Designing a Great Garage

Enjoying a great garage design every time you drive into or leave your home is one of the important aspects of a dream home. A well-designed garage, both from the outside and inside, will add to your enhanced quality of life. If it faces the street, the garage may be the first thing that you or visitors will see. You will want to achieve beauty and functionality with your home's garage. In fact, some garages don't even look like they're part of the home itself.

Why not create your garage as an extension of your home with a myriad of smart storage areas so clutter doesn't take over? Many Americans cannot even house their vehicles due to a messy space that fills the garage.

In 1971, 18 percent of new homes in the United States had a one-car garage and 39 percent of them had garages big enough for two or more cars. By 2007, those numbers had changed dramatically and 63 percent of new homes had two-car garages, while 19 percent had garages for three or more cars, and only 7 percent had a one-car garage. The two-car garage has become the standard, and it needs to be large enough for SUVs, minivans, and large pickups. Three-and four-car garages are increasingly popular at high-end homes and may real estate agents will tell you that they can be a positive selling point.

Isn't it about time to make your garage a highly utilized space in your home? Work with a talented artisan and designer to create a great area that is well-organized, efficient and attractive. When you are ready to get started, you will want to decide what you are looking for from your garage. Certainly, car storage is important but you can also add areas within your garage for hobbies, such as woodworking, or use it as an area for exercise. Much like a custom designed closet, you can have a cleverly custom designed garage interior that amplifies your lifestyle.

You may want to consider ways in which you can give your garage a house-life facade. You can match any siding, windows, entry doors and trim with what's on the exterior of your home. You can also break up the bulky appearance of a single garage door with two or more smaller doors.

The exterior garage doors can be designed to be attractive and eye-catching with wood panels, elaborate carving and more design elements that make you smile as you come home each day and enter the garage.

For example, if you have an Old World-style designed home, you can enhance it with a garage that adds to your architectural detail, featuring beautiful stained wood doors, wrought-iron handles, and hinges. The garage doors can reflect the color of your home, too. A French Country design can showcase a natural wood front door, while the garage door is painted in a neutral beige. For more modern homes. you can use metal frames with clear or frosted acrylic inserts.

Many homes have garages attached, but if you are planning to build a garage, you may want to consider the benefits of separating the garage from the house which can give you more design options.

A custom garage can include personalized cabinets, drawers, shelves, and specialty racks to bring your garage to a new level of imagination and organization. A custom-built organization system will be both attractive and well organized for your storing tools, sports equipment, keepsakes, and holiday decorations.

You may decide you don't want your garage to directly face the street. You may choose to adjust it so that the garage entrance is angled away from the street. A 90-degree angle from the house is ideal, but even 45 degrees can significantly reduce the impact the garage entrance has on the street view of the house.

You may want to design a garage that includes a living space or home office above. In these cases, it's best if the roofline is higher than the rest of the house. If you want to add a living space over an attached garage, keep the distance between the garage ceiling and top of the door closer to 12 inches rather than the usual 18 inches.

A luxury garage can feature natural stone, flooring, wooden walls, subterranean parking spaces with automated elevators for more garage bays, a car elevator system that leads to a wine cellar, in-floor radiant heat. It could feature a seating area along with a TV lounge and a wet bar so you are comfortable watching TV there as well as inside your home. Think about your own garage and ways to transform it into another space that is part of your home.

Articles contributed by Susana DeFatima Silva, MA, Co-Founder, Proprietor, Managing Partner, REALTOR®, BRE#01159741, Test of Tyme, LLC, #1022805 and Wendy Brickman, MA/MBA, Brickman Marketing.