If you're planning to renovate your garage so you can use it as a workroom or as an activity room for your family, you'll probably need a few electrical upgrades. Hire a residential electrician before you begin the work because they might need to install outlets and wiring before you put up walls and get too far along in your renovation. Here are some electrical upgrades your garage could need, especially if you live in an older home.
Add More Outlets And Circuits
Depending on how you'll use your garage, you could need more outlets. This is especially true if you'll be using power tools since these may even require a dedicated circuit. Let your electrician know about the activities you plan on doing so they can determine the amount of power you'll need and if you also need dedicated circuits wired.
Change The Type Of Outlets
A garage is usually required to have GFCI outlets since there's a possibility your garage could get wet. If you don't have GFCI outlets now, your electrician may be required to add them during the upgrade. You might also need grounded outlets if the electricity isn't grounded in your garage. If you have old two-prong outlets, they'll need to be changed to three-prong outlets to keep up with current electrical codes.
Install A Subpanel
If your electrical service panel doesn't have enough room for more circuits, the electrician might recommend replacing the panel or adding a subpanel. Putting a subpanel in the garage would be convenient since it gives you the ability to turn off power to the garage or reset a breaker without having to go out to the service panel.
Install Connections For Air And Heat
If your renovation plans include leaving space for parking your car occasionally, then you'll need a separate way to heat and cool the space. Building codes don't allow you to hook up a garage to your HVAC system because it could pull dangerous exhaust gases into your home.
Instead, you might consider a mini-split ductless heat pump. This gives your garage its own cooling and heating system that will keep you comfortable all seasons of the year.
A mini-split may need to be hardwired to your electrical panel. It may also require its own disconnect box installed next to the unit outdoors so the power to the heat pump can be shut off when repairs are needed. The disconnect box is installed between the electrical panel and the mini-split, so installing a disconnect box is a job for a licensed residential electrician.
Contact a residential electrician to learn more.