Tandem garages are a top pick for narrow tracts of land. They are deeper and skinnier than a standard garage and can hold 2-4 vehicles parked in tandem.
You can build a custom tandem garage to fit any space or design style. Some homeowners like to use part of their garage as storage, while others want to maximize the number of vehicles they can fit.
If you need more space for your cars or trucks, here’s a look at what a tandem garage is, plus the most common types.
What is a Tandem Garage?
Tandem means having two or more things arranged, one in front of the other. In a tandem garage, instead of cars being parked side by side, they are parked deep.
In a two-car tandem garage, the width is only big enough for one car, but the length is long enough for two vehicles.
Depending on setup and size, tandem garages may have a combo of cars parked one in front of the other and side by side. Like in the instance of a four-car tandem garage, for example.
These garages can be attached or detached. Often, if you see a home with an attached garage with only one door, it’s a tandem garage.
Two-Car Tandem Garage: Setup and Dimensions
Two-car tandem garages are standard as both attached and detached buildings. These garages have the width of a one-car garage but are deep enough to park two vehicles.
Some detached tandem garages have doors at both ends, making them drive-through garages.
The plans for two-car tandem garages vary depending on style, space, and whether they are attached or detached.
It is almost impossible to give exact dimensions for a tandem garage because most are custom built – some are wide enough for a car plus storage, some are extra tall with a loft on top, and some are long enough to hold two trucks rather than two small cars.
General dimensions: The general dimensions for a narrow two-car tandem garage are 12 feet wide and 36 feet deep. Another typical size is 20 feet wide by 30 feet deep.
Three-Car Tandem Garage: Setup and Dimensions
Three-car tandem garages have two garage doors with space behind one of the bays for a second car.
These garages look like your traditional two-car garage and are usually attached to the home. While you can’t tell from the front, once inside, there’s space for a third car which is generally next to the wall of the house and behind another vehicle.
General Dimensions: The dimensions vary since three-car tandem garages are custom-built with different layout configurations. These garages are typically 18 to 24 feet wide. One side is typically 20 feet deep, while the tandem side is up to 36 feet deep.
Four-Car Tandem Garage: Setup and Dimensions
A four-car tandem garage look likes a standard double garage from the front but is extra deep, allowing you to park two rows of two cars.
Four-car tandem garages are almost always detached buildings. They can hold up to four cars and sometimes have extra room for storage.
General Dimensions: Four-car tandem garage dimensions vary, but a standard layout is 28 feet wide and 40 feet deep.
The Pros and Cons of Tandem Garages
Tandem garages have a strong set of pros and cons. While these garages are practical, they aren’t for everyone.
The Pros of Tandem Garages
Tandem garages are a smart use of space. They’re ideal for narrow tracts of land where there’s not enough space for a standard two car garage. And sometimes they’re the only option a homeowner has.
Besides practicality, tandem garages are also aesthetically pleasing. For example, the two-car tandem garage only has one door, boosting a home’s curb appeal and offering lower maintenance.
- Practical use of space
- Boost home’s curb appeal
- Lower maintenance
The Cons of Tandem Garages
As convenient as they can be, tandem garages aren’t a good fit for everyone. Shuffling cars in and out of the garage can be a hassle if you live in a family with multiple vehicles.
You’ll need to work with each other to create a parking schedule so everyone can quickly get in and out of the garage.
- Parking multiple cars might be difficult
- May need to create a parking schedule for family members
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Can you put an apartment over a tandem garage?
If you have a detached tandem garage, you can put an apartment over it the same you would with any other building. But, if you only have a two-car tandem garage, the living space above might be too narrow to function correctly. Apartments work best over four-car tandem garages.
Are tandem garages drive-through garages?
A tandem garage can be a drive-through if it’s detached and you add doors to both sides. Most 2 and 3-car tandem garages are attached and not drive-through style.
How much does it cost to build a tandem garage?
Garage prices vary based on material, location, and configuration. The average cost of a two-car attached tandem garage is around $26,000. A four-car detached tandem garage will cost from $35,000 to $64,000.
Tandem garages are a great solution if you have limited or narrow space and need a place to house your vehicles. Instead of parking side by side in these garages, you park cars in tandem – one in front of another.
While tandem garages are a practical use of space and can boost your home’s curb appeal, there are some downsides. The biggest con to a tandem garage is parking. When you park in tandem, pulling vehicles in and out of the garage can be a hassle without careful planning.