Dear Homework,
I always enjoy reading your column and love the home you designed for me. My son and his wife just bought a lovely house, but it doesn’t have a garage. With the cold months coming, they are worried about rain and snow. Building a garage in the back would take up a lot of their yard. I wondered what you thought about a porte-cochère that could handle two cars on the side. Appreciate your input!

—Meddling Mother-In-Law

Dear Meddling Mother-In-Law,
I can show you a possible carport suggestion, but you will need to check into the local architectural restrictions, which may limit various specifics. I think creating a brick-faced carport with an arched opening, which recalls the arch above the front door, helps tie the new element to the main façade. I also show white wooden gates that not only hide a parked car, but also give a greater sense of solidity to the open structure.

I would remove the small tree on the left side of the elevation to reveal the full width of the façade to help balance the new addition. Hopefully this will give more weight to your suggestion.

Hope it goes well!

Homework is penned by Paul Doerner, founding partner of The Lawrence Group. If you would like your home critiqued, contact us at

Tags :