It all began with the horse stable and carriage house. They were located behind the house to keep the smell of the horses out of the home and also protected the wooden carriage from rain and snow. When the automobile began occupying the space previously used by carriages, homeowners wanted to prevent the smell of oil and gas from permeating the home. The carport was one of the first solutions for people who wanted to attach car parking to the main dwelling. Its open design ensured the smells would “air” out and not be a nuisance to the homeowner. This design worked in areas where home lots were small but the homeowner wanted shelter from the elements.
Improvements in the Attached Car Parking Area
As automobile manufacturers improved their product, the gas and oil smells decreased to the point where the homeowner demanded a covered access to the detached building. Hence, the breezeway was born. The breezeway was a popular option in housing design in the mid -twentieth century, before finally being replaced by the attached garage.
The transformation in the design and construction of garages did not end there. At the time, the one car attached unit dominated residential construction designs. When families began buying a second car in the late 1960’s, the two-car storage units began to appear. In the 1980’s, families began to have three or more vehicles. Light duty trucks, sports vehicle, off the road vehicles and clunkers all began to clog driveways and streets. Ordinances were passed to restrict street parking due to the huge number of cars parked on residential streets. Driveways and front lawns were also cluttered with unsightly vehicles.
Modern Solutions for Modern Challenges
Today, homeowners are considering new options to solve the problem of storing cars and other “stuff” in an enclosed building and still enhance the beauty of their home and landscaping. There are many designs available and four are considered in the following list:
1. Build a unit behind the house: This is feasible for deep lots with building ordinances allowing separate structures. Two and three car designs are available with matching rooflines to complement the house. Gables, hip roofs, and the door design for garages that match the home are all options to consider for a quality product.
2. Add a dormer to the detached building. This added space could serve as additional storage, a home office, or as a rental unit to generate income. If the local ordinance allows the addition of bathrooms, kitchens and two residents with pets, then the design can pay for itself with the rent collected.
3. Expand the old one car attached unit to accommodate two or three cars. This option is more expensive but can complement the house and keep the garage attached to the house. Unfortunately, this option may not return the value that a remodeled Kitchen or Bath would provide, but it will increase the utility of the property and allow the parking of several cars.
4. Reface the old detached garages. Many homes have old buildings to house their cars, which may have become unsightly. Give it a facelift. Options include installing new doors, reface the exterior surface with new siding or shingles, and design a new gable or hip roof to enhance the beauty of your home.
Need more ideas and options to consider? Georges Garages in Oak Lawn has an expert team that can help you design and upgrade your garage. Visit us to learn more about building or replacing your garage in the Chicago area.
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