Don't forget the AC
Air conditioning in a garage may seem like a luxury, but there are a lot of advantages. Our field editors like the fact that AC reduces humidity, which helps keep their tools dry and rust free. Use the dimensions provided with the unit to build the opening in the wall. Add a header over the opening, just like you would if you were putting in a window. Also add a separate 20-amp circuit for power to the AC.
Make your garage a drive-through
When Kristin and her family decided to build a new garage, they had a list of cool ideas to incorporate. These included lots of outlets, slat wall rather than pegboard on the walls, and a 220-outlet just in case. But the neatest idea was the second garage door in back so they could park the boat trailer out of sight in the backyard. Plus, there are other benefits to a big back door. For dusty woodworking operations, you can't beat the flow-through ventilation provided by two big garage doors. And if you're planning a backyard get-together, you can open the back garage door and turn your garage into party central.
Put in a sub-panel now— or regret it later!
Lots of field editors told us that their biggest garage mistake was not installing a sub-panel. Lots of others said including a sub-panel was the best move they made. The reasons are pretty simple: more power and more convenience.
If you want to use your garage for a shop or plan to install air conditioning or other power-hungry appliances or tools, you'll have all the power you need. And it's more convenient to have the circuit breakers in the garage. If you pop a breaker, you don't have to run to the main panel to reset it. Plus, you can easily add more circuits without having to run wires all the way to the main panel.
It'll cost you a few hundred dollars more for the load center, circuit breakers and heavy-gauge wire that runs to the main panel. But for convenience and future flexibility, it's hard to beat a separate panel in the garage.