If you're converting your garage to a living space where you can watch sports, work out, or work on your hobbies, you'll probably need the help of a residential electrical contractor. Your garage may already have power, but it may not have enough power or outlets to run everything you need and be up to code. Here are some options your residential electrical contractor may have for adding enough electrical service to your renovated garage.
Upgrade Your Old Electrical Panel
The first step is to determine how your finished garage will look and what sorts of equipment and appliances you'll need to plug in. You may need a window AC, space heater, or a mini-split heat pump for climate control. These would probably require a dedicated circuit. Decide if you'll need power for tools or equipment that draws a lot of electricity, such as a dryer.
Once you know how you'll use electricity in the space, an electrical contractor can calculate the amount of power you need and upgrade the electrical panel if necessary. You might need a new panel if you need more circuits or if you need more power.
Add More Circuits and Outlets
If you'll be using your garage as a living space on a daily basis, you'll want enough outlets to power lights, electronics, and appliances you'll use. That means you'll probably need more circuits and outlets so you don't keep tripping a breaker.
You may need GFCI outlets in your garage, especially if you'll put a bathroom or sink in. Your outlets also need to be grounded and installed according to current electrical codes.
Add a Subpanel or Second Electrical Panel
Your electrical contractor may consider installing a second electrical panel for the garage or adding a subpanel depending on your needs. The electrician takes into account how much electricity you'll need and the condition of your electrical panel when determining the best way to supply your converted garage with power.
A subpanel might be a good option, as this adds additional circuits to your system and puts the breakers in a place that's convenient to your garage. You might need a subpanel or second electrical panel if you need power for things like power tools or a dryer.
A residential electrical contractor can put outlets anywhere you need them and figure out a way to give your renovated space the power it needs while still complying with electrical building codes. It's important to have a plan when starting your renovations so you don't have to call the electrician back later to add more outlets.