A garage is a garage is a garage – not necessarily! Here are 5 decisions that need to be made. You want a garage that is right for you, your vehicles and how you will use it — so don’t ignore the garage!
1. The Door: One big door? One bigger door and one single-car door? Two doors? Part of this planning should be the aesthetics of your new home and how the garage fits into its style. If the garage door faces the street, it can account for up to 40% of the way your home looks. Even a side garage will be seen from the street. You want the garage to enhance the style of your home, but you also want it to be usable. Doors should be wide enough so the vehicle you drive (no matter how big) can get through with side mirrors intact.
2. The Driveway: Again, think about the vehicle you drive and future landscaping. A beautiful curved driveway may be great looking, but not if your super-sized truck can’t make the tight turn into the garage. Pay attention to the placement of any utility boxes so they are not in your path if you make a small mistake coming up the driveway. If your garage has columns or pergola make sure there’s enough space so when you turn, the front of your car doesn’t hit them. They’re beautiful – but not if they’re broken or bent. Know your vehicles and your path.
3. The Other Doors: Many security experts recommend that there is only one entrance into your garage, but convenience often wins. If you want a door that will let you easily access the backyard or another area, that side door should have the same security as the front door to your home. Make it a metal door with a deadbolt. Remember that the door from the garage into your home should meet the fire codes of your location and, like the side door, have a deadbolt.
4. The Windows: Windows make a garage more attractive. With a side entrance garage, windows can make the garage look like part of the home. But, be wise. If you’re going to put up a basketball hoop, place the windows out of harm’s way. And, speaking of harm, you don’t want the windows to show off all the expensive tools and great stuff you keep in your garage to a thief. Make them opaque or put up window coverings.
5. Water and Power: Know how you’re going to use your garage. If you are going to run power tools, make sure that the correct power is there. Do you need 220 volt outlets? If you’re expecting caterers to set up in your garage, their ovens might need them. More likely you’ll want a 220V outlet for your own use – for an appliance or heavy-duty tools. Now, about water. A sink – especially one with hot water – can keep a lot of dirt and grime out of the house. That’s a good idea.
Today’s garage doors and openers are exciting! Don’t just let the builder choose for you. Visit a licensed garage door dealer and find the door that’s exactly right for you. That garage door company can show you all the latest in connectivity in your new garage door opener so you can control and monitor the door from anywhere with a smartphone. Check out all the amazing styles and have fun making your garage an beautiful, useful part of your new home.