Todd Hallett, AIA, President of TK Design & Associates, Inc. ( has been designing award winning homes for over 20 years. He spent 15 of those years working for a $50 million production building company. Todd designed all of their homes but also worked in every other aspect of the company including purchasing, development, land acquisition, product development, and operations, and was President of the company for three years. Equipped with his vast building experience and fueled by his love for architecture he left to form an architecture firm that is second to none in working cohesively with Builders. Todd specializes in Lean Design and works, alongside Scott Sedam of TrueNorth Development, in the trenches with builders, suppliers, and trade contractors. His Lean Design blog appears weekly at Todd welcomes your feedback at or 248.446.1960.

Lean Design Blog: Custom home squeezes in just a bit more garage space

March 14, 2012

Everybody loves a little extra Garage space. Custom home clients are requesting anywhere from three to six car Garages on a fairly regular basis. Having this many spaces can create challenges however; the extra spaces must look great, function properly and fit on the site. We took a unique approach to solving those issues on this “tight lot” custom home. Let’s take a closer look:

A. The two car courtyard entry Garage hides the large door from the street while providing a courtyard wall on the opposite side at the homes entrance. This entry is only a two car so it is easy to avoid the “all garage” look often created by a three car courtyard configuration.

B. The two car tandem Garage allows for two full sized cars to be placed in a space that is only 12’ wide, but let’s not kid ourselves; the back area is where the toys belong.

C. The positioning of the tandem Garage allows the small door to be placed well off the street and does not pose any aesthetic issues.

D. The two Garages overlap a bit to allow for access from one space to another. This is especially critical when there is only one beer fridge.

E. When a side entry is designed into a narrow Garage space always cut into the home with area for steps. This will avoid having the steps dissect the space when there is a large first floor to Garage floor height difference.

A home requiring extra Garage spaces can be a fun creative challenge. I recommend exhausting all configuration possibilities in the design stage to ensure that the right approach is taken for the site, style of home and space needs. Now that we have the garages figured out, the only question is - where do we put the pole barn for the really important stuff?

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