15-car garage built at Knoxville area home


Most guys dream of one day owning a multi-car garage. Many hope to have a 3-car garage with workshop out back, complete with heat and air conditioning and air compressor system with air tools powerful enough to loosen even the tightest crank pulley nuts. If they had room and money, they would even add a second story to put a small gym.

Barry Owens had a similar dream, only his was much larger. He wanted a 15 car garage that would hold all his current vehicles, any future vehicles he may buy, his workshop, his junk, and his family’s cars. He has had this dream since about 1975, when he bought his first garage with attached house. He has been saving up for the garage ever since, working extra shifts at the ketchup factory to help put Spam on their dinner plate while saving money for the project.

“It seemed that no matter how big a garage I bought, it was just never big enough,” said Owens. “My last garage only held about 9 cars, if I parked some of them sideways. But I still needed a shed for the lawnmower and my wife had to park out under the pine tree. Now she won’t have the sap bother her anymore.”

According to TJ’s Garage Builders, LLC, this is one of the largest garages they have ever built. In order to create the monstrous building, they had to special-order I-Beams from Pennsylvania. The grade work itself took a week and the concrete slab took another week, and five truckloads of cement.

Before the cement could be poured, however, specialists had to come in and run in-floor heating. This is metal coils through which hot water flows, thereby heating the floor in the winter. “I’ve thought of everything,” added Owens.

The neighbors were a little concerned when they saw the garage being built. “Fifteen? That’s how many it holds? From here I couldn’t tell, but it looked like at least 13,” said Roger Bellows, a neighbor. “Barry is always up to something over there. Did you see his barbecue pit yet?”

Barry only has three cars right now, two of which run. “I plan on getting more as soon as this garage is complete. We made one stall extra big so I could get one of those dualies, you know, the big pickup trucks with lights across the top and two wheels in the back? Those require extra space,” said Owens.

Barry’s son, Eddie, is also excited. So excited in fact that he had his friends over for a little break-dance session in his personal stall. “None of my friends have their own personal garage stall,” said Eddie. “They think I’m really cool now. We can all work on our Civics here and make them really tricked out.”

Lurlene Owens, Barry’s wife, has started to plant shrubberies around it to spruce it up a bit. “That there hummingbird vine ought to grow pretty fast,” she said. “I’ve put a few holly-bushes up too. Those are nice. The best part for me is by parking in this garage, I won’t have to scrub sap and bird crap off my car anymore. The only way I could ever get sap off was to use turpentine, but that never does good with the paint.”

When asked if this garage will be big enough to last for him, Barry quipped, “I don’t rightly know. Is there such a thing as a big-enough garage?”