The garage is dead — long live the garage?
The desire for urban living means that more homes are being built without garages — and more are being built with bigger garages.
Is America's love affair with the garage over?
We're not ready to give back the ring yet, but new census data shows that the number of new single-family homes constructed without garages has risen from 8% in 2005 to 13% in 2011.
Living in an urban Florida neighborhood, where most people's garages were turned into efficiency apartments or additional bedrooms decades ago, we might have missed this trend. We already know where you put the band if you don't have a garage: in the living room, because you don’t have a basement, either.
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Then again, those of us in Florida are pretty sure we won't have to shovel snow off our car windshields any morning this winter, which we see as one of the main advantages of a garage in snowy climates.
According to a report in USA Today, the decline of the garage is probably attributable to the growing popularity of urban infill homes, many built on small lots with no room for garages — such as the older, urban South Florida neighborhoods where we have been living for decades without ever having a garage for a car.
The new urban homeowners also favor front porches, where they can talk with their neighbors, as well as smaller homes. The percentage of new homes with porches (front or back) has increased from 42% in 1992 to 64% in 2011, according to census data.
"The front porch acts as a social mechanism," said Christopher Leinberger, a Philadelphia-area developer who is president of Smart Growth America's LOCUS, which promotes walking over driving, in USA Today. "You sit on the porch and talk to people walking by without having to invite them in. It's outdoor space without taking up too much space."
In 1971, when the Census Bureau started compiling data on parking features of new homes, only 57% of homes built had garages and another 17% had carports. The carport began to decline in 1974; only 1% of homes built since 1996 have had carports.
We're pretty sure the garage is not leaving suburbia any time soon. The same report noted that 18% of the new homes built in 2011 had garages big enough for at least three cars — a number that did not appear on the report until 1992. That was down from a high of 20% of homes with three-car garage built in 2005. Another 62% of homes had two-car garages.
Would you give up your garage to live in a smaller home with a front porch in a more urban neighborhood?
No, my garage is my sanctuary. It is where I keep my spare refrigerator for my beer and fish bait.
Because people illegally convert garages to living spaces does not magically convert illegally and dangerous living space to modern living space unless one is capable of acting wiht impunty against modern zoning ordinances. This concept has been in place in Southern California with illegal aliens being housed in bunk beds 5 to 6 tall in converted garages in 'sanctuary' cities, but permitting these activities does not transform the unhealthful and dangerous conditions. Recently single family dwellings are converted to 'motels' that charge Red Chinese $15,000 per month and are supported by illegal alien services that contest immigration laws, but are operated with impunity to mere zoning/health laws.
The question to ask actually is 'Would you give up zoning health laws for illegal alien smugglers' profit margins?'
Started in an apartment. Caught an SOB breaking into cars that were in the parking lot. Moved into a rental with a garage. Made it possible to actually fix my car if the weather turned to crap. Now, we bought our first home a couple years ago, and the 2-car garage was a must. The large side yard was a bonus, as I needed a lace to park my custom built semi truck. The vehicles park in the driveway, except when I need to work on them. The garage houses the thousands of dollars in tools, and equipment I use almost daily to build/fabricate, repair, or otherwise make use of things that would typically get tossed out by people with no imagination. It also now houses the 11'x5' N-Scale model railroad I am building to enjoy with my three kids, and eventually grand kids. It will stay there, until the 32' 5th wheel trailer is done, to house the train, then the garage will be my shop again.
I finally built my 24' X 36' with 10' ceiling garage a few years ago. It is the best thing I could have done to my property.
It is 2 X 6 construction and fully insulated and have heat when needed. holds 2 cars and 3 motorcycles A refrigerator and upright freezer. A High end Hifi system and LCD TV mounted on wall. 2 large storage cabinets and 3 upright storage shelves. It also has 2 foot deep storage shelves 7 feet off the floor around the parameter of the garage with the exception of where the 18 foot wide garage door is located.
I could not imagine being with out a garage now. I also have a garden shed and a tool shed where I stored all I could before the garage.
Life is much better with a garage.
Once you have on you will never want to be without.
Lived with out a garage for most of my life and always wished i had one. now at 49 i do i rent and found o home with a single detacthed garage and now i am very happy. only draw back is i have a jeep commander and getting into it is a chour sometimes due to the garage being kinda small but i ge in and have room on the driver side to move around really good and a work bench that i can access with the jeep in in but no room in the rear or the front and i am very HAPPY to have itand would not want to due with out one againholds my lawn mower,snow blower and many other things almost perfect for me...
'Built a garage after a cat incident. Evil cat came into my carport night after night with muddy paws and dirtied up the entire car. After getting tired of washing the car 57 times (It was a NEW $38,000 car), I got a car cover. Cat slept on top of the cover anyway to stay warm at night. Owners were jerks and kept it outdoors day and night, never paid attention to it. Allergic to cats, I started having sneezing fits whenever it had to be removed. Gave up for awhile, put a blanket on the hood with anti-cat spray, it raged on me, pulled the blanket off, CLAWED the paint on the car hood. I was lucky it didn't urinate down the AC vent.
Enclosed the carport, added value to my house, no more human-hating cats bothered me. The bad neighbors moved out of the house because of mold, the cat took off for good, thinking it was abandoned. I can't wait to see the comments admonishing the owners and defending this neglected animal, it was an unneutered male by the way. Some cats are nice people, not this one!
I also rent a large gated storage garage for $60 a month which is a bargain for the storage crap. When I decide to get rid of a bunch of this junk, I'm not left paying 30 years of interest and insurance for wasted space. Financially, its a no-brainer.
The reason for the 13% that don't want a garage is, they can't afford a CAR!
My wife and I recently moved into our current home. When looking
for a home, a 2-car garage was an absolute MUST. We keep both
our cars inside and still have room for miscellaneous. Why should
I keep 2 cars worth approximately $20K-$25K outside and fill my
garage with $500 worth of crap.