Hardworking Tool Bench If a place to store tools and work on projects is on your garage wish list, this space from Gladiator is a well-outfitted example. Sturdy rollout chests hold up to heavy tools and supplies, and you can move them right where you need them. A power strip makes it easy to keep tools charged up, while wall-mounted storage keeps frequently used tools and supplies within reach.
Overhead Storage If your garage has a high ceiling, why not make the most of it? An overhead rack like this one from Midlands Storage Systems is ideal for holding items that you rarely need to access. Since the rack is overhead, it’s important to have it professionally installed for safety. And keep in mind you will need to stand on a ladder to access the items — so if that’s not something you’re comfortable doing, you might want to look into other storage options.
Space-Saving Bike Racks Bikes are likely among the bulkiest items you have to store — and if you have more than one or two, they can really start to eat up space. There are several types of wall-mounted bike racks to choose from, and which is best will depend on your space. These bike storage racks from Clear Space Garage and Closet Storage Solutions pivot on the wall, so you can hang bikes closer together, maximizing space.
Neatly Labeled Containers Since many of the items stored in your garage are ones you won’t need to use very often, labeling everything clearly will ensure that you can find what you need when it’s time. This space from Organizeology is a good example of proper labeling: Each bin is clearly labeled with large print and a simple description of the contents.
Mudroom Stand-In No space for a mudroom inside the house? Consider outfitting one wall of your garage to work as a mudroom instead. In this space, custom cabinetry from Doolittle Design provides shoe shelves, hanging space and drawers to keep coats and bags neat and tidy.
Grab-and-Go Zone The area closest to the door is a great place to store items you reach for frequently. In this space from Closets of Tulsa, wall-mounted racks hold beach chairs, balls and necessities like sunscreen and water. A trash can by the door is a convenient spot to toss garbage on your way out of the car.
Old shoes. Old and worn shoes often find their way to garage storage. My clients tell me they purchase a new pair of running shoes, hiking boots, snow or rain boots, and athletic shoes and put the old ones in the garage. They usually never get around to discarding old shoes, so the collection can become quite large. You may want to think seriously about disposing of the unused footwear. It might be worth keeping one extra pair of running shoes if you work out in bad weather. That way, you’ll have a spare pair if one gets wet. Otherwise, I would recommend tossing all old shoes.
Gardening supplies. Ask yourself the following questions when deciding which gardening tools to keep: Will you have a yard in your new home? Will you be responsible for yard maintenance or will a homeowners association be doing it for you? Will you have a lawn? Do you even like gardening? Will you be hiring a gardener? If you will not have a yard or if someone else will be doing your yard work for you, feel free to donate your gardening supplies and lawn mower. If you will have a small balcony or patio where you can have containers, consider keeping a few small items such as a trowel, weeder and gardening gloves.
Sports equipment, camping gear, beach chairs and old bikes. Move all sports-related items into your staging area and take a serious look at the things in this category, considering whether you will ever use them again. Yes, it was fun to go camping when the kids were young, but do you really plan to go again? Although I love to be outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, at this stage of my life I also love to retreat to a comfortable bed at night. The same goes for bikes, beach chairs, golf clubs, tennis rackets and ski equipment. Try to remember the last time you used each item. If you golf twice a month, then by all means keep your golf clubs. If the last time you used your clubs was in the late 1980s, it might be time to let them go. Sports equipment, bikes and camping gear are popular items left behind by family members who have moved out. If that’s the case in your home, take all these items and move them to the “return to someone else” section of your garage. Set a time when the belongings can be retrieved. If family members live out of the area, send pictures of the items and ask them whether you can get rid of them. Consider setting a date for the family members to pick u...
Also consider your garage‘s relative height to the finished front view of your house. To not take away from the architecture and streetscape of this San Francisco house, the architects at Levy Art + Architecture have created a garage disguised by the building. While this solution is likely on the upper end of budget parameters, you should consider how the dimensions of your garage will affect the aesthetics of your house. Using single doors rather than double, setting the face of the garage back from the primary elevation and blending the design of the doors into the building are just some tricks to keep your garage proportions from overtaking your house.
Save double doors for contemporary architecture in which horizontal lines dominate the theme.
Though this design by HP Rovinelli Architects is for three single garage doors, the execution of detail helps it read as one opening and complements the contemporary architecture.
Three broad and generously spaced garage doors in this design flatter and confirm the solidity necessary to support the upper floor of this traditional house.
When a double door must be used on a traditional house, consider a design like this one. The multipane windows and appropriately proportioned panels complement the home’s design.
Garage Door Design Ideas Be generous with details around garage doors. They are usually prominent features on a house simply because of their scale. You want to complement your architecture while paying close attention to the scale of other elements on the house. Details and good proportions dignify this garage by Designs Northwest Architects. Two single doors often look better than one wide door with this type of architecture, because the proportions coordinate better.
Driveway. Driveways to the garage can eat up considerable space on your property. Balancing one with your home’s design takes careful planning. Most will simply be in a straight line from the street to the garage, but if you are planning a motor court, consider that the turning diameter for a car is between 40 and 50 feet (12.2 and 15.2 meters). You need at least 25 feet (7.6 meters) to comfortably back up and then begin a turn to move forward.
Garage Door Dimensions Width: Single-car doors begin at 8 feet wide (2.4 meters). You can also get 9-foot-wide doors (2.7 meters), which will lessen the chance of scraping the fenders on the door frame. You will sometimes see doors narrower than this in country club developments, but those are usually for golf cart garages; they can be as narrow as 5 feet (1.5 meters). Doors made for two cars can be as little as 14 feet wide (4.3 meters), but are more commonly 15 or 16 feet wide (4.6 or 4.9 meters). Height: The standard garage door height is 7 feet (2.1 meters), but an 8-foot (2.4-meter) height is also available. You can get a custom height for an additional cost. You can also customize your door design for an additional cost.
Two-Car Garage Dimensions This cutaway plan shows how a two-car garage is commonly configured. The single 16-foot-wide (4.9-meter-wide) garage door is large enough to allow two cars to fit. It is also a good idea to have a 3-foot-wide door to the exterior on the side of the garage. As for the door going into the house from the garage, you will want it to be at least 32 inches (81 centimeters) wide. Hot-water heaters and mechanical systems are often placed in the garage. If this is done, it is best to create an alcove, as has been done here, or add more depth or width to the 20-foot minimum to accommodate that equipment.
Three-Car Garage Dimensions This cutaway plan of a large, three-vehicle garage illustrates common dimensions to consider just for cars. Add more space for built-in cabinets or be willing to have a tighter fit.
Common Vehicle Dimensions Leave at least 36 inches (0.9 meter) between cars so that you can open their doors without hitting another car door. You can go slightly less on side walls, but be certain you can comfortably enter and exit your car. Vans and SUVs: Width: 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to 2.1 meters) Length: 16 to 19 feet (4.9 to 5.8 meters) Height: 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) Large and luxury cars: Width: 6 to 6½ feet (1.8 to 1.9 meters) Length: 16 to 18 feet (4.9 to 5.5 meters) Height: 4½ to 5 feet (1.4 to 1.5 meters) Compact and sports cars: Width: 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) Length: 14 to 16 feet (4.3 to 4.9 meters) Height: 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) Note: Conversions to metric dimensions are approximately translated from standardized U.S. dimensions. Each country can be unique in their standards. Investigate the customs in your locale or work with a design pro before making commitments.
Other Garage Considerations Storage. Garage cabinet systems have similar dimensions to those in kitchens. You can buy base units that are 24 inches (61 centimeters) deep, but some come in depths of 12 or 18 inches (30 or 45 centimeters) as well. Coordinate these with the dimensions of your car so you will know how much space you can use for storage.