Garage styles: Which is best for me?
Believe it or not, there are actually several garage styles that you can have designed into your custom home or changed on a stock house plan sale. But how do you know which is the best style for you? Let’s take a look at the various styles to help you differentiate between them so you can be full informed as you decide which one to choose. I’m going to name them by describing which way you would drive your car into the garage.
Front Load Garage
This is the most common garage style and is usually seen in two or three stalls on stock house plans. The three-stall garage became popular in the 90s when mom and dad started buying a third car for the kids and they needed somewhere to park within city limits. Many neighborhoods have restricted covenants that don’t allow for street parking.
Side Load Garage
A side load garage is typically found on a house that has been built on a corner or large lot. From the front of the home, you don’t see the garage doors because they are on the side elevation and many people prefer this look. Again, a side load garage is typically found in two or three stalls.
This is a creative way to add a third stall to a garage when you don’t have enough space to do a front load. On an L-shaped garage, a single garage door is usually facing the street, or on the front of the house, and a double door or two single doors are loaded from the side. This type of garage requires a bit more space, but not as much as a true three-stall garage would. The vehicles backing out of each garage will need enough space to turn around and drive forward out of the driveway.
Rear or Alley-Load Garage
In the 40s and 50s, large cities were growing with long narrow lots where a garage was either detached from the main house, or it was loaded from an alley that runs behind the house for vehicles to access the garage. On an alley-load garage, you would need access from the back of your home through another street or an alley behind the home. Narrow homes typically have an alley load garage that is not seen when looking at the front of the house.
When the garage comes off the front of your house at an angle (usually 45 degrees) it is referred to as an angled garage. These are very popular with today’s buyers and we actually sell many different homes with angled garages. Many times you’ll find extra or bonus rooms above the garage and there will often be gables with windows over the garage doors to allow light into that space.
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of garages, you make an informed decision based upon your budget, your lot size and your house plan style preferences. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions when deciding on which garage best suits you and your lot (if you already have one):
- Do I have room for a side load garage?
- Will there be enough room to turn around if I build a front/side split garage?
- What look do I like? Angled? Side? Front?
- Do I want to add a bonus room above my garage?
- Can I build a rear or alley load garage?
No matter what style of house plan you’re looking for, we have garages in every one. So if you want to build a craftsman ranch house, or a farmhouse, or even an ultra-modern house, we can help you find the home of your dreams.