When you are looking at a 3 car garage plan for your garage addition or new home, pay close attention to size. Building a properly sized 3 car garage can add value to your home while you live in it, and if you ever sell it. Size does matter, and the difference in cost is minimal.
Why do you need such a big garage?
Here are three very good reasons: Vehicle Storage, Home Storage and Resale Value.
1. Vehicle Storage – If you build or buy a home with a small garage, you will likely fill it so full of stuff that your vehicles will be outside. When you compare the value of your “stuff” with the value of your car, you might ask why your $20,000 sedan is stored outside and that $10 box of garage sale bargains is inside. Even if you don’t care about your cars, the next potential owner may. Protect your investment with a properly sized garage.
2. Home Storage – If you are like many Americans, you may have one or more “mini-storage” units filled to capacity, and you are likely paying from $75 to $150 per month for the privilege. By selecting a properly sized 3 car garage plan and weeding out the junk in your mini-storage unit, you could store the important stuff at home and pocket your monthly storage costs.
3. Resale Value – When you eventually sell your home (everyone does), you immediately enter a competition for buyers. With 10 similar homes on the market, the one with the better location, features and layout will generally sell first. Kitchens usually get top billing, but a properly sized, well-organized garage is also a huge asset.
How big is big enough?
The ideal size for an optimally configured 3 car garage is 24′ X 36′. Why? Most of today’s typical cars are about 16 feet long and a little over six feet wide. Add to that the 30″ minimum distance garage planners recommend beside and between cars, and your 30′ wide triple garage gets pretty narrow with no room for added storage.
Here’s the breakdown:
A 36′ wide garage with two foot wide shelving units on both sides instantly becomes 32′ wide. Park three cars inside at 6’2″ wide each (18’6″ total) and you have 13’6″ left. Add 30″ beside and between all three cars and you have a whopping 3’6″ to spare (not a lot). At 30′ wide, that “spare” room becomes 6″. Remember, too, that you may want room for recreational equipment, an extra refrigerator or freezer, a utility sink or other “toys” that take up space.
At 24 feet deep you have enough room for a 16′ long car with one foot between it and the garage door, a two foot deep garage workbench and five feet of work space. If you own a standard cab, full-sized pickup at nearly 19′ long you’re down to two feet of “wiggle room.” Extended cab? Yikes!
Extra Square Footage is Surprisingly Affordable
Let’s do the math. If you purchase a home with a typical 3 car garage plan, it might be 21′ wide and 31′ deep (I’ve seen 20′ X 30′, which is ludicrous). If you have a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage at 6%, your monthly mortgage payment would be about $1200.
Increasing the garage size to 24′ X 36′ adds 213 square feet. At about $50 per square foot, that adds $10,650. A 30-year, $210,650 mortgage at 6% nets a monthly payment of about $1263. For the extra $63 per month you get to say goodbye to your mini-storage and hello to greater investment value for your home. Ahhh.
Even if you never sell your house, the added comfort and convenience of having your cars parked inside, all your stuff in one place and higher (potential) resale value is well worth the extra few bucks (in my opinion). A properly sized 3 car garage plan make all the difference. Just think of the things you could do with the extra room!