It all started so innocently, we became a car based society and wanted to protect our investments. So we went from parking our cars in a driveway to parking them in the carriage house at the end of the driveway. Then came the carport – an attached to your home open air structure that protected the car from rain and snow. Then someone, probably an architect, said, lets build walls around this structure and make it part of the house. That is where our troubles started.
Yes, the attached garage is a convenience that most people in our area enjoy on cold and wet days, but there are problems lurking. It is impossible to completely separate them from your living spaces. This leads to indoor-air-quality issues in your home. As wind blows against your garage door, the space become pressurized pushing fumes and chemicals into your house. After all, where do you keep all those pesticides, gas cans, old paints if not in your attached garage?
So what is the solution? A detached garage not directly connected to your home. It can be connected via a covered walkway or screen porch. This detached structure is completely separated from your living space protecting your indoor-air-quality. Interesting that the google web definition is a garage not attached to a home, usually found in older homes. We have found that many of our clients want a healthy home. To create this you have to make the thermal envelope very tight which makes the indoor-air-quality contaminant prevention even more important.
I always thought it would be lovely to have a detached garage connected to the house by a covered walkway. When I was a child, I had a friend whose home had a large covered area between the kitchen and garage. It was basically a large room open at the front and back; they called it the breezeway.