Bigger is Better

On , In Insights

When Kyle Scott was looking for a new home to buy near Kelowna, it was a feature of a Jenish-designed house by H&H Homes that caught his eye.

“It had a triple garage,” Scott said, “and that is what sold me.”

Scott had relocated from Airdrie, Alberta and brought many vehicles and toys with him. These included a 16-foot fishing boat, a 2001 Mustang GT, two all-terrain vehicles, a riding lawnmower, snow blower, some fishing gear and “enough tools to build a house.” He also needed space for his one-ton Ford truck, two family cars, and room for a workshop.

Today he is planning to build a separate shed attached to the garage for a compressor and more air tools.

Scott is not alone. According to a study done by the American Institute of Architects, larger garages are becoming more common to house SUVs and trucks while providing extra storage and workspace. Today, nearly 20 percent of new houses have garages for three or more vehicles.

Nowadays it seems like garages can never be too big as homeowners are using their garage space for more than just storing vehicles

Trevor Beatty, president of Jenish House Design Ltd., confirms that larger garages are becoming a popular modification to their house plans. “Nowadays it seems like garages can never be too big as homeowners are using their garage space for more than just storing vehicles,” Beatty commented. “Some clients are extending their living space into the garage to create man-caves with features like flat screen TVs, stereos, and even wet bars.”

Home buyers looking for larger garage space in a new house should keep some useful design tips in mind. For instance, large garage doors can dominate the exterior look of a house; however, some clients will opt for two single doors rather than one large door. This will allow for exterior detailing such as stone or brick between the doors. Also, staggering the garage doors will create additional rooflines which will help break up the expanse of the garage face.

Planning can get the most out of a large garage space. Many plan for built in storage, a very popular garage feature that is easily modified into a house design. If the plan includes a workshop or garage warm in the winter and cool in the summer plan on insulating the garage and the garage door. This will also save energy if the space is heated.

Designed properly, a larger garage offers ample space for toys, workshop and vehicles and also has the potential to extend a home’s living area.