Attached vs. Detached Garage: What’s Right for You?

2-storey brick house with an attached garage, two single garage doors in Classic Mix Design, Desert Sand color

This 2-storey brick home had an attached garage then added a master bedroom on the second floor. Way roomier for the family. Garage doors are in the Classic Mix design and Desert Sand color.

Having a garage at home to park your vehicles in and store outdoor equipment may be a simple thing, but it is certainly not one to be overlooked, as anyone without a garage can likely attest to. Aside from the practical uses of a garage, it’s a great addition to your quality of life if you live in an area that gets snow or experiences higher temperatures. You won’t need to clean off your car or worry about getting burned by the super-heated fixtures of your car’s interior.

If you don’t have a garage and are looking to add one to your home, you might be wondering whether it should choose between attached to the house or detached. We’ll go over the pros and cons of both to help you make the best decision for your home.

Why You Might Want an Attached Garage

A 70ties bungalow with a new attached garage, two single black garage door in Vog design

This bungalow from the ‘70s shows that you can add an attached garage to an existing home, no matter its age. The single black garage doors are in the Vog design, which add a modern touch to the overall design.

They Add Convenience

Perhaps the top reason that you might want to consider an attached garage is that it’s much easier to access and therefore much more convenient. With an attached garage, you never have to make the uncomfortable and awkward jaunt to get in your car when it’s raining or snowing or worry about getting blown around by the wind.

A picture of youg dad getting the groceries in the house.

You also won’t have to deal with getting into a car that's uncomfortably hot after baking in the sun all day. Attached garages also shine whenever you need to transport things from your car to your house, such as groceries, especially if you opt to put a refrigerator in the garage.

Attached garages have room for additions such as an attic truss to give you more storage space.

This can be priceless in the case of storing seasonal items like holiday decorations or seldom-used furniture such as for guest accommodations. Adding and increasing storage space via an attic truss will likely look natural as well since most homes in the United States are at least 2 or more stories tall.

They Are Financially Beneficial

Since an attached garage adds to an existing structure, it can often be less expensive because you don’t need to build an entirely new building with all new wiring, plumbing, and insulation. Additionally, adding an attached garage to your house can save you yard space which can be invaluable to those with children and pets, while leaving more space in your yard to have your own outdoor retreat. They can even be seen as an investment since adding an attached garage will help boost your property value, meaning you can recoup most, if not even more than, your initial purchase price.

Why You Might Not Want an Attached Garage

They Present Security and Safety Concerns

Free photos of a thief entering an old basement door

Attached garages can be more difficult to secure, especially if they use an electric door opener. The large doors can give would-be criminals a way directly into your home with more ease than a locked front door. While security concerns are relatively high up on the list of reasons for homeowners not to get an attached garage, the ease of entry can be almost completely remedied by taking proper security measures and installing a quality garage door.

Due to the nature and utility of garages, they often accumulate many flammable and hazardous materials and appliances. Things such as paint and paint thinners, gasoline, lighter fluid or propane for grills, and oil can frequently be found in garages. Combine all these with the garage being the go-to spot for people to undertake welding tasks or perform work on their cars, and housing water heaters or boilers, and you’ve got a strong fire hazard if conditions are not monitored and managed properly.

They Can Be Difficult to Make Further Additions to

Having at least one side connected to the home, and one connected to the driveway, it can be a bit more difficult to expand attached garages past their initial construction. Factor in that many attached garages are connected to the home on 3 of their 4 walls, with the last wall being reserved for driveway access, and you have a significant barrier to making future additions to your garage. If you do manage to be able to make additions to your garage, attached garages can run the risk of requiring more expensive building permits.

Why You Might Want a Detached Garage

Detached garages primarily sacrifice a small amount of convenience for an increase in flexibility and the added safety of not having as easy of an access point into your home. These are the primary factors that make detached garages stand out from attached garages, but otherwise offer most of the same benefits.

A detached garage with a single garage door in North Hatley LP design and Ice White color

This brand-new detached garage is perfect to park one car and even more perfect for a handy men or women get away. The North Hatley LP design of the garage door add a nice rustic and charming touch.

They Don’t Present Security or Safety Concerns

Without a direct means of access into your home, would-be criminals are more likely to avoid your house since their only option for forced entry would be the traditional entryways that are more prepared to resist break-ins.

While criminals could still have an easier time accessing your garage, they would only really be able to steal or vandalize objects which are replaceable, whereas the wellbeing and safety of you and your loved ones are not. It’s still a good idea to consider installing an alarm system in your garage or getting a garage door opener equipped with a built-in camera and 2-way audio to protect your property.

A picture of Oil, Can, Vintage, Container, Lubricant, Metallic, Oils

Despite the risk of garage fires not changing much between attached and detached, the ladder offers a lower safety risk from fires. Since it’s not connected directly to your home, any fire-hazards will pose a lower fire-safety risk to your residence. This actually helps to make it much more reasonable to store flammable materials in a garage, since there is a much lower chance of harming anybody.

They Have a Greater Degree of Flexibility

Without the limitation of being connected directly to your home, detached garages offer many more opportunities to make further modifications, additions, and even placement.

The flexibility of being able to choose where to construct this type of garage makes them it for anyone living on a narrow plot of land, since they don’t need to extend the length of the house. Additionally, since none of the sides of the garage are limited by the existing house wall, they are often much easier to expand if you end up needing more storage space.

Detached garages can be considered an investment, as well, because they increase your curb appeal by being tucked away tidily out of the line of sight. Detached garages also save on utility costs by decreasing the amount of heat that is often lost through an attached garage, and not needing to keep it heated at all times to ensure that adjacent living areas are kept at comfortable levels.

Large detached garage with two single garage doors in Vog design and Ice White color, one with right-side harmony windows, the other with left-side harmony windows

This detached garage offers plenty of room for cars and for a great workbench too. There’s even a second floor. The vertical black siding is enhanced by the two single garage doors in the Vog design and Ice White color.

Why You Might Not Want a Detached Garage

They Are Less Convenient

While detached garages have some great benefits over attached garages, they come with some disadvantages. The top reason is simply that they are less convenient as you will still have to brave the elements when getting to and from your vehicle, even if just for a few moments.

While your car will still be reasonably comfortable and experience reduced exposure to the elements, it can feel pointless to some that you would still be temporarily exposed and uncomfortable.

Although this can be minimized by adding a covered walkway between the garage and home. In the same vein, transporting things to and from your car from a detached garage can be more inconvenient than parking in a bare driveway since you’ll have to navigate through an additional doorway.

They Have a Greater Cost

Aside from having to erect an entirely new structure, you would also have to tackle the additional hassle of installing separate utilities. While this can be somewhat mitigated by sacrificing some utilities, like using electricity for heat and foregoing water, a sacrifice is still a downside that should be considered.

In some cases, detached garages could be prohibited by local laws and homeowner associations. This is far less likely for an attached garage.

How to Make Your Decision

Now that you’ve reviewed some pros and cons of both types of garages, you’re almost ready to make your decision as to which one you should get. The last thing you should consider is the financial aspect of adding a garage.

Many contractors that you can hire to help construct your garage will offer financing options, but it’s always best if you do your own research first to make sure you’re getting the best interest rate and that your payment plan and method works for you.

For example, if your offers for financing aren’t satisfactory, you could try a personal loan or even take out a loan against your home.

A good option for those not getting the desired financing rates but who are willing to consider taking out a loan with their home’s equity as collateral is to refinance their mortgage with a cash-out option through government-backed mortgages like FHA loans. Whatever financial route you choose, it’s important to make sure you crunch the numbers to determine which option is the best fit for you, so you have one less thing to worry about.


An attached garage and a detached garage with matching black garage doors, in Classic Mix design, with right-side windows.

Go for it all! An attached garage AND a detached garage. Why not? Matching the siding and the garage door of both would be a great idea to create a more coherent and overall “pleasing to the eye” effect.

Once everything is ready to go and you know what kind of garage you want, get in touch with the Garaga Expert near you to make sure you pick out the perfect door for your new garage, and to guarantee that your garage door will be a quality entryway, instead of a vulnerable point of entrance for would-be criminals and an escape route for your heat and air conditioning.

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