You Want A New Garage...But Does It Want You?


It´s too small. Or, maybe it doesn´t exist at all. In any case, you´ve decided you want a garage addition. That is an important decision in and of itself, but you´ll likely find it starts an army of decisions. Here are some things you'll need to keep in mind. 

Code Restrictions and Zoning

Is it physically possible to fit a garage or garage addition on your property? You may think so, but your local planning department has the final approval. There are restrictions that can impact the actual amount of space you think you have for a garage or garage addition. 

For example, some communities require deeper setbacks for garages. Local rules also often put restrictions on driveway designs and even the percentage of your lot that can be covered with what is known as impervious surfaces (pavement and roofs). 

Freestanding or Attached?

Cost often determines which way you´ll decide to go. An attached garage usually costs less. Homeowners also usually select an attached garage because of convenience. Because it is part of the house, you can also use some of the space as a pantry or even a mudroom. It is also more secure, as you can drive into the garage and then step right into your home. 

Detached garages have their appeal as well. If you are concerned about the weather, you can add a connecting breezeway. A detached garage also makes sense if you plan to use some of the space for a hobby or a workshop. 

Relationship to the House

Your new garage should look like an accessory to the house. Homeowners often want to take advantage of adding as much enclosed space as they can, as cars can share a garage with storage. And you can even add additional living areas above the garage.

The challenge is to scale the garage or garage addition so it doesn't overwhelm your house. This is easier to achieve with the detached garage. If you are going to add it to the house itself, consider setting the front of the garage farther back from the street than your home's main entrance. It will tone down the dominance of the addition. 

Another option is to face the garage doors to the side. Add windows and other architectural details to the front wall facing the street. That may not always be practical of course, so you can also consider a roof overhang for your garage that matches the style of your house. 

Talk to us if you are thinking about a garage renovation. We can help you plan out what you can do on your property by collecting the building codes and restrictions for your property. We can make it part of the free-estimate we create for you.