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From Accessory to Necessity: The History of the Garage

By Flow Wall
May 5, 2017

What was once a space for storing your vehicle and little more has now become an extension of the house as millions of Americans use their garage space for both storage and fun. The garage has been a part of homes and properties for over 100 years, with its origins beginning in the form of a carriage house when a place was needed for storing horses, carriages, and wagons. Once automobiles made their debut, what was once a carriage house transformed into the first garage. Sears Roebuck & Company took early advantage of the excitement surrounding the introduction of the first automobiles by offering a portable garage for those who didn't already have a carriage house on their properties. 

The Early Years

Once it became clear the automobile wasn't simply a passing fad but had become part of a new way of life, seeking a place to store a vehicle grew into a necessity for a good portion of Americans. By 1921, the first overhead garage door was introduced. Shortly thereafter, the automatic garage door opener came on the scene and completely revolutionized the way people use their garages by making them a more functional space overall. Fast forward just a few short years and real estate agents began to notice that prospective home buyers were quick to inquire whether a home included a garage or not before they would consider the home.

Mid-Century Demands

By the 1940's, home designers and architects were incorporating built-in garages into nearly all of their designs. The attached garage was the latest concept and allowed homeowners to access their garage from inside of their house through an additional door instead of through the main garage door only. People no longer needed to make a trip outside to open their garage which made the space all the more convenient and accessible.

A Vital Addition

Modern-day garages are an absolute expectation on properties today and not only that, but the growth of the 3-car garage continues to rise. As families own more cars, a 3-car garage becomes not only a place to keep a couple cars but bicycles, outdoor toys, yard tools, and more. It's also interesting to note that nearly 75% of homeowners now utilize the door within their garage to access their home as opposed to the front door making easy garage entry a part of everyday comings and goings.

More Than Just a Place for Cars

The modern garage space is unlike it ever was before. Where it was once little more than a sensible space for storage, it has become a creative space for many homeowners who find creative ways to make their garage space a place unlike any other on their property. Some homeowners turn their garages into both a place to store a car and a place for hobbies such as woodworking or tinkering with tools. Others paint the walls of the garage to complement the interior of the home or pour epoxy on the floors for an upgraded look and style. Others still enjoy a portion of their garage as the perfect “man cave” or art studio and many homeowners take a lot of pride in making the exterior doors of their garage look just as good as the inside. Modular storage solutions such as Flow Walls' garage system of cabinets and shelves designed specifically with today's homeowners' needs in mind are great for storing typical garage toys but in a more organized, customizable manner. Instead of stacks of boxes piled high and adding clutter to this valuable space, more people are turning to cabinets, hooks, and racks that are both functional for garage hobbies as well as stylish. With these products available to conscientious homeowners, the possibilities for your garage space really are endless.