SHOP BY DEPARTMENT
Houzz Logo Print
tupi2020

Garage Layout and Door Sizes

tupi2020
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I could use some help with the proposed layout of the three car garage in our new house (which is close to completing Schematic Design).

I asked the architects for a spacious garage, which they provided (it is about 23'-7" deep and 35'-9" wide). I also wanted an 18'-0" double garage door, to not have to squeeze past the opening when parking two cars in the double garage, like we have to do currently with our 16'-0" garage door.

I just found out today that the architects are specifying a 16'-0" double door. When I asked if we can increase it to 18'-0", they said that they would have to widen the entire garage by two feet, because there is no room to expand the opening.

Looking at the floor plan of the garage, I agree that they can't squeeze the wider door into the existing opening that is shown, but I'm hoping for a more creative solution than just widening the entire garage by 2 feet. The garage is already very wide, it's just that the last 6 feet of the wall to the left of the double garage door is used up by the side entry door bumpout that they created. The bumpout also creates about 6-7 feet of space to the left of the cars that I have no idea how to make use of, so I think of it as "dead space"

I wonder if we can gain the extra two feet by a combination of reducing the width of the bumpout from the current 4'-7" to maybe 3'-7", and then adding a foot to the overall garage width, to accommodate the 18'-0" door? Or some other creative solution to make the best use of the space, without simply making the entire garage two feet wider?



Comments (26)

  • PRO
    PPF.
    2 months ago

    Why ask here? You have architects that are supposed to do this, or maybe they are not really architects?

  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    This is an odd response... I don't believe I'm the first person to post here with a question on a design that has been prepared by architects? Maybe I am?


    And as I said in my post, I did ask the architects and they suggested widening the entire garage by two feet. I'm just looking for more creative/less expensive solutions.

  • Related Discussions

    What size header for a double car garage door

    Q

    Comments (10)
    Only someone who has been taught how to determine the correct load on a beam and how to size it could help you. A building inspector or a builder might have that training but I would assume they don't if it were my garage. What you still don't seem to understand is that the building code offers no prescription or table for the sizing of a beam this long other than to say it must be designed according to "accepted engineering practice". In most jurisdictions that means a licensed engineer. It is doubly important to have a professional designer involved if the walls on either side of the opening are less than 4 ft wide because they might not offer enough lateral resistance to keep the garage from collapsing in a wind storm. Unless the building inspector has some kind of beam design guide that the state allows him to use or has been trained as an engineer or an architect, he should not be offering structural advice to a homeowner and that goes for builders too. Until you get a professional involved either by hiring one or asking the lumberyard to ask the manufacturer of their LVL's to give you a design with a stamp on it, you are perpetuating a very serious structural mistake and someone could get hurt or you could have a major financial loss. If it snows the roof could collapse with no warning so put the post under the beam and go talk to your lumberyard or take a builder with you to the lumberyard. Don't do anything without an engineer's stamp on it.
    ...See More

    Garage Door Sizing?

    Q

    Comments (0)
    I have planned on having a 2 car attached garage for storing two vehicles, and then some landscaping items and misc tools. I am planning on 26' wide and 34' deep. The extra depth is to make it so my garage bumps out from the house, and to allow extra space infront of parked vehicles for storage and a work area. I didn't put a lot of thought into the garage door location and sizes, but now I need to make the right choice because I can't change it after the stem walls are set. I was thinking two 9' wide doors would be nice. If I have 3' between them, that would give 2.5 feet to each wall. Since each vehicle is not a full 9' wide, that should be enough room to get in and out of the mid-size SUV and truck, right? I also want to include 1 personal entry door. Perhaps a small utility door instead on the side or back of the garage to enter in/out of and not have to walk all the way around to get a tool or mower. Any suggestions on what type of smaller door to use as a utility door?
    ...See More

    What size of window(s) should I install above garage doors?

    Q

    Comments (15)
    I would place them as close to each other as possible. I would do only one stick of trim between the windows, so it's 4" and not 8" of trim (4" trim on one window + 4" trim on other window). If that makes sense? So, give the illusion they are mulled. Then 4" trim around the entire unit of windows.
    ...See More

    What size garage for two 12' garage doors?

    Q

    Comments (44)
    You might also want a "people" door from the garage to the outside, ... perhaps between two 12' doors, so you'd want six feet in between the two 12' doors and another six feet at least one each side. ... perhaps alongside the house between house and car leading to ?back? or ?front? door ... in which case you need to allow walking space for that. If your garage will have your cars parking with the house to one side, then, budget and lot/landscaping/driveway permitting, of course, something else to consider might be to add a back door to one of your garage slots so you can literally drive all the way thru as if it were an open carport. On that kind of garage (that could have a drive thru feature, whether or not it does), something else I like (but have seldom seen), is to have a small unheated breezeway between car and house -- a small "room" between garage and house with a window facing the front and a door facing the back -- both with screens -- and a ceiling fan or two. That breezeway doubles as a space for a door from the garage to both the house and to the exterior without going thru the house or making room for a second "people" door to enter/exit the garage AND it enables you to have a space to catch/remove fumes and smells from the garage before they enter the house. You really don't want either car or lawnmower exhaust in any part of the house, even the mud room. It is also a place to park a bike or two or a leaf blower or snow blower or hooks for heavy wet coats to enable them to air dry before bringing them into the house.
    ...See More
  • PRO
    tupi2020 thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • T T
    2 months ago

    If you don't want to go any wider, I would strongly recommend removing that door. We use a keypad to open the garage doors from the front of the garage and have a separate door in the back. In terms of garagewidth,  I think 36' is the minimum for a 3 car garage if you want ample space between cars and on the side of the car so your door doesn't hit a wall.  We wanted 3' between the edge of each garage door and the wall.  So 3' + 18' door + 3' + 9' door + 3' = 36'.  


    I don't think you'll ever have regrets over ample garage space, and the reality is that the cost of adding additional unheated garage square footage is much less than other parts of the house. I think it's an investment that's well worth it.  If you really want to leave ample room for a side door, I would go with something like Mark's design, but I would recommend a four or five foot wide wall there, which still goes back to adding either one or two feet to the width of your garage.

    tupi2020 thanked T T
  • T T
    2 months ago

    Also, if you really want a spacious garage, you might want to go deeper than 24 ft. Looking at your floor plan, it looks like you need to leave room in front for access to the house going up those couple of steps.  We went with a 30' deep garage, with 4' dedicated to the entry to the house and 26' for vehicle parking.  This leaves plenty of room to be able to walk around the cars when the garages are closed, and will also comfortably accommodate larger trucks.

    tupi2020 thanked T T
  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Verbo Only you and your architect can answer WHY it was designed with that utterly ridiculous bump out to begin with? Because that is very non architect like to do.


    I should have posted more of the plan - it's not so much that the bumpout is a bump, rather the garage door plane is inset from the front of the house (which the bumpout is aligned with). It's actually very much an "architect" thing to do (or at least our architects - they are very big on symmetry and balance, and really pushed how the inset of the garage balances the inset of the front entry.)


    We liked the look of the garage door plane being offset from the front wall of the house, but I didn't look too carefully at the dead space created on the left of the garage because of that bumpout - it leaves almost 8 feet of space between the leftmost car and the left garage wall, which seems like a huge waste. And prevents me from having an 18 ft door, which is what I really want, more than "balance".






  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Mark Bischak, Architect so are you suggesting widening the garage by about a foot and making that bumpout a foot narrower, to get the extra 2 feet? I do like the idea of making that inset less deep, that goes hand in hand with T T's suggestion of making the garage deeper than the current 24 ft depth ( our present garage is only 20 ft, so we thought 24 ft would be great, but I see the point about wanting a clear path to the steps to the entry). It would also make my workshop larger, which would be a bonus :).

  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @T T, thank you for the suggestions about garage sizes - we do have a 36 ft width, like you recommended - but "thanks" to that bumpout and the shifted garage doors, the whole width is not all usable. The more I think about it, the more I agree that we need to make that feature thinner or eliminate it, and spread the doors out so that we get the 3' + 18' + 3' + 9' + 3' spacing that you mentioned.


    And between your comment about depth, and Mark's sketch, I think that reducing the depth of the inset and adding that depth back to the garage is a good idea.

  • just_janni
    2 months ago

    I like the rendering. And I like the location of the man door. It's a nice way to have a front facing garage that visually minimizes it. (and the overhang is nice too)


    Wondering why you think that the extra width on the side will be wasted? Is this a garage or a workshop? Extra width seems like the perfect place for a workbench, tool chests, possibly your garbage and recycling containers (those things are huge now)


    if your new garage is not cluttered, I also suspect the 16' door will be adequate. IME where it's not or where it FEELS tight for 2 cars is when it's paired with a small garage (just barely a 2 car) and then that garage has a lot of stuff in it - crowding the sides - in addition to the cars.


    Maybe lay out the garage with cars and your expected workshoip stuff to scale?

    tupi2020 thanked just_janni
  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    This is just a general comment but most garages don't seem to allow enough space for the car doors to open properly. I feel like there should be room to get the car door fully open between cars and at least most of the way open between the car and the side wall.

    tupi2020 thanked palimpsest
  • PRO
    Floored You: TileDesigners
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    We have a sideload 10' door and a 20' door both. The garage is 28" deep. Sometimes, that isn't enough. However, it does dominate the look of the house, unintentionally. We pulled it back 10" from the house, and connected it with a breezeway, but it's at a higher elevation due to the lot. It kinda looms. I'd do everything possible on the front end to not have a garage be THE focal point of the build. That is hard to do with a front loading garage. Is there any way to do a side load, and pull it back more from the house?

    tupi2020 thanked Floored You: TileDesigners
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    2 months ago

    Yes, that is the concept I intended to show.

    The term "spacious" seems to have been left to the interpretation of the designer. To me it is much larger than what is shown.

    I can see what the designer is trying to achieve with the recessed garage and the recessed entryway, which is kind of nice, but the "spacious garage" should have been the driving source. I am not a fan of many modern homes designed in this vein, cold and uninviting. This one looks like my dentist's office.

    tupi2020 thanked Mark Bischak, Architect
  • Mrs Pete
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    So your concern is being able to walk into the garage /enter through the double-car door while two cars are parked in this space? But you have a man-door, so why would you need to squeeze past the cars? This garage is deep ... you'd be able to park the cars "back a bit". I think you have ample space. Can you sketch your cars into this space so you can see how much walking area you'll have once all is said and done?

    Other thoughts:

    - This garage opens towards the front? I don't like the idea of two mismatched doors on a flat-front. I think you need to set the garage back a bit, perhaps offset the two portions. What you're proposing just seems ... flat.

    - I'd flip-flop the garage space and the workshop /other items. That is, move the cars closer to the house and bump the workshop items to the far end; after all, you come and go every day -- you don't use the workshop every day.

    - With the garage placed closer to the house, I'd create a pass-through between the garage and the pantry. This would mean you'd be able to "set bags through" into the pantry. Note that the trunk of the car would be right by the pantry, whereas carrying the bags in you'll have to carry them the length of the garage, through the entryway, then back through the kitchen. A pass-through would be a step-saver.

    - Alternately, why not drop the wall between the garage and the garage and have a wall-length workshop in the space you're describing as extra?

    We have a sideload 10' door and a 20' door both. And the garage is 28" deep. Sometimes, that isn't enough.

    I think you're saying that people's stuff tends to accumulate to fill the available space.

    However, it does dominate the look of the house, unintentionally.

    Yes, I've seen several of these in our area ... garages that overshadow houses.

  • cpartist
    2 months ago

    Wow! You walk into the front entry and your guests are greeted by the powder room directly in front of them? I guess if they had a long drive that is quite welcoming.


  • palimpsest
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I just cut and paste in the garage door area and used two of the biggest doors just because that's what there and could be changed--I don't know much about garage door sizes, but what if it was inset just with a wall rather than a vestibule, and the human door was somewhere else? There is probably a better sized garage door to do matched paired ones but I don't know sizes.

    I know there is a whole thing about garage doors but the reality is that most people drive cars and want garages. I feel like I have seen backyards ruined and turned into giant driveways and turnarounds because of trying to hide the garage doors. And maybe lessen the width of the recess and separate the powder room from the entry by a closet.



  • shead
    2 months ago

    Personally, I don't think anyone can have enough garage space so I'd add the 2'. However, if you really don't want to, I'd eliminate that entry door and just use a keypad on the smaller garage door. You could add a side entry door on the end nearer the drive but you already have a side entry door. I'm not sure another door on that same wall is really all that necessary.

    tupi2020 thanked shead
  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Or this


  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thank you all for the helpful suggestions, I really appreciate them!


    @just_janni Wondering why you think that the extra width on the side will be wasted? Is this a garage or a workshop? Extra width seems like the perfect place for a workbench, tool chests, possibly your garbage and recycling containers (those things are huge now)


    Understood, but we already have a workshop on the right side of the garage, so I don't need more space for it on the left side. I thought about @Mrs Pete's suggestion of moving the workshop and mechanical room to the left side, but there is a landing with steps and the entry into the house in the lower right corner (there's an ~ 18" elevation between the house and garage floor) which is currently tucked behind the mechanical room, but would stick out if we moved the mechanical and workshop to the left side. with that landing, I wouldn't be able to use that space to park a car there. I'll give it some more thought though.


    if your new garage is not cluttered, I also suspect the 16' door will be adequate. IME where it's not or where it FEELS tight for 2 cars is when it's paired with a small garage (just barely a 2 car) and then that garage has a lot of stuff in it - crowding the sides - in addition to the cars.


    I try to keep the garage uncluttered, but I also like to have space between parked cars, I hate worrying about door dings. And our current 16' door really forces the cars close together, even when I angle them inside the garage. Every time I back out I worry about the rearview mirrors hitting the door opening. I just feel like 18' is much better suited for two cars.


    And I did as you suggested and laid out the garage as it is currently designed, with cars inside:




    You can see that the 16' door really squeezes cars 1 and 2 (from left) too close together (I know I can angle them a little bit), leaving too much space between cars 2 and 3, and 8 feet to the left of car 1. Even with storage there, it's just too much wasted space IMO.


    @palimpsest This is just a general comment but most garages don't seem to allow enough space for the car doors to open properly. I feel like there should be room to get the car door fully open between cars and at least most of the way open between the car and the side wall.


    I wholeheartedly agree, that's why I think a larger door is needed!


    @Floored You: TileDesigners We have a sideload 10' door and a 20' door both. The garage is 28" deep. Sometimes, that isn't enough. However, it does dominate the look of the house, unintentionally. We pulled it back 10" from the house, and connected it with a breezeway, but it's at a higher elevation due to the lot. It kinda looms. I'd do everything possible on the front end to not have a garage be THE focal point of the build. That is hard to do with a front loading garage. Is there any way to do a side load, and pull it back more from the house?

    It'd be pretty difficult to do that at this point, especially if I wanted to maintain the 36' width inside the garage for the three cars. I understand the concern about too much "garage door" facing the front, but I can't find a good alternative in this situation, and I am more of a "function over form" kind of guy - ideally I would like both, of course, but I don't want something that is not functioning well just to have it be "pretty". Also, the way the house is sited, the garage doe snot really face the "front" in the conventional sense - the main driveway is on the opposite side of the house, and you can't even see the house until you get to the end of the driveway, at which point you are looking at the house parallel to the front, not perpendicular (if that makes sense):




    @Mark Bischak, Architect I can see what the designer is trying to achieve with the recessed garage and the recessed entryway, which is kind of nice, but the "spacious garage" should have been the driving source.

    I agree, that is what I call "form over function". We've had a few similar "disagreements" with them on other topics.


    @Mrs Pete With the garage placed closer to the house, I'd create a pass-through between the garage and the pantry. This would mean you'd be able to "set bags through" into the pantry. Note that the trunk of the car would be right by the pantry, whereas carrying the bags in you'll have to carry them the length of the garage, through the entryway, then back through the kitchen. A pass-through would be a step-saver.

    That's intriguing, I'll play around with the layout and see if I can make that work, if I move the workshop and mechanical room to the left side.


    @palimpsest what if it was inset just with a wall rather than a vestibule, and the human door was somewhere else? There is probably a better sized garage door to do matched paired ones but I don't know sizes.

    Thank you for the suggestion, I'm thinking along the same lines (unless I move the entire workshop to the left side). I'm guessing the architects will say that the left wall will be "unbalanced", but we'll see :).


    I know there is a whole thing about garage doors but the reality is that most people drive cars and want garages. I feel like I have seen backyards ruined and turned into giant driveways and turnarounds because of trying to hide the garage doors. And maybe lessen the width of the recess and separate the powder room from the entry by a closet.

    Agreed, and especially so in our case where like I said above, you don't see the front of the house head on as you approach it. I don't want too convoluted a path to the garage just to hide the doors. Function over form :).

  • bpath
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    What else do you need to store in the garage? And not just store, but be able to maneuver in and out easily? lawn equipment? snowblower, shovels, and salt? What about trash and recycling? We have a normal two-car garage but had to trade in the city’s default recycling bin for the next smaller size. (has to be in garage, due to raccoons and coyotes.)

    tupi2020 thanked bpath
  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @bpath What else do you need to store in the garage? And not just store, but be able to maneuver in and out easily? lawn equipment? snowblower, shovels, and salt? What about trash and recycling?

    Probably the recycling bins, and maybe some other stuff - so I am thinking that there would be 2 feet of "storage" space along the left wall, plus 3 feet for car doors to open, so I need a total of 5 feet - not 8, like I end up with because of the bumpout width.


    So here are a couple of sketches I came up with. The first one gets rid of the man door and makes the bumpout slimmer, giving me the 18' door. I also made the inset shallower to increase the depth inside the garage. But everything else is left unchanged:




    The next one flips the workshop and mechanical to the left side. I like some aspect so of this (the cars are closer to the entry), and the workshop is bigger (though I'm not sure I need something that big). The one thing I'm not thrilled with is the car on the right, there is not much room in front if it because of the landing. That would not be convenient to navigate every time, but maybe this spot can be used for our "weekend" car rather than the daily.






  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Here's another version of the above, with a smaller workshop but an additional area for storage




  • Mrs Pete
    2 months ago

    Wow! You walk into the front entry and your guests are greeted by the powder room directly in front of them? I guess if they had a long drive that is quite welcoming.

    I don't have a problem with this ... in this layout, it keeps the powder room somewhat separated from the living spaces, and it does have a door.
    Personally, I don't think anyone can have enough garage space

    Disagree. Excessive space encourages accumulating junk that'd be better let go (or never purchased).

    I thought about @Mrs Pete's suggestion of moving the workshop and mechanical room to the left side, but there is a landing with steps and the entry into the house in the lower right corner

    The garage is 24' deep ... you can park a car and still have the house-entry in its current position.

    ideally I would like both, of course,

    You can absolutely have both ... but not without making some changes.

    What else do you need to store in the garage?

    Good question ... and does the "other stuff" need to go out the front? Could you place a roll-up door on the side of the house? the back of the house?

    Here's another version of the above, with a smaller workshop but an additional area for storage

    I do like the workshop /mechanicals moved. I'd think through whether these things need interior walls, or whether they can just be open to the garage.

    tupi2020 thanked Mrs Pete
  • just_janni
    2 months ago

    The I'd just lop off the extra space if the layout of the workshop is to your liking and use the workshop door (it is a door, isn't it? it feels like it changes from door, to window, to wall in the different plans) . Of course - lopping off the space may have implications for what's behind the garage...


    One other item- spec the high lift doors and shaft mounted operators. I have no clue why anyone uses the trolley things anymore.


    And use the park stop things to maximize the space in front of the vehicles - especially if you move the workshop over to the left there's little reason to walk behind the cars then.

    tupi2020 thanked just_janni
  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Mrs Pete I don't have a problem with this ... in this layout, it keeps the powder room somewhat separated from the living spaces, and it does have a door.

    I'm happy with it too. You do get to see into the powder room when you enter the house, but all you see is a room with a window, the toilet and sink are hidden. The architects originally gave us a configuration where the toilet was facing the door, so you had a perfect view of it when entering the house and from the dinner table. The perfect Thanksgiving dinner!


    The mechanical room definitely needs a wall, and I want one for the workshop also, I may end up having a small heater there so I want it separated from the garage.


    I'm sort of liking the large storage area in the last plan I drew, it is close to the garage doors and has an open path to them, so it should be easy to move trash bins in and out, etc. And what if I did this to offset the garage doors, to eliminate the look of three doors in a row? It's still give me a deeper garage than before, and with the one-car garage door being in plane with the house front, that garage is still 24' deep, even with the landing.






  • tupi2020
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @just_janni One other item- spec the high lift doors and shaft mounted operators. I have no clue why anyone uses the trolley things anymore.

    Thank you, that's exactly what I was planning on using!