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A garage is part of a home or building, designed for storing a vehicle or vehicles.  In some places, the term is used interchangeably with “carport”, though the latter normally describes a structure that is not completely enclosed.

In most American single family homes and town houses with a garage, there is an entry/exit door for vehicles at the side of the garage building.  Many garage doors open upward using an electric chain drive, which can often be remotely controlled from the garage owner’s vehicle with a small radio transmitter.

Garages are connected via a driveway to the nearest road.  Space for one or two cars is typical, and garages built since the 1960s normally have an access door leading directly to the interior of the house.  In the past, garages were often separate from the house, almost resembling modern sheds.  Sometimes a garage would have an apartment above it that could be rented out.  As automobiles became more popular, the idea of attaching the garage directly to the home became more common.

Also used as a storage area for toolsbicycleslawn mowers and other such items, most garages have unfinished concrete floors.  Since they are heavily used for storage and as work space for home improvement projects, garages are sometimes not used to store cars at all; some home owners prefer a carport as an alternative solution.

Around the turn of the 21st century, companies began offering “portable” garages in the United States.  These garages are mostly made of metal and do not attach to the current house or other structure.

Special flooring and doors
Garage flooring has to be durable, non-skid and protected.  Some companies can install flooring products that are not generally available to the homeowner, providing a coating system that will last may years. Flooring materials include epoxies, polyurethanes, polyaspartics and modular garage tiles.

Leave garage door installation and repairs to companies specializing in such services, as the process can be dangerous and requires a great deal of technical skill to complete safely and correctly.  Garage doors come in manual and automatic, both types operating on spring tension.  With time and extensive use, these springs get weak and break.  Replacing the springs is a very dangerous procedure due to the large force these springs carry.

A carport is a covered structure that protects cars and other vehicles from the elements.  The structure of a carport can either be free standing or attached to a wall.  Unlike most structures, a carport does not have to have four walls – usually only one or two.  Carports offer less protection than garages but allow for more ventilation.

Modern carports in America are typically constructed of metal (steel, tin, or aluminum) and are modular in style.  The carport is considered to be an economical method of protecting cars from the weather and sun damage, and tens of thousands are installed in the USA alone each year.

The term carport was coined by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, when he began using the structure for the house of Herbert Jacobs in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1936.  In describing the carport, he said, “A car is not a horse, and it doesn't need a barn.  Cars are built well enough now so that they do not require elaborate shelter.”  The carport was therefore a cheap and effective device for the protection of a car.

Multi-storey car park
A multi-storey car-park – also called a parking garage, parking structure, parking ramp, parking building or parking deck – is a building designed with a number of floors or levels for car parking.

In the western United States, the term “parking structure” is used, especially when it is necessary to distinguish such a structure from the garage in a house.  In some places in North America, “parking garage” refers only to an indoor, often underground, structure.  Outdoor multi-level parking facilities are referred to by a number of regional terms:

Architects and civil engineers in the USA are likely to call it a parking structure, since their work is all about structures, and that term is the vernacular in some of the western United States.  When attached to a high-rise of another use, it is sometimes called a parking podium.  United States building codes use the term “open parking structure” to refer to a structure designed for car storage (not repair) that has enough openings in the walls that it does not need mechanical ventilation or fire sprinklers, as opposed to a “parking garage” that requires mechanical ventilation or sprinklers but does not require openings in the walls.  The openings provide fresh air flow to disperse either car exhaust or fumes from a fire should one break out within the structure.

For more answers to your questions regarding garages, contact Freedom Restoration at 410-451-7110 or click here.







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