Garage Addition 7 things to consider

Garage Addition 7 things to consider

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A garage is more than merely storage space or shelter for your car. It is a huge part of the overall visual appeal of your home. Sometimes it is the most visually prominent feature, more important than windows, roof color and cladding material.

When thinking about a garage addition, you should consider the following:

(The following refers to a garage addition only. For a garage plus loft, studio, or overhead rooms, click on multi-story additions .)

Detached vs. Attached

Many home owners prefer to have an attached garage with a door that directly connects to the living area. Attached garages eliminate a cold, snowy walk to the garage or a blast of heat on your way to work. However, the lot size and the position of your home on the lot may not always allow this to happen.

A detached garage is a great option that allows more design flexibility since it is not directly attached to the house. A number of different rooflines, sizes and heights can be used to complement the style of your home.


The orientation of a garage addition depends to a large degree on where the garage is placed on the lot:

  • garage attached to the house — most garages face the street, but sometimes are placed at a slight angle or perpendicular
  • detached garage in front of the house — most garage doors are perpendicular to the front door of the house
  • detached garage beside the house — most garages face the street, but sometimes are placed at an angle
  • detached garage behind the house — most garages face the street, but are sometimes angled or perpendicular
  • Elevation

    Many garage additions are built at ground level. If you decide to convert part of your basement into a garage, or place your garage addition below grade, an area drain with a connection to the municipal storm sewer system must be located outside of the garage. Click on Step 8 — Do We Need Permits for more details.


    Choosing a one, two, or three car garage with additional storage space will largely depend on your needs, the size of your lot, the local building code and your budget. For specific sizes, see Step 6


    The roof of your garage addition should be similar to the roof shape of your home.

    3 Common Roof Style for Garage Additions

    A flat roof can be built to support an outdoor patio, adding an additional amenity to your home. Flat roofs can also support a green roof which is an increasingly popular way of managing storm water, reducing heating/cooling costs, and increasing the amount of plants versus hardscape, an environmentally sustainable building option.

    Garage Door

    The size, shape, color, material, and design of garage doors have an immense impact on the overall appearance of the garage and how well it fits in with the rest of your home.

    Maintenance-free garage doors are made of steel or aluminum, while low maintenance options include the environmentally friendly composite garage doors made from recycled wood and the clad-wood (treated particle board). The most expensive options are natural wood or ornamental metal doors, both of which are custom-built.

    Garage doors may be rectangular in shape, have a curve on top, and may contain windows. Many new homes have single bay garage doors, whether it is for a single, double or triple-car garage.

    With so many sizes, shapes, materials and colors to choose from, it is a good idea to use a garage door visualizer. These free, on-line design tools allow you to see what different garage door sizes, styles, colors and materials will look like on your home:

    Garage Door Visualizer


    Small in cost but immense in visual impact, ornaments can transform a plain garage addition into a spectacular one. It is extremely important to ensure that the design, scale, and color of the ornaments match the style of your home.

    Ornaments important for an upscale garage addition are:

    • exterior and interior lighting — wall sconces on either side of the garage door is a classic, elegant design feature
  • an address / house number sign — font and color should be carefully selected

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