How Important Is an Attached Garage?

If you’re shopping for a home, you most likely want a house with a garage. During your search, you’ll come across houses with attached or detached garages. You’ll need to decide which is the right choice based on your family’s needs and preferences.

Pros and Cons of an Attached Garage
The most common reason why people choose a house with an attached garage is convenience. You could simply pull your car into the garage and walk into your house. That could make things easier if you have young children and need to carry their backpacks, musical instruments or sports equipment, as well as groceries, into the house on a regular basis. An attached garage also means you wouldn’t need to walk through rain or snow to get to your house.

There are some downsides to an attached garage, however. The biggest concern is security. If you used an electronic garage door opener and forgot to close the door, someone could enter your house. It’s also possible that the garage door opener could malfunction or be hacked. Another concern is fire. If your car caught fire in the garage or fluid leaked and ignited, the fire could quickly spread and engulf your entire house.

Depending on the size and shape of the lot, an attached garage could be limited in size. It might be difficult or impossible to fit two cars, and you might be forced to park one or more vehicles in the driveway or on the street.

Reasons to Consider a Detached Garage
If you don’t have young kids and don’t mind getting wet on a rainy day, a detached garage might be a better choice. Since a detached garage can be built anywhere on the property (provided it doesn’t violate local building codes), there’s more flexibility in terms of size and design. If you have several vehicles, you might be able to find a house with a large detached garage or build one after you move in.

If you plan to use your garage for a hobby, a detached garage could be better for both you and your family. Since the garage would be separated from the house, you would have more privacy. You wouldn’t need to worry about the noise from power tools or the odors from chemicals that you used for painting or working on your car bothering your family.

A detached garage can also be safer. If you plan to store flammable chemicals, having the garage separated from the house could contain the damage if something accidentally caught fire. In addition, someone who entered your detached garage wouldn’t be able to enter your house.

Which Is Right for You?
For some homebuyers, an attached garage is extremely important, while a detached garage is an acceptable or even preferable alternative for others. Think about your family’s circumstances and preferences and how you would like to use your garage to make a decision.

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