I’ll hold my hand up now and say I used to have an obsessive habit of wanting to put my cars to bed in garages. I think my mind was programmed to behave this way because I’d lived in Oldham in the late 80s and 90s when car theft or vandalism was a weekly event on the road I lived on in Shaw.
With immobilisers and alarms, deadlocks and rising car ownership, vehicle theft seems to be on the wane yet developers insist on building garages.
The house we bought in Bradwell, Great Yarmouth, has a triple garage block, and we own two of these. It’s detached and to the rear and has a handy double drive, but the garage is not used for cars but for storage and seems to me to be utterly pointless.
Integral garages are a cost cutting measure I know, and there is something handy about being able to access one internally but, in my experience, they create cold spots which rather defeats the whole point of new builds – warmth and low energy consumption.
When I look at this Bluebell Meadow development and others in Norwich, garages seem to be the modern equivalent of a class system. The terraced starter homes have just parking and no garage at all, with the indignity of wheelie bins on front drives, the smaller semi-detacheds have a single garage and single drive, the detached homes a double drive with integral or separate garage and the five bedroomed homes, a cavernous double garage to store even more junk in.
I feel like king of the hill knowing I have double the capacity for storage of junk.
I think developers and builders though need to allow buyers to customise more. Surely someone with an integral garage on plans would happily pay £5,000 more to make it an additional reception room. I know I would.
My double garage could be split in half, forming a garden study with French doors back into the garden.
Again I’d have paid extra for that.
Please Bovis, Taylor Wimpey, Charles Church, Avant Homes, Persimmon, Barratt, think outside of the box, the garage, and accept that a glorified shed is low down the list of priorities for most modern homeowners.
What do you think?