Attached Garage versus Detached Garage
A Comparison of the Pros and Cons of Attached
and Detached Garages
By: Mark J. Donovan
Deciding to build a garage on your
property is a big decision. Choosing between an attached garage versus a
detached garage can be an even more difficult decision. Attached garage
additions and detached garages each have the own unique pros and cons and the
final decision often comes down to individual preferences and circumstances,
such as how you anticipate using the garage, and the lot size.
What is the Purpose of the Garage
If your main purpose of the garage is to prevent from having to go out in the
cold, rain and snow to get to your car, then an attached garage addition is your
On the other hand, if the garageís
main purpose is to create a work shop, then a detached garage is the better
choice. A detached garage can typically be larger thus making it more amenable
for a workshop. In addition, a detached garage also enables you to keep the dust
and noise away from the main home. A detached garage also provides additional
safety by isolating the main home from fuels, paints, and other hazardous
chemicals and products that may be used or stored in the garage or workshop.
Moreover a detached garage used as a workshop prevents smelly paint and fuel
fumes from entering the home.
Attached versus Detached Garages and Property Lot Size and Shape
Your propertyís lot size and shape can play a major factor in helping you to
decide between an attached or detached garage. Attached garages often require
extending the home out sideways by 20 to 30 feet. Consequently long narrow lots
are more conducive to building detached garages. On the flip side, however,
detached garages can easily consume valuable land on your property. For example,
a big backyard may be completely obliterated by plunking a detached garage in
the middle of it.
When contemplating between an
attached garage versus a detached garage walk your property, and stake and
string out the location for both a detached and attached garage. By using stakes
and strings to outline the garage footprints, you can better assess the impact
of each garage type on your property. Moreover it can help to determine the
appropriate size for your garage, no matter which one you elect to go with.
Itís also important to check with
your local building inspector and review lot maps before deciding upon what type
of garage to go with and where to locate it.
There are various building codes that
can and will impact the size and location of your garage, be it an attached
garage addition or a detached garage building. For example, there are typically
setbacks from lot lines for constructing any type of building on your property.
In addition, if there are any easements on your property you will need to make
sure you meet the prescribed setbacks from them as well.
Garage Addition Building Cost Considerations
Building an attached garage addition can be less expensive to construct than
building a detached garage addition.
With an attached garage addition, the garage is tied into the existing home
so there is one less wall to have to construct.
This said, much of the cost savings of building an attached garage addition
are lost by having to tie in the garage addition into the existing home. For
example, the removal and replacement of house siding and the tying in of roof
lines can quickly mitigate any cost savings associated with building an
Building a detached garage, on the other hand, is like building a new home.
Consequently itís a bigger construction project. A detached garage is a
standalone structure that will require at least electricity coming into it,
and possibly plumbing and gas lines. A detached garage addition needs a
foundation, all four walls, as well as the roof.
Photos by Mark Donovan
Regardless of whether you choose to go with an attached garage or a detached
garage make sure that you properly insulate it and include plenty of
electrical lighting. Also, make sure not to skimp on size. You only get one
shot to build your garage and the last thing you want to do is build it too
small. Remember that a garage is often used for storing many more items than
just cars. In addition, even if you build an attached garage addition for
mainly storing automobiles and yard items, chances are youíll want to use a
portion of it for a small workshop. So again donít skimp on size with your
garage design plans.
Lastly make sure to incorporate at least one standard utility door in your
garage. This way you donít have to necessarily open a garage door just to walk
out of your garage. A utility door can save you a fortune in energy bills if
you plan to heat your garage during the winter months and anticipate using the
garage as a main form of ingress and egress to the home.
For more information on building a
garage addition see the
Garage Addition Bid Sheet from HomeAdditionPlus.com.
The Garage Addition Bid Sheet includes an extensive questionnaire (Request for
Quote) that a homeowner can provide to prospective general contractors and
subcontractors for bidding the garage addition. In addition, the
Addition Bid sheet also includes estimated costs and time intervals
for constructing a garage addition as well as a list of key home material
manufacturers. Finally, the
Addition Bid sheet includes an extensive
set of helpful tips and advice on making sure the garage addition is built
properly and on time and budget.
How to Finance your Home Remodeling Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
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