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Garage materialism is growing


Ever since the first suburbs were built, the garage became a measure of the financial prosperity of a family. At first there was one, then two, but now four garages are becoming the newest form of decadence in home building. A real estate agent would say that people have a log of gear and items these days so there is a huge demand for a place to store them. These garages, in some instances, may be larger than many apartments, housing more cars than ever. The third and maybe fourth family car is a necessity for families where kids stay home longer and the restrictions on street parking are one of the factors that point towards building larger garages.

Moreover, every man has his love for the “toys” such as boats, jet skis, motorcycles, bikes, power tools and workbenches and these “toys” need storage. A look into a three or four car garage may reveal tools, bikes, sporting gear, a workshop and a 25-foot boat. This visual degradation of the suburban landscape is an aspect of materialism that won’t stop turning any time soon.

Not everybody likes this trend. Some home builders spend the extra time and money on architectural plans that can split these huge expanses of square footage into opposite sides of the house. A problem that appears here is the problem of the house’s design after this transformation. The most aesthetical are the back- loading garages but they require the use of the backyard space for turning radiuses. Side-loading garages need wider home sites but can make the front of the house look enormous. With the current rising costs for land, in many areas this is not feasible in the long run. This is a sign of a mega-materialism, that is: if one is good five is better so more and more people understand only one thing: that a garage is not good unless it is as big as a basketball court.

When will it stop? Are we going to have the house attached to a garage ten times bigger than the house? Maybe it would be better for everyone to think twice before making such a commitment when buying a house attached to the garage. Maybe it would be better if people would care about the simpler and more basic things in life than owning a four car garage.

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