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Everything You Need To Know About Tandem Garage

Tandem Garage

It took about nine months for Christine and Angelo to move out of their Luxurious two-story home. Everything was perfect and the neighborhood was, in Christine’s words, “The best she had ever lived in her entire life “. The tragedy of this dream home was its tiny garage space which could barely fit two small cars let alone an SUV and a minivan which the couple owned. 

The hassle of getting to either vehicle whether it was raining, snowing, or the sun was just fierce and scorchy while rushing off or having to park them by driveways made the months-long enough. The space was a storage space for quite a few boxes but not a car.

While house-shopping it is important to put into consideration the garage space to ensure a secure and secluded area for parking your car or cars.

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The Oxford English dictionary defines the word Tandem as “an arrangement of two or more objects arranged one behind the other “. The moment you picture it, you have a clear picture of exactly what a tandem garage looks like – a long narrow space built in a way that a car is parked behind the other right in front of it. Unlike the regular front-drive garages or just the typical traditional garage which is lateral and made to fit just one vehicle, the essence of a tandem garage is exactly to fit more than that number. The width is the same as with the traditional garage but the length is not, hence the parking of one car behind the other.

A Tandem could have a single entrance and exit which means if you want to make use of the car park first you would have to drive out the one parked last to a corner, drive out the car you desire to make use of and then drive back the last one that was initially parked behind. Even worse, if you don’t own the car behind or don’t have the keys, you’re stuck.  A bulk load of stress, right? Tandems with two garage doors are an exception but can only plan out of the layout of the garage structure permitting two points of entry and exit.

Types of Tandem Garage

A Tandem garage has three main and very common types which include;

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  1. Two car tandem garage
  2. Three car tandem garage
  3. Drive-through Tandem Garage

Two car tandem garage

Two car tandem garage

This permits two cars to be parked in a straight line / linearly. Two-car Tandem garages have the same width as a traditional or one-car garage but only doubled up in length. They can allow one point of entry and exit or two points of entry and exit. In some homes, the extra space is not for a second car but rather used as a storage area.

Three car tandem garage

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On the outside, this looks like a traditional garage constructed to fit two vehicles horizontally. Inside is built to have a side deeper having an ‘L’ or inverted ‘L’ shape. So you could fit in two cars and decide to utilize the rest of the space for storage or conveniently fit in three cars. If the space is available and the layout permits, it can also have multiple doors. 

 Drive-through Tandem garage

In this type of tandem garage, there is increased accessibility by the addition of a rear door which can be ideally set up if properly planned.

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Benefits of a Tandem Garage

  • This is the perfect option for narrow spaces especially if you need a garage that can fit in more than one car.
  • It saves space where necessary.
  • It is aesthetically pleasing especially in garages with single car doors.
  • If you don’t need the space for an extra car or two, you can always utilize it as a work area or garage storage.

Challenges of a Tandem Garage

  • Availability of single points of entry and exit is a major drawback as most tandem garages have a single entry and exit points.
  • Consideration of street access
  • Location / local area; municipal codes are to be considered as some municipalities may not permit or count tandem garages as spaces for parking two cars.

Costs of Tandem Garage

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Costs vary with size, dimensions, and design which reflects preferences.

  • 20×40 Four-car Tandem garage; This measures up to 800 square feet and has a cost range of $32,000-$56,000.
  • 20×36 Four-car Tandem garage; measures up to 864 square feet. Price range is $34,500-$60,500.
  • 32×32 Three car Tandem garage (three cars deep);

Square feet of 1,024 ranging from $41,000 to $71,000 in price.

  • 30×30 Three-car Tandem garage (three cars deep); with about 900 square feet, price ranges from $36,00-$63,000.

Tandem Garage Dimensions

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These are plans made to save space with a construction made to fit on long narrow areas. They are detached designs with details concerning structure, dimensions, and style. These plans collectively are about at least 38′ feet deep. Typical two-car garages are about 18 feet wide and 20 feet deep.

A standard tandem garage should be 

6m × 6m and door size of 5.2m.

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Other examples that can comfortably fit your cars are a 20 × 20 tandem garage and a 24 × 24 tandem garage. Although a 20 ×20 would not leave any extra space for storage.

Supplies / Materials for Building a Tandem Garage

  • Nail puller
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Framing hammer (20-24 oz)
  • Combination square
  • Canvas nail belts
  • Claw hammer ( 16 oz )
  • Tape measures
  • Carpenter’s framing square
  • Hacksaw
  • Screwdrivers
  • Circular saw
  • Electric drill
  • Set of wrenches
  • Clamp
  • String
  • Air compressor
  • Nail gun
  • Chisel
  • Chalk line
  • Ladder
  • Tipped pen or carpenter’s pencil
  • Sawhorses
  • Staple gun
  • Finish hammer
  • Blueprints
  • Hand saw
  • Plumb bob
  • Set of nails
  • Caulking gun
  • Tin snips
  • Sand/gravel
  • Concrete
  • Wooden forms
  • Metal fasteners
  • Visqueen
  • Reinforcement bar
  • Wire mesh

To frame your Tandem garage, here is a list of what you might need to work with ;

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  • Redwood
  • Cap plates
  • Cripple studs
  • Window headers
  • Garage door header ( preconfigured)
  • Door headers
  • King studs
  • Trimmer studs
  • 2″ × 4″ pre-cut wall studs 
  • Top plates 
  • Header hangers
  • Metal fasteners
  • Clips for framing
  • Bracing material

Materials for roofing include ;

  • Scaffolding
  • Preconfigured roof trusses
  • Drip edge
  • Tarpaper
  • Sheathing clips
  • Staples
  • Roofing nails
  • Exterior plywood
  • Metal flashing
  • Composite Asphalt shingles
  • Rafter ties plywood
  • Metal Fasteners

Tandem garages are built not just to create extra space for one more vehicle but also to serve as a possible storage unit or work area.

In cases where the building is not a personal home, conflicts might arise between tenants due to the parking of cars and even spaces in general especially when a single entrance and exit is made available. In situations like this, it is ideal to plan a schedule.

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Whether you would prefer an extra space for equipment, cars, or a messy job that requires an exterior workspace, tandem garages are on the list of options available, you only have to decide what’s best for you. 

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