What is the perfect size for a two car garage?

auroraborelisJune 28, 2012

We are in the process of finalizing our plans and I was curious, what is the best size for a two car garage so that you have space to walk around both cars and some storage room?

Also, what sizes to standard double garage doors come in? My designer said 16' and 18' (so far we have the 18' ones included).

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Not sure that there is a "best size" but I do know that most garages on builder's plans, in spec houses, and on the plans available online are way tooooo small. Typically I think they're often just 20x20. Not sure a full sized SUV would even fit in one.

At a bare minimum, you need at least two feet of clear space in front and behind the longest vehicle you ever plan to drive so measure or look up that length and add 4 ft then go up from there. Obviously, if you drive an SUV or extended cab pickup with a full bed, you're going to need a longer garage than if you drive a Ford Fiesta.

Widthwise, at a BARE minimum, you need two feet between the two cars and two feet on each side. Because all vehicles have to drive in the same lanes, car widths don't tend to vary nearly as much as lengths. Still, there is some variation so again, it depends on the width of the cars you drive.

Then, if you plan to add any storage shelves at the front or sides of your cars, add additional length/width for that. And, if you think you or someone in your family might ever be wheelchair bound, it makes sense to make the garage a bit wider to accommodate the chair.

The two-bay section of our garage is 25ft wide by 23ft deep and I figured that would be plenty big enough because we have a third garage bay that was supposed to be for all the stuff that winds up getting stored in the garage and because DH and I always choose to drive smaller cars or a small pickup - currently a Toyota Tacoma. (We don't even like it when we rent a compact car and the rental agent insists on giving us a free upgrade to a midsize because they don't have any compacts in stock!)

Well, if I had it to do over again, I'd make the garage another foot or another two deeper. It is plenty wide enough but DH decided (over my LOUD protests) to put some 18 inch deep metal shelves all along the front wall for storage so that he could have more space in the third bay for "woodworking." Now we have to pull our Toyota Tacoma pickup almost right up against the metal shelving to have room enough to walk around the back bumper when the garage door is closed. Grrr.

Well, at least we CAN still get both vehicles into the garage and get in and out of them without getting car-grime all over our clothing. LOL!

I think 16' and 18' are pretty much standard double garage door widths and I'd definitely go with the 18' wide. (We got 8' wide single doors and while they are plenty wide enough, I think a single 16ft wide door would force you to park your two vehicles too close together for comfort.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Our current garage is 24' deep (plenty for our Honda Odyssey and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited plus a workbench). However, it is only 19 foot wide. We both have to squeeze out of our vehicles. Our new house garage will be 23 1/2' wide with no stuff stored in it!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Sounds like 25x25 is a winner! (And, if possible, I'd choose 2 individual single doors rather than a double-wide door).

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Ours is roomy at 29'wide x25'deep. Ours is a 2-car, 18' single door with a 36" 'man door' to the left of the garage door + extra space for refrigerator, bikes, etc on the left side of the garage as well as at the top of the garage (in front of the parked cars). There is approx 2' behind the man door that allows for our spare refrigerator and dog supplies to go on that wall. The walkway is approx 5' wide from the edge of the garage door to the far side of the man door (not including refrigerator & dog supply storage area). The car and walkway into the house dimensions are 26'8"wide x 25'deep.

If you spec an 8' tall door, you can find some 20' wide single garage doors out there. You need to spec that while i the design phase--once they've got the walls up, its too late.

We opted for one large door (18')even though we liked the look of 2 single doors better--1) DH was VERY worried I'd take out the skinny little 1-2' wide brick wall portion that separates the 2 single garage doors with the back of the car causing untold damage to the house and car & 2) cost--2 doors & 2 openers were more expensive than 1 large door and 1 opener.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:58AM
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Ours garages are as follows:

2 car bay - 21'-2 1/2" (wide) x 19'-11" (deep)
1 car bay - 11'-8 1/2" (wide) x 19'-4" (deep)

I really wish I would have made them wider now! 25 feet wide sounds great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Our home sell/build blog

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 6:27AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I thought architect was crazy insisting on a 24x24 garage, but I have to admit it is very useful....room enough for shelving and trash and wood storage (for our wood stove) plus room in the middle to roll the gas grill and/or snow blower in and out and still be able to walk around and in and out of the cars comfortably.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 7:55AM
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I would prefer 24' d x 26' w with two 10' w x 8' h doors.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 8:02AM
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We're planning on a 24x24, after having looked at lots of different garages. This is enough for two big vehicles and space to liberally put items around the perimeter, plus a work bench. With an 18' garage door, 22'-24' wide is about as spacious even big vehicles can use, unless you want to put each vehicle at a sharp angle to the other every time you pull in. Anything more than that is just storage.

kirkhall--why 2 individual doors? This always seemed silly to me.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:04AM
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24'x30' and 10' tall will give you plenty of room for even an SUV and a workbench if you go with the 8' tall garage door and the high lift kit which gets the tracks up out of the way so a tall vehicle can enter. The extra 6' is really really useful and can house a doggie wash station, or extra freezer, or the family bicycles or the weekend motorcycle or jet ski. I've NEVER EVER seen anyone complain that a garage was "too large".

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:09AM
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I vote for 3 garage doors. 2 for the cars to pull into, and one to the backyard. I can't count the times we have built/worked on something in the garage and had to move it through the regular doors to go into the backyard through the side gate. If only we had a garage door that opened into the backyard, we could have just pushed/driven the following from the garage right into the yard:

Generator (with the wheels it's wide enough the door has to come off the hinges)
Lawn mower
Garden tractor
snow blower
garden cart
oversized plastic shed/thing to house generator

If you don't plan to fence the yard then maybe it won't be as much of a PITA for you ... but it would even be good for a nice cross breeze when you're in the garage working on something.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:11AM
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CamG - why 2 individual doors? This always seemed silly to me.

For me, truthfully the major reason I went with two individual garage doors is because I just prefer that look...especially with doors made to mimic the look of old carriage house doors.

But, on the practical side tho, two doors are individually lighter than a double door so if both garage door openers should happen to go out (or the electricity is out) so that I have to open them manually, its a bit easier to do. If one garage door opener malfunctions, I can still get the other car in/out using the other door.

Finally, when I was a teenager and just learning to drive we lived for awhile in a house that had a double garage door. At night, I was always a bit afraid that someone could slip into the garage at edge farthest from me while I was pulling in. Dad had taught me to always wait until the garage door was down before getting out of the car just in case someone was lurking in the bushes somewhere. But then I realized that with a car parked on the other side of the garage, it was impossible to see that far edge as I waited for the garage door to close. It occurred to me that an intruder COULD wait in the shadows near the house for me to pull in and then then, If they stayed down low so that the other car blocked my view of then, they could slip into the garage with me. With a single door, the opening is narrow enough that it would be a lot harder for someone to slip in without the driver seeing them. Mind you, I admit I've never actually heard of an intruder getting in in this way but once I had it in my imagination....

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:54AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree with bevangel about the look of the 2 doors.

Not to feed your paranoia, but there has been a robber in the area who has been following elderly women home from the grocery store and robbing them at gunpoint in their garage....

Here is a link that might be useful: Robberies

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Thanks everyone!

Currently our plan shows a garage is 22' wide and 24' deep so this has been really good feedback.

We do have a seperate single car garage that will mainly be used for a workshop and storage, so storage in the garage isn't a HUGE concern, but overtime everything seems to end up there!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Cool.. I thought our 2 car garage at 33 wide and 29 deep would be too small. I deeply regret not getting the three car garage design. I would have allowed room for a boat or jet skis... I might get them in where we are at now..

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:26PM
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:) We do have a third garage, so I may just be acting a bit spoiled!

We have a 5000 square foot limit for finished and unfinished space (inc. garage) due to local permitting rules so I may not be able to expand my two car garage any further... I'd like to make it 26 wide and 26 deep...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:34AM
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Just a comment on two doors vs one - our garage door spring broke in the morning once and we were stuck with both cars trapped in the garage until it could be repaired late in the afternoon.

If that scenario is one that you can't ever afford to be in, then you might want to go with 2 doors.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Perfect two car garage size ... 25 x 50 !! ... 25 x 25 for the cars and 25 x 25 for the junk that invariably seems to accumulate in the garage.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 10:32PM
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size matters here.
i'd go 16x16 for each vehicle, and another 16x16 for lawn or other equipment.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 9:35PM
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ahh... 16x16 for each vehicle... I wish I could manage that!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 3:30AM
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Our detached garage is 26'W x 28'D with two 8'x7' overhead doors. With mid-sized cars, we have plenty of room at the back of the garage for gardening stuff and room on the side for bicycles. The one thing I wish we would have done is 9' wide doors instead of 8' wide. With a pull-down stair and split-web trusses, we have lots of seasonal storage above, too. We would have preferred a permanent wider stair, but did the pull-down to save money.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garage is complete

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 9:12AM
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