When you imagine an old-school carriage house, you probably imagine the giant Model T cars of days past, with tiny well-dressed people sitting in the front seats. Watching Laurel and Hardy get up to their typical antics in the iconic car may make you think that the Model T was a real monster of a vehicle, and that modern design and technological innovation has resulted in a streamlined, shrunk car. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Vehicles are only getting bigger, in fact, and the massive consumer cars of today wouldn’t even have fit in most traditional carriage houses. The Model T and similar early cars may look large in photographs, but that’s mostly because of their strange design and open carriage. Stripping away all of the outer layers and gizmos that make up a modern car actually leaves you with a much smaller base frame. 

If you have an older garage, in fact, odds are that your space may not actually fit all newer vehicles, especially large trucks or SUVs. Vehicles like a Hummer are simply not designed to fit into the cramped confines of an old carriage house. Unfortunately, expanding an old garage to fit a larger vehicle can be quite difficult. Here’s what you should do if you need to upsize your garage:

  1. Step one is to measure before you go car shopping! If you’re used to seeing the same tiny car in the same tiny garage, you may underestimate just how much vehicle you’re purchasing when you see the huge truck on the lot. By knowing the limits of your garage ahead of time, you can make a more informed decision. Remember to account for a border around the vehicle, both so that you have a little flexibility when parking and because you will need to open the doors to get out!
  2. Next, think about where you might find some extra space in your garage. If your garage or carriage house is a separate structure, it will be considerably easier to expand and you could find a contractor to extend whichever dimension of the building would be simplest. In many cases it will be cost-prohibitive to actually raise the ceiling, so an easier solution might actually be lowering the floor or lowering your vehicle. Deflating the tires won’t help, but you could potentially remove roof racks, lower your suspension, or install shorter tires. There are also some garages with a slight incline leading down into them, and if you absolutely can’t alter the outside dimensions of the building, you might have to lower the floor. 
  3. Finally, if your garage is built into your home, you often won’t have many option for expanding it. The back wall of your garage may be load bearing, which would make it very difficult to move or adjust, but you can usually add a short bump on the front of your garage and shift your garage door outwards a few feet. This can give you the needed space to actually fit in your new car. 

Using these simple tips, you can expand your garage to fit a modern car! Remember of course that the best choice is the simplest, and that by measuring your garage ahead of time, you can save yourself quite a bit of money and trouble when you bring your new vehicle home.

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