This is a collaborative post.
Between the cost-of-living crisis and the rise of remote working, people are looking for ways to make their homes feel more functional, which often involves a renovation or two. As people look towards spring and summer, attention is being turned to outdoor projects, like adding electrics to a garden building.
5 Tips for Powering a Garden Building
Planning Comes First
Planning has to be the first stage of any renovation, regardless of the scope. During this process, you will determine what function the new electrical supply will fulfil and how you will carry out the work safely. If you’re retrofitting electrical wiring, you should check the building for rotting material, mould, and excess moisture – these issues need to be cleared up before work begins.
As well as this, you will need to budget for your project, which means listing the cost of everything from parts to safety checks. For example, you will need to factor in the electrical certificate cost, which will verify everything is in working order and will be valid for 5 years. On average, the EICR cost will set you back around £90 to £220, depending on the size of your property.
Consult a Professional
After sketching your building’s new electricals, it’s time to seek out a professional. Even if you’re savvy with fixing electrical issues, you should have the work carried out by a qualified electrician, as they will ensure everything is safe and tested.
Above or Underground Wiring
You will need to run cables from your home’s supply to your garden building, which can be done above ground or underground. Trailing wired above ground will be easier and quicker, but it will pose more of a hazard. Whereas running cables underground will involve more effort and time, they will be protected from the elements.
UK Shed Wiring Legislation and Regulations
Running wires to your shed isn’t illegal under UK law, but you will need to make notification of the work under Part P of the Building Regulations. Essentially, this means contacting your local authority and letting them know about the work.
If you’re a landlord, you will have to prove the safety of any electrical wiring. To do this, you will need to get an electrical test certificate, which is a professional assessment of all of the electrics. The relatively low EICR certificate cost will be cheaper than paying fines for not having one.
Alternative Power Sources
Instead of trailing wires from your home’s electrical system, which can often overload it, consider installing alternative power sources. For example, depending on the size of your building, you can mount solar panels on the roof.
Never Cut Corners
Adding electric wiring to your garden building likely won’t be a cheap project, but it’s important to avoid cutting corners to reduce the cost. After all, you’ll only need to redo any substandard work found during your EICR certificate testing.
Adding electricity to your building can improve its safety or help completely change its function. However, you will need to plan the project in detail and ensure that the result is safe.