Oftentimes, when we talk about laying out a 3-vehicle garage, we stress that one of the parking spots is going to be occupied, for example, by a trailer, not a vehicle. There are other options as well, so let’s discuss them too.
Functionality of a three-car garage
Contrary to stereotypes, a three-car garage does not take up a huge amount of space and can be quite compact. Anyway, to provide convenience and functionality, one should calculate room, space, and size properly.
Three-car garages have the following functions, including, but not limited to:
- Safe and convenient parking for three vehicles of different types
- Storage of trailers and (seasonal) means of transportation (a boat, motor boat, etc.)
- Seasonal storage of tires, maintenance tools, and oil products, if the owner chooses to. The latter should be treated with maximum caution. This is a separate subject.
Laying it out: Stage Two
Stage One should specify your future garage’s main functions. Once they are outlined, you move over to the next stage, which includes measuring the dimensions of each vehicle, for which the garage is intended. Each one should have extra room around it for opening doors and convenient parking. Most likely, 2-3 feet will be enough.
If you are planning to carry out maintenance work in your garage, you will need a bit more room – 3-5 feet, depending on vehicles’ dimensions.
Important: when designing a three-car garage, you should make sure there is enough (but not too much) space for the owner to walk around all parked vehicles even if the garage is stuffed to capacity. Meanwhile, there should not be too much room, because every extra cubic meter will increase the cost of construction and utility bills.
Entrances require special attention, and their design should depend on the garage’s functionality. For example, if the garage is intended for maintenance and repair work as well, you must provide more room; so must you if you are planning to store boats, trailers, miniature tractors or other means of transportation or facilities as well. You may want to consider several entrance options, particularly a separate one for each vehicle based on the 2+1 scheme. The latter is particularly convenient if one of the parking spots is going to be occupied by a compact trailer. If you have three automobiles or you expect the garage to be used by more than one family, a 1+1+1 entrance layout – with separate entrances for each vehicle – will be a better option.
As to the type of garage door, it is better to use classic swing doors, slide doors, or automatic overhead folding sectional doors.
Planning extra space
Just like with other garage types, a three-car one raises the question about extra storage space. Unlike a two-car garage, for this one it is advisable to provide space at the sides rather than at the back of it. Although it provides only a tiny bit of space, it also guarantees convenient storage of seasonal tires and maintenance tools.