Carriage House
History & Examples

What's a Carriage House?

A carriage house (also known as a coach house or a cart shed) is an outbuilding near a bigger house that was originally constructed to house the coachman or caretaker on the top level and was originally built to store horse-drawn vehicles. Small second homes or garage apartments, tiny houses, guest houses, detached garages, home offices, studio spaces, or in-law suites are all common applications for these structures in society today.
A tiny outbuilding constructed and built in the manner of original carriage homes is also referred to as a "carriage house." The phrases "carriage house" and "carriage home" are commonly interchanged, however the latter is a marketing term for tiny single-family residences built on small lots with shared walls, comparable to a townhouse or condo.

Carriage House History

The history of the carriage house is intertwined with the emergence of the horse-drawn carriage in the United Kingdom. For upper-class and rich households in the 1700s, possessing a horse-drawn carriage was a status symbol, therefore they erected carriage homes on their land to house the required equipment and operators.
Carriage homes in the United States are typically from the mid- to late- 1800s. The roads got more established at this time, and carriages became more popular—they're more widespread in the upper northeast, New York City, and across New England.

What Are Its Characteristics?

The following are typical features of a carriage house:

Because carriage house designs were originally meant to accommodate a horse-drawn carriage, they often contain an open living space on the first floor large enough to accommodate a carriage, with high ceilings. In modern floor designs, this open space is frequently reused as a main-level living room, a great room, a family room, or a one- or two-car garage.

Tiny living quarters: Many historic carriage homes contained a small dwelling place for the driver or horse man, which was usually located on a small second story or as a loft above the main level. Without these quarters, carriage homes are frequently modified to incorporate at least one bedroom, a small kitchen, and a bathroom (or half bath).

Traditional they were fully independent from the main house and sharing no walls with other structures in the same style as the main house on the site. The carriage house in a Victorian home is likely to have a high roof, dormer windows, thin shingles, or crown molding. The carriage house in a Craftsman-style home will most likely have a low-pitched roof and columns.

Modern Uses

Buildings that were formerly actual carriage houses but have now been converted to various purposes such as secondary suites, flats, guest homes, vehicle garages, offices, workshops, retail stores, bars, restaurants, or storage facilities.

The word "Carriage House" is widely used as part of the name of companies such as antique stores and restaurants because of the aristocratic character of some big, opulent carriage homes. These companies are sometimes situated in historic carriage houses. Coach homes are also being included in the portfolios of property developers. Many consumers would find it appealing because of its distinctive architectural characteristics and excellent parking arrangement.

Examples of Modern Uses: