Why Have Detached Garages Disappeared?

Up until the 70s, detached garages were almost the only types of construction you saw in lots. However, after the initial popularity of the attached version, their counterparts all but disappeared.

For a long time, you hardly saw any detached garages with new construction at all. Recently, these types of garages have been making a comeback.

However, it begs the question – why did detached garages nearly go extinct? In this article, we’ll explain why.

Original Garage Designs

When larger neighborhoods and subdivisions began surfacing in the United States, detached garages were still very popular. Before garages, there were outbuildings known as carriage houses, and these were built near the rear of the property.

After garages became a thing, designers stuck with this theme, and garages remained detached near the rear of the lot. Normally, the garage was accessed through the alley, and homeowners entered the backdoor more often, so it was only natural that the garage door faced the alley, away from the home.

The Point of Activity

In earlier decades, the front of the home was the most active social point for the modern American home. Guests would commonly flock to the front porch, the kids played in the front yard, and many family portraits were taken right on the front steps.

The front area of the American house was one of the most popular areas in any neighborhood, and the memories of entire generations were made here. However, as homes grew bigger and larger subdivisions on the outskirts grew more popular, things began to change.

Many homeowners started buying houses outside of the city and were commuting to work. Street parking became less popular, and people needed easier access to their garages. Homes had driveways, so alley access was no longer needed.

Additionally, people shifted from hanging out on the front porch to hanging out in the garage as the popularity of television grew. Americans had TVs in the garage, and these became common spots for sporting events and other family gatherings.

Both of these changes created the perfect storm to nearly kill off the detached garage. It became more convenient to attach the garage to the home as Americans used their driveways instead of the alley, and people spent more time in the garage with friends and family.

Recently, detached garages have started to make a comeback as Americans make use of the availability of larger lots and slightly more property. However, it’s important to remember that these elements of design were nearly completely phased out and forgotten about forever!

Published by
Stanley Exteriors

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