When it comes to buying a new home, a garage is quite often high on the list of priorities.
However, if the home you're looking for is new (or newish!) build, you might want to do a few checks before ticking that item off your checklist, as research shows that while modern cars have been getting bigger and bigger, garages haven't tended to do the same.
A survey from 2013 found that 75% of garages in new homes are too small to truly accommodate today's larger cars.
The survey, carried out by the DHF (Door & Hardware Federation), found that standard garage door sizes have remained the same for the past 40 years, at 7 feet wide, while modern cars have grown in width.
Bob Perry, executive chairman of the DHF said "The problem is, developers started using the standard 7ft wide doors in the days of the Ford Anglia and have continued to do so ever since. But over the years the width of cars has steadily increased to accommodate safety features such as door airbags and larger door-mounted wing mirrors."
What this unfortunately means is many homeowners are being left with garages that are not fit for purpose. As Perry notes, when buying a new home with a garage “it's a reasonable expectation that an average-sized car will fit into the garage”, but it's simply not always the case.
One couple in Huddersfield - whose complaints led to the survey by the DHF - only discovered their Volvo S40 would not fit in the garage of their brand new £200,000 home after they moved in, and there was nothing they could do about it, as the door was a standard size.
The couple did some research into sizes of the most popular modern cars, and found that out of the top 15 cars, 8 would not have been able to fit in their garage - and of those that could technically fit, fewer still would have allowed you to actually open the door and get in or out of your vehicle.
According to the DHF garage doors now need to be at least 2268 mm (7 foot 6 inches), as Perry so rightly put: "Developers must realise that when it comes to garage doors, size does matter."
Our advice: Always measure your garage door before purchasing a home, to ensure your car will fit in - and that you'll then be able to get out of the vehicle.
It's also important to consider this when building garage extensions - don't rely on the builder to dictate the size - add at least another six inches or even a foot if you can.
And remember - whatever size your garage, we'll be able to build you a beautiful, secure, bespoke garage door to fit.