Designing The Ideal Garage For Your New House

You have choices when it comes to the garage in your new home, so don't leave the details to a default design. The type of doors, opener and finishing work you choose will affect how much you enjoy that part of your new home. Here are some design considerations to make sure you get the most out of the garage space in your home.

Door Options

If you are building a two-car garage, you can have a single garage door span both bays or a single door for each side. One large door gives you quick access to the entire space, but also keeps you from getting in should that door hardware fail. With two doors, a failure of one still gives you access through the other. The flip side is that you double the hardware required with two doors - two sets of rails, springs, cables and garage door openers.

Some people elect to have windows in the garage doors. While this allows in natural light, it lets prying eyes see what you have in your garage. You'll also have more privacy with the two-door option. If you keep motorcycles, a boat and other recreational equipment in part of the garage, you can keep the garage door on that side closed to conceal the contents. A single door allows everyone to see what you have inside each time you lift the door to park the car.

Garage Door Openers

You have several options in garage door openers. The standard chain-drive model is the default for new homes, but you may find one of the other styles better for your garage. Here are your choices:

  • Chain drive - This unit sits in the middle of the ceiling in the garage. It uses a chain to lift the garage door along a central track extending from the middle of the door to the opener. These units tend to become noisy as the chain stretches and develops some slack.
  • Belt drive - This works like the chain drive but uses a fiberglass or rubber belt. They are quieter than a chain drive which is important if you have a bedroom or nursery above the garage.
  • Screw drive - This uses a long threaded rod to move the garage door up and down. It is quieter than the chain drive but louder than the belt drive units. It does open the garage door quicker than the other two models.
  • Direct drive - With this unit, the motor is attached to the garage door and rides along the track to open and close the door. This is the most quiet of the various openers.
  • Jackshaft - This unit is attached to the wall next to the garage door. It doesn't take up space on the ceiling, which is a benefit if you have a low ceiling or want to use the ceiling for storage.

For more information on garage doors and openers, contact a professional company, like Howard's Overhead Doors Inc., to discuss your options.

Finish Work Considerations

  • Have the garage insulated and drywall installed. This will keep the garage warmer should you want to work on projects in it. It also will keep rooms above the garage warmer.
  • Have plenty of electrical outlets put into the garage so you can use tools and car vacuums without needing to run extension cords from in the house to the garage.
  • Have a drain put into the concrete floor. You'll find this handy when you want to wash the garage floor and need a place for the dirty, oily water to go.