Originally Posted by russ240
...For climate control I also have a 3 ton mini-split in the garage. ...
Hah - I've got a guy coming over to our house this very morning to give me a bid on a mini-split. Our garage is not tall enough to accommodate our Interstate, and we would have to change our roof line in order to make it so (we would probably never recoup such an investment so that's not presently on the table), BUT, we do so many garage projects that we've decided to take the plunge. The straw that broke these camels' backs was many hours of metalworking this past summer when we fabricated our custom hitch carrier
. It was so danged hot with many days approaching 100 degrees and we were out there for so many hours, especially my husband. This absolutely must change.
So yes, if you are custom-building a garage, bite the bullet and pay for the climate control up front. It's easier and cheaper than retrofitting as we are doing now.
This next part may be obvious but let me say it just in case. A lot of these types of improvements are not easily mortgage-able, so you better figure on paying cash for them if you really are planning your dream garage. When my husband and I had our house customized, the builder drew the line at certain improvements and the reason is very simple - it might not appraise if there is too much piled into the initial build, and if it doesn't appraise, a mortgage won't be approved. We were willing to raise our downpayment substantially to mitigate the perceived risk, but they still didn't want to mortgage it beyond a certain point (when we signed the contract on this place, we were eons away from retirement with a child to put through university, so we were not anywhere close to being in a position to go all-cash on the build). Blame the financial crisis of 2008 for the skittishness.
We did negotiate successfully for about 70 modifications on the base plan, and we did get the 800 SF garage we absolutely had to have, but beyond that, the garage was off the table in terms of HVAC and insulation and roof-line modifications. Now I have to go back and insulate it myself as well as adding an air conditioner. Good dead-of-winter projects for homeowners who live on the steamy Texas Gulf coast.