Garages, Carriage Houses and Ancillary Structures
Ancillary structures may include garages, carriage houses (a garage with a livable second floor), and garden sheds and pavilions. These structures should always be smaller than the main house and, whenever possible, have similar detailing. In general, ancillary structures are detached from the main body of the house although they may be connected with a variety of elements like breezeways, fences or pergolas.
Detached Garages and Carriage Houses
The construction of a garage or carriage house can add great value to an existing home. It is best to locate a garage at the back of the lot where possible, although it is also possible to build a tasteful, attached garage. The principal issues with garage design are size, location and detailing of the garage door. A frequent problem with current construction is that garage additions often overwhelm the scale and character of the house.
The In-Line Lot
In many cases, there may be enough room to build a one-, two-, or even a three-car garage in the rear yard of a relatively narrow lot. Access to the garage is typically from a rear alley or a narrow driveway from the street, usually eight to nine feet wide, that slips along one side of the house. It is recommended that the garage be placed in the rear of the lot to provide turnaround space for cars. Driveways wider that eight feet should be prohibited in the front yard of houses.
For lots without alleys, attached parking garages are best placed behind the house with an eight foot wide driveway from the street that slips along one side of the house. If the garage must face the street it should only be a one-car garage in width. Two- or three-car garage widths will dominate the house and are unsightly from the street. If alleys are available, attached garages of one to three cars in width should orient to the alley for access.