The Garage Problem

garage, garage doors

The modern garage has created a major problem for architects.

Throughout much of man’s history his house was likely to cover his livestock as well as his family. It kept his valuables close and was an efficient way to keep the house warm. When man’s condition improved the animals got kicked out to their own accommodations. Occasionally you’ll find people living in very nice houses that were once carriage houses. The carriage house held both carriages and horses. Now they hold people.

I mention this because we have come full circle. Our houses once again include our beasts of burden, only this time they eat gasoline instead of hay. We drive our cars right into our houses, as if this were a natural thing to do.

I personally think it is a rather silly thing to do, but I understand the problem. On a cold, wet morning some kind of attached car storage looks like a pretty good idea. I have considered building such a thing. On cold, wet mornings I notice that my house is dry, and my car is dry, but between them I have to negotiate a minefield of puddles.

Garage, Garage Doors My main objection is aesthetics. We have many a beautiful house in our area, well-designed in every respect except this: From the street it appears to be a garage with a house attached rather than a house with a ...well, you get the idea.

Compounding this problem is a tendency for people to spend thousands to make their entryway lovely and inviting, while accepting that their three-bay garage should appear utilitarian.

In those areas with large lots building restrictions will sometimes require that any kind of car storage not face the street. This improves the situation, but is not a workable solution for high-density neighborhoods with narrow lots.

I am going to propose a few workarounds for this problem. In three separate areas I will deal with:

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