Attaching a New Garage to an Old Farmhouse

August 26th, 2022 by Mary Schmelzer

Living in a very old farmhouse can be challenging in Minnesota winters when your garage isn’t attached. But how do you attach a two-car garage and large workshop to the historic home that’s been in your family for generations?

The garage and shop addition to the historic home

The original house is a remarkable piece of history–most of it original. The exterior has several interesting elements that we wanted to honor and not demolish or connect to in an insensitive way. We also needed to work with size and site limits since the property falls within city limits. To minimize the proportion of garage doors to existing home, we built windows into the hydraulic-lift shop door. It breaks up the facade of the wall and makes the shop look more residential. We also added an entry vestibule between the shop and the garage, which provides more room at the entry, adds character to the outside, and enables a straight path of travel up the stairs and to the storage area over the shop. We mimicked the gothic window from the front of the house at both ends of the storage room.

The overhead hydraulic door opens out

The glassed-in porch connects with the hallway leading to the garage. As a benefit, the wide hallway acts as a mud room and a seating area to enjoy on sunny mornings.

The wide hallway connection adds mudroom, seating space, and great views.

The owners chose to add pavers for a driveway and beautiful plantings outside the seating area. The addition provided much more than a garage and workshop–it expanded the living and livability of the home.

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