The History of Garages

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

Where do garage doors come from? If I thought you were naive enough I might try and sell you on the idea that stork brings a garage door to each brand new garage and then you call your local garage door installer and they come and do the rest. Hopefully as a home owner you aren't that naive, so here is a bit of real hard info. Garage doors come from factories where they are manufactured and shipped to a an array of local distributors who then work with your local installers to help you get your garage door. It works much like most supply chains and on paper is pretty simple but in practice is obviously a bit more complicated than that, but you may be wondering where does the idea of the garage door come from? Who though that this extra room tacked onto every home, presumably for automobile storage was a good idea? Was it Henry Ford or some other big automaker trying to make cars seem more like a part of the american lifestyle? In short no, garages weren't a conspiracy to get you to use your car more often as it is supposed that things actually worked the other way around.

Garages came from the idea of carriage houses, originally being for your carriage if you were lucky enough to own one. These carriages would be housed in a building detached from the main house and would keep the carriage from being stolen getting damaged etc. This should sound familiar as this is pretty much what the modern garage does for our cars. However, the carriage was a lot more of an event when it was taken out, you couldn't simply turn a key to start the car and press a button to open the garage door. Typically you needed to unlock the carriage house doors, which is where we get the inspiration for the <a href="">carriage style garage doors</a> that you often see on homes going for that older aesthetic. Then you'll need to go get your horses from the stable, another building on your property, and have them hooked up to the carriage and pull it out before you can close and lock the doors again. I'm sure now you feel lucky that you have a garage with a garage door opener that you can use from inside your car. You might also however wonder how all of these people afforded all of these buildings on their property, and the simple answer is that most people just didn't.

The idea of a separate place to house your carriage or your car then isn't something that is new, but attaching it to your house is. As cars became more and more prevalent people didn't see the reason to keep it away from the house. Garages at first were usually behind the house and accessible via a long driveway or alleyway that started at the front of the property. These first garages housed cars but looked just like older carriage houses, replete with the older style of doors and not the newer stye of garage doors we know now. Eventually the garage doors started to look more and more similar to those that we know now an the garages were then attached to our homes. When garages started to be attached to our homes they started with a traditional garage door as well as an alternate entry directly from the house. There was no need to be outside already to use your car so people wanted to be able to travel directly between their home and their garage. This was all still during the time when garage doors weren't what we know them to be today. They may have looked similar but would have used mainly wood and would not have been automatic.

Eventually once everyone it seemed had a car people got on to the idea that garage doors could do with some automation. The technology had been there for a while and some people had garage door openers, but not until after world war 2 did the trend really take off as more and more people moved out to the suburbs and needed a place to house their car. At this point garages moved to the side of the home more often than not and were directly connected to the home with an entry way between the house and garage. Most garages housed two cars and had automatic garage door openers as we know them today. Since then the structure of garages and garage doors has not changed an awful amount. The main thing that has come to change is the safety and security that is behind that garage door has improved significantly as technology has progressed. Garage doors are more durable and easily maintained as well than they were when automatic garage door openers first came onto the scene.

I hope that now you know a bit more about where the idea for a garage came from, if all you remember is that carriages used to go there that is fine too. Garages today are really just updated and modernized carriage houses that managed to migrate from our backyards to right next to our homes over a few short decades. Carriage houses originally were really for the very affluent, but today nearly every home in America, outside of more urban areas, comes with its own two car garage and garage door or doors. Many older homes will allow you to see how garages used to be used. They will have a garage that might be set back further from the road than the house and one that won't be connected to the rest of the house but will still have a separate entry. These garages were likely built in the earlier years of the car and so the car was still housed away from the home. You will also more than likely find that these garages have a single garage door instead of two separate garage doors as has become more common.

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