History of the Residential Garage

Children love to play with toy garages. They’re as simple as they come but they’re so much fun to play. They come in various sizes and accessories which never fail to fascinate little kids. Little kids will have fun wheeling their mini cars up and down the ramp and park them into the parking lot.

Toy garages also foster children’s development. Playing with them helps children achieve developmental milestones and develop essential skills that they will need to perform academically for when they start going to school. For instance, children will learn how to use their hands and develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

But have you ever wondered about the history of real life garages? Let’s walk down memory lane and learn about the history of residential garages.


A residential garage refers to a structure for storing vehicles. It is usually walled and roofed and can either be attached to a home or a separate outbuilding. Most garages have space for 2 vehicles but a 3-vehicle garage is not that uncommon. It is used to protect vehicles from the elements and is usually equipped with a garage door that can be raised to allow entry and exit of vehicles into the garage.

Some people use residential garages for purposes other than storing vehicles. Most garages are used as workshops for various projects like woodworking, painting and assembly. Others store smaller vehicles like bicycles and motorcycles as well as equipment like lawn mowers inside garages.


The word “garage” originates from the French word “garer” which roughly translates to “to shelter”. It was introduced to English in the early 20th century. The English equivalent of this word is “motor house” but the term garage was widely preferred. Over the years, the meaning of the word “garage” has expanded to refer not only to the structure to store vehicles but also the collection of vehicles inside it.

Early History

During the early 20th century, residential garages were often referred to as “motor houses”. Most garages from before 1914 were pre-fabricated and were mainly of timber construction. Unfortunately, only a few of these early garages survived. Non-wooden garages were constructed with glazed bricks for easy washing with cement floor, ample lighting and ventilation as well as a pulley system for removing parts of the car. By 1910, garages became less imposing. Instead of wood, garages were made using corrugated iron and asbestos. From 1912, houses built in London were being built with residential garages.

Modern Garages

Unlike old garages, most modern garages are built attached to the house. It makes walking to the garage from the house much shorter.They are connected to the nearest road with a short driveway. Earlier detached garages were often located in the backyard of the house and could be accessed either via an alley or a long driveway. Modern garages are also equipped with doors that open upward using an electric chain drive.


Next Up: Best Toy Garages for Little Kids

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