Planning a garage? Read this extensive garage options article where we break down every type of garage into categories, options, styles, materials, sizes and more.
Just as there are many types of garage doors and garage door designs, there are many types of garages. This extensive garage guide explores, classifies and breaks down every garage option you have for your home.
I’ve lived without a garage and now have a 2-car garage. I love having a garage. I love parking in it and easily accessing my home as well as getting to my car without going out in the rain and cold. There’s a reason garages are a key part of a home. Learn all about your garage options below.
Table of Contents
- I. Types
- II. Parking Layout
- III. Orientation
- IV. Material
- IV. Roof Material
- V. Flooring
- VI. Storage Solutions
- VII. Garage Frequently Asked Questions
If you are in the market for an unattached garage that you can easily place anywhere on your property, then you will love this option. With the ability to match the exterior siding to that of your home, nobody will ever guess that this was built at a separate time from your house. It’s easy to apply a number of different exterior finishes to this shell, including siding, vinyl siding, wood lap siding, and even stucco, which means that your garage will look completely different from any other one in the area. Detached garages are a great option if your home doesn’t have a good access point for a garage door or if you aren’t sure how to fit one onto your property near your home. They also can be built at any time after your house is, which is a great way to save money and still get the garage that you have always wanted. It’s easy to use a prefab garage that you can buy or work with a professional builder to make sure that you have a garage that will meet your needs.
C. Breezeway/Portico Garage
D. Garage Workshop
E. Garage with Upstairs Home
G. Portable Garages and Carports
The perfect option for the homeowner who needs to protect his or her car or outdoor equipment but doesn’t want to fully commit to a permanent carport or a garage, portable garages and carports will protect your items from bad weather and keep them corralled to improve the appearance of your outdoor area. There are many neighborhood associations that require outdoor equipment, boats, RVs, and cars to be under some sort of covering to reduce the visual clutter that can lower home values. Portable options are quick to install, easy to hose off and scrub when necessary, and strong enough to last due to their bolted-together brackets and triple-layer woven fabric covers. This ensures that any snag or tear will not immediately rip open and require expensive repairs. It’s important that you talk to your local permit office before ordering to make sure that you have filled out the correct forms prior to setting up this garage. The floor, windows, and doors are not included and you will also have to purchase any exterior materials that you want as well. They are made to withstand both heavy winds and snows, keeping your car and any other belongings that you store inside safe from bad weather.
If you want the combination of a single-car garage and extra storage space, then you will want to opt for a barn garage. The loft storage ensures that you will have all of the room that you need to store your belongings and will free up valuable storage space in your home that may otherwise be taken up by these items. The barn garage will look as if it was custom-built for your home because you can choose the garage door to match the one that is on your home or, if you don’t have any garage yet, you can pick one that is close to your current construction and style. The paneling is ready for any paint that you choose and since you buy the shingles yourself, you won’t have to worry about their appearance clashing with the rest of your home. Optional walk-in doors make barn garages even more accessible and ensure that you can get in and out quickly without having to raise and lower the large door.
II. Parking Layout
B. Double-Wide 2 Doors
C. Double-Wide 1 Door
While many people see triple-wide garages and assume that there are three cars in there, this isn’t always the case. A garage is a relatively inexpensive and attractive way to add storage space to your property or to make sure that you have a place to tinker. These larger garages are a great option if you have a riding mower that you want to keep indoors or have a large number of tools that you have to store. You won’t run out of room when you have a garage this size and can easily use the space inside in a number of ways.
E. 3-Car Garage with 2 Doors
If you have an RV or a boat, then you know how important it is that you take good care of it to ensure that it lasts for a long time. RVs and boats are investments and it’s imperative that you have a safe space to store them when they are not in use. It’s uncommon for homeowners to have a garage custom-built on their home for these as the garage can be very expensive to have built and then will be single-use. It’s best to buy a steel-frame carport that has been specifically designed for these large items. With a strong waterproof and fire-retardant polyethylene cover, you won’t have to worry about any damage coming to your RV or boat when they are stored here.
A. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a light garage option but this doesn’t mean that it won’t last very long. Many homeowners opt for stainless steel garages because they are very light and easy to assemble quickly, meaning that you can have your new garage set up quickly and without a lot of hassle. In addition, they don’t ever need staining or painting as the metal will not be damaged or faded by the weather, even extreme cold or the hot sun. Neither insects nor rodents will be able to damage them, which make them a very long-lasting choice for your home. It is important that if something damages the outside of your garage, you touch up the paint quickly as you will not want it to rust. Many homeowners opt for versions of these garages that have additional access doors besides the large bays as that makes it easy for them to go in and out without having to raise and lower the large door each time.
This is the most popular compact storage garage for outdoor equipment that you can buy. When you opt for a steel frame, you won’t have to worry about strong winds damaging this garage and the polyethylene fabric is tough enough to stand up to strong winds and bad weather. Even if the fabric does get a small rip or tear in it, you won’t have to worry about it becoming damaged as the seams are heat-welded together so you won’t have to worry about a large rip in the fabric. With hardware designed to keep the structure stable and secure, once you set up this garage, you won’t have to worry about any items you store inside.
C. Vinyl Plastic Resin
This is a great DIY garage option for any homeowner who is handy and willing to put in a little work to build a garage on his or her property. There are a number of reasons why these garages are so popular and one is that they will last for a very long time. They are incredibly durable and withstand insect damage and rot, both of which are concerns if you have a wood garage at your home. In addition, when they get dirty, they can easily be washed off with a light cleaning solution and the hose. Since they come in a number of colors, you can decide to have it stand out from the rest of your property or choose an option that will better blend into the area, depending on your personal preference.
These beautiful garages look great with any style home and work perfectly as a traditional garage, storage building for outdoor equipment and tools, or even a workshop. They can usually handle stronger loads than other kinds of garages and are able to withstand winds up to 130 MPH, making them a great choice for most anywhere. In addition, wood sheds come in a wide variety of different sizes with many siding options and are incredibly well constructed. They can come in DIY kits that are pre-cut so they are very easy to put together and install on your property and are easily painted to match the home. This is one of the main perks of wood garages as homeowners love the streamlined look of a garage that fits perfectly with the exterior of their homes. However it’s important to note that unlike a metal garage, wood garages will require upkeep over the years to ensure that they look their best and don’t have any water or insect damage. If you have a wood garage at your home, you will need to be prepared to repaint it every ten years or so.
E. Prepped for Vinyl
If you want your garage to perfectly match or complement your home, then you will want to purchase a building that has been prepped for vinyl so you can install any siding that you want. This makes it easy for you to match your home and garage and it will look as if your garage was built at the same time as your home. These garages can be customized to have any number of windows or doors that you want and usually come with a front gable that is not only attractive but will keep you out of the rain when you are entering and exiting the building.
IV. Roof Material
For unattached garages, carports, and other storage options on your property, you can’t beat metal roofs. They look great, weather well, and will last for a long time. Since they won’t rot the way that wood will, you won’t have to worry about leaks and water damage inside the garage. This is especially important for homeowners who are going to be storing expensive cars or outdoor equipment in their garages as they do not want to risk them being damaged by the outside elements.
While metal is arguably the most common roofing material for unattached garages, if yours is attached to your home or you want it to have a cohesive look with the rest of your property, then you will want to have a shingle roof. Not only does this look great but it will last for a long time as long as you properly maintain it. Depending on the size of the garage you build on your property, you may be able to use extra shingles from when your roof was installed; however, if not, you will want to look for matching shingles to create a singular look. Attached garages will have the shingles installed at the same time as the home, creating a seamless look and making your space into one whole building.
This tough coating takes a number of coats to apply but will last for a long time, often more than 15 years. You can choose between a solid color or adding visual interest with colored chips stirred into the mixture before it is applied. These floors are very easy to keep clean and won’t be affected by chemicals leaking from your car. If your garage is where you store your prized vehicle, then you will want to make sure you have a sturdy and high-quality floor such as epoxy.
This is a new trend in garage flooring and can allow you to express yourself and personalize your garage. With many different materials to choose from, including porcelain, vinyl, and hard plastic, you can find some that are in your budget and meet your needs. They provide a great anti-slip surface and are easy to clean, perfect for the home in a rainy climate.
Mats are a great option to lay down in your garage as they are easy to install, are comfortable to walk on, and can help you remember where exactly to park your car. They can cover any cracks in the floor of your garage and make it look almost new without you having to install a new floor.
This is one of the least expensive ways to improve the appearance of your garage floor even though it is not very permanent. You can choose from a number of options and durability, depending on your end goals for your garage. If you want a paint floor that will last, you will need to choose one-part epoxy in your paint to help it resist chemicals from your car.
Sealing your garage floor is a great way to showcase the beauty of the concrete and keep it protected from debris, water, and chemicals. It’s easy to clean because it will keep the concrete from being damaged by road salt and from being stained. This is an easy floor covering to apply but not nearly as tough as epoxy.
Many people love the look of carpet in their garages but there are some things to consider before you take this path. Carpet is very hard to keep clean and dry and it can easily mold. If you really want carpet because you want to showcase your vintage car, then you need to make sure that you buy indoor/outdoor carpet and have it professionally installed so that it will last and look great. While it’s soft to walk on, looks very attractive, and keeps the noise down in your garage, it can easily be torn up by large, heavy equipment or if you accidentally spill chemicals on it. Only use it if you won’t be working on your car inside the garage and just want a safe place to store your vehicle.
VI. Storage Solutions
Unless you are going to only be using your garage for your car, then you will want to make sure that you have some sort of storage available. One of the most popular storage solutions available is cabinets, and for good reason. They are incredibly sturdy, come in a variety of sizes, and can even be bought as a complete workshop area for your garage. This is ideal if you know that you need cabinet and countertop space quickly and want to be sure that it will stand up to your use. Of course, if you do not have a lot of spare room in your garage, then you may need to opt for slimmer storage options.
Perfect for a single- or double-car garage where you don’t have a lot of extra room, shelves allow you to easily store items where you can seem them along your walls. They can be sturdy and heavy-duty or more embellished, depending on your situation and desire. One big bonus of shelves is how easily you can move them from location to location so that you can customize your garage as your needs change.
C. Wall Organization
Source: Home Depot
Pegboard is arguably the most popular and common of all wall storage solutions, although slatwall panels and track systems are available as well. If you need to store tools and other items flat on the wall because your storage space is at such a premium, then you will want to choose one of these versatile options.
VII. Garage Frequently Asked Questions
When Were Garages Invented?
Examples of both private and public garages are known to exist since the late 1800s. The first recorded public parking garage in the U.S., the Electric Vehicle Company Garage in Chicago, was built in 1898. One of the oldest known references to a private garage was referenced in the English motoring journal, “The Autocar,” on Oct. 7, 1899. In the early 1900s, as the automobile gained in popularity, many new car owners made room in their existing carriage houses and stored their vehicle in there along with their horses. As for the modern garage that has become a common addition to most new homes, it is generally considered to have been invented by an architect in 1912.
Why Were Garages Detached Historically?
Garages were originally detached for both practical and social reasons. Since many early garages were converted carriage houses, these buildings were already detached and located to the rear of the property, so it was only natural to store the automobile away from the house. The early detached garages were also often accessed from a shared alley that ran parallel to the street behind the houses. This was done to ensure that cars, and the garage, did not interfere with the visual appearance and social importance of the front of the house. Most houses at that time were designed with a large front porch that was designed as a gathering place and a point of social interaction with people on the sidewalk.
Can Garages be Converted to Bedrooms?
While there are a number of zoning, legal and construction issues to consider before jumping into a garage conversion with both feet, if space is tight in your home and you do not have anywhere else to expand, converting your garage into a bedroom might be worth considering. One main benefit of converting the garage is that most of them are built with a sturdy concrete slab. This works well as a floor and can be easily carpeted or fitted with raised wood flooring. The primary considerations with such a conversion involve bringing the space up to minimum legal and zoning standards and turning it into a comfortable living space.
Are Garages Usually Insulated?
Unless the owner specifically requests and pays to have the garage insulated during construction, the exterior walls of an attached garage and all walls of a detached garage are usually not insulated. There are always exceptions, such as with a heated garage, but otherwise, only the interior walls of an attached garage that are shared with the living spaces of the home are insulated. These interior walls are insulated to save energy, seal off the interior of the home from car exhaust fumes and carbon monoxide, and to provide a fire-rated barrier to help stop the spread of fire from the garage to the house.
Are Garages Usually Ventilated?
Garage ventilation requirements vary by state and municipality. In most locations, garage vents are not required by the building codes and therefore most garages are not vented. For those municipalities that do require garage vents, they are typically located toward the vehicle entry side of the garage and down low, toward the floor of the garage. This is because gasoline fumes and vapors from other combustible materials are heavier than air and sink toward the floor.
Are Garages Considered Habitable Spaces?
In most areas, garages do not need to be built to the same requirements and standards as the living spaces of the home do and are therefore not considered habitable spaces. Converting a garage into a living space requires modifications and updates to meet the minimum requirements of the local building codes for living spaces. This usually includes modifications to the insulation in the exterior walls and ceiling, the addition of windows and lighting, providing a source of heat, and installing electrical outlets that meet the minimum height and spacing requirements of the building codes in your area.
Why are Garages Unfinished?
Most garages are left unfinished in order to save money when building a home. Since garages are primarily used to store vehicles, boxes of unused seasonal decorations and sports equipment, most homeowners have no need for them to be finished. For car enthusiasts and homeowners who value having the garage looks as clean and finished as the interior of their home, a garage can be finished either during construction or many years later for added cost.
What’s the Difference Between a Carport and Garage?
In very basic terms, a garage is most often regarded as an enclosed building with a roof, walls, and doors. A carport, by comparison, is usually regarded as a partially covered structure that has a roof or other form of top covering and is open on two or more sides. Carports are much easier to construct and offer significant cost savings when compared to a garage. Being open, carports do not offer the same level of protection from the elements nor are they as secure as a garage, which can be readily locked and protected from undesired guests.
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