Garage too small

Buyer Be Aware: Not All Car Issues Are Mechanical - Car Talk Ray’s most recent column reminded me something similar happened to my grandparents.

I was too young to be aware of how they made the decisions that they did, but before my grandfather retired he had a full-size '61 Ford. When he moved into his retirement home, he drove a '65 Nova. I’m thinking maybe the garage was too small. Their next car was also a Nova, but their next two were Malibus. Actually, a Malibu in '65 would have fit.

As a kid the houses in my hood were of the early 1900s vintage. Many people added an extension on the back to fit the longer cars. One guy had door in front and in back so if the car didn’t stop in time when he yelled whoa, he could make another run.

I think my grandparents renovated an older house but I wonder why they couldn’t make the garage wider.

Think about it. Making a garage wider is a whole different issue than adding an extention in the back. Wall has to be moved, roof line affected, floor affected, garage door affected, etc. Major project.


Some years ago I had an unusual garage. One car wide, but long enough to hold both the truck and Corolla. The living space was also long and narrow. Turned out to be a pretty comfortable arrangement.

You have to build according to the lot, so if the lot is too narrow, you just go back. Guy down the street did that. Double garage wide but also dougle long. I did similar but with three wide and a fourth in back at right angles.

Yes. We are in the process of buying a house. One of the first things we do when looking at a house is measure the garage. It must be at least 20 feet deep and be able to hold 2 cars. So far we haven’t found a 2 car garage that will hold 2 cars comfortably, along with a couple of bicycles, baseball gear, a beer fridge, and other garage miscellany. Only a 3 car garage has enough room for 2 cars these days.

The problem my parents face isn’t how deep the garage is but where the door to the house is located, right now the Prius fits with the door shut and enough room to get past the front end to get to the upright freezer. Get a car any bigger and dad’s shop gets rearranged a little. They didn’t plan for much bigger than the '78 Rabbit when they built their house in the late 70’s.

Aunt lived in a 1920’s house overlooking the Columbia River with a 2 car add on garage and a “rv” garage built just below that (Terraced down from the house) but the rv garage had a normal height door even though the space was tall enough.

Yeah measure the height of the door too. Our old house had a 6 1/2 foot height. Had to with the grading without raising the whole house. Steel beam so no way to change it. Ok for us but might be a surprise for new owners with an suv.

My neighbor puts 3 cars into a 2 car garage. With it empty he puts one in with the nose diagonally in the right rear corner, one to the left into the left rear corner, both corners of the cars to the walls at the front, then backs the third up and in and ends up crosswise just inside the garage door. An 05 Lexus RX350, a Porsche Boxter and an electric Fiat 500.

That was a pretty small car even back then.

First house we bought (in 1995) was built in 1968 and we were able to park a 1970 Coupe DeVille and a 1995 Intrepid in there and still have plenty of room for yard equipment, storage cabinets, etc.

We used to have a 1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager that fit just fine on the left side of the garage which is underneath the 3 bedrooms and would be deep enough for a 70 Caddy on that side with room for bikes and the table saw but at least the way things are laid out and where the door is on the right side any longer than the 2010 Prius and the freezer’s going to need to move a little. The daylight basement including the garage was supposed to have about 1ft more clearance but was too late to change when they figured out the oops. They have fishing floats on fishing line hanging from the ceiling so when you pull in far enough the float taps the windshield. More important on the right side so you’re not parking in front of the freezer and the door into the house.

Used to keep yard equipment in the back corner of the garage but a few years after the house a 900sq/ft shed was built with double doors to pull the lawn tractor out and the sweeper trailer without having to move the car out first.

In the 90’s I lived for awhile in a Long Island neighborhood. The houses were built in the 20’s or 30’s. I had a 1976 Chevy Impala, about as big as they got. If I pulled in the garage and touched the back wall with the front bumper the garage door would hit the top of the trunk about a foot from the rear of the car!

My aunt & uncle owned a home (in Merrick) that was built in the early '50s, and their garage was apparently no bigger than the one that you had. Just imagine how much of his '64 Imperial hung out from the garage, even when he pulled in as far as he could.

It seems like I should start a retirement business selling garage stretchers. A bunch of favorable reviews on Facebook, some Twitter traffic about these great stretchers and, just like that the orders come rolling in. Transfer the $ to my fake name Panama bank account and Hello Tahiti!


Timing is everything.

A long driveway is answer.

Today the topic was revisited. It was about a garage where “Grandma” couldn’t get out of the 1960s Oldsmobile on the passenger side.

Trouble is, in the list of topics Dear Cartalk - Car Talk they show a 1955 Olds. They should know better.

Yeah a 61 would be a little bigger than a 55. But hey, my garage is standard modern size but I park on the right. I get crowded by the person on the left that will go unnamed who
crowds. Me. I have knocked off three right hand mirrors but I’m learning now plus I have a new mirror in stock just in case I get in a hurry. But then my mom ended up backing through th door so danger is everywhere.

The way I read the letter to Ray’s column was that she had to get out on the passenger side . So the picture was of a different year , not really a big deal .