The Evolution of the Modern Garage

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Garages were invented shortly after the invention of the automobile in 1910. In the beginning, garages were nothing more than small detached sheds located in the owner’s backyard. Modern attached garages that protect people, as well as cars, from the weather became popular in the 1930’s. By 1945, they were included in the majority of architectural blueprints for new homes.

The automated garage door opener was a great invention that expanded protection from the weather to the humans that drive. Today’s garage door openers come with smart phone apps that allow you to open and close it from anywhere. However, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately 30,000 injuries are caused every year by garage doors. Unfortunately, children suffer many of those injuries.

The size of garages grew over the years in direct proportion to the increasing size of cars. As families grew, manufacturers began producing cars large enough to accommodate them. In the 1970s, two-car households became common. Today, the garage is often the largest and most prominent feature in the front of homes, especially those built after the 1970s.
Garages were originally designed to protect expensive vehicles from thieves, vandals, and the ravages of weather. Rust from rain and snow and faded paint and upholstery caused by the blazing sun were among the reasons that home builders decided that every suburban home should have one. The residents of Northern Illinois experience just about every kind of weather there is, with temperatures ranging from -9°F in February to 102°F in August.

In addition to protecting cars, garages now have a number of other uses, including providing extra space for people. Garages serve as storage units for items they don’t use on a daily basis. Those who enjoy do-it-yourself projects often transform their garages into home improvement workshops. Others transform them into extra rooms for visiting relatives or guests. As working from home becomes an option for an increasing number of people, a portion of many garages have been converted into home offices.

Many a successful quest for fame and fortune have begun in a garage, but most people consider their garages a place to get away from things they have to do. Since people are spending more time there in a variety of ways, they’re making the garage an extension of their home. That means making them as safe, warm, and attractive as possible.