Properly sized 2 car garage plans will add value to your home, save you a lot of future aggravation and could save you some money. There are hundreds of free and almost free garage plans available for purchase or immediate download from the internet. Make a bad choice and you may actually decrease the value of your home.
When I recently conducted a home plan search in the 2100 to 2499 square foot category, 40 of the 50 I found were 2 car garage plans. A few of the garages were 24′ square (a good thing), with many in the 20′ X 20′ range (NOT so good) and one 19′ wide (ludicrous!).
What kind of cars do you drive? Better yet, what kinds of cars do the future buyers of your home drive? If the world had nothing to store and everyone drove a Mini Cooper, no problem. For the rest of us, plan on 24′ square at a minimum.
Why so big? Many of today’s popular cars and SUVs are 16 to 17 feet long, leaving little room to walk around the car with the garage door closed. Worse yet, install 18″ to 24″ deep storage shelves or a 25″ deep workbench in front of your cars and there isn’t room for you.
With so many people parking their $20,000+ automobiles outside, you would think the C.R.A.P. stored inside was actually worth something. If you do have valuable stuff stored inside, why not make room for your cars, too? Add a garage workbench, a tool box, a few tools and some recreational equipment and things could get really tight.
Compare these two garage plans:
1. Plan one is 20′ deep with a 16′ long Chevrolet Trailblazer parked inside. With one foot of clearance at the back of the Trailblazer you only have three feet in front. Add a 25″ deep workbench and there is 11″ left for skinny you. Drive a full sized pickup and you’re sunk.
2. Plan two is 24′ deep with the same Trailblazer parked inside and one foot of clearance at the back. Now you have nearly five feet between your vehicle and the workbench.
What about width? Most garage planners advise you to leave 30″ between cars and any obstruction, including other cars, walls, etc. Why? So you can open your car door and get you and your stuff out without contortions.
Let’s again compare two garage plans:
1. Plan one is 20′ wide. With 30″ between two average cars (about 6’3″ wide each) and between your cars and the walls, your garage must be a least 20′ wide. There is no room for shelving.
2. Plan two is 24′ wide. With 24″ shelving on both walls you still have 30″ between and beside your cars.
How much more do 2 car garage plans cost? If you buy a house with a 20′ square garage and a 30 year, $200,000 mortgage at 6% interest, your payment would be about $1,240 per month. Expanding your garage to 24′ square adds 176 square feet to the house and $8,800 to the cost (at $50 per square foot or less for garage space). Your payment increases by about $53 per month. How much are you paying for mini storage?
In addition to valuable storage space, room for a garage workbench, toolbox, shelving, etc., your cars are less likely to get door dings, you won’t have to back out of the garage to let someone climb in and your mini storage costs will go down. The resale value of your home will also likely go up in the future and your home may even sell sooner than a similar one with a smaller garage. What’s the bottom line? When you search for 2 car garage plans, it really pays to be picky.
NOTE: The financial examples in this article are for illustration purposes only. Your particular circumstances, real estate market and building costs may vary from those provided here.