By Wade Reynolds
For the most part, standard garage measurements haven’t changed all that much ever since the first automobile rolled off the assembly line in the early part of the 20th century, making cars affordable to the common man for the first time. And with that, our modern, car-obsessed culture was born. As it became big business, America’s automobile obsession would bring about cars of all different shapes and sizes. However, measurements for the perfect garage have remained relatively standard (more or less) across the board since the time of Henry Ford.
The original Ford Model T measured in at just over 11 feet, while today’s average sedan comes in around 15 feet. So, the question remains: what size should I build my garage? Well, there are a variety of factors you’re going to want to keep in mind as you work through the process of getting the garage you’ve always dreamed of, but several key factors should remain constants. Assuming you’re not driving an Abrams tank or a Roll’s Royce Phantom (measuring almost 20 feet long!), these tips should work for just about anybody.
Car manufacturers are constantly trying to remain trendy, so they are often changing the sizes of some of their vehicles – even their most popular ones. It seems like they are always making them bigger, then smaller, then bigger again – and on it goes. Keeping up with the latest trends and advances in technology mean that they’re always tinkering, but you shouldn’t have to change a thing if you build your garage right the first time around. There are common parameters no matter if you’re remodeling an outdated garage or starting from scratch.
Don’t dent up your brand new car, especially when there is no reason to! Check out some of the most pressing things you need to know, considered essential measurements for the perfect garage in America today.
1: Height and Width
Choosing the measurements (height and width) for the perfect garage is going to be your starting point – you can’t build anything if you don’t know what you need. You’d be shocked how many people dive head first into starting a project and don’t even know what size they need it to be, or worse even, how much space they have available in the first place.
Some of the most popular sizes for garages are 12x24, 14x28, 20x20, and 24x24. Of course, they can vary here or there, but for most people’s purposes, these sizes should suit them just fine. For single-car garages 9 feet wide seems to be the standard, this way you avoid scratching up your door or fender if you don’t pull in perfectly – give yourself a little margin for error. Garages made for two cars should typically be 15 to 16 feet wide, this allows for plenty of room for both cars.
The height should be at least 7 feet (standard), but it’s often recommended that people go 8 – what if you get a larger car? Better safe than sorry, save yourself some money and a headache in the long run. This can be customized (for the right price) to suit virtually any homeowners need, just know before you go in that these are the standards and major deviations may be costly – some people have different measurements for the perfect garage.
1 Car Garage
While a simple one-car garage can come in a variety of styles, the classic size configuration is going to be 12 feet wide and 22 feet long. However, if you’ve got the space it’s always a great idea to consider 14x22, or 16x 24. This can be extremely helpful if you’ve got a large truck or SUV, so consider the kind of vehicle you see yourself in for the foreseeable future before committing.
2 Car Garage
Far and away the most popular configuration for a standard two-car garage is 24 feet wide and 24 feet long. Keep in mind this can be customized and made much larger depending on need, but this is what most think of when they want to install a classic two-car setup.
3 Car Garage
If you’ve got a fleet of cars you’re looking to protect and shelter from the storm, the spacious three-car garage might be just what you’re looking for. A well-done three-car garage should be at least 32 feet wide and 22 feet long, ensuring enough space for all three vehicles.
3: Vehicle Size
While this should be thought about and factored in alongside height and width when considering measurements for the perfect garage, it’s worth noting some of the size differences between different vehicles. Sure, makes and models will vary, but it would be wise to know what the average size of trucks, sedans, and SUVs are.
The average sedan (think Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion) measures in between 14 and 15 feet. Small trucks come in at around 18 feet, while full-sized pickups usually go between 20 and 22 feet. SUVs and vans are in a similar vein, generally at least 20 feet.
Some luxury cars, like the aforementioned Rolls Royce Phantom, or say an old-school Cadillac will be sized closer to trucks and SUVs, rather than traditional four-door sedans.
It’s critical to determine how much extra space you’re going to need to for storage – this requires pulling out a tape measure. Most people don’t just use their garage to house their cars, typically they need space for other outdoor items: bikes, roller skates, garbage cans, rakes, snow shovels, and a host of other necessities.
Factor in how much space you want to be left over once the car is parked, maneuverability is key. Generally, to safely store bikes and other tools you’ll need about 4 feet of clearance. If you are looking to install a work area somewhere in the garage the space required is going to be much more significant. For a useable working station you’re going to want to factor in about 10 additional feet, of course, this all depends on your intent and planned usage of said workstation.
A garage is a major investment in your home and property value, so be sure you get the right size. Make sure space allows for the random junk that most of us have.
Finally, now that you’ve got your desired measurements – it’s time to start the thinking about style. While this isn’t as important as, say, making sure your car actually fits into the garage you just invested in (duh!), but the style is something that absolutely must be taken into consideration. Obviously, everyone has their own budget and they can vary pretty widely, but before we get down to the nuts and bolts of actual construction, can’t we dream just a little bit?
Whether it’s a single car garage, two-car garage, or, for the big spenders, three plus, there are plenty of aesthetically pleasing options. Keep in mind how the garage looks when the entirety of your house is considered. Does it match? Does it look like a crummy shack? Or, is it an albatross that overwhelms? These are the needles you’re going to want to thread for the perfect garage.
Sometimes there is only room for a single car garage, but even these can be done tastefully. This single garage door blends in seamlessly with the white door and white accents on the window frames. At first glance, you might not even notice the garage! The garage is going to be a major part of your house (definitely one of the biggest) so it’s best if it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Two-car garages are synonymous with the suburbs, and this beautiful grey and natural stone home is a shining example. Most times, architecturally speaking, two single doors look better than one large door because they match better with the rest of the house's proportions. If you’ve got the space and the capital it’s definitely the move.
However, double doors can still work remarkably well and still give you the perfect garage, you just need to know a bit about basic design principles. These double doors match well with the house, and from the curb, the paneling can give it the illusion that they are two separate doors.
Maybe you’re a car collector, or just have the need for an incredible amount of storage space – a well-built three-door garage was designed just for this. This luxurious home features three separate, well-spaced single doors, and their color is matched seamlessly with the gutters.
Modern garage doors often blend right into the architecture, giving them an element of mystery. Instead of being a separate part of the house, or detached entirely, this perfect garage sits right underneath the houses main structure.
Finally, always remember car manufacturers are constantly trying to remain on trend, but you’ll never have to worry about changes if you get your garage measured perfectly the first time around. They come in many varieties and styles, but one thing remains the same no matter what type of car you drive: these are the measurements for the perfect garage.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com