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Including a Garage?

Log Home with an attached garageWhen planning a custom wood home, the garage isn’t the first thing that most people think about.  But the questions of how, where and even whether to include a garage in your log home plan eventually have to be addressed, so here are some things to consider when the subject does, finally, come up.

Attached? Detached?  Integral?  The way your garage relates to the home is sometimes determined by the site – on a steep slope, for instance, leveling the house by putting the garage underneath is a great solution that may leave you more ground to cover on the other side of the house.  Attached garages are convenient, especially in bad weather, but for homeowners who want a to achieve a specific architectural style, a front-facing, end-mounted garage can undermine that goal. Narrow building sites can also eliminate the possibility of a garage on one side of the house due to lot restrictions and setback requirements. In such cases, attaching the garage at the back of the house, or choosing a detached garage that’s set back from the home can be good solutions.  Connecting a detached garage to the house with a covered walkway can even add to a vintage look.

If you’re looking at a home design that doesn’t include a garage you’ll need to work with your architect or designer to incorporate it.  In general, placing an attached garage adjacent to or beneath the kitchen, home office or other more public room is preferable to having it in close proximity to a bedroom, where vehicle and garage door noise would be more disruptive.  Log & Timber home with an attached garageYour designer can also help you reorient an attached garage to accommodate your site topography or aesthetic preferences.

Include – Yes or No?
If you’re building a weekend getaway that will be used for just a few days at a time, or if your build location is in a temperate climate, you may decide a garage isn’t necessary at all.  For basic protection, a carport or portico can keep cars and their occupants out of inclement weather while still leaving the adjacent wall open to the view and the breeze.  In places where weather or wildlife is more of an issue, perhaps a one-car garage would be sufficient for a single vehicle, a toy garage or some extra storage.