The Drive-Through Garage

Exterior of modern car garage
 Eric Audras/Getty Images

Ever thought about having a garage with two doors? Not side by side, but one in the front and one in the back? Sounds a little crazy, perhaps, but maybe it's one of those great ideas that hasn't had a chance to catch on. And maybe its time has come. (After all, it took homeowners centuries to embrace the idea of the mixing tap, combining hot water and cold water to make warm water.) To see if you're interested in blazing a trail to unparalleled garage access, consider these benefits of a drive-through garage.

No Backing Out

Imagine how less-cool it would be if Batman had to carefully back out of his cave and check for oncoming traffic before getting on the road to answer the bat signal? A drive-through garage lets you be more like Batman, but there are even bigger benefits to not having to back out. If you own a trailer or pull a boat behind your car, you can pull it right in or pull it right out. No more white-knuckle maneuvering or praying that you don't jack knife the trailer into the side wall of the garage. If you don't want to unhitch your trailer, you can pull your vehicle all the way through the garage, leaving the rear garage door open. Then you close the front door so the garage is secure on the public side.

Access to Storage

Practically speaking, a garage is a big box that opens on only one side. Anything that's stored in the back of the box has to be carried past everything else to get to the opening. And with large or heavy items, like lawnmowers and full trash cans, you usually have to pull out your car to get the items out. By contrast, a rear garage door gives you easy access to both sides of the box, so there's much less shuffling around to get to everything.

Better Ventilation

Despite the size of a standard garage door, garages can be slow to air out. This is because there's little or no cross-ventilation; that is, allowing air to pass through the space. Having two garage doors provides the ultimate in cross-ventilation. This can make the garage a much better and more comfortable work space. Fumes can be vented in no time, and a constant flow of air—combined with the shade from the roof—makes the garage bearable in the hottest weather.

Outdoor Room

If you want to lounge outdoors and you set up a patio table and chairs in the driveway near your front garage door, the neighbors will think you're having a yard sale. But if you had a rear garage door and set up back there you'd have a nice, private lounge space with equally good access to the garage and its shelter. At other times, when you're working in the garage, you'd like to have the door open but you don't want to be exposed to the neighborhood. A rear door gives you openness and privacy at the same time.