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The Case for Separate Garages in Pakistan
23/10/2015

The designing and architecture of contemporary homes in Pakistan has arguably evolved over the years with a higher preference for more covered space relative to open land for gardens, terraces, and balconies. As Pakistanis strive to design international standard homes fitted with imported bathroom fixtures, designed with contemporary kitchens, and facilitated with luxuries such as swimming pools and home theatres, one major component which is a norm for homes abroad has been largely overlooked by Pakistani architects and homeowners: the garage – a covered area attached to (or detached from in some cases) the home, which Pakistanis have so far considered to be a waste of space.

Opponents of the idea of adding garages to Pakistani homes may argue that it is best to use the covered space for an additional room or to enlarge the interior of the house rather than creating a covered garage, while others may argue that the current style and architecture of Pakistani homes does not support the addition of a separate garage. A worthy argument is that the inclusion of open driveways allows more room for outside functions as guests are often found seated in the lawn and driveway, or driveways are used for setting up long tables filled with delicious delicacies.

Since in every case there is a list of pros and cons, and the side with the most valid arguments usually wins, let me prove to you that the inclusion of a garage in a Pakistani home is heavy on the pro side and light on the con side. So let’s begin, shall we?

No need for a storeroom

You want extra storage space in your house, right? So what is the point of using up the extra space you have if you’re going to build a separate storeroom on it anyway? Garages are often multi-purpose and serve as car parks as well as storerooms for things like tools, old boxes, packaging for large items, and other things. You might still have to construct a storeroom in the house for other items but it can be relatively smaller as the garage can store a lot of your clutter.

Better security

It is always better to be safe than sorry. Garages can safely enclose your car(s) without fear of theft. You just have to be sure your garage door is completely latched or that you use a digital lock with a password, which will protect your car and the rest of your belongings. Breaking into garage doors is much more difficult than jumping into and unlocking the gates that are the staple of modern Pakistani homes. Moreover, garages may also have attached doors leading into your house. As it is sometimes not wise to linger on front doorsteps, you can enter your home from this side door when you come home late.

Better vehicle performance

Not only do garages protect your cars from extreme weather but they also ensure better vehicle performance. Remember that day your car would not start because the engine was too cold and you were running late for a meeting? Well, if you had a garage your car would have remained warm and you wouldn’t have been chastised for not attending that meeting. On the flip side, if you live in Pakistan, you will undoubtedly be painfully familiar with the state of a car that has been parked under the sun in the summer. Let’s just say you could avoid that experience with a separate garage.

Hobby room

Ever heard of a ‘garage band’? Most of the major musical acts of the 20th century started in, you guessed it, garages. A couple of Seattle teenagers who got together to play music in the garage went on to become Nirvana, the largest grunge band in history. It was in Lars Ulrich’s garage that him, James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine banged out the first riffs of what would become heavy metal juggernaut Metallica’s famed demo Hit the Lights. You see where I’m going with this, right?

Garages make for an excellent space for you or your children to pursue all sorts of creative activities, not just necessarily music. You or they can build things, paint things, write things, and learn things. The space just has something inspirational about it.

Can you say party space?

If you want to have an outdoor function, using driveway space may be ideal but what if it starts to rain all of a sudden? Or what if a bird decides to swoop down on the ornately decorated and carefully prepared food in your driveway? Or worse yet, moths!

Best to have a garage, which you can clean out and use as party space where you can make seating arrangements or set up food tables while also utilising the expanse of your lawn for the same purposes.

Garages may increase property value

Last but not least, garages may increase your property’s value as they may be considered an international addition to Pakistani homes and some people may see them as an innovative plus point. Moreover, they make homes seem more organised and pleasant, and buyers may be willing to pay more for such houses.

There! The evidence has been presented and the arguments made. So, juror, can we have your verdict please?

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Tehmina Naz
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