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Universally Preferred Parking

Your garage isn't just a place to park stuff, it's often the safest and easiest entrance into your home.

A Lifetime Home should ideally have a garage, not only to provide ample room for getting into and out of your vehicle but to provide accessible storage, cover from the weather and also an element of safety, particularly if you're dealing with children, an armload of groceries or otherwise preoccupied. Additionally, if you're exploring options on the main level for creating a zero step and flush threshold entrance, access through the garage is often least expensive and far less complicated because you're eliminating potential problems with exterior topography and sloping.

So whether the garage is attached (ideal) or detached, here's what you need:

  • Ample room for maneuvering strollers, lawn mowers, bicycles, golf clubs, etc. around the vehicle(s)
  • At least a 3-foot clear path around and between vehicles
  • Easy path from the garage, sheltered (if detached) with no steps and a walkway no less than 36-inches wide
  • Shelves, cabinets, hooks and all storage within easy reach
  • Proper ventilation, ideally including a fan on a timer and/or motion activated.

Worth considering, a garage door tall enough to accommodate higher vehicles (e.g. van with chairlift), which typically require an extra 18 to 24 inches compared to standard doors. You might also want motion detecting lights and intercom.

Finally, whether entering the house from inside or outside the garage, you'll want a non-slip surface that doesn't allow puddling or freezing of water or condensation. As I wrote in the last post, there are many different ground applications including pervious concrete and porous asphalt. What's best depends on your circumstances.

This concludes my tutorial series describing a universally designed, Lifetime Home. If you landed here first and want to start at the beginning of the series (curbside), click What is Universal Design?, each post leads to another describing every area of a detached, single family house.

If you seek more technically detailed, room-by-room guidance, review and bookmark LifetimeHomeSurvey.com, which is updated quarterly. Use the Lifetime Home Survey as either an assessment checklist or wish list. 

Please email me with questions and share socially.

 

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President Todd Hawkins preaches building science and Universal Design (UD) to teach the benefits of an efficient, convenient, comfortable and flexible Lifetime Home. Also follow him on Twitter @BuilderFish for short tips about how kid-friendly UD makes home life easier and more secure for any person of any age or ability.

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