Attached Garages in NZ vs Detached Garages in NZ | New Zealand

A garage joined to the house or one that’s separate - is either better? The answer is subjective, depending on factors like how you use the garage, the lie of the land and whether you’re starting from scratch or not. In this article, we’ve researched the advantages and disadvantages of attached and detached garages so that if you’re in the market for a new garage, you have some comparisons to start with.
Note, our information pertains to residential garages rather than farm sheds or large garages on rural properties.

Detached or standalone garage - A separate building that may be situated next to the main dwelling, behind the house or curbside.
Attached or internal access garage - This describes garages that are part of or joined to the residence, either beside, under or above the house.

Convenience

Detached :

  • Transferring into the house in inclement weather can be unpleasant
  • It’s trickier getting children, groceries, gear into and out of the car
  • Any mess or clutter is out of sight; out of mind
  • Outdoor tools and equipment may be easier to access
  • You may need to install plumbing and electricity services if you want to use the garage for purposes other than storing cars

Attached :

  • Leaving the house and arriving home is simpler when the garage is part of the house
  • Easy access to storage and common-use items
  • All the services such as electricity, water and plumbing are ready on-site if needed
  • An attached garage is often more exposed, so people can see your valuables and your mess when the garage door is open

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Above, clockwise from top left: A detached garage with stepping stones to the house and a Milano garage door; Nevada is the main point of entry to this multi-level home; an attached garage with a Milano door blending beautifully with the home's cladding; a detached garage with Futura garage doors.

Safety & Security

Detached :

  • Doesn’t provide a direct access point to the home if the garage is breached
  • Needing to exit the garage to enter the home poses a security issue - you might need to include a safe pathway with lighting and weather protection
  • Any breach of the garage may be less noticeable from the house 
  • Secure lockup can be more difficult to achieve

Attached : 

  • Safe and immediate access to the home whatever the weather
  • It’s more difficult for anyone watching to see who has left or arrived home
  • Can be included in the house alarm or security system more easily
  • Potentially more secure due to being built as part of the main structure
  • Does provide another way for burglars to enter the home

Versatility

Detached : 

  • It may be easier to renovate and extend, perhaps to add a level, or simply to add windows
  • More opportunity to convert the garage into an office space, studio, workshop, gym or extra storage space
  • Noise and activities in the garage don’t affect the household as much as they might in an attached garage
  • A detached garage used for a business can be separate from the home
  • Can be costly to build a separate structure, especially if you want to match the design or materials used for your house

Attached : 

  • An attached garage generally takes less area than a detached, especially when it’s included as another level
  • An attached garage can convert to extend the footprint of the home whether it’s an extra bedroom or living space, without structural changes
  • The space can easily convert back to garage use, say once the kids leave home or circumstances change
  • It visually matches the home without as much added cost as a detached garage

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Above, clockwise from top left: Your attached garage needn't match the house exactly (Nevada image courtesy of David Reid Homes); a separate level enables these apartments to have garages that otherwise could not exist (featuring Nevada); the attached garage balances the facade of this home perfectly (Sierra image courtesy of David Reid Homes); in some cases, practicality doesn't come into the attached vs detached equation.

Efficiency

Detached :

  • More expensive to heat and cool due to its standalone nature
  • Could be more costly to build seeing it’s separate from the home

Attached :

  • Insulated garages with insulated garage doors help to increase the energy efficiency of the whole house
  • Conversely, an attached garage can let cold air transfer to the rest of the home so it is advisable to insulate
  • Could be less costly to build because it’s part of the main structure

The type of property and your budget might determine whether you can build a standalone or internal access garage, but looking at the pros and cons there are always advantages to be had. If you'd like help choosing the best garage door to finish your garage beautifully, contact your local Dominator Dealer here.

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