Why Are Garages So Big?
When you are pulling into a neighborhood, any neighborhood, in America, chances are you see a variation on a similar theme. A big driveway with a huge garage door along with a relatively small and unnoticeable house attached to it. Over and over again, you probably see this picture.
Some people have wondered why this is the case. If you are paying for a beautiful new home, why is most of the visible space being taken up by a garage? When did garages go from being an add-on to the first thing a person sees in a home?
It starts with the history of the garage. This is territory we have covered before, so we will not be repeating it here. The summary of it is garages were once not only separate additions but entirely separate buildings for chariots. Over time, they got closer and closer until they were part of the house.
This is where the size of the garage increases. The invention of the car created much smaller vehicles compared to the behemoths of today. The first automobiles might have been around 11 feet long, like the Model T. Now, vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade can be as long as 17 feet. Cars like this can hold eight people and still have enough room for people to stretch out
Customer demands made cars bigger over time. Because of that, the garage had to adjust. Suddenly, the small garage where you could easily store your car grew bigger and bigger. It was not just a tiny shed behind a home. Now it has becoming a major add-on.
Why is the Garage Door in the Front of My House?
All of this does not explain the garage door assimilating the front of the house. Prior to the 1950s, when cars became the juggernauts we see today, the garage door might have been located on the side of the house. It was easy to access and was a short jaunt from the steps.
Now you do not even have to walk outside to get to the car. Instead, you stroll through a door to get to your vehicle, nestled cozily in the heart of your home. There is not much foot space you have to traverse for you to access your vehicle. It is convenient for you.
However, it is far more convenient for the home builders. The garage being added on meant less work and less land to manage. Before cars, carriage houses were entirely different buildings. Building another building created a new set of carpentry issues to deal with. It was time-consuming to create but made a nice looking building afterward.
As time went on, construction costs rose. Space became more precious than before the rising costs. This forced architects to be craftier. To prevent costs from escalating out of control, designers would use less and less of the property. Eventually, the garage and the house merged into the same building.
Also, builders began placing them in the front rather than the side. The reason for this is also economical. Instead of having to lay more concrete and spend more man hours on more driveway, builders created a shorter line from the road to the garage. Now, people only had to take one small turn and be in their garage sooner.
What Does This Mean For Me?
The bigger garages are, the more economical they become. While the two thoughts may be contradictory, bigger garages have become easier to maintain in American houses. Also, due to their frequency in homes, they are relatively easy to build. The processes for building big garages have become simplified down to a science.
Garages are a mainstay of American culture. Garage construction is also based on economy. Two car garages are common and economical to build, made all the more appealing to builders because homeowners are willing to purchase them. When three car garages become desirable and affordable to the majority of Americans, then garages will get even bigger.
In the meantime, make use of your garage. You probably already do, as it can be utilized to store items other than your car. The garage is a versatile room and should be utilized as such. American garages will continue to get bigger and, along with the growing number, so too grow the ideas of what you can do in your garage.
Let Overhead Door of the Hill Country know what you do with your garage. Contact us and send us pictures of your garage and what you’ve been doing with it.