Three-Car Garages! Your Market Just Increased

© 2005 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2005
Author: Nation's Building News
Page 44

Three-Car Garages!
Your Market Just Increased

Editor’s Note: The story below, from the July 25, 2005, issue of Nation’s Building News, is excellent news for our industry. As garage size increases, the overall number of garage doors increases. This trend means that your potential sales volume is steadily increasing.

We thank the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for granting us permission to reprint (subscribe at

Back in the 1950s, the one-car garage was standard in the 41 percent of homes having any garage at all. More than half a century later, almost two-thirds of all new homes have two-car garages and 19 percent have garages that can accommodate three cars or more.

“The home building industry is definitely seeing a growing trend toward the three-car garage,” said Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of NAHB.

Hot Spots: West and Midwest

“Especially in areas where houses do not traditionally have basements, the three-car garage is becoming a must-have in new homes,” said Howard. “But it’s not just limited to those areas. Three-car garages are becoming more common in markets across the country.”

Census Bureau statistics confirm the trend toward three-car garages in all four Census areas, although the Midwest and the West are definitely in the lead.

When the bureau first started tracking three-car and larger garages in 1992, they could be found in 20 percent of the new homes in the West. Last year, they were in 31 percent of the new homes built in the region. The share of new homes with big garages in the Midwest climbed from 16 percent in 1992 to 32 percent in 2004.

The share has grown steadily from 4 percent in 1992 to 9 percent in 2004 in the South and 4 percent to 10 percent in the Northeast. Anecdotal reports from builders indicate that the number of consumers looking for three-car garages in these regions is growing by the day, especially in upscale houses.

The Race for Space

For most buyers, the primary appeal of the three-car garage is that it provides more storage space, which consistently ranks high in NAHB surveys of consumer preferences for new home features and amenities.

In addition to vehicles, large garages are being used to store yard and garden equipment, seasonal recreational equipment, and much more, including items that would be difficult to retrieve from a basement or attic.

Larger Doors, Too!

Additionally, builders are finding that consumers increasingly prefer 8' by 10' garage doors to the more standard 7' by 9' doors so that their SUVs can be accommodated.

As they’ve gotten larger, garages have also become more sophisticated, said Howard. “Consumers find elaborate and extensive built-in storage and shelving systems, work areas, utility sinks, and many other amenities very appealing,” he added. “They are also tending to view the garage as more of an extension of the house, and some buyers are even heating and cooling the space for comfort and year-round use.”

A Definite Trend

“With extra space, extra amenities, and plenty of flexible customization options, the three-car garage is definitely a trend that consumers are embracing,” he said.

Howard added that today’s three-car garage, with the addition of an upstairs bonus area, actually rivals the size of a typical new home of the 1950s, which averaged about 1,000 square feet. Ironically, at a time when the size of new home lots is trending down, the three-car garage requires a slightly larger lot.