# Optimum Size for Single Car Detached Garage

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I'm about to submit a Variance Request to the city for a side yard set-back to allow for construction of a single car detached garage.  There is an existing distance of 23'-6" from the current exterior (brick) of the house to the side property line, and the city has an existing side yard requirement of 7' from the P/L.  The HVAC outside unit on the side of the house where I am designing the detached garage takes up 5' from the house.  Under strict mathematical calculations, I would have 11'-6" for the garage, but that doesn't leave any clearance or room for air flow around the HVAC unit.  Distance front to back is not an issue, only the side yard set-back with the city.

I'm curious as to the opinion of others on a minimum width and depth to propose to the city, and how much of a variance might be needed for an optimum and usable size single car, detached garage would be appropriate from a design and usefulness standpoint under these constraints----stressing usefulness.

The existing house has a brick exterior, and it is assumed that the detached garage would need to match the brick on the house---------obviously, the brick takes up more space than one with siding, so that enters into the equation as well.

Thanks to anyone who wishes to offer up their ideas........

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I don't think you have anywhere near enough for a functional single car garage. I wouldn't personally recommend building a single car garage with less than a 14ft wide usable area.  which would require around 15ft. when accounting for walls.

To give a little perspective, you can't even pull some vehicles into a 7ft.  opening without folding the mirrors in, and your average person will likely find it rather challenging to pull in and out of an 8ft. wide garage door.  Figuring an 8ft. opening, that would leave you with around an 18" wall on either side of the garage door which is likely a structural issue to contend with, and MAYBE 24" on each side of the vehicle to get in and out (and that's assuming the side walls are totally empty).  In my opinion nobody would use a garage of that size to park in, and parking a fullsize pickup truck would be essentially impossible.

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10'x19' deep is our city minimum.

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10'x19' deep is our city minimum.

That's the type of garage I would venture to guess is used as a shed.  Or maybe to park the Fiat that rarely gets driven.

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yep 15' is minimum for single garage and 22' for a double ,as a usable size, difference here is they allow 2' off the PL ( with fire proofing) or 4' if not....

M.

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That's the type of garage I would venture to guess is used as a shed.  Or maybe to park the Fiat that rarely gets driven.

Not an ideal size, but I have a friend who parks a Kia optima in her garage of that size every night.

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BTW, 8' x 7' hi garage doors are very typical around here. 9' wide is an extravagance.

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Scott,

If you have any clients with a large SUV or Pickup Truck ------ Give them a 9'-10' Garage Door.  You'll be a hero.

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Joe, next time my client has a lot wider than 50', I will.

Hey, we are discussing minimums recognized by the presiding jurisdictions.

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Joe, next time my client has a lot wider than 50', I will.

Hey, we are discussing minimums recognized by the presiding jurisdictions.

Actually Scott, the title of the thread is "OPTIMUM Size..."

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Actually Scott, the title of the thread is "OPTIMUM Size..."

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My bad,  I guess he actually asked for BOTH in the same sentence.

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I am working on a project where the client really does want to park in his garage which (exterior dims) will be 10'6 x 20'. I know what you are thinking, why on earth would you sacrafice all that square footage to make the garage 6" wider than the code minimum?

In order to make it possible for him to exit the car we will have a mechanically operated sliding door at the drivers side of the garage.

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Perhaps you really don't need such a large garage as you think.

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How about an attached garage and move the AC unit?

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My goal with asking the question was to solicit best recommendations as to both minimum usable size were site dimensions unrestricted, as well as the comments specific to the limitations/constraints that the site would pose so that I might anticipate what argument to use with the city planning board.  My design is simply 13' x 24' outside wall dimensions, which would require a 2' variance from the city's existing 7' requirement.

Thanks everyone.

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@Archijeff2000... that video is hilarious.!!

@Electroman.. yah that sounds more like "optimal".. move the AC and attach the garage!

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When variance's are involved, I always look for precedence, if they let someone else do it, than they can't turn you down or they can face a lawsuit from the homeowner.

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`@Archijeff2000... that video is hilarious.!!`

Yes I liked it, Although perhaps the funniest part is that the man who is clearly a Flemish speaking Belgian, has a accent so strong he has to be provided with subtitels in his own language.

This happens in the U.K. sometimes, for instance when a Glaswegian is rabbiting on, and believing he's speaking English, then subtitles would be needed for the more civilized Brits down south.

I wonder if there is a similar problem in the States

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yes...watch the likes of "Honey Boo Boo" or "Swamp People."  Subtitles required for good ole Americans.  I think it is even more sad that some think these shows are entertaining....my opinion anyway.

OK, back to thread topic everyone.

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Every city has there own standards around here, you have to go to their website and look it up in the zoning code laws or the municipal codes.

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+1 on Perry's comment's

The 7' maybe a fire regulation vs a PL/zoning one  , in that fire crews need access , here standard city lots are 33' wide so you are allowed a 22' garage which leaves 2' off the PL one side and 9' off the other PL for access.

M.

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Along the Beach here, we typically have 25" wide lots and 3' sideyards

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10'x19' deep is our city minimum.

In PHX it would have to be 11'x. They require 24" on each side of the door. I guess you could use a smaller door. I use 9' as a min. When I was back east 12'x24' was min.