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Old 02-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
John in OH
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Default Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Currently have a single car attached garage, but would like to remove this existing garage and build a double car garage. I can probably build a 20' x 20' with no issues, but to go larger I may need a variance due to lot line restrictions.

So, the question .... would a 20' x 20' garage (inside dimensions) be adequate for two SUVs, some storage shelves along the sides and a workbench area in the front? If 20' x 20' is inadequate, what size would you all recommend without going crazy on the size? 20' x 22'? 22' x 22'? 24' x 24'? Is width more valuable than length or vis-a-vis?

Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

20 x 20 is pretty small but not useless. At 20 ft in length you better have short SUV's to get much of a front work area. Our 4 Runner in a 24 leaves a nice work space in front at about 5 ft and about a foot to the rear. With a 20 ft width you'll need to limit anything on the sides to about 16 inches width. If you can increase dimensions go as big as you can fit and afford. Depending on your specific vehicles width vs length is a matter of personal need. I consider 24 x 24, 24 x 28 and 28 x 28 to be really useful sized residential garages. Mine is 28 x 44 and I'd consider 28 just nice for the width with a minimum of 24 ft for length prefering 26 or even 28 ft as better alternatives where possible in urban environments. I live on an acreage and I'd at least double mine if I could afford it.

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:25 PM   #3
Stuart in MN
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

The simple answer is to build the biggest garage you can...they are never big enough. However, I suppose it depends on how big your SUVs are - are they Suburbans or Hondas? Personally, I'd go with 24x24 if you have the space. I used to have a 12x24 one car garage; the inside dimensions were more like 11x23, and with some shelves, a workbench and my 1961 Bonneville in there (it's about 18.5 feet long and I don't know how wide) it was pretty tight.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Personally having a 20x20, there's no way you can fit 2 SUV's in, especially full size. We have a small SUV (Infiniti FX), and it barely fits length-wise with some small shelves. My pickup (full size bed) sticks like 5 feet out the door if you try to pull it in.

Regarding the width, I have a workbench, toolbox etc along one side wall and I will tell you there is absolutely no way you could fit another car in there width-wise. I think you could maybe fit 2 compact cars in a 20x20, with nothing else along either side wall.

My personal experience is that you would need to go bigger in both directions to fit 2 SUVs. I think around here 20x20 is the minimum to be able to sell it as a "2-car" but you'd be VERY hard pressed to get 2 cars in one.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

the way i figure it out is length of the car add on 5 feet to it take the with of the car with the doors open add 5 feet to that

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Old 02-24-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

My garage is 24x32 and I wish I had an extra 8 feet both ways!! I would say 24x24 minimum. You are better off going with like that anyway to help minimize lumber waste.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

i have 21 x 28. no way to get shop plus 2 suv's in your space. How about raising the ceiling, put in a lift, and effectively park 2 vehicles and retain some shop space? (no idea if a 10x20 bay fits the wide bendpak 9 lits).

Personally, I'd go wide over long. (not sure if my wife agrees..............!)

Of course, in our town, I'd rather die than go through the variance process.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

You need to think thru what you plan on having in the shop. Things seem to collect around the walls to the point that you can't walk thru the middle. With nothing in the shop but the object you are working on, then you need some area around the object being worked on. If that is filled with stuff, tools, and benches, then your going to cussin' yourself for building too small.

24 x 24 is good unless you have no self control with collecting tools and stuff/junk.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

IMHO, lawn is just a place waiting for a garage to be built!
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

I had a 20 x 20 in my last house and it was small. We made due but I really had not room to work unless I pulled the cars out and I was always worried my wife was going to hit my tool box.
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

First see how large you are able to build, in my county it was 550 sq ft.

I went with a 22w x 24d garage and I'm building a 4x5 mudroom to max out the space.
Sometimes a county dictates the size...
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Old 02-24-2009, 04:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

i think mines is a 22x20, not very far from a 20x20. We have 2 sedans in mines and a lawnmower and random stuff on the side. My 26' c-man box as well. Its is very cramped for my likings. I cant work on a car with both cars in there. I always have to pull one out, it comes a hassle. You always run into a problem of not being able to close the door at times.

I can never think about 2 SUV in there.
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by jshillin View Post
My garage is 24x32 and I wish I had an extra 8 feet both ways!! I would say 24x24 minimum. You are better off going with like that anyway to help minimize lumber waste.
A big ditto....I have the same size shop as you and could use 8 ft in either direction!
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojans View Post
I had a 20 x 20 in my last house and it was small. We made due but I really had not room to work unless I pulled the cars out and I was always worried my wife was going to hit my tool box.
I have to laugh at your comment. A real garage guy is worried about his tool box, not the damage to the wife's car.

I agree with the general consensus. My back garage is 20 deep and you can barely get a car in with any space front and back I have 24 wide and like others said, I wish it was bigger in all directions.

You can never have enough garage space.
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

John -

I have a 20x20 and was able to park a Ford Ranger and a Dodge Intrepid in it but it was tight! No room for shelves, except for high shelves or a bench. Barely enough room for a trash can and mower.

I suggest checking with zoning to see how large you can go and factor that in your decision.

You will need a new roof so think about going up. A high ceiling may mean you can add a lift if you want. Also think attic/storage trusses to get a lot of the "stuff" that tends to collect in the garage off the floor and off the walls.

If you feel really ambitious, get some graph paper and lay out your proposed garage. Make some scale cut outs of your cars, tool box, etc. and see how they fit. Simple rectangles and squares will do.

Another idea would be to lay out a 20x20 box with some string or school chaulk and park your vehicles in the box. That might give you a better visualization of your space. Just remember you will have walls to deal with.

Good luck.

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:49 PM   #16
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Also take into account that you may have to go with frost footings even if it wasn't built that way to begin with. Codes have changed around here and all new construction and any remodels where you are adding onto the house would require going down to the existing footing or the below the frost line depending on codes and structure use.
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
I have to laugh at your comment. A real garage guy is worried about his tool box, not the damage to the wife's car.

I agree with the general consensus. My back garage is 20 deep and you can barely get a car in with any space front and back I have 24 wide and like others said, I wish it was bigger in all directions.

You can never have enough garage space.
Of course, the car is insured...
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

Try it yourself. Mark out a 20x20ft area in the lawn/driveway and park all the big stuff in that area. Then open a few doors, and move stuff from the front to the back, etc. -- without going outside the lines

FWIW I have several 10x20' SUV tents that I'm using for temporary cover for our vehicles, and as construction tents while I build the garage. I've done some minor maintenance on an medium size SUV in one of them. It is very tight for opening a door unless I park way to one side (e.g. a fully open door hits the wall - ouch). And there is very little space to work in front unless the tail is hanging out. Walking along the side carrying tools, etc. is always a little risky for scratches etc.

IMHO 2 SUVs in a 20x20 makes it a "parking" garage. To use it as even a minimal workshop, you will have shuffle SUVs.

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

When we built the attached garage was suppose to be 20 x 20. Cement guy did slab at 20 x 22 and I am glad he messed up. We have a Ranger and a Volvo wagon. To get both cars in and able to open the doors I have to angle the Ranger and park the Volvo closer to the house wall - which has the entrance door. If I did not have the extra 2 ft in depth, I would not have any room for cabinets. As it is, my wife and her friend trash the ones that are in there.

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Old 02-25-2009, 03:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Standard Garage Size Recommendation

20 x 20 would be reaaaly small for 2 SUVs. To give you an example, here are a few pics of my 19 x 21 garage with a 2003 Toyota truck (extended cab) and a compact car. Not much room at all in front of the truck and not much room to the sides. My next garage will be much bigger. Anyway, here are some pics. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. You can see what a tight fit it is.











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