Garage dimensions have remained about the same for many years: 9 to 10 feet wide, 2.8 to 3 meters and 18 to 20 feet, 5.5 to 6 meters long per car, with a single garage door width of 8 feet, 2.4 meters. The difference in garage dimensions now is that we tend to want more space for storing our stuff along with the car.
It seems that car designers are always enlarging, shrinking and then enlarging their models again to adjust for the latest fashions and technologies, not to mention the price of gas. But there are common parameters that will help you in planning a new garage or remodeling an existing one.
If you have ever scraped your car alongside a garage door frame, you will sympathize with your ancestors, who may have driven even larger cars. Let’s take a look at the dimensions of most garage designs today.
Garage Door Dimensions
Single-car doors begin at 8 feet wide, 2.4 meters. You can also get 9-foot-wide doors, 2.7 meters, which will lessen the chance of scraping the fenders on the door frame.
Doors made for two cars can be as little as 14 feet wide, 4.3 meters, but are more commonly 15 or 16 feet wide, 4.6 or 4.9 meters.
The standard garage door height is 7 feet, 2.1 meters, but an 8-foot, 2.4-meter height is also available. You can get a custom height for an additional cost.
Two-Car Garage Dimensions
The single 16-foot-wide, 4.9-meter-wide garage door is large enough to allow two cars to fit and is a common configuration. It is also a good idea to have a 3-foot-wide door to the exterior on the side of the garage. As for the door going into the house from the garage, you will want it to be at least 32 inches, 81 centimeters wide.
Hot-water heaters and mechanical systems are often placed in the garage. If this is done, it is best to create an alcove, or add more depth or width to the 20-foot minimum to accommodate that equipment.
Three-Car Garage Dimensions
A three-vehicle garage common dimensions for just cars is 32 feet wide, 9.8 meters and 22 feet deep, 6.7 meters . Add more space for built-in cabinets or be willing to have a tighter fit.
Common Vehicle Dimensions
Leave at least 36 inches, 0.9 meter between cars so that you can open their doors without hitting another car door. You can go slightly less on side walls, but be certain you can comfortably enter and exit your car.
Vans and SUVs:
◦ Width: 6 to 7 feet / 1.8 to 2.1 meters
◦ Length: 16 to 19 feet / 4.9 to 5.8 meters
◦ Height: 5 to 6 feet / 1.5 to 1.8 meters
Large and Luxury Cars:
◦ Width: 6 to 6½ feet / 1.8 to 1.9 meters
◦ Length: 16 to 18 feet / 4.9 to 5.5 meters
◦ Height: 4½ to 5 feet (1.4 to 1.5 meters
Compact and Sports Cars:
◦ Width: 5 to 6 feet / 1.5 to 1.8 meters
◦ Length: 14 to 16 feet / 4.3 to 4.9 meters
◦ Height: 4 to 5 feet / 1.2 to 1.5 meters
Other Garage Considerations
Garage cabinet systems have similar dimensions to those in kitchens. You can buy base units that are 24 inches, 61 centimeters deep, but some come in depths of 12 or 18 inches, 30 or 45 centimeters as well. Coordinate these with the dimensions of your car so you will know how much space you can use for storage.
Steps that go directly into the interior of the house are ideal. Steps with 6-inch, 15-centimeter risers and a platform or stoop are ideal; it is best to keep risers under 8 inches, 20 centimeters. Make sure you find out about local code restrictions and be certain to follow them.
Bumpers or Curbs
Having a curb opposite the garage door will keep your vehicles from running into the facing wall. If you make it 4 inches high, it will be low enough so the front bumpers don’t scrape. Even if you have an existing garage with a level floor, you can find bumpers to mount onto the floor to solve this problem.
Driveways to the garage can eat up considerable space on your property. Balancing one with your home’s design takes careful planning.
Most will simply be in a straight line from the street to the garage, but if you are planning a motor court, consider that the turning diameter for a car is between 40 and 50 feet, 12.2 and 15.2 meters. You need at least 25 feet, 7.6 meters to comfortably back up and then begin a turn to move forward.
Zoning and Regulations
Many zoning and building codes have minimum dimensions for garages, so be certain you know those when planning your design. Local building codes also address door hardware, protection of the mechanical systems from cars and garage door openers, so consult a design professional to be sure you are covered for these issues.
Garage Door Design Ideas
Be generous with details around garage doors. They are usually prominent features on a house simply because of their scale. You want to complement your architecture while paying close attention to the scale of other elements on the house.
Details and good proportions help elevate design. Two single doors often look better than one wide door, because the proportions coordinate better.
When a double door must be used, consider the design. Multipane windows and appropriately proportioned panels can complement the home’s design. Save double doors for contemporary architecture in which horizontal lines dominate the theme.
Also consider your garage‘s relative height to the finished front view of your house so as not to take away from the architecture and streetscape. While this solution is likely on the upper end of budget parameters, you should consider how the dimensions of your garage will affect the aesthetics of your house. Using single doors rather than double, setting the face of the garage back from the primary elevation and blending the design of the doors into the building are just some tricks to keep your garage proportions from overtaking your house.