You probably wouldn’t put your king-size bed in a loft space overlooking the great room. Yet we accept leaving our vehicles parked outside because there’s just no room for them in the garage! Storage has always been a challenge to be addressed in our homes, and even as our homes grew larger, we’ve increasingly come to depend on our garages for storage, particularly as restrictions and prohibitions against backyard sheds became popular. In fact, the 2019 National Association of Home Builders' What Home Buyers Really Want report found 85% of new home buyers are looking for storage in the garage!

Hickory Cottage - #42234_garage storage

At 24 feet in depth, storage opportunities exist along the back of the garage as well as the recess along the side of the Hickory Cottage’s (plan #42235) garage.

Garage size dictates what you can store in your garage. Toyota’s RAV4, the best-selling SUV in America, measures over 15 feet long. Providing a couple feet behind the vehicle for closing the garage door and 3 feet in front for a path into your home means dedicating 20 feet of garage depth for your vehicle(s). So, at Design Basics, we suggest storage possibilities exist when the garage is at least 22 feet deep. Similarly, we consider storage opportunities exist when the (2-car) garage is at least 22-feet wide, allotting room for two vehicles, including space to open those car doors. Still, garage storage possibilities aren’t necessarily limited to length and width, as garages with tall ceilings can provide overhead storage opportunities as well.

Think of sectioning off garage storage in “zones.” Outdoor equipment (lawn mower, snow blower); ladders and tools; sports gear; automotive supplies; and, kids’ outdoor toys and activities are good examples of such zones. To get the most out of your garage storage space, look into shelving and organization systems. There is a tremendous variety of DIY garage storage systems and numerous contractors who specialize in garage storage solutions. But it all starts with a plan that meets your specific needs and wants. Also, if garbage and recycling bins will be stored in the garage, what’s the shortest/easiest path for transferring them out of the garage and to the curb?

Storage accessed from the outside is rapidly gaining popularity. Ever find yourself peering into other people’s garages when those garage doors are left open? That actually reveals a lot about what your neighbors value! If you would rather not have everything stashed in your garage visible to passersby, look for home designs with built-in storage that’s accessed from the outside. That’s especially useful for outdoor items such as mowers, lawn games, camping gear, patio furniture, etc.

A pair of 36-inch wide doors access the 14-foot storage area alongside the kitchen in the Neeson (plan #50011). From lawn mowers and garden tools to winter storage for your patio furniture, storage accessed from the outside frees space in your garage for other items.

Example of outdoor storage (Zinnia plan #42041 - as built by Fox Builders, Ontario, OH).

Coming next week: kitchen storage can be beautiful!

Livability at a Glance™ is our proprietary color-coded floor plan system that highlights four different lenses especially important to women: Entertaining, De-stressing, Storing, and Flexible Living. Discover your Lifestyle Profile by taking our Livability at a Glance Quiz.

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