How to Design a Garage: A Homeowner’s Guide

Garages have transformed over time, from simple carports that sheltered vehicles from the elements to the luxurious buildings that house mancave corners and have as many luxury features as a home.

When you have an itch to improve your garage or build a new structure from start, you will quickly discover a myriad of options. You have the basic decisions and luxury features. How do you know what you really want when the choices overwhelm you?

Do you want to know how to design a garage? Keep reading to learn the major decisions from the basic choices to the luxury features.

How to Design a Garage Basics

As you begin designing your dream garage, you must consider some of the basic elements before you dream of heated floors and mancave corners. Here are the major decisions you need to make early in the design:

Location and Size

Often when we think of modern garages, we picture structures seamlessly attached to the home. The attached garages offer the convenience of moving from your car directly into your home without having to experience the elements.

The attached garages do have a downfall, though. You have limited options on the size, location, and direction of the garage. It must face the same direction your home faces, and it should be around the same height as your home.


Standard attached garages face the same direction as the home. When a person enters through the garage, they go through a laundry room or utility room and often go by a small bathroom.

This layout will often save money, but it’s not the most attractive way to bring someone into your home.

Consider a design that includes a cute mudroom with seating and purposeful storage. This will welcome guests and act as a functional space as well.


Garages have been growing. In the early 1970s, homes typically had a one-car garage attached to them. By the time the twenty-first century rolled around, garages in new construction had two or more stalls, and few homes if any had a one-car garage.

Plus, the two-car garage is a bigger space. Cars are bigger now, so you need the space for your SUV and large pickup.

Make sure your garage is big enough for your car and everything else you want to do in the space. If you’re questioning if you should go bigger or not, go bigger. You won’t regret it.

Determine your garage size based on how many vehicles you need to store. Then add on the extra space for the necessary workshop space. Here are some basic ideas on how much room you’ll need based on your car size:

  • Single-car garage: needs an 8 or 9-foot door with floor dimensions ranging from 12 x 20 feet and up to 16 x 24 feet.
  • Two-car garage: needs two 8-foot doors, one 16-foot door, or one 18-foot door with floor dimensions ranging from 20 x 20 feet up to 24 x 24 feet
  • Three-car garage: needs three 8-foot doors or a combination of a 16-foot door and 8-foot door or one 18-foot door and 9-foot door. Floor dimensions should be between 30 x 20 feet and up to 34 x 24 feet.

Use these dimensions as a basic guide. Then adjust the dimensions based on the width you need for workshop space and storage.


You have choices in the direction your garage faces. You can adjust your blueprint so your garage entrance angles away from the street. This will create a more interesting curb appeal for your home.


Consider the purpose of your garage. Do you want a pace to house your automobiles? Do you want room for work?

If you enjoy working on your car or if you want to create a space for gathering, then create a larger layout. Include space for a workshop, storage for tools, and storage for lawn equipment.

If you design your garage right, you should not need a shed in the backyard to store your mower and lawn tools.


Once you have your basic decisions made, it’s time to make the fun choices. The features of a residential garage vary from the type of flooring you use to the ways you orient the inside parts of your garage. Here are a few of the basic features you should consider.

Heated Floor

If you live in a cold climate, have heated floors installed. These are luxury items that you won’t regret on the coldest of days. They will also keep your garage drain from freezing up.

Imagine driving your car, covered in snow and ice, into the garage with heated floors. You’ll also have a nice comfort feature as you spend hours in the garage working on projects.


Choose your garage flooring with purpose. You have several options from modular flooring to epoxy.

Tall Doors

You want tall doors if you ever haul things. Homeowners have nightmare stories about destroying their garage doors when they drive into the garage and forget that the kayak on top of the Subaru won’t clear the door.

Tall doors give you peace of mind knowing you have the clearance you need.

Second Story Living

Many people are now creating a second living space in their garage by adding in a second story. As you consider this option, think about where you want the stairs and if you want to use the under-the-stairs space as extra storage.

The second-story living space will expand your home and give you a built-in guest house as well.


Install a subpanel in your garage. Do not plan on using the panel in your home. A subpanel saves you the headache of blowing breakers unnecessarily on the main panel in your home.

AC and Heating

If you want to make your garage comfortable, install air conditioning and heat. Without it, you will use the garage to just store your cars and tools. You won’t end up working in it.

Dream Garage Ahead

Now that you know the basics of how to design a garage, you can break out your pencil and paper and begin drawing. Enjoy the process of putting together the perfect space for your vehicles and future projects.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, keep visiting our site. We have a variety of articles focused on helping you make the best decisions for your home.