If you have a choice between a garage that’s separate from your home and a garage that is built into your house (connected or attached), you may not be sure of the differences: Here are the pros and cons to each model and what you can expect.
Price: Price is the big issue, isn’t it? Well, if you want the extra features that a separate garage offers, you will probably have to pay a little more for it. Because you are building (or buying) an entirely independent structure with all of its own walls, costs are going to be a bit higher. Materials will probably be the same, but you will end up paying around 10 percent more at the least for that separate structure.
Convenience: Convenience varies based on what you use your garage for. Let’s face it: If it is pouring rain or snow outside, an attached garage can easily provide the convenience of keeping you out of the weather – just as they were intended to. A separate garage will make you scurry across the driveway to reach your door in blizzard conditions. Of course, this is balanced with the convenience that a separate garage offers for other purposes. Namely, you can use portions of it as a workroom or storage shed, an ability that few connected versions will offer you. So think about your climate and storage needs before making a decision.
Safety: Safety issues also vary based on what you are considering. A separate garage will not threaten a house as much if it catches on fire, for example. However, a separate garage can also make it easier for criminals to break and steal gadgets or expensive cars, if you are worried about burglary. If you do choose an attached garage, it’s a good idea to connect it to the house smoke alarm system just in case – from furnaces to power tools, plenty of devices in the garage can pose fire hazards. On the other hand, a separate garage should probably have burglar alarms.
Noise: This point is for the hobbyists who like to use the garage for extracurricular activities. If you have a drum set, power saw, or big speaker system you like to use in the garage space, choosing a separate structure will help separate your family (and neighbors) from that sometimes-annoying noise. Have an honest talk about how loud your hobbies are to help gain some insight here.
Heating and Cooling: This is a big one. Most connected garages are relatively easy to heat and cool. They either share in the whole house air conditioning system, or they can be controlled with a simple space heater or fan. Separate garages are more difficult animals. Do you want to heat them up? Then you need a power source like an electric line, generator, or fuel tank. Need to cool down in the summer? Electricity to power fans or heat pumps is a must. Otherwise, you will have to let the weather pick your temperature for you.
Space: How much space do you really need? Do you have a lot of camping or sporting gear? A separate garage typically offers more space to store these goodies than an attached garage. Of course, size does vary, but keep in mind that separate garages are much easier to expand.
Insurance: Ask your agency or realtor about house insurance and what it pertains to. Based on your location, a separate garage may lower your home insurance rates. It all depends on how much space the insurance policies in your state typically account for. If that connected garage is making your insurance rates rise, then a separate structure could lower them.