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Can't get two cars in the garage!!

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by rharse, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. rharse

    rharse Member

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    I agree with Volvo Nut (and others) that the garage seems to be too small. I just moved into the a Parkdale home with a two car garage (two garage doors also). I have an Audi A4 that fits with no problem but my Toyota Sienna barely makes it in. We have about 1 inch on either side of the car (mirrors on both sides). With two kids (19 months and 2 months), we'd like to get the Toyota in the garage to load and unload the kids. However, that's tricky.

    So, has anyone either:
    1) added width to the garage? This might be difficult due to the foundation but. . .
    2) taken out the middle 'column' and installed the single, two-car garage door. This would be easier but I'm not sure if the middle column is required for structural support.

    Ideas? Thoughts? It's frustrating to pay so much for a house and not be able to fully use the garage!
  2. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    There have been some garages widened ... however most people have problems with the fact that they're not deep enough.

    The middle column may or may not be structural, depends on the model. However, what I would do is find a similar model being built, and check the garage woodwork to see if it is required to hold up the second floor. If so, you're talking big bucks putting in either a steel beam, or manufactured wood beam to replace that structure.

    FWIW ... none of the houses being built as '2 car garages' can actually fit two medium size cars. That said, my garage can hold my car and my wifes, with plenty of room to spare. She owns a Subaru Outback 4 door, I own a two door Mini Cooper S !!



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  3. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    Gotta love builders!
  4. TigerFan

    TigerFan Member

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    Has anyone gotten an estimate for this job, making a 2-door garage into a 1-door garage?? Or, anyone have any referrals for contractors that could do this job?? Thanks
  5. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Hey Neil-
    You can fit four of them things in a garage, can't you?
  6. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Sideways too !![:p]

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  7. hflinch

    hflinch Member

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  8. hflinch

    hflinch Member

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    rharse:

    my wife and i are in the same position as you. we are in a parkdale, have 2 little girls (a 3 mo and a 21 mo), and have a minivan that barely fits into the garage. the only way we make it work is to have nothing along the wall or in front of the van. it is nice to put the kids in the car with out the cold wind whipping by but it is tight. right now, i park my station wagon in the driveway. it's too bad that the garage isn't a few feet wider and deeper, it would really have made a huge difference.

    my wife stays home with the kids all day. we are located on highview trail, where are you located? so far, most of our neighbors are older with no toddlers.

    hans
  9. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    wow.. I feel lucky that my lil townhome can fit both my van and my car w/o issue :)

    -Steve
  10. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    This might sound stupid, but if the goal is to fit both cars in the garage, then why not attack the problem from the other end.

    First take everything out of the garage (cars, ladders, junk, tools, etc). Ok, the garage should be empty. Next put both cars in and leave their doors open so you know where how much clearance you will have between each car and the garage wall. Once you are happy with how the cars are positioned, then start putting rest of items back in.

    This way, you will know where not to put things so it will interfere with how you will park you cars.
  11. T8erman

    T8erman Well-Known Member

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    Fold your mirrors in.
  12. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen Member

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    My wife and I have a Dogwood (SFH) and we fit both our cars ('00 Honda Accord sedan & '05 Lexus RX330 SUV) okay--tight but do-able. In fact, we can easily swing open the trunk on the SUV with the garage door closed. Our garage is probably the smallest ones in any of the SFH's; it's 19x19 feet.

    I think our single 2-car-wide door is a huge help for entering/exiting; I knew someone in a Birchwood (2 single-doors) who could barely get their Chevy Tahoe in but they probably would have had a better chance with a single wide door. Their [otherwise straight] driveway also bent at a slight angle right before the garage so I think that made things worse, too.

    Another benefit of the single wide door is that you can work on your car by parking it in the middle. I've done our cars' maintenance at home. Personally, though, I like the look of 2 separate doors a lot more.

    I agree with Wes about putting the cars in first before the "junk". Luckily, we were only 2 years out of school when we bought the house so we didn't really have anything to store in the garage (heck, we didn't even have anything to put inside the house). I installed shelves all along one of the walls and now we have junk all over the place but the cars still fit in there. The shelves are all attached to the wall (not floor-standing) so there is room underneath to swing out the car door.

    We also have ultrasonic parking sensors on the wall. They're cheap (about $20 each), simple to install, and practically guarantee that your bumper will be 1.5 feet from the wall when you park. It has a little flashing green light when you approach and then a red light comes on when you're 1.5 feet from the wall (ours is adjustable but 1.5 feet is the minimum distance). Works every time.
  13. snoopy

    snoopy Senior Member

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    Where can we buy one of those ? In Home Depot ?? Thank you.
  14. sonnguyen

    sonnguyen Member

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    We bought ours a little over 2 years ago from Radio Shack but it looks like they don't carry it anymore. Maybe the stores might still have some in stock.

    Brookstone has one very similar to ours but it's at $30 (http://www.brookstone.com/shop/prod...words=parking&prodtemp=t1&cm_re=Result*R1C2*T, SKU 400226). I would assume that it works just as well. The Brookstone looks nicer than ours and has 3 (instead of 2) lights. I don't think it has a "beep" feature but we found it to be annoying and deactivated it anyway.
  15. snoopy

    snoopy Senior Member

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    sonnguyen,

    thank you for the info ...
  16. rharse

    rharse Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. We actually have next to nothing in the garage. I did pull the minivan in by folding the driver's mirror and, yes, I do have sufficient clearance. But, to me, that's a poor solution for a poor design. What kind of cars do the Van Metre folks own? I'd like to see them park their cars in my garage and be satisfied.

    We'll live with it which, as in the REM song "What's the Frequency" is not apathy, it's "withdraw in disgust."[V]
  17. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    rharse - What are the dimensions of your garage?
  18. rharse

    rharse Member

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    WesGurney,
    The dimensions are 19 x 20. My old house in MA was 20 x 20 and it made a world of difference. But the garage in MA also had only one door as opposed to the two we have here.

    I must confess that I did cram both cars in today because of the snow. The operation to actually get the family in the car will be tricky though. I will have to pull the minivan out to get our little baby into his side of the car.
  19. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    what are you guys qualifying as 'fitting'? Mine is less then 19' wide inside.. 2 doors.. and I fit a full mini-van in fine on one side.. getting in and out of both doors fine (driver's side a little tight).. and in the other stall I have a full size car that I get in and out of the driver's door no problem, but no access to the passenger side.

    I have 3-4 feet of 'stuff' at the front of the garage including shelving, and I can still get in and out of the trunk of the car inside the garage. The Van can not open its hatch w/o opening the door through.

    I can see if you have SUV's etc.. but what are you guys having such trouble fitting?

    -Steve
  20. Zansu

    Zansu New Member

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    In our garage the problem is the 2 steps down from the house that project into the parking space. If you take into account the fact that you have to climb around the handrail to get to the other car from the door, that greatly impacts how far the car in front of the door can pull in. We also have a winterset, so there's a couple of feet cut off with a diagonal wall in the other parking spot. Not a big problem, even for my station wagon. the third problem is the stuff that ought to be in the basement, but we won't get into that!

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