Many homeowners simply use carports and garages to shield their automobiles and other equipment from the rain, snow and sunshine. But others outfit their enclosed garages, carports and metal storage buildings as offices, workshops, artist studios, recreation rooms or one of a million other uses. If that’s the case for you, you’ll definitely need to have your Carport Empire structure wired for electricity.
While many of our clients and readers may be do-it-yourselfers, we recommend leaving dangerous tasks like electrical wiring to the professionals. However, thinking through and planning your electrical needs will help your electrician determine exactly what you need. Preplanning can avoid over-wiring of your structure, saving you thousands of dollars. And, it will assure that you don’t end up with an under-wired structure that lacks the electrical capacity you need. Retrofitting your structure for added electrical needs could end up costing you even more.
In planning your electrical needs for your enclosed carport, garage or metal building, think through how you will use your structure and identify all of the ways you’ll need power. There are four main categories to consider: lighting, heating, appliances and tools. Make a list of each of the items you’ll use on a regular basis that require power. Check the informational panels or stickers on appliances and other items (or the boxes in which they were purchased) for recommended or required voltage and talk it all over with your electrician. This is important because heavy electrical uses may require installation of multiple circuits of varying voltages and all must be handled according to building and electrical codes and regulations.
For example, several lighting fixtures and receptacles can share the same circuit. If you’re using your enclosed garage, carport or metal storage building for simple storage and minimal work or recreation activity, a 20-amp circuit with 120-volt receptacles may offer plenty of power. However, if you plan to spend many hours in your structure, using it as a workshop or office, for instance, you may need 240-volt capacity or dedicated circuits for larger heaters, appliances such as washing machines and clothes dryers, and some power tools. Many heavier-duty tools and devices such as electrical saws, compressors and any device with a motor larger than ¾ HP work more efficiently and last longer when run on 240 volts rather than 120. And many tools are designed to run on 240, especially automotive tools.
Putting some forethought into your electrical needs will assure that you enjoy maximum power for minimum costs based on your unique usage of your enclosed carport, garage or metal storage building. For more help, including advice on planning for electricity before laying the concrete slab for your new structure or retrofitting your existing structure for wiring, contact Carport Empire at 1-800-985-7678.