Your garage is a very important room of your home because it houses your cars and provides space for garage storage systems. However, it wasn't always a standard part of a house. In fact, the history of the garage predates automobiles. To truly appreciate the garage of your home (in all its storage goodness), let's travel back in time to see what its predecessors were like and how it became the glorious space it is today.
Before cars were invented, most wealthy families owned a carriage. These contraptions sat on wheels and were pulled by horses, and they certainly needed somewhere to stay when not carrying passengers through the countryside. As such, those who could afford carriages owned carriage houses – appropriate, no? Many inns also had carriage houses so patrons could park their animal-powered transport.
Then came the invention of the automobile, a stunning advancement that allowed people to drive about without the aid of a horse. Of course, as with carriages, cars needed somewhere to stay when not in use. Until vehicles became more affordable and common in the 1920s, only well-off families could afford them. Some converted carriage houses to hold both cars and carriages, but that presented a problem – their new and vogue vehicle stunk of horse (not very classy). So, more and more car owners totally transformed their carriage house to hold just cars, or built a new structure entirely.
All together now
Early garages, as they became known, often housed several, even dozens, of vehicles. If a stable had many horses, why couldn't a garage accommodate numerous cars? In fact, people even built businesses around housing vehicles. A person could rent a parking space in a garage for a fee. However, eventually too many people owned cars, and garages became overcrowded quickly.
Garage door and the home
C.G. Johnson invented the overhead garage door in 1921. Prior to that, people's garages opened like barn doors. Then, in 1926, Johnson was at it again! He added an electrical component to his folding door design to create an easy-open garage door. The motor helped people lift their doors open. Around the same time, homeowners began asking for a garage on their properties. Now families could keep their vehicles on their own property and access it without much physical strain – nice, right?
Over the years, garages saw the same advances that other buildings did. They could be outfitted with better, more durable materials than in the past. For instance, garage doors were made with steel, fiberglass, aluminum, etc., to ensure they lasted for a long time. By 1960, the garage accounted for 45 percent of a typical home's square footage. In 1970, automatic door openers became a standard feature, which allowed homeowners to drive up to an open garage.
In modern times, 82 million American homes have a garage. What's more, homeowners use the space for more than vehicle housing. From hosting band practice and young talent (Disney began in a garage) to housing wall mount storage systems, the garage is an essential multipurpose space considered for many Americans.