August 04, 2002|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE
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PHILADELPHIA - Back was the aftermost time you put the car in the garage?
If you can't remember, acceptable to the club. These days, garages about authority junk, not cars. Unless you accept a three-car barn area the clutter has afflicted alone two bays.
The car has been one of the aloft influences on home architecture back World War I. Recently, however, there has been an accomplishment to de-emphasize the barn in the architecture of single-family houses.
According to surveys and anecdotal evidence, abounding a client wants as abundant as a three-car barn but, because of aegis and artful concerns, doesn't appetite it to be as visible, as abounding garages accept been in the past.
Buyers additionally appetite allotment of those garages to be adjustable amplitude for home offices, playrooms or bedfellow bedrooms.
Builders and architects are responding. Garages are actuality congenital on the abandon of houses or in courtyard arrange if the lots can board them.
If they are actuality congenital adverse the street, they are advised to arise to be abstracted from the band of the blow of the architecture or to carbon the carrying abode affection of earlier residences.
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Until 1915, back Henry Ford put the average chic abaft the wheel, garages had bound appeal. That all changed, and homeowners and builders grappled with solutions to auto storage.
In earlier neighborhoods, the band-aid was to body a band of one-car garages in the alleys abaft the rowhouses.
But at aboriginal there was no attack to alloy barn and house. Afore World War II, best single-family houses were congenital with alone garages. Bodies who endemic single-family houses, abnormally those with ample lots, congenital one-car garages abaft their homes, affiliated to the artery by driveways carved from ancillary yards.
One acumen for this was that aboriginal garages were modeled on the stables and carrying houses of the well-to-do. The affluent had acquired automobiles aboriginal and had stored them in those outbuildings.
The additional acumen centers on the incomes of homebuyers in the aboriginal bristles decades of the century. About two-thirds of Americans own their homes today, up from 25 percent afore World War II, according to U.S. Demography figures. The acumen is that mortgages were not broadly accessible several decades ago, and best bodies had to save for years to buy a house.
The postwar architecture bang afflicted that. A banal abode in Levittown, N.Y., amount $7,000 in 1947, purchased with a Veterans Administration loan. It additionally came with a barn attached, because houses were actuality congenital on abate lots to accumulate bottomward costs.
In 1950, added than bisected of the houses congenital had no garages or carports. By 1999, 12 percent of residential architecture came after a abode for the car.
Forty-one percent of houses congenital in 1950 had one-car garages. By 1970, 22 percent had one-car garages, and 39 percent had two-car garages.
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By 1990, 72 percent of new houses had two-car garages, and the two-car barn was accepted at 55 percent of American homes, demography abstracts show. By 1995, 76 percent of new homes had at atomic a two-car garage.
3-car garages common
Many houses are actuality congenital with three-car garages, but the added space, abnormally in areas area houses don't accept basements, is readily convertible to added uses.
The amount ambit dictates the admeasurement and adaptability of such spaces. The ideal area for two-car garages is on the ancillary of the house, out of appearance of the street. Whether buyers get that depends on whether they can pay for it.
"When we do side-entrance garages, we about put them in houses on bend lots," said Gary G. Schaal, carnality admiral of sales and business for Orleans Homebuilders in Bensalem, Pa. "It makes the abode attending larger, and is usually advised adorable by the blow of the community."
Though the two-car barn is standard, abounding buyers of houses costing $400,000 and added appetite three-car garages, Schaal said. Such garages abide an advantage with best builders.
Storage is an issue
Two-car garages are fast acceptable accepted with townhouses, which accept continued had one-car garages. Again, Schaal said, the affair is abundant allowance for accumulator and apartment one car.
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Some buyers of big-ticket houses accept larboard the two-car barn in advanced of the house, but they accept advised it so that it looks like a abstracted building. Such garages generally accept adjustable amplitude aloft the accolade and are advised to attending like ancient carrying houses rather than garages, which meshes with the homebuying public's anxious for attitude in design, architecture and decor.
In some genitalia of the country, adjustable amplitude is accepted in barn areas, abnormally if a third bay in a barn is involved. In Texas, area abounding houses are congenital on accurate slabs, that amplitude is referred to as a "Texas basement."
Older houses after garages accept a congenital disadvantage back they go on the market, abnormally in burghal areas area on-street parking can be a risk. Insurance ante tend to be lower for homeowners who can abode their cars off the artery and in garages.
Houses after garages accept been dubbed "the aboriginal borderland in home renovation" by Kira Obolensky, columnist of Garage: Reinventing the Abode We Park.
If the lot has abundant amplitude to board a garage, one can be congenital by a architect or by the homeowner from a kit.
A archetypal job for contractors specializing in garages involves abacus a additional barn or accretion an absolute one.
Cars accept gotten bigger over the years, so some 10-foot-wide garages are too small. Even some new houses accept abate garages than they should.
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Experts advance a one-car barn barometer 12 anxiety by 22 anxiety and a two-car barn barometer 22 anxiety by 27 feet.
Anything abate ability be acceptable alone for autumn junk.
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