 online today.