Budgeting for a garage: Stage 2 - Electricity and plumbing

Budgeting for a garage: Stage 2 - Electricity and plumbing
To build your ideal garage, it’s crucial to know each step of the process, so you budget your expenses accurately.

To build your ideal garage, it’s crucial to know each step of the process, so you budget your expenses accurately. 


It’s not enough to base your entire budgeting plan on estimations you got from talking to your neighbour or an internet search. Understanding each stage in building a garage will give you a clearer idea of the actual costs for the structure you want. In fact, a lack of planning and understanding of the process is one of the biggest reasons homeowners blow out their budgets.


So, we will cover the entire process in a series of blogs to help you better prepare for building your garage and minimise costly delays and budget increases. 


We’ve already discussed stage one: Concrete foundations and soil classifications. Now, you need to understand stage two: Electricity and plumbing.


Once you’ve sorted out your concrete foundations and soil classifications, you need to plan for your garage's electrical work and plumbing.


It’s a common misconception that this stage can be a “do-it-yourself” process because it’s a seemingly more affordable option. But it’s actually not the case because it can be unsafe for homeowners, and the electrical work and plumbing needs to meet legal requirements involving licensed tradies (i.e. electricians and plumbers).


It’s best to consult with tradies and plan out this stage because it affects the placement and efficiency of your power source and water drainages in the garage. 


Everything needs to be in the right place before you start pouring concrete on-site. It’s difficult to change your mind about the placements of power sources and water pipes once the foundations are set in place.

Do you need electricity for a garage?


First, you need to think about what you’re using your garage for. 


If you’re planning to include a dedicated workstation in it (i.e. for mechanical work, woodwork, metalwork, etc.), then you need to consider the number of outlets and cords in your budget.


But even if it’s just a standard car or storage garage, it’s best to include some electrical work, even just for roller door motors, basic outlets and light sources. Consider emergencies or instances where you might need to go to your garage at night. It’s important to have a good light source in the dark.


It would be best if you also envisioned a clear layout for your garage so that the electrician can find the best placement for outlets and wirings.


Remember to consult with a licensed electrician for electrical work in your garage, as it’s illegal and considered unsafe in many states, such as Victoria, to do it yourself. 


The average cost of hiring an electrician in Australia is:


  • Victoria - $69 per hour

  • Queensland and South Australia - $76 per hour

  • Western Australia - $87 per hour 


The actual expenses for your own garage may change depending on: 


  • The size of your garage

  • The scope and complexity of the electrical work

  • The fixtures and materials needed

Plumbing requirements for a garage


Plumbing is also legally regulated in Australia, so you must consult a licensed or registered plumber about everything you need for your garage. 


Without the proper plumbing (and plumber), water can overflow from your garage and into your neighbour’s property, leading to council involvement. 


For residential garages, a plumber is in charge of connecting your garage to a legal point of discharge (i.e. plumbing valves) and installing the tank, pump, and pipes that you might need. 


Similar to the electrical work, your plumber will know the best place for all of these fixtures.


The average cost of hiring a registered or licensed plumber in Australia is:


  • Melbourne - $80 to $87

  • Sydney - $99 to $135

  • Perth - $95 to $100

  • Brisbane - $88 to $92

  • Adelaide - $81 to $89


The actual expenses for the plumbing in your garage will depend on different factors:


  • Scope and complexity of the plumbing 

  • Type of plumber (i.e. independent contractor or part of a company)

  • Fixtures and equipment needed


Maintaining the plumbing in your garage is similar to how you maintain it in your house: Clean out the gutters and downpipes to reduce blockages.


Just remember that this stage in building your garage is definitely not DIY and that you should consult with licensed tradies so that you’re financially prepared for the work that needs to be done. 

If you have questions about electrical work and plumbing for your garage, give us a call.