As a Latin word, tandem refers to either the length of something or two things that work together as a unit. This is a perfectly appropriate name for a garage that allows two standard-sized passenger cars to park behind one another in a narrow, long garage.
When it comes to garage designs, there are many different parking and storage solutions that can help you get the most out of your parking space, but tandem garages are one of the most underutilized.
Tandem garages are a smart option because they offer more storage space than traditional single garages, and they’re better for the environment because they optimize garage space in metropolitan areas.
They are an ingenious and viable solution for families in cities with limited parking spaces who have more than one car and want to live in a space efficient area.
In this guide, we will discuss how tandem garages work, the distinct types available, and why people build them.
We will also discuss the difference between tandem garages and double garages as well as the dimensions of 2-car and 3-car tandem garages.
Finally, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of this innovative type of garage design.
Table of Contents
- What is a Tandem Garage?
- Types of Tandem Garages
- Why People Build Tandem Garages
- Tandem Garages vs Double Garages
- Tandem Garage Dimensions
- 4 Advantages of a Tandem Garage
- 2 Disadvantages of a Tandem Garage
- Conclusion: The Benefits of a Tandem Garage Outweigh the Drawbacks
What is a Tandem Garage?
Tandem garages are atypical designs in which two cars can be parked on both the front and back of a single garage space at the same time.
Depending on your personal situation, this type of garage may be a suitable choice for you if you have more than one car.
It is a preferable alternative to your vehicles being under the weather elements by parking them in your driveway or to theft or vandalism by parking them on the city street.
In busy, congested cities, such as New York, Dallas, Chicago, or Los Angeles, the design and construction of this new type of garage should make parking your vehicle easier.
Although this garage is designed to hold two cars, it can be customized to hold more cars if needed.
You can, for example, increase the amount of space in your garage by using a double-width parking lift.
With this technology, a two-car garage can easily be converted into a four-car garage. This system can be used for standard-length or extended-length vehicles.
Types of Tandem Garages
There are two distinct types of tandem garages: the two-car version and the three-car version.
Two-Car Tandem Garage
A two-car tandem garage is a narrow space that can accommodate two cars. This is possible because the first car is parked with its nose facing a wall while the second car can be parked directly behind it.
Three-Car Tandem Garage
There is also the possibility of having a three-car tandem garage. From the outside, a three-car tandem garage looks like a double garage with two vehicles lined up horizontally.
However, inside the garage there are three bays. While two of the cars will be lined up, the third car will be to the side of the car at the back of the garage.
In other words, there will be two cars lined up, one behind the other, as well as two cars alongside each other at the back of the garage.
Depending on your needs, you could either park all three vehicles inside or only park two vehicles, one behind the other, and then use the third parking bay on the side at the back of the garage for storage.
You could also use this third bay in two ways. One is to use it for a vehicle with a smaller footprint, such as a motorcycle, scooter, or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
The other is to use it for storing bulky items that don’t fit in the house, such as camping equipment, gardening supplies, ATVs, and old home appliances.
Why People Build Tandem Garages
There are many reasons why people prefer a tandem garage over a regular garage. Here are a few.
- Some people want a garage that can accommodate at least two cars and have enough length in outside space to build a tandem garage.
- Some people live in a congested urban area where there is not enough room for houses to have two separate garages or the width is not enough.
- Some people prefer to create more outdoor space for a pool or for an attractive landscape rather than using up most of their property space with a double garage.
- Some people who only have one car and don’t have enough storage space in their home want to enjoy the benefits of having a more spacious garage to store their belongings.
- Some people want the safety of not having to worry about their family cars being exposed to the elements if left in the driveway.
- Some people want to avoid the risk of theft or vandalism by using street parking in a neighborhood known for its high crime rate.
Tandem Garages vs Double Garages
There is a lot of confusion between tandem garages and double garages, with many car owners mistakenly using the terms interchangeably.
While there are some similarities, these are superficial compared to the distinctions.
Let’s start by talking about much of the confusion around double garages themselves.
Unfortunately, many landlords advertise their garages as double garages to give the assumption that two cars can fit into it. This is not true. What they are calling a double garage is merely more spacious than standard garages.
Double garages that can fit two cars alongside each other have the following dimensions (usually):
* A width of eighteen feet by a depth of twenty feet.
* A width of twenty feet by a depth of twenty feet.
* A width of twenty feet by a depth of twenty-two feet.
* A width of twenty-two feet by a depth of twenty-two feet.
These dimensions are enough to keep two cars in a single garage side-by-side.
In contrast, a two-car tandem garage has the width of a single-car garage and double the length of a regular double garage.
Difference of Double vs Two-Car Tandem Garage
One of the biggest differences between a two-car double garage and a tandem garage is the amount of space between each vehicle.
The cars will be less likely to scrape the sides of a double car garage because there is more space between them.
A typical double garage has six feet of space between the two vehicles and three feet on all sides. This means that the vehicles can fit in comfortably, and it is also easier to open your car doors.
By comparison, a tandem garage has less space between the cars and between the walls. There is also less floor space for storage or work. Generally, a tandem garage only has three feet between the cars and all sides.
Tandem Garage Dimensions
2-car Tandem Garage Dimensions
The typical width and depth of a two-car tandem garage are around 12-feet wide and 36-40 feet deep. That is enough to allow you to park two cars in the garage one behind the other.
However, there are other increasingly popular sizes, too, such as 16-feet wide by 42-feet deep etc. These sizes are becoming popular because they make it much more comfortable to open car doors and also allow extra space at the front of the cars to install a work bench etc.
3-car Tandem Garage Dimensions
This is an asymmetrical shape garage since you will have a combination of 2-car Tandem garage and also a double-car garage.
The typical width and depth of a 3-car tandem garage are around 18-22 feet wide and 36-40 feet deep. That is enough to allow you to park two cars in the garage one behind the other and also a third car next to the last car in the tandem space.
4 Advantages of a Tandem Garage
- A tandem garage is less expensive than a single garage: Storage in a garage can be expensive and assume a lot of space. The solution to these issues is to have a tandem garage because it can line up two cars back-to-back without taking up any unnecessary space. This unique design makes it possible to double the amount of parking spaces available without taking up any excessive garage space.
- The property space taken up by a tandem garage is less compared to a single garage: A tandem garage is the perfect solution for homeowners who want enough garage space to accommodate their two or three vehicles, but who still wish to use their outdoor space for other things, such as a beautiful garden.
- A tandem garage gives you more storage space. A tandem garage can be especially useful for someone with only one car or small vehicle. Everything that doesn’t fit in the house goes there. By adding a tandem garage to your home, you can easily add storage space to your home with no hassle.
- Adding a tandem garage to your home will increase the resale value of your home. It is likely that a tandem garage may attract more buyers if you are selling your home since it provides more parking space than a traditional garage.
2 Disadvantages of a Tandem Garage
- It’s hard to get in and out of a tandem garage. In a tandem garage, you can only park one car behind the other. So, if there is another family member’s car parked behind your car, it makes it difficult to get in and out of your garage.
- It may not be permitted in your city. If you live in a city or urban area that does not allow tandem garages, you cannot add one. If you are planning to build a house with a tandem garage, you must check the zoning laws and construction standards before you begin your project.
Conclusion: The Benefits of a Tandem Garage Outweigh the Drawbacks
Big cities often have a limited amount of property space to build a garage for two or more cars.
They also have limited room for street parking. To solve these parking problems, tandem garages offer the advantage of allowing car owners to park their vehicles one behind the other in a narrow garage as opposed to a wide garage.
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