Garage (residential)

A residential garage is a walled, roofed structure for storing a vehicle or vehicles that may be part of or attached to a home ("attached garage"), or a separate outbuilding or shed ("detached garage"). Residential garages typically have space for one or two cars, although three-car garages are used. When a garage is attached to a house, the garage typically has an entry door into the house, called the person door or man door, in contrast with the wider and taller door for vehicles, called the garage door, which can be raised to permit the entry and exit of a vehicle and then closed to secure the vehicle. A garage protects a vehicle from precipitation, and, if it is equipped with a locking garage door, it also protects the vehicle(s) from theft and vandalism. Most garages also serve multifunction duty as workshops for a variety of projects, including painting, woodworking, and assembly.

In northern climates, temperatures inside an uninsulated attached residential garage can decrease to freezing levels during the winter. Temperatures inside an uninsulated attached garage in temperate climates can reach uncomfortable levels during summer months. Extreme temperatures can be a source of energy waste and discomfort in adjoining living areas, due to heat transfer between the garage and those areas. Homes with an attached garage often experience this "interface" problem. Insulating the outside of the building against the elements without extending the insulation to the wall separating the garage from the house, and/or the other garage walls and roof, can be a costly mistake.

The most common garage door to date in Australia is the B&D Rolla Door, having been around since 1956 and still in heavy use today. They are a corrugated flexible but strong sheet steel door, sliding up tracks and rolling around a drum mounted above the door opening on the inside of the garage. These come in manual and remote controlled electric (known as the Control-a-Door), with conversion kits available. Locking is provided by a key lock in the centre of the door moving two square sliding lock bars in and out of holes in the door tracks, locking and unlocking it, or by the solenoid lock in the automatic motor.

Traditionally, garage doors were wooden, opening either as two leaves or sliding horizontally. Newer garages are fitted with metal up-and-over doors. Increasingly, in new homes, such doors are electrically operated.

In the early days of the motor car, a garage played an important role in protecting the vehicle from the weather (particularly so as to reduce rust). It was also the case that early motor cars started more easily when they were warm, so that keeping them in a garage rather than outside made it easier to get the engine going in the morning. Modern motor cars, however, are very well protected against rust, and modern engines start with no difficulty even in very cold conditions.

The architecture of garages was ignored in the architectural journals despite famous architects such as Edwin Lutyens, Richard Barry Parker and Edgar Wood all designing garages for their wealthy clients. Charles Harrison Townsend was one of the few architects who put pen to paper (in The Builder in 1908) on the subject and recommended that the walls be glazed brick for ease of washing, air gratings to be low (petrol fumes are heavier than air), and drains half open to avoid build-up of gases.

Around the start of the 21st century, companies began offering "portable garages" in the United States. Typically, these garages are made of metal, wood or vinyl and do not connect to the house or other structure, much like the garage built before 1950. This portable garages usually have a strongly reinforced floor to hold a heavy vehicle. Garages are also produced as composite fabric garages with metal frames that are lightweight and portable garage compared to traditional brick-and-mortar or metal garage structures.

Over the last decade, garage flooring products have become more readily available to the general public. In fact, the volume of garage flooring on the market today can serve as a source of frustration and confusion for homeowners. Generally speaking, these products can be broken into the following categories: garage floor mats, garage floor tiles, coatings (including epoxy, urethanes and hybrids), sealers and densifiers as well as garage floor containment systems.

 

 


Home | Etymology of house | Elements of house | History of house | Middle Ages  | Industrial Revolution | 19th and 20th centuries |

| Construction | Identification and symbolism | Home construction | Building science | Mixed-use developmentAffordable housing | Real estate bubble |