Garage In Front of Home - Comment on this Picture

burbmomoftwo_gwJune 16, 2014

In going thru the process to build a home, I've learned a lot from what I've read on GardenWeb. But I think I've gotten a little paranoid about some things I read as well :)

One common comment is about houses with the garage in front. My proposed build, and basically most houses by me, are 3 car side entry garages. This pushes the garage out front by normally a single car garage, or as much as the full 3 car garage. I'm at loss - I don't really have alot of options to NOT have the garage up front, and turning it on an angle doesn't appear to be doable, or a cost effective option either.

I came across a picture (attaching) in a magazine talking about Landscape Lighting. Excuse the scan, but it looks to me like this is a side entry garage where they added an architectural element to at least make the back of the garage interesting looking.

Any comments on 3 car side entry garages, and the attached picture?

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The big challenge to me with a side entry, large garage, is to think about how your guests will approach the house (esp the front door).

The driveway, out of necessity of accessing the garage, is to one side. If that is the only driveway and approach to the house, then a person would park in your driveway, then have to walk all the way around the protuberance of the garage, to find/get to the front door... That is inconvenient to say the least; but also un-reassuring, if it isn't obvious where the front door *is*. Often, a side door gets used by guests/UPS man instead.

If, however, you can have an approach to the house, and a driveway/parking area for guests that is from the perspective of the photographer in the above picture, then it is less an issue. The UPS man knows where to deliver your package. Your guests know where you front door is. They can easily get to it, without having to walk around a 3 car garage...


    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

What makes this one work is the fact that the front entry is still more prominent than the garage. Not easy to do. The best side entries include a circular drive so guests can park and find the front door easily.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Compared to the price of a house, garages are cheap to build. And since it's "just the garage" many people don't put any design or attention to detail in their garage. I've seen many garages with no windows, no trim - just a huge box with a couple garage doors.

I agree that this one has some nice design to it - it blends into the existing house design, yet the main entrance remains the focal point.

Since many lots are designed to minimize frontage, their often isn't room to place the garage at the side of the house. On the flip side, a garage toward the rear of the property necessitates a huge driveway to get to the garage

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 10:13PM
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As a photography teacher, I can assure you that the photographer knew exactly what he was doing.

First, he took it at a slightly "uphill" angle so that the buildings appear large and impressive, and the angle de-emphasizes the fact that the house entrance is kind of pushed towards the "L" where the two buildings meet. If this house were seen from the other side or from straight-on, it wouldn't look as impressive.

Also, the graphic artist who placed it on the page carefully placed the spot where the house and the garage meet in the "gutter" -- that is, the spot where the two pages meet, and you lose a little bit of visual space -- so that you are mentally "forgiving" of that weak point in the plan.

Finally, he allows the right-hand side of the roofline to run off the edge of the page, leaving you with the impression that the house goes on and on.

It's a superb example of photography designed to show a house at its very best.

As for re-creating this type of look, I definitely like the idea of an architectural element to tie the garage into the house -- and this house does it well in that the element is a "mini-version" of the front door's porch. I also agree that with this layout, a circular drive is a good choice -- but also an expensive choice because you're going to also need a straight-to-the-back-of-the-garage drive. Overall, I hate the pushed-forward garage concept. It does leave your guests wondering where to park and which door to use. In a layout like this, it crowds the front door and gives the front of the house an odd look -- unless you position yourself in just the right spot, which is what the photographer has done.

Instead of choosing from one photograph, I suggest you drive around some neighborhoods and view some garages designed in this style. Look at them from all angles and decide whether this is what you want.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:01PM
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I know what you mean, burbmom. Our garage sticks out in front of the house too - but since we have a pie-shaped lot, there was no possible alternative.

My Mom's best friend built a lovely alternative - the garage is side-entry, behind the house. One can park in the driveway, and clearly see and access the front entry, but the garage has convenient access to the house. She had the luxury of a large rural lot, which few of us have.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:47PM
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