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Super-sized garages take center stage

by Rhona Melsky on Apr 7, 2017

Once there was a time when a home’s garage was … well … a garage. It was a one- or two-car attachment to a home where folks parked their cars or often just stored accumulated holiday decorations, sports equipment and more.

Now there’s the RV garage, also known as an accessory garage. These super-sized garages are an often-cushy place where homeowners can house all sorts of toys. 

“Not everyone has an RV, but if you see ‘Supergarage’, you think, ‘wow, what’s that?’” said Jill Ebding, marketing director for Courtland Communities in Phoenix, referring to the company’s Supergarage homes. From cars, boats and ATVs to hobbies and extra storage, “there’s a laundry list of things people put in these garages,” she said, adding that Courtland’s RV-garage homes include standard two- or three-car garages plus the larger addition.

The average Courtland Supergarage is 40 feet long and 18 feet wide with 14- to 16-foot ceilings. There is an option to extend the garage with the largest option being 75 feet long and 16 feet wide.

“About 90 percent of our homebuyers purchase an RV-garage plan,” Ebding said. The garages are insulated, energy-efficient, include fluorescent lighting and have options to add air conditioning and a rear garage door.

Toys galore!

Homes by Towne offers a larger RV garage and a smaller option they call a “toy garage.”

According to Melinda Childress, sales manager at Homes by Towne, the company’s “toy garage” is 36 feet long, 18 feet wide and 14 feet high making it ideal for ATVs, dune buggies, dirt bikes, small camping trailers or general storage. “If you aren’t into that type of thing, they are perfect for a musician, an art studio or private gym,” she said.

Homes by Towne’s larger RV garage (50 feet long, 18 feet wide and 16 feet high) makes it easy and accessible for homeowners to park an RV onsite at their home without the worry of offsite storage fees. “If not used for an RV, I’ve seen it used for boats and trailers or car collectors,” Childress said. Options include evaporative coolers and upgraded insulation as well as lighting and outlets with higher amperage for use with various vehicle and/or tool accoutrements.

Meanwhile, Blandford Homes’ “Man Cave” is 50 feet long, 20 feet wide and 16 feet high, according to Rick Ashton, a Realty Executives salesperson who sells homes for Blandford. The Man Cave has options for a bathroom, air conditioning and even an attached cabana. “The space has become very popular with homebuyers because a large number of customers have toys or other interests and the space is workable for them,” Ashton said, adding that 25 percent of buyers at The Pecans community in Queen Creek purchased the option.

Appealing to all

Childress said that buyers of RV garages run the gamut from young families to empty-nesters, ranging from people who enjoy camping and traveling to adventure-seekers and car enthusiasts.

“Many younger families like to use it for their children, while empty-nesters use it for things such as car collections where they can install a stack and have two to three cars in the same space and it can all be air-conditioned,” Ashton said.

“The convenience of having all of your stuff at home is appealing to buyers of all ages — and they don’t have to pay for storage for a boat or other toys,” Ebding said.

Thumbs-up from HOAs

These larger garages have become popular because more HOA communities now allow them whereas they previously were generally only found in more rural or older neighborhoods not regulated by HOAs.

“More people here in the desert use quads and other toys and they want space to store them,” Ashton said. “For those communities that didn’t want large motor homes parked on the side of homes, these spaces take care of that.”

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