What is a Tandem Garage (Pros & Cons & Layout Designs)

Here we answer the question what is a tandem garage and share different layout configurations and designs. Tandem garage Tandem is a word that means one behind the other. This will make sense with the idea of a tandem garage, a garage where one car will fit behind the other.

A tandem garage is similar to a traditional garage, but it will include space for two cars longitudinally versus the traditional lateral. The width will remain the same but there will still be room for two cars, one in front of the other. This is used in cases where there is not enough room to build a garage out to the sides and have to go deeper into the site.

Typically, these types of garages have one door for vehicles to exit and enter, which can cause one car to be stuck if there is another behind it.

In some cases, there will be two garage doors, one placed on each side of the room, allowing a car to enter or exit from either side not disturbing the other car in that garage. This can only work if the driveway layout allows for two point of exit or entry to the garage, which most do not.

Types of Tandem Garages

Two of the most common types of tandem garages are the two car and three car tandem garages. These can be incorporated in many different types of homes and settings. The actual garage dimensions can vary depending on the type of home and its size.

2 Car Tandem Garage

Two car tandem garage and traditional garage A two car tandem garage will allow for two cars to be park linearly. These garages will have the width of an average one car garage with double the length, allowing space for two cars. Sometimes the space is used for one car and the rest for storage. Other times two cars will occupy the space. They can have one or two points of entry and exit.

3 Car Tandem Garage

Three car tandem garage A three car tandem garage will look on the outside as a traditional two car garage, with two cars placed horizontally. To add the space for the third car, one of the sides will be deeper in the same way that the two car tandem garage is set up. This can also be used as two parking spaces and a storage or workspace, or park all three cars inside. This type of garage can also have multiple doors if so desired and if space is available.

Pros and Cons of Tandem Garages

Two car tandem garage
Picture of a two car tandem garage

As with any decision there are pros and cons to selecting a tandem garage for your home. Some are as follows.

Pros of getting a tandem garage can really be appealing. Tandem garages are very good for narrow sites, if a two car garage is needed and there is not enough space width wise, tandem will be the perfect option. This will also save space altogether which builders may want to do to increase their profits of a certain building.

Having a tandem garage will also make it so that less space is taken up by garage door. This will be more aesthetically appealing than multiple garage doors. While it would be the most common idea to fill the space with cars, tandem garages could also create extra space for a work zone or garage storage space if only one car needs to occupy the garage.

3 car tandem garage
Picture of a three car tandem garage

On the contrary, there are some disadvantages that could make you think twice before jumping into a tandem garage situation. The most obvious and most important drawback will be the fact that most tandem garages only have one point of entry and exit, and the cars will park one behind another.

This will mean that if the front car needs to leave, the back car will need to be moved from the garage to let them leave. This can be troublesome in situations such as apartments or somewhere with lack of communication between users of the space. This can even be difficult if communication is available, just timing may not be on anybody’s side.

For some people the reason for building a tandem garage is to stuff as many spots into a small space as possible. This can be not an option in some places due to codes requiring certain amount of parking and it only counting as one actual parking sport with extra storage space versus two spots.

In addition to that tenants can have so much difficulty with stacked parking and tandem garages that they would specifically avoid places with them, creating a smaller market and less of a likelihood of having and keeping renters. Visit this page for related garage makeover ideas.

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  1. Thank you for this post as I did find it helpful as I maneuver through research of building onto my existing one car to make into a tandem.

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