What Is A Tandem Garage?

If you’re doing some new house shopping, then you might be concerned about garage space for your vehicles. Whether you’ve got some classic cars or just your normal family automobiles, having a secure place to park your cars is definitely a high priority that we understand.

For me, I value my garage space because it means that I never have to walk in the rain or snow to get into my truck at home.

If you’ve seen the term tandem garage mentioned, but aren’t really familiar with it, then you might be wondering how it compares to your normal garage. We can help you out with that.

Tandem Garage Meaning (Simple Definition)

Though it may be a term that you have not heard much of in the past, the word tandem is something that you often see referring to bicycle and kayaks.

But you also sometimes see it paired with the word garage.

The word tandem means having two things arranged one in front of the other.

So, if you have a tandem garage, then it means that you have a garage with two vehicle in it. And they are arranged with one in front of the other.

It’s probably easiest to think of this as a sort of long and narrow garage. Usually there’s not enough space in a tandem garage for two vehicles to sit side by side.

two car tandem garage

Instead the first vehicle pulls all the way into the garage, and then the second vehicle parks directly behind that first vehicle.

What's a Tandem Garage?

Sometimes a tandem garage is used by a vehicle owner who only has one vehicle but that vehicle pulls a trailer.

tandem garage with trailer

Tandem Garage vs Double Garage

Since the word tandem is defined as two things, then it’s easy to think that a tandem garage and a double garage are the same thing.

Technically they are the same when it comes to the amount of vehicles you can store in one….except sometimes they’re not the same.

What’s unique about a tandem garage is that home builders occasionally decide to make a tandem garage that can hold four vehicles instead of the normal amount of two automobiles.

4 car tandem garage

What really makes tandem garages different from a double garage though is that only one vehicle can drive through the door at once in a tandem garage. Of course, the exception to this is clearly visible in the image above – there are two doors in a 4-car tandem garage.

Tandem Garage Dimensions

The nice thing about a two-car tandem garage design is that it’s really no wider than your average single car garage.

What differs is the tandem garage length. When it comes to the question of how long is a tandem garage? the answer is it is as long as a normal two-car garage is wide.

What about a three-car tandem garage?

3-car tandem garage

With a tandem garage that that fits three vehicles, the length remains the same but the width is now the same as a traditional two-car garage. And the side that has the space for the 3rd vehicle only has the depth of a normal garage.

And a four-car tandem garage has the width, depth, length, etc of two vehicles all around. It’s definitely the largest of the types of tandem garages that you’ll come across in a home.

Advantages Of A Tandem Garage

The nice thing about having a home with a tandem garage is that it takes up a lot less lot space than your traditional garage. This is great if your home is in an expensive area of the country or if lots in your desired location are small.

Another benefit of a tandem garage is that you don’t need as much driveway space, which means that you’ll save some money on pavement costs for the driveway. You’ll also have less snow to shovel in the winter!

Since a two-car tandem garage only has one door, it gives your home a better look and better curb appeal.

For homeowners who are looking to sell, a tandem garage can increase the home value since it offers additional parking spaces that neighboring homes may not have available to them.

Disadvantages Of A Tandem Garage

The obvious downside of a tandem garage is that the vehicle in it are arranged nose-to-nose. This means that you cannot move the vehicle in the back of the garage until the one in the front has been moved out of the garage.

As you can see, this disadvantage is more of an inconvenience than anything else (though some people think a tandem garage is bad for this reason). You just have to plan in advance when you have a tandem garage.

Another possible disadvantage, if you’re looking to build a home with one of these types of garages, is that not all areas allow for them to be built. So, you’ll have to check the zoning laws and building codes in your area to know if you can have a tandem garage or not.