usually include Philadelphia architect Jim Wentling’s
sage advice on housing matters in my "On the
House" column. But he recently mused about garages
— a topic that fits better here, I believe.
topic: local government rules on garage placement either
through zoning restrictions or design guidelines,
suggesting that builders keep them in mind to avoid
most common rule is that the garage needs to be set back
behind the front wall of the house.
this is a minimal dimension but in some cases we have
seen it be as much as eight to 10 feet, with the
objective being to mitigate the impact of parked cars in
the driveway, as well," he said.
often than not, a front porch may be allowed to serve as
the most forward element. If not, protruding a room or
two in the front of the plan will satisfy this
rule," Wentling said.
cannot exceed a certain percentage of the facade, he
said. In most cases, this is 50 percent; however, in
some cases a lesser percentage is used, Wentling noted.
too, can be challenging for plans that need to be less
than 42 feet wide," he said.
that case, "a slightly smaller garage, say 18 to 19
feet, may suffice or by adding a foot or two to the
overall width of the plan," Wentling said.
garages need to be side-loaded according to regulations,
he said, adding that this is more common in larger-lot
communities where garage doors facing the street are
a side yard of 25 to 30 feet is needed for backing up
from the garage, although we are seeing far less than
this in the field, with side yards in the 20-foot range
parallel to the door," he said.
popular option is to add a third-car front-loaded garage
adjacent to the two-car garage, he said.
must have a certain amount of square footage for
storage, he said, particularly in multifamily
communities, so there is an area for trash and recycle
bins to keep them out of the yard.
dedicated space needs to be outside the envelope
required for cars, based on parking space sizes per the
zoning ordinance," he said.