In a tandem garage design, multiple cars are parked inside the garage end to end, rather than side by side as they are in a traditional garage design. Tandem designs are much less common than traditional designs, but a tandem garage can help to maximize garage space in situations where a traditional design won't easily fit.
A two-car tandem garage design is typically the same width as a traditional one-car garage. In this design, the first car is parked with its nose to the back wall of the garage, and the second car is parked behind the first.
A three-car tandem design allows for three cars to be parked in a garage the width of a traditional two-car design. One side of the three-car tandem design is a traditional depth, but the other side is deep enough to allow end-to-end parking of two cars as in a two-car tandem design. Larger designs using the same tandem-parking concept may accommodate four cars or more.
Tandem garages are most useful on narrow lots where parking space is at a premium, such as in neighborhoods where town homes, condominiums or apartments are built close together. A tandem garage may increase the value of the property by providing more parking space as compared to a comparable home with a traditional garage design.
Tandem designs also offer an aesthetic advantage for homeowners who don't like the idea of a large garage door being a conspicuous part of the front of the home. The narrower driveway required by a tandem design also allows for less pavement and more landscaping in front of the home.
The most obvious disadvantage of a tandem garage is the inconvenience of having to move the outer car in order to get the inner car out of the garage. Because of this drawback, the value of a property with, for example, a two-car tandem garage may be less than that of a home with a traditional two-car garage. In some places, tandem garage designs may be prohibited by local zoning requirements or building codes.
Evan Gillespie grew up working in his family's hardware and home-improvement business and is an experienced gardener. He has been writing on home, garden and design topics since 1996. His work has appeared in the South Bend Tribune, the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Arts Everywhere magazine and many other publications.