More often than not, if you drive through a sub-division you will see a garage door featuring front and center, a conjoined feature of the home structure. The design can’t be better described than this forum-ranter said: “Hi, I’m a garage with a house attached out back.” That begs the question: Why aren’t we taking advantage of the unique and underrated benefits of homes with detached garages?
Why is it that the garage has taken over the appearance of our homes?
Don’t get it wrong, we know well the importance of garages. It goes without saying, we all have cars and material objects and hobbies. Fortunately, the garage is a perfect place to find space-saving and spacious solutions for all those things.
We’re here to delve into the separation of the spaces though. Creating designated spaces is important, especially as we are spending more and more time in our homes and on our own properties. There are tons of benefits to a detached garage and we’re here to shine a light on them.
What builders or counties consider homes with detached garages?
Detached garages are buildings physically separate from the home. They provide functional space solutions for many different uses including sheltering cars, home offices, family game rooms, and much, much more.
In Virginia, where we primarily work, each county has specific definitions for residential buildings when it comes to permitting, and what we call a “detached garage” falls under a number of naming conventions. For example:
- Fairfax County → “Residential Addition”
- Prince William County → “Detached Accessory Structures”
- Fauquier County → “Accessory Structures”
Detached garages are the complement to your home or the accessory to your home itself.
We like to think of detached garages as the happy medium between the original vehicle storage, carriage houses, and the widely popularized attached garage.
That is to say when transport was left to horse-drawn carriages, the place to keep the “vehicle” was near the engine (the horses). So, that meant the transition from carriage houses to the first “houses” for the first cars was simply converting the carriage house into a shelter for the motorized vehicles.
Over time, with lot sizes decreasing and the ease of having a garage closer to the home (for carting in groceries or kids), the garage simply morphed into the home construction plan.
Lately, homes with detached garages are having a comeback. With people spending more time in their homes, many are considering investing in a detached garage. That’s why we wanted to dive into some of the benefits of investing in a detached garage. Not only will it transform your home life, but it will provide you with tons of extra space and space that is incredibly beneficial.
5 Unique and Underrated Benefits
With every choice and every decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. There are always the good and the bad, the happy and sad, and so on. We’re here to focus on just one side of the coin: the benefits we see in building a detached garage.
Of course, we know this may not be the option for everyone and invite you to check out our page delving into the advantages and disadvantages of detached garages.
Here are our favorite benefits of residential-detached garages:
1. The home is a home and not a garage
We echo the sentiment of Dave that we quoted above, why has the garage become the face of our home?
Detached garages offer a great solution to this home-architecture disease that has infiltrated our neighborhoods.
Your curb appeal will skyrocket if you put some distance between the garage and your home. You can have a beautiful porch, lush garden, or colored door take center stage instead.
Plus, a detached garage means you have more wall space to add windows to your home. Natural lighting for the win!
2. Move more, get outside
Often people opt for attached garages because it makes life easier. You don’t have to walk as far to unload groceries or you save a few steps getting into your house.
We’d like to counter that with the fact that we need to get outside and move more. Most of us have jobs that require us to sit behind computers, inside.
What better way to challenge that problem than to literally build our contact with the outdoors directly into the architecture of our home lives?
You may not think a few more steps or a few more minutes outdoors makes a difference. However, according to a recent study reported in Scientific Reports in 2019, it doesn’t matter how you get your contact with nature and the outdoors. The goal is simply to get 120 minutes each week.
That means, adding a few minutes each day moving from your home to your garage can certainly help. Plus, more contact with the outdoors is associated with better overall health and wellness.
3. Unlimited customization: layout, design, and functionality
Lot sizes, budgets, and personalization are all variables that make your garage decision uniquely yours.
Well, with detached garages you can design your perfect, custom building.
You choose the placement of your garage, the design, the layout, and how you will use it. Perhaps you want to heat it, or maybe you don’t need to? Do you need a home office, add it to your detached garage design plan. Want a home gym, designate a space, and include storage for your equipment.
On top of that, when you have a detached garage, you don’t have to worry about the style perfectly matching the home.
Check out our list of practical detached garage ideas here.
The options are limitless.
4. Work from home away from home
When designing your detached garage, consider the opportunity you have to take advantage of the buffer between your home and your garage.
With more and more people working from home, the popularity of outfitting the garage with a home office is a great option. You might want to create some space between the “work-life” and the “home-life.” What better way to do that than to build your office outside of your home?
Or, on the flip side, maybe you have a hobby like woodworking or working out. In this case, you might be making some noise. Including space for your extra hobbies away from your home will keep the peace.
5. Safer storage and safer home
Safety is important to homeowners.
Whether that means fire prevention or home security, safety is key.
Detached garages offer a safer solution on both sides.
First, garages are where we store things like paint, aerosol sprays, and other harmful chemicals or products. Not only are these types of products potentially harmful to your family, but they are potential fire risks. Storing these items in a building separate from your home ensures that fumes don’t enter your home and ensures your home maintains a healthier environment.
Second, garages are one of the common points of entry for burglars. Eliminating this option will provide an additional layer of security to your home.
When are homes with detached garages the right solution?
We are more than happy to answer your questions and provide you with our perspective. However, at the end of the day, the decision is yours.
With changing trends and times, it’s a good idea to reconsider the design and function of your home. Whether you need more storage, want an external home office, are worried about safety, or simply looking ahead at your options, a detached garage is a great solution.
Our team at Sheaffer Construction has experience building a wide range of homes with detached garages in Northern Virginia. Plus, as area experts, our team has the know-how for dealing with county building codes and the correct naming convention for “detached garage” in each county. You can learn more about our process here.
If you need help with deciding what the best solution is for you and what your options are, feel free to contact us here at Sheaffer Construction.