Do you have a garage?

tinam61April 3, 2014

The recent thread about parking made me think of this. Where I live (southeast), garages are very common on houses. Thinking of houses on the road I live on (I'm somewhat rural, live in the county), I can't think off hand of a house that does not have a garage.

Our cars have always been kept in a garage. It's rare in the area around us to see cars parked on the street. There are some who park in driveways rather than their garage (which I think are used more for storage LOL).

When we built our house, we built an L shape (from the back) and the garage is the short part of the L going straight back. Was easy to extend to where my husband could have his workshop area. You can park 4 vehicles (but we have 2 vehicles and a boat) and the workshop is behind.

We also have a basement, but the basement is just that - a basement, no garage. We'd have to have a separate driveway to use it as garage space too, and it's not needed. It's for storage and some things are housed there such as our hot water heater, container for air hose (can't think of what that thing is called!) - the air hose is fed up from the basement and comes out of the wall in the workshop area.

I thought garages were the norm - and there are here but apparently not everywhere. I know some areas do not do basements.


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Elraes Miller

In the older part of town and some of the little ones surrounding us, there are no garages. Mostly due to their age of not having many cars "way back". Even the mansions on our old main streets are without them, but will have huge driveways with architectural build outs. There are some separate garages built in back of houses after the fact, but even those were turned into little rentals. As far as country areas, housing tracts, yes always a garage.

Perhaps a history lesson to pursue regarding garages and their eras.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:29AM
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My current house was built in 1920, so my detached garage in the back of the house was just built in the past several years. According to the neighbors, prior to that there was driveway leading to a garage in the basement on the backside of the house which was filled in as part of a remodel. In walking around the neighborhood, it seems to be a mix of detached garages, no garages, garages in the basement, or additions with attached garages as the lot size permits.

Prior to this we lived in a suberb with new houses where 2-3 car attached garages were the norm. When we were house hunting in this particular area that is a bit more urban and filled with older homes, we had a requirement for a 2 car garage (didnt' have to be attached) with a private drive (many around here are shared drives). What seemed like an easy request proved to be the quite restrictive actually.

We use our garage to park our cars and would have it no other way, but many of our neighbors use their garages for storage and will park on the street.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Yes, I have a detached garage behind my house. I love on a corner, so the driveway is behind the house. It is one of the few garages on my street. All the houses were built in the late 1940's. My garage was added in about 1960, as far as I know. I have mixed feelings about it because in order to have a driveway and garage, there is no backyard. There is a side yard, but does not afford the privacy I would like.

On the other hand, I don't know how people live without them. Mine has a garage for one car and a carport for another. I keep my car in the carport. The actual garage is a great place for temporary storage, like that bookcase you plan to paint when the weather improves, cardboard boxes the break down and recycle, etc. Most people on my street have backyard sheds ut they are not nearly as roomy. My garage and carport have loft areas for storage, too.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:00AM
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I grew up in one of the original Levitt home communities - all of the models in my town had garages, but no basements.

I live about 30 minutes away now, but live in a water community that was originally a summer vacation destination for wealthy blacks who lived in Washington DC. Most of the original homes are cottages - if there was a garage, it was detached and in the back yard. Some of the newer homes have garages, depending on the size of the lot. My lot is very narrow and was not suitable for a typical garage and b/c we are too close to the water, we could not have an in ground basement. We ended up doing what many do here - build a first floor that has a garage/storage that is underneath the main level of living. So in other words, to get to the front door, you have to go up a full flight of stairs. Fortunately, we have a corner lot so we put the garage entry/driveway on the side of the house so that when you see my house from the front, it doesn't look odd. While we have a full flight of stairs (enter from the side, up to a landing then turn to go up to the front door) plus a front porch. Underneath the front porch, we have lattice all the way around so you aren't looking at an ugly cement 8 ft foundation. Hard to explain. Next to the garage (really the side on the front of the house) we had an unfinished room that we later turned into a "rec room" - we call it the basement but it is completely above ground.

We no longer use our garage to hold a car. That ended by the time we had the third kid. We needed the space for storage. Nearly ALL my neighbors have full unfinished basements and not a single one parks their cars in their garages! Even people that have two car garages. Dh and I are planning to enclose underneath what used to be our back deck (it's one full story off the ground) into a shed soon. I can't even fit my SUV in the garage, but dh would be able to put his sedan in there. However, my kids are lobbying to enlarge our rec room by using the garage space - I'm considering it. If everyone in our neighborhood used their garages for cars or if we had really bad winters, I'd never convert the garage, but since so many people here use them for storage or don't even have one at all, I don't think it would be a deal buster for resale value if we didn't have a garage. Ideally, I would have a three car garage - two bays for cars, and one for workshop/storage.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:19AM
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We have an attached garage and a walkout basement. Our house was built in the 70s when two car garages were typical. Now many houses in our area are built with three or even four car garages.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:42AM
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We have 3 attached garages. Two we use for our vehicles and other for riding garden tractor and stuff. We always park in the garage even in summer but especially nice in winter so we dont have to scrape the vehicles. The house across the street from us has 6 attached garages. From the front it looks like only 3 but they have 3 more in the back. 3 they use for vehicles, 1 for the boat, 1 for their tractors and other as a workshop.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:47AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

We have a garage, and we park our cars in it. My big pet peeve is driving through town and seeing many homes with perfectly good garages.

Do people park their cars in the garage? NOPE! The majority park their dying trucks on their dead lawns!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:47AM
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I grew up in a tract house in So Cal and every house had a two car garage. I now live in Maryland in a tract house built in the 80's and a garage was extra, so many on my block do not have them. I insisted on a two car garage. I think the houses without them look unfinished and they have a "driveway to nowhere." It made no sense at the time and still doesn't why they would build houses with optional garages due to the inclement winters here (especially this one!). You really don't need them in So Cal and most houses have really DO need them here and a lot of houses don't.

We have always parked in the garage. My neighbors are hoarders and their garage is filled with absolute junk, while $60,000 worth in cars sit in the driveway boggles my mind.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 11:58AM
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Crazy isn't it?! I grew up outside Chicago, small tract houses, some with detached garages, my dad built ours on to the house later. We lived in Toledo later and had 2 car garage set back at lot line and full finished basement, nice amount of storage. The home I have now, in Tucson we have 2 car carport, attached to home. Most of the homes here do not have basements, soil is like concrete, caliche. Most homes have at least one carport, way hot in summer. Some homes have one carport, some 2. Most do not have garages, but do have outside storage sheds. Some carports have small storage doors at rear. Unusual to see a garage.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Our neighborhood has back alleys -- so we have a two-car carport in front of our two-car garage. Lots of folks here have the same kind of set-up ....

No basements here -- so we store all of our "Stuff" for our EBay store on garage-style metal shelving in the garage -- and so we park under the steel carport.

Must say that putting on the carport was an excellent idea -- helps in all kinds of weather -- hail or extreme sun/heat.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Yes, I have an attached garage, in my newly built home, with all houses in my new subdivision requiring them; carports are prohibited. Many people have too much junk to park their cars in them, or too many cars. Yes, even in the brand new houses.

Lots of garage conversions around, too. A few of the oldest areas of town have the detached single garages--many of them converted also.

In my area, basements are unusual. Glad I don't have one -- they creep me out!

This post was edited by Violet.West on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 12:59

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:45PM
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I live in southern California where it's rare to find an attic and even rarer to find a basement. Consequently, many people use their attached garages for storage and park their cars in the driveway or on the street. I'm very lucky to have a three-car attached garage so we can park our cars inside the garage and still have storage in the extra bay.

Even most apartment complexes here have covered parking, if not actual garages. I always thought it was interesting that in an area with great weather, there always seems to be covered parking while other places I've lived throughout the country where there's snow, ice and lots of rain rarely offer covered parking.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 12:59PM
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Living here in the mountains, everyone has an attached garage. (1) because we get snow and winds and then high heat in the summer and I can't imagine not keeping our cars protected from the elements. (2) because we have packrats that can and do destroy the engines of cars left outside. They love to try and build nests on the warm, enclosed engine blocks and use gnawed off car wiring, car insulation, as well as cactus spines and animal feces to make these nests that are at least 2-feet in diameter . . . and very nasty!
(3) For safety, as we have bear, mountain lions, coyote, rattlers, bobcats, etc. roaming around out here. We like to be able to get in and out of our cars in safety. (4) the sheer convenience of staying warm/cool and dry while going to and from our cars to our homes.

Our garages are also used for storage because most homes out here don't have basements. Our ground is filled with huge boulders, which make basements very cost-prohibitive.

When our home was being designed, we made sure to locate our garage so that the entrance was on a side of the house that would get sun (not the north side). This keeps our outside garage pad drier, so that snow melts more quickly there.
Ours is the size of a 3+ car garage, but instead of a third bay, we have a workshop for DH, a large storage closet, a fairly large cedar closet for out of season clothing and a storage area just outside the door to the house with shelves for extra food and cleaning supplies, a large upright freezer and a second fridge.
I can't imagine not having an attached garage, but that's probably because I've never lived in an older home or in a city where lots can be small or narrow and deep.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 1:57PM
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My garage is now a laundry room and a 220 square foot kids' bedroom. A garage is a total waste of livable (under air) space. Cars are outdoor beasts designed to operate in the weather and it is wasteful to spend money to protect them from their natural environment when they're not being used the way they were designed. Putting a car in a garage to keep it from being seen by the neighbors just means there are some way too whiney neighbors.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:19PM
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ROFLMAO, Cold Weather! Especially about the "too whiney neighbors". Love it! Yep, that's the real reason I have my garage, to keep my cars " from being seen by the neighbors " (LOL)!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Our home here was as old farmhouse; the former (small) barn is our MBR, and the house rambles in both directions. We have a 2car garage w storage; detached but with a short covered walkway, and then another 2-car garage/barn/shed for storing lawn furniture and gardening equipment.

My neighbor tore down a nearby house and is building an enormous 2 1/2 story bank barn for his car collection. Some folks are not too thrilled with its size, but it will be clad in old barn wood and will surely make a lovely (and quiet) addition to the neighborhood.

I think we had 19 snow events this season, so a garage surely makes things more pleasant.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 2:53PM
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Very interesting!

I would think a garage is a good thing in all climates. Protects vehicles from the sun/heat too.

Violet, I don't find our basement creepy. LOL It is well lit and it holds alot. Someone mentioned lawn mowers, etc. and that is also where we keep ours, the lawn cart, the tiller, etc., etc. etc. Not to mention the abundance of flower pots! The basement has a smaller double door.

We also have an attic. I never go up there so no telling what all my husband has stored away up there. Some of the larger and outdoor Christmas decorations are there.

Our garage has heat/ac (because of the workshop). My husband has machining/fabrication equipment in his shop and the actual garage space is sometimes a handy painting/staining/project area for times when it is not handy to work outside, etc.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 3:20PM
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um, well, gee. I don't think garages are a waste of livable space or an antidote from whiny neighbors. I'm very glad to have my first one ever, for at least three reasons:

1) general storage since I have neither an attic nor basement
2) security and safety -- as a single female, it's great to be able to pull into a garage and close the door before I exit the vehicle
3) HOT weather -- in our searing summers, not only is it wonderful not to burn yourself on metal and seats heated to 120 degrees, but the sun really damages cars inside and outside. And that's not even mentioning sandstorms and hail. Saying that they are "outdoor beasts" that don't benefit from protection is ludicrous.

This post was edited by Violet.West on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 16:13

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 4:11PM
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We are in the southeast also and live in a county rural area. Almost everyone here and in the city has a house with a big garage or at least a carport (as in my DD's case) if the home is older. Ours was built as a 2-car with a large storage room where we have an extra refrigerator, ice chests, garden tools, etc. We wanted to build a 3-car but due to some site and eventual plan limitations we just couldn't do it, but we have a large barn for DH and his 'toys' (tractor, big mower, tools, trailer) so it worked out ok. We also have walk-in storage under the house for small mowers and more of the large gardening paraphernalia plus a potting bench and storage for overwintering plants.

As to the garage....I suppose you can call it 'garage storage creep' but I did not want a lot of shelves and extraneous stuff making it's way into the garage, but with DH it has gradually crept in. He says it's too inconvenient to trek to the barn to get certain tools. Yes, we have some boots and yard shoes, a tool chest, and a shelf of car-related stuff but really not much.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 4:19PM
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We have a garage, but it might as well be a shed. It's under the house and even it were completely empty, you couldn't fit a normal car in there. But it's our only storage space for bikes, lawn stuff, garden supplies, sleds, trash cans, recycling, etc.... So there's no question of even attempting to jam a car in there. The cars sit out on the driveway in the elements. Our first (and only other) house had no garage, so we have always been garage deprived. Most of the houses on our street actually have detached two car garages but we got ripped off somehow. I have garage envy...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 4:24PM
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"I love on a corner"

Hmmm, dedtired, you might want to go behind the garage for that LOL!

We have a single car garage, and use it for our cars, as well as for laundry since our washer/dryer are out there too.

As for this:

"A garage is a total waste of livable (under air) space. Cars are outdoor beasts designed to operate in the weather and it is wasteful to spend money to protect them from their natural environment when they're not being used the way they were designed."

That is silly and ignorant, IMO. A garage is a godsend for keeping your SELF dry and comfortable when you arrive home in inclement weather. A garage is great for protecting the finish of a car so it will last a lot longer than if it's sitting outside. A garage is very useful in sheltering a car from extreme weather--we get hurricanes, other places get hail, snow etc. As Lynne pointed out, a garage provides security for people from animals and from two legged predators as well.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 4:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Cold weather is evil lives in the desert so unloading groceries in thunderstorms is unlikely for her while it is common here. (or packing the car with Christmas presents off to grandma's ) Nevertheless, having lived with carports, no garage, and garages, there is no going back to garage-less. And it's not all about the car..... Detached garages aren't my thing. ever.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Haha, runninginplace, I chuckled about 'loving on a corner', too.
We have a three car garage; 2 bays occupied by vehicles, 1 bay occupied by a huge mower that is necessary because we love on a 6.5 acre field. ;)

Regarding animals attacking people going to and from the house and car, have you heard the story about the turkey on Martha's Vineyard (iirc) as told on This American Life? This cracked me up when I first heard it (I think it's the storyteller's straightforward delivery of what was surely very scary but sounds silly in story form that I love most) and I never miss an opportunity to point people in the direction of this tale. Link below if you haven't heard it. (I'm posting from my phone, so google 'This American life murder most fowl' if it doesn't work for you).

Here is a link that might be useful: Murder Most Fowl (act two)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Just FYI, we get horrible thunderstorms/downpours living in the desert -- for which being able to pull into a garage--or even a carport -- is wonderful.

Will someone come and clean out my garage, please? It still has junk I stashed in there over a year ago . . . and now there are spiders. I can't deal with spiders. so the junk is staying there. I'll pay!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:22PM
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We have an attached garage, but the dimensions are so small, a typical sedan cannot fit in it (house built in 1940). So our car sits on the driveway or the street, depending upon which of our two children is here (each has a car). Sigh. My husband's cherished 1965 VW bug sits in the garage (with its original CA plates) and he takes it out once a year. But that's a topic for another thread.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 5:58PM
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We have a two car garage and consider it essential due to snow, wind and rain. Our house was built in the 60's and the garage is heated (we never use the heat) and is oversized to allow for storage.

Our driveway is long and wide. We have it plowed in the winter so I can get out to work at 7:15.

I prefer a side entrance garage, where it's not a prominent feature of the house. So often now the garage smacks you in the face when you look at the front of some house designs.

All in all, lucky to have one and would not be able to function without one!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:08PM
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We had an open carport for years, screened in and used as a porch by the previous owners. The front "door" was a pull-down panel that hooked to the ceiling, almost impossible to use on a daily basis; therefore, we never used it for our vehicle. The whole "carport" was covered by an extension of the main roof. Eventually, it became an "outside" option for our cats, who destroyed the screens by climbing on them. The whole thing was always ravaged by dust blown in from the street.

I finally had the whole "carport" renovated, replacing the screens with windows and placing sliding glass double doors (with outside screen panels) on both the front and back entryways. I use an Eden Pure heater out there and refer to it as my "sunporch". I have furnished it with outdoor furniture, a wide screen TV, and much of my book collection in built-in shelving on the outer side wall, as well as our water cooler, a full sized coatrack, and a large baker's rack for extra kitchen storage (we have a tiny kitchen and an almost nonexistent dining room).

At the same time, I had rough flooring placed in the narrow attic to cover our loose insulation and afford emergency storage space.

The added insulation provided by both of the above measures has made our livingroom much warmer in the wintertime, and I believe it has lowered our heating bill. Additionally, after a home emergency during which emergency sgtorage space was needed, we had the extra space required.

Since the previous "carport" was on the southwestern side and absorbed the best sunlight, our renovation has also given us a place to overwinter plants which we previously lacked. Additionally, on nice days it is the most pleasant place in the house to sit--with both the front and rear glass doors open and the screens in place, we get a pleasant breeze, and on hot days the concrete slab keeps the "porch"
cool for most of the day.

I hung white curtains at the side windows and thermal drapes over both sliding doors, and added a smaller heater on the back end (Eden Pure is on front end) and a portable dehumidifier. The room is only unusable on the very coldest winter days, and so far the dehumidifier has kept it adequately comfortable during the hottest summer days.

I feel it was an excellent investment, even though i had to dip into some retirement funds to get it done. Additionally, when DH took ill, we were able to convert the LR to a more accessible sleeping/lounging/computer room for him and still have a separate living area where activities could occur without disturbing him. This also freed up much of the old bedroom areas for future renovations and storage.

Since we now have a more convenient secondary front entryway, it is also much more convenient to carry groceries into the house from the driveway.

DH was initially upset at losing the carport as a repository for his lawn mower and other yard equipment, but compensated by having a small shed constructed.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 6:12PM
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New Hampshire here. My house was built in 1900. There's a two car detached garage, but I think it was originally a carriage house. It's a pain, as the doors are like french doors, opening out, instead of a normal garage door that slides up. So I only put the car in it when it's going to snow. Not having to clear the snow off the car saves a bit of time in the morning before work.

The house has an attic that is roughly finished off into two rooms. Great for storage, but some houses like this have had the attic finished and a bathroom added for more living space.

There's a basement, fortunately a dry one, with a coal cellar and a root cellar, now the laundry room.

Many of the older houses in town either had no garage or had a carriage house that's been converted. Many of the older homes that have back yards large enough have had detached garages added.

You can tell the newer neighborhoods because all the houses have attached garages.

When I lived in Boston, it was in a neighborhood that was built up in the 1920s, before car ownership was common. The houses originally had no driveways, let alone garages. Because there is no on-street parking in many neighborhoods during the winter months, driveways had to be added in. Most of the house lots are very narrow, so there is barely space for the driveway.

At my old house, the driveway was one car width wide. It started at the side of the house and ran to the property line, which was marked by a chain link fence. There wasn't room to open doors on both sides of the car without a door hitting either the house or the fence, so if you had passengers, you had to let them out before pulling into the driveway.

A few houses had one-car garages added, but they took up about half of the back yard.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:51PM
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I have never lived in a house that had a garage!

We are also in the Southeast, and in our 60's neighborhood, there are not a lot of garages because that was a "Northern" thing. MIL's house built in the 70's also has no garage. The weather was supposedly nice that a garage was not needed. Some houses have small garages as part of a walkout basement in the back. Newer developments, of course, have a garage.

For my Mustang I use an all-weather outdoor cover that is breathable. I have had this car since the 90's and it has never been garaged. I use a California Car Duster and I dust and cover it when I use it. The cover is washable at a laundromat.

I like where DH's grandma lives in Chicago where the garages are at the back of the lot and accessible through an alleyway.

We also have no basement, so you can image our storage issues!

This post was edited by gsciencechick on Thu, Apr 3, 14 at 22:35

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 9:55PM
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We live in an older neighborhood in Seattle. The house was built in 1919. There is a foundation for a garage at the back of the lot, but it must have been for a Model A (?) or something quite narrow. As Camlan described for old parts of Boston, a car might fit, but not if you wanted to open the doors! Our hill is steep, when we open our doors, they swing over our neighbor's garden. Fortunately we have a walkout basement with workshop and storage side and a laundry room/office side, aka "dirty side" and "clean side." Then we built a small shed under the deck to hold garden tools. Then we built a long lean-to along the fence at the back to hold kayaks, trash and recycling bins, firewood. Cars are out in the weather, but it's rare we have to scrape a windshield, much less dig out of snow. I figure they are meant to get wet, the rain here won't hurt them, it's pretty gentle.

Yeah, we haul groceries in from the car to the door in the rain. It just doesn't seem like that much of a hardship. Our new house will have a detached garage. It always seems funny to me when people analyze house plans with an eye to carrying in groceries. I guess I'd feel differently about that if I had a large family, but honestly, it take a couple of minutes a couple of times a week, so I can't see getting worked up about it. We won't even park in our new garage, it's really my husband's workshop, though it has a carriage-style set of doors.

It is interesting how different the norms are in different areas. I was visiting relatives once when someone got all bent out of shape about their neighbor parking in front of the relative's house instead of in front of their own. I'm just happy if people don't park so close to my driveway that I can't back out! But that's life in the (old part of) the city. Most people don't even have off-street parking!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:18PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

We have n oversized, 2 car garage. Dh's car goes in there to preserve the top (although I am noting those products gscience mentioned). My truck stays outside, and if it cannot get out of the snow, I should not be driving anyway. Unfortunately, there has been a snake in there a time or 2 and mice and even a packrat (although the packrat was funny, at least in hindsight). Ours is used for storage. The way roof trusses are built for new construction, the attic is not really all that useful. no basement either. I am working on a plan for a root cellar type room in the garage though.

Part of the thing with basements here is even though it does freeze in the mountains, our frostline is not deep enough to make it worth the expense. For many places in the north, once you have gone as deep as the frost line, you might as well do the basement. I do get basement envy.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2014 at 10:44PM
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"Basement Envy"? Me, too, Tish! No basement or attic here . It was hard for this former Michigander to get used to that when I first moved here. I'd love a basement . I'm just thankful we have some storage in our garage!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 12:05AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

We have a 2 car garage up top which, in addition to the garage houses wood and snow blowers and gas grills and tools and such.

We have a 1 car garage below that's open to DH's workshop where we keep our '48 Willy's.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Rural Georgia here, and we have a two car garage that is used for vehicles, although I prefer to park on the circle drive in front of the house. If I park in the garage i don't have the pleasure of entering the house through the front door, nor would I see maintenance issues or weeks the lawn guys did not pull. So parking in front makes sense for me. We have a large pole barn that houses a Polaris and a farm truck that we use for bush hogging, fallen limb pick up, etc. It used to house the golf cart until we finally sold it last year.

Chili, we have wild turkeys and they can be menacing. They are also dumb, capital D, which I contend makes,any creature more dangerous!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:08AM
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No need to have basement envy! Yes, having a basement was great when the kids were growing up because it was their playroom/hangout.....but the other half became a repository of junk we didn't know what to do with or didn't want to make a decision about-- "just stick it in the basement for now." And when the kids were gone more junk migrated into the previous playroom. We are now cleaning out 30 years worth of stuff so our kids won't have's quite a chore and it feels like we will never finish. Our fault I know...but in our defense...a lot of the stuff belongs to the kids.

And you are susceptibe to water damage. In the 30 years we have been in the house we did have a slight problem due to bad guttters and landscaping issues but it wasnt extensive. Last month the water heater broke and we pulled out carpeting and pitched it ---we were getting rid of all of it next year anyway when we give the basement an update. And even though we've been lucky it does kind of smell down there. We back onto woods and around the slider is always a mess with cobwebs, dead bugs, etc..

I will never own a house without an attached 2-3-car garage but I will never have another basement! I absolutely loathe going down there.

Yes, garages are great for bringing in groceries, but they were really a godsend when the kids were little....being able to get them in and out of carseats under cover. Also, on rainy days, especially during spring vacation and summer, we would set up the ping-pong table in the garage for ours and the neigbor kids' entertainment.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 8:54AM
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very interesting thread.

I wish garages around here were not so prominently featured street-side. I'm amazed when I look at the floor plan of my house to see that the garage is almost half the size of the rest of the house!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 11:59AM
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When we lived in Manhattan we had a garage. It was six blocks from our apartment. When we wanted to take the car out, we would call the garage, and by the time we walked the six blocks, our car would be waiting for us.
You need a garage to keep a car in the city. And by "keep" I mean keep it from being stolen. One time we were visiting someone in Brooklyn. Our car was parked on the street, and it was stolen. When we called friends that we were scheduled to visit to ask if they could pick us up, they told us they couldn't because their car had just been stolen.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 9:38PM
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Here in Fargo, I can't think of ANY home here without a garage!!!

The older parts of town have the little 1-story homes that you drive beside the house to the back of the lot, where the garages open-up to the alley. More mid-century homes are usually 1-story or 2-stories, but bigger. Also with these, garages are "back-lot", or attached.

From about the 60's & newer...all garage-doors face the street! And yes...On many of these, the bigger face-area facing the street is the garage!

>>> 99% of homes here have a basement I can't imagine NOT having a basement...OR a garage!
Tornadoes DO happen in ND.
If a snow-event, thunderstorm, etc. is in town, guess where the cars are!! Digging a car out of a snowbank ain't fun...

I WISH this was MY 2005 Corvette in my driveway!!!!! A friend stopped by with it last Fall, & we went for a "spin"...;-) shows part of our 3-car garage.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2014 at 10:32PM
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I've always lived in the south and always had an attached garage. I remember when we moved to Monroe, Louisiana in 1980?, the neighborhood I lived in had garages, but no garage doors! I never understood that.

This post was edited by msrose on Sat, Apr 5, 14 at 12:45

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 12:43PM
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When I grew up in So Cal, most of the houses had detached garages that were set back far from the street. No one ever used to park their cars in them!

Our house has an attached double, oversized garage-PO kept his truck and boat and wifes car in there. The laundry room is also in the garage. We also have a 30 foot fenced RV pad and triple wide driveway. But my husband has taken over the garage & RV pad for his business, so I must park in the driveway. I have a very small section for laundry and to set down groceries, etc.

Basements are rare here-only very old homes have them, and no one has an attic. So garages are generally used for storage. I think that they are built specifically for storage in newer subdivisions, as you can't get a car into them if you tried, what with the heating systems, water heaters, laundry facilities and bike/yard equipment storage. Almost every house I know of, with the exception of custom built homes, has laundry in the garage or in a breezeway to the garage.

Our garage does have great attic space for storage, so I keep all my Christmas decor up there. That's also a rarity-as a lot of garages have a room built over top of them. But our house is only a single story.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I have a 2 car detached garage...not a great thing in the PNW, as I can get soaked getting to and from on a rainy day. And we have plenty. But my house was built for college credit by the original owner, who was attending The Evergreen State College. Before "green building" in the early 1980's, she did research about allergy free construction and built this home. The detached garage was deliberate to prevent fumes from gasoline and exhaust from entering the home, as well as contaminants from household chemicals generally stored in garages. I can appreciate it from that point of view, but it's hard to thank her during a PNW typhoon!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 9:23PM
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When we bought this house 30 years ago this month, it had a porte cochere and a second house in the side yard that had a shed like garage. After about five years, we tore down the old house as well as the Porte cochere and built a family room addition with a bedroom and bath and added a two car garage. The garage faces the side street.

We park in our garage. Although it is not overly large (24x24), but because it is fairly organized it holds a lot of stuff. We park in it comfortably with an Acadia and a highlander. It also holds: four whitewater kayaks, two bikes, a refrigerator (the beer fridge); the 2 outside trash cans; various paddles, life jackets and boating gear; boating and bike helmets; some camping gear (camp chairs and stoves); three shelving units ( one for tools, one primarily for DH's swift water rescue gear, and one for gardening stuff). Then there are various paint cans, a few sheets of wood, ice chests, etc. When I think of how much we easily store in the garage AND comfortably park there with just a little organization, it boggles my mind that so many homeowners can't park in their own garages -- and I thought we had a lot of stuff!

Basements are not common here due to the water table, but is wish we had one, for the tornados. Our drill now is to don our kayak helmets, grab the dog, and huddle in the hallway. It's a study house and could probably withstand a little one (and has) but you're always worried about a big one coming your way.

We do have an attic which is good for storage, but we are gradually cleaning it out -- we are on a five year mission to declutter, give away, and simplify before we move to our (yet unbuilt) retirement home in a few years.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:04AM
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We have our car garaged under the building we live in. Economically, it would probably make more sense to rent one when we need it, rather than pay what we do per month, which I won't even quote here. If you are Manhattanite, you can guess, if you are not, you'll find it absurd.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:51AM
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Yes, we have a garage. We tend to do a lot of projects in it so often can't park there, but when the weather is going to be bad, we can scoot things over and get two cars in.

Most of my neighbors keep their cars in the garage, rarely do you see a car parked on the street unless someone is having a party.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 1:22PM
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