New Garage Can Match Home
Homeowners Are Achieving Continuity of Style

By Pamela Cotant
Wisconsin State Journal
October 30-2005

Garages that sit behind older homes often don't always last as long as the house and, as they rot, sway and threaten to fall down, forcing homeowners to replace them.

Because a garage doesn't share the same status as a home, it doesn't always get equal consideration. Homeowners may choose a replacement in a style befitting a ranch in a new subdivision. But the design and materials then create a mismatch.

Linda Baumann decided to do something special when she replaced the garage next to her three-flat property on Lakeside Street about 15 years ago.

The old garage, which Baumann figures was built around the time of her 101-year-old house, had become rickety.

"It had a cable holding it up. Once we released the cable, the garage just kind of tipped over," said Baumann, who bought the property in 1978 and lived in one unit before moving next door nearly seven years ago.

The new garage was designed and built by Dennis Goodenough of Environmental and Responsible Homes of Janesville, and Baumann said his craftsmanship extends to the interior.

"I told him that I wanted something that looked good and would kind of match the house," said Baumann, a professor of nursing at UW-Madison.

Goodenough built the garage with the same roofline and overhang as the three-flat. They also have matching reddish brown roofs.

Baumann had decided to have it sided in the wood like the home, but she never intended to have the bottom of the garage covered in stucco just like the home. Goodenough suggested the change because of skyrocketing wood prices at the time.

Baumann had to work around zoning requirements requiring a certain amount of green space around the two-car garage. She increased the amount of space by adding a loft for storage.

In the summer of 2004, Baumann had to make another decision when it came time to paint the house and garage. She decided to keep the wood siding and painted the two structures alike.

Baumann chose to preserve the look of the house and the wood, rather than ripping it off, which seemed wasteful to her.

"People kept telling me vinyl lasts a long time," Baumann said. "He (the carpenter) said your house is 100 years old, and the wood is in good condition."

Linda Baumann Garage