Different Types of Garages (Complete Guide)


There are many types of garages, so let’s take a look at what your options are. Maybe you are building a new garage, a new home, or purchasing a home with a garage.

There are attached, integral, detached, breezeway, carports, front-facing, 90° inward-facing, below the house, side of the house, upstairs home, barn, and portable garages with different layout and door configurations.

We also take a look at various materials garages are made.

Attached Garage

The attached garages are the most popular option and are usually built simultaneously as the house is. With the attached garage, you are safe from elements anytime when using your car. Many homeowners use garages also as a workspace and storing household items. Convenient for cold areas.

Pros

  • No exposure to harsh weather
  • Direct and fast access from your house

Cons

  • Not easily customizable outside
  • Car fumes and other unpleasant smells can drift in house

When to Choose an Attached Garage

  • Comes with the house often so not much choice there. You can add one if
  • Your HOA (neighborhood homeowner’s association only allows this type
  • You have a disability where easy access to the house is needed

Integral Garage

The integral garage is like an attached garage. Still, the house designer has integrated the garage to be more like part of the house. Instead of looking like something that’s just added to the house’s side afterward, as many attached garages look. So the aesthetics of the entire home looks very pleasing to the eye.

Pros

  • No exposure to harsh weather
  • Direct and fast access from your house
  • Aesthetically complements your home

Cons

  • Car fumes and other unpleasant smells can drift in house
  • Noise from a workshop can be too loud for other occupants

When to Choose an Integral Garage

  • Comes with the house often so not much choice there. You can add one if
  • Your HOA (neighborhood homeowner’s association) only allows this type
  • You have a disability where easy access to the house is needed

Detached Garage

Detached garages can be almost anywhere on your property and easily customized to look like your house, even if you build one afterward. Or you can apply some other exterior finish that makes your garage unique. Detached garages are also a great option if your home doesn’t have a good garage door access point.

They can also be built anytime after the initial construction of the house.

There are many options, from prefabricated to custom garages. Detached garages make an excellent place for your workshop too. Keeping the loud noises from the machinery away from your house.

Read here where detached garage should be located.

Pros

  • No car fumes drifting to your house
  • No disturbing workshop noises to other occupants
  • It can be almost anywhere on your property
  • Lots of customization options

Cons

  • Exposure to weather
  • No direct access from the house to the garage

When to Choose a Detached Garage

  • You have lots of room on your property
  • You have loud machinery and tools in your workshop

Breezeway/Portico

Suppose you have a detached garage near your house. Opting for a breezeway is an excellent way to connect your garage and home. You can opt just for a roof to keep you dry or enclose the entire area. So you are safe from the weather when transitioning from your home to the garage.

It’s also a great space to store dirty boots and clothes or wash a dog etc. Not having to go entirely outside brings the convenience of an attached garage to your detached garage.

Pros

  • No car exhaust or other smells carry from the garage to the house
  • Protection from the weather during the transition to a car

Cons

  • It takes up some space
  • It may be challenging to construct afterward.

When to Choose a Breezeway

  • Best sides of attached and unattached garages in the same packet
  • You want convenient access to your garage

Carports

A carport is a semi-covered structure.

Carports offer limited protection to vehicles from elements. The structure can be free-standing or attached to your home wall, unlike garages. A carport does not have four walls and usually has none or two.

Carports are great for protecting vehicles from sun, sap, snow, freeze, and falling debris. Carports are simple to build from scratch, or you can buy a prefabricated carport.

Carports and walls can be made of wood, brick, stone, or other suitable materials to match your home style.

Read all about carports here.

Pros

  • Cheap and fast to build
  • Many sizes and customization available
  • It prevents car glasses from freezing

Cons

  • Limited protection from weather
  • Not suitable for storage

When to Choose a Carport

  • You already have a garage and need more parking space. Carports are great supplementary structures.

Portable Garage/Motor Port

Portable garages are not attached to the ground permanently and can easily be removed/relocated and have a canvas, steel, or vinyl covering walls.

A good option for homeowners who need just a temporary garage to protect vehicles from elements.

  • Some neighborhood associations require you to cover boats, RVs, outdoor equipment, and other vehicles to reduce the visual clutter.
  • Portable garages are easy and fast to install and take apart. Quality products are made to withstand heavy wind and snow.
  • For steel variety, floor, windows, and doors are usually not included and ordered separately.
  • For larger and expensive items like boats and RVs. Opting for a big portable garage or motor port is a good option to keep vehicles out of the elements.
  • There are specifically designed motor ports with a strong waterproof and fire-retardant polyethylene cover or steel to house bigger objects.

Check local building codes and HOA (neighborhood homeowner’s association) regulations. To find out if the portable garage is allowed in your area.

Read more about alternatives to a garage in here.

Pros

  • Cheap and fast to erect
  • It can be located almost anywhere
  • Protects your vehicles from weather
  • It prevents car glasses from freezing

Cons

  • Not suitable for storage

When to Choose a Portable Garage

  • You need only a temporarily garage

Front-Facing Garage

Very common and easily placed on either side of your house.

90° Inward-Facing Garage

For different floor plans.

Side of the House Garage

Good option if your house is oriented side to the street.

Below the House Garage

For hilly areas or as a design element. Offers a lot of great options for patios or rooms above the garage.

Upstairs Home Garage

It’s a dream home for garage enthusiasts. Having a garage to build cars or any projects and living upstairs. You’ll have plenty of space for your work downstairs and cost-effective living without the long transitions to the workplace.

Garage homes like this can be custom build or purchased as a kit. There are many options with vaulted ceilings, lots of windows, and loft-style areas.

Barn/Loft Garage

Converting the old barn to the garage or building a new hybrid garage is a good option also. You’ll have plenty of storage space in the loft or overhead and keeping your car downstairs. These are highly customizable to match your home style also.

You can pick the same style of roof shingles as your home even. It can be build also with easy access with side doors—a great option for the countryside.

Parking Layouts For Garages

Single Bay 1 Door

For one car or small workspace and storing some items. It doesn’t have a lot of extra room so opting for the bigger garage is a good idea for small homes and little usage of garages.

Double-Wide 1 or 2 Doors

A widespread double-wide door is ideal for larger cars like trucks and SUVs, or vans. And you will only need one garage door opener.

Double garage doors can also be a design element.

Garages like these offer a lot of space for storage. And can be extended with overhead storage. Building a bigger two-car garage also offers space for a workshop.

3 Car Garage With One, Two or 3 Doors

Big garages for three cars or 1-2 cars and lots of space for storage and workshop. These larger garages are an excellent option for any property that has room for them.

You can store your kid’s cars and ridable lawnmowers, and lots of yard and common tools. Or set up a workshop with a lot of machinery. Bigger space can easily be used in several ways.

4 Car Garage With 2/4 Doors

Giant garages for garage enthusiasts and big families with lots of cars. These offer endless options with storage space and maybe even separate work areas. Same perks as three-car garages+even more space for anything you can think of.

Tandem Garage

Rarer type and seen in real estate with limited space for a garage.

Fits usually two vehicles, but instead of parked side to side, Vehicles are parked nose-to-tail. Which means one car will be parked in.

Not very convenient for two cars that are used daily.

Check out garage sizes from this article.

Garage Building Materials

Stainless Steel

Very light and durable material and easy and fast assembly from prefab kits. Stainless steel doesn’t rust or lose its properties even in harsh conditions. There is no worry from rodents or insects damaging the garage. A very long-lasting choice for the garage. Install additional access doors besides the large bays for convenience.

Wood

Classic, beautiful, and looks great with any style of home. Works also perfectly as a storage shed or a workshop. Can be custom build or purchased as pre-cut kits. Wood comes in various choices as you can build almost anything out of it—a good choice for DIY.

The wood garage is easy to paint and style to match your home perfectly. However, wood garages require upkeep over the years lot more than steel or vinyl. You have to paint it every ten years or so and keep the rodents and water damage away from the building.

Vinyl Plastic Resin

As durable and long-lasting as stainless steel, they also withstand insects, rodents and they don’t rot. Easy to wash and available in a range of colors and styles. A great DIY choice, among others.

Prepped for Vinyl

Prepped for vinyl means you can install any siding you want, so the garage matches your home perfectly—highly customizable as well as other garage types. Install doors and windows where you need them.

Polyethylene

Mostly used in portable garages.

Polyethylene fabric is durable and made for the outdoors. Even if there is a small rip in the fabric, don’t worry, as the seams are heat welded together so larger tears can’t happen. Steel frames and tubes anchored to the ground keep the garage in place even in windy or snowy conditions.

Garage Roof Material

Metal

Prefabricated steel garages and carports usually come with steel roofs. Steel roof is a long-lasting, weather-resistant, durable choice for any kind of garage type.

Shingle

A good-looking classic for your attached garage. Long-lasting if adequately maintained. The attached garages are built simultaneously as the house, so shingles create a singular, seamless, and matching look.

Garage Floors

Epoxy

Epoxy is a long-lasting choice for the garage floor and looks great. You can DIY epoxy floors with kits. Just buy a high-quality one. Easy to clean and won’t be affected by any chemicals, and doesn’t scratch. Preparing old floors for epoxy takes time and is not a fast project but is worth it.

Read about Epoxy floors here.

Tiles

Porcelain, hard plastic, and vinyl make sure you can find something for your budget and needs for flooring. With tiles, you can make very personal floors as with epoxy. Easy to install and keep clean, and some options have anti-slip properties.

Read more about tiles here.

Paint

Cleaning the old floors for fresh paint can take a little time but is required for the fresh paint to hold on. Paint scratches easily and is a very thin layer. Paint is affected by other chemicals.

It would be best if you painted your garage floor regularly to maintain good-looking floors. You can mix paint with anti-slip flakes or some epoxy also.

Paint epoxy kits are not recommended as they are not the same thing as real epoxy floors.

Mats

Plastic mats are cheap and fast to install and cover the old concrete floors with a new look easily. Not very durable or scratch-resistant. Some mats are glued to concrete, then there are roll-out mats, interlocking, and peel and stick variety for a different kind of option.

Read all about garage floor mats here.

Carpets

Use carpets only in insulated and heated or cooled garages. And for showcasing cars or similar usage. Rugs are hard to keep clean and dry and forms mold easily. They are not recommended for normal garage usage. Remember to buy outdoor carpets if you must use them.

Concrete With Sealer

You can always just seal the concrete and keep it protected from chemicals and water. Easy to clean and resists even a little bit of scratching. Easy and fast installation.

Read more about sealers in this article.

Unfinished Garages

Garages are usually left unfinished to save money in the construction phase of a new home.

Typical garage usage is just to store cars and boxes of stuff. And yard tools, bikes, and sports equipment. So most homeowners do not need the garage to be finished.

Finishing the garage means usually installing insulation if it is needed depending on your location and climate. And completing the floors, walls, and ceilings. And installing heatingcooling, and proper ventilation.

If you are going to use your garage for work, projects or you spend a lot of time there otherwise. Finishing and upgrading the garage is highly recommended for your comfort.

Cost of Different Types of Garages

Building a garage costs $17,000 to $38,000 on average.

A typical build runs from $35 to $70 per square foot.

Large, luxury custom work with high-end materials like slate and brick costs $50,000 to $100,000.

Adding a workshop or extra stalls could add another $10,000 to $40,000.

  • The cost to build a 1-car garage is between $7,500 to $14,200,
  • a 2-car garage costs $19,600 and $28,200,
  • a 3-car garage ranges from $28,200 to $42,700.

A detached garage costs $15,000 to $55,000 or about 20% to 40% more than an attached garage. Some homeowners have reported costs up to $120,000.

An attached garage costs $10,000 to $40,000. Some reports have them as high as $100,000.

A two-story attached garage to extend living space can cost as much as $180,000.

Prefabricated garages cost $10,000 to $50,000 for most standard single and double-wide buildings. That price includes the unit, a foundation, delivery, and installation. The unit alone costs $5,000 to $40,000.

Two-story and luxury prefabricated garage kits can hit $95,000 or more.

A steel garage kit costs $4,000–$6,500, while prefab garages will generally start in the $5,000 price range for a two-car space.

Garage epoxy floors cost $1,500 to $3,000.

Garage floor refinishing and polishing costs $3 to $10 per square foot for concrete resurfacing.

You can also use other flooring types costing $1,500 to $4,500, like tile.

Building an apartment over a garage costs $175,000. But just extending a garage and adding another stall costs $10,000 to $25,000.

Carports costs $3,500 to $9,500 on average.

Check this article out on how much it cost to build a garage

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