Size and layout specifics for a one car garage

A single-car garage is the most common and least expensive solution for a cottage owner. What should one consider when designing the future garage to satisfy all car owner’s needs?

Step 1. Evaluation of needs

Dimensions of cars

Every planned idea requires thorough evaluation of needs. When designing a garage, please, consider the following things:

Car class (and, consequently, dimensions);

Driver’s skills (lack of experience or occasional driving necessitates using a wider door);

If you are planning to have a storage, technical maintenance, or other zones in your garage;

Whether the garage is going to be housed in a separate building or part of an existing object, for example, a residence (in the latter case, characteristics of the objects – height, façade, etc., should be considered).

Important: even if the owner has minimal needs and is intent on saving, it is imperative that there be enough space for the owner to freely and easily walk around the car with the garage door closed and the car’s doors open.

Step2. Type of door

Type of garage door

Many beginner architects underestimate the importance of the choice of door type, as a vital thing like the height of a building depends on it. For example, if the owner is going to use a sectional door, he/she will need more space above. Indeed, should the owner go for a low-budget option, a swing door will be just right. Definitely, the advantageous price entails some inconveniences, such as having to provide room outside in front of the door and exert physical effort and spend time to open/close the garage. A snow fall will result in having to use a shovel to clear snow from the area. This is what it takes to open a swing door and drive out.

Important: fitting will have to bear workload, the amount of which will depend on the choice of door type. Therefore, it should be regarded with due responsibility. One day, the owner may want to replace the swing door with, for example, a sectional one, so please, take this possibility into consideration and increase the building’s height.


A minimum size single-car garage is believed to be a car’s dimensions (width and length) plus a margin of 2-3ft on each side. This gives the owner the freedom of movement around his/her “iron horse”. However, this baseline leaves little room for safe storage of tires and maintenance tools; therefore, it is a lock-up garage and it is only good for protecting a car from thieves and weather.

Minimal height should be 6-7ft, depending on how tall the owner and his family members are. However, this height will not be safe for the car owner, because keeping an engine running even for a minimum amount of time with the garage door closed can be fatal. Consequently, this height requires ventilation: at least, there should be ventilation holes in side walls.

A good ventilation system is something that any type of garage needs badly. However, if you are planning to create a storage zone, either for maintenance tools or oil products, it should be located close to the ventilation. Thus you can reduce the risk of suffocation, poisoning, and fire.

Optimal size

Size of a single vehicle garage

A garage that houses a car with doors, hood, and trunk open, and allows for 2-4ft wide space on each side is considered optimal-sized.

The width and length of the storage zone, if you are planning to include it, should be added to the figures.

This approach will guarantee safe storage of a car in the garage, as well as easy access to every part of it,  loading/unloading, and simple technical maintenance.

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