A residential garage (i// or i//) is part of a home, or an associated building, designed or used for storing a vehicle or vehicles. In some places the term is used synonymously with "carport", though that term normally describes a structure that, while roofed, is not completely enclosed.
Australian homes typically have a two, one and a half or double car garage, with some newer houses having a triple garage, with one double door and one single door. Prior to the 1970s most of them were detached from the house, usually set further back with the driveway leading up past the side of the house, common with old fibreboard houses, but not uncommon with earlier brick houses. The most common doors on these garages were either 2 wooden barn style doors with a standard sized access door on the side of the garage, or the B&D Rolla Door, which is described below.
The most common garage door to date in Australia is the B&D Rolla Door, having been around since 1956 and still in heavy use today. They are a corrugated flexible but strong sheet steel door, sliding up tracks and rolling around a drum mounted above the door opening on the inside of the garage. These come in manual and remote controlled electric (known as the Control-a-Door), with conversion kits available. Locking is provided by a key lock in the centre of the door moving two square sliding lock bars in and out of holes in the door tracks, locking and unlocking it, or by the solenoid lock in the automatic motor.
Newer homes feature more American styled tilting panel lift doors which slide up onto a track on the ceiling via a motor and chain drive. Since the late 70's most if not all garages are attached, and throughout the 80's it became more common to have an access door into the home from the garage where design permitted, whereas it is commonplace now. Most older unit (apartment) blocks in Australia have garages on the ground floor accessible through a common hallway and access doors, all leading into a common driveway. Newer ones now have underground parking.
In the United Kingdom
The common term for these structures in the first decades of the 20th century was motor house. Traditionally, garage doors were wooden, opening either as two leaves or sliding horizontally. Newer garages are fitted with metal up-and-over doors. Increasingly, in new homes, such doors are electrically operated.
Typically, a small British single garage is 8 by 16 feet (2.4 m × 4.9 m), a medium single garage is 9 by 18 feet (2.7 m × 5.5 m), and a large single garage is 10 by 20 feet (3.0 m × 6.1 m). Family saloons have become bigger than they were in the past, so the larger size has become a preferred option. A typical large family car like the Ford Mondeo is about 15 by 6 feet (4.6 m × 1.8 m), meaning that even with the larger size garage, it is necessary to park to one side to be able to open the driver's door wide enough to enter or exit the vehicle.
In the early days of the motor car, a garage played in important role in protecting the vehicle from the weather (particularly so as to reduce rust). It was also the case that early motor cars started more easily when they were warm, so that keeping them in a garage rather than outside made it easier to get the engine going in the morning. Modern motor cars, however, are very well protected against rust, and modern engines start with no difficulty even in very cold conditions.
In North America
Many garage doors open upward using an electric chain drive, which can often be remotely controlled from the resident's vehicle with a small radio transmitter. Garages are connected to the nearest road with a driveway. Interior space for one or two cars is typical, and garages built since the 1950s typically have a door directly connecting the garage to the interior of the house (an "attached garage"). Earlier garages were often detached and located in the back yard of the house, accessed either via a long driveway or from an alley.
In the past, garages were often separate buildings from the house ("detached garage"). On occasion, a garage would be built with an apartment above it, which could be rented out. As automobiles became more popular, the idea of attaching the garage directly to the home grew into a common practice. While a person with a separate garage must walk outdoors in every type of weather, a person with an attached garage has a much shorter walk inside a building.
Garages are often found where the attic entrance is located. Also used to store tools, bicycles and lawn equipment most garages have unfinished concrete floors. Some garages include a separate storage room to partially alleviate this problem.
Around the start of the 21st century, companies began offering "portable garages" in the United States. Mostly, these garages are made of metal and do not attach to the house or other structure, much like the garages built prior to the 1960s. Many homeowner's associations frown upon the installation of these nonconforming buildings, but still, their popularity is growing.
Garage flooring companies can install flooring products that are not generally available to the homeowner, providing a coating system that will last may years. Theses include epoxies, polyurethanes, polyaspartics, and modular garage tiles to name a few.
Gallery of special garages
Garages in the United States and Canada used to store streetcars and buses are often referred to as carhouse or car barn. These storage facilities are either metal or brick structures used to store streetcars or buses away from the elements. In Britain they are referred to as bus depot or depot.
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- Moore, Alan (2 April 2013). "Garage History". VersaTube. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
- "Starting Old Cars". Retrieved 2013-05-24. "This whole operation takes a certain amount of time. On a 50-degree day, for instance, the car won't operate normally for at least 5 minutes of driving. On colder days you might spend 10-15 minutes "nursing" the car until it warms up to normal operating temperature."
- "Copy a garage door opener - how to do video". thiss.ch. 2012.
- "Rebuilding HP's Garage". Hewlett-Packard. Retrieved 30 June 2013.