Blog At Home Vintage Garage Vision: EV Charging!

Vintage Garage Vision: EV Charging!

By Lita Batho, June 17, 2024

Classic 1940 Garage

I have a confession to make: I owned an older Portland home for many years before I felt confident to park in the garage.  The small detached garage, facing a narrow alley, seemed like it might be tricky to maneuver a car inside.   Years went by, and I used the garage mainly for storing outdoor furniture and garden supplies. It was only when I purchased an electric vehicle that getting the car inside became important to me. Why? EV Charging of course!

My second challenge: the garage had no electricity, and was 30 feet from the house.

For a moment I was unsure of how to begin.  However! Having navigated dozens of inspection/repair contingencies, pre-listing home preparations, and unexpected challenges, I knew that the goal of charging my car at home was likely easily achievable.

The Preparation

First, I called an electrician. (If you ever need a referral for a contractor, painter, plumber, roofer, electrician, window person, etc- ask your realtor! We will have suggestions for you.)  My licensed and bonded electrician gave me a bid, and explained how the project would work, and to get started, asked me if I knew someone who could dig a trench: of course I did!

Whenever a project requires digging,  call before you dig!  The utility companies will come out and mark any utility lines on your property.  This is a critical step, to prevent digging into a gas, electric, sewer, or water line. Call 811, or 1-800-332-2344 a minimum of two days before starting any digging project.  In my case, this are area was free of utility lines.

The Trench

To dig the trench, I hired a trusted landscaper and his team. Although I considered doing it myself, or renting a trench digging machine, letting professionals do it proved to be fast, reasonable, and efficient.  It took just a few hours for a few people to dig through the rocky soil by hand, with picks and shovels.

Finally, the Electricity

Once the trench was in place, the electrician returned to install a conduit and the electrical lines.  He installed a subpanel in the garage, along with a light (let there be light, for the first time, in my garage: it’s fun to appreciate small things!) and a couple of outlets, including one 240 volt outlet placed to accommodate an EV Charger.   I mounted a new EV charger on the wall of the garage, plugged it in, and was all set!   It felt like a transformation to be able to not only turn on a light, but also charge my car in the garage.

*in case you notice that the roof of the garage looks rough in the photos, that was the next project!


Lita Batho

Broker | OR


While Lita has a calm presence, she also loves to win--which makes her an excellent advocate for her clients.  From the initial meeting all the way through closing, Lita will set expectations, communicate options, and foresee potential challenges in order to make the process as stress free and enjoyable as possible. Lita's desire for greater experience led her to join a high performing team in February 2022, with the intention of working with a high volume of listings, and a broad variety of properties.  This 2.5 year mission allowed her to work with dozens of clients, in all quarters of Portland, Beaverton, Milwaukie, and Lake Oswego.  Lita believes that while each home or home search is unique, it the process, and working through it with consistency and integrity that creates a successful outcome: her goal is for you to feel supported and informed, each step of the way. Way back when, Lita's mom owned 5 retail shops, while her dad was a Christmas tree farmer, and she is a natural at marketing, sales and creative solutions.  She embraces the opportunity to advocate for her clients, and has a genuine delight for her work. Her background in art gives her an intuitive and observant eye for the aesthetics of a home, while her competitive and focused nature ensures that you have someone loyal and tenacious in your corner. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lita relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 1995 and has lived in Portland since 2001. When not working, you’ll find her cultivating an ever-expanding flower garden, doing home improvement projects, making art, or hiking in Forest Park or the gorge.        
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