If you spend any amount of time out in your garden then the chances are that you have a garden shed. They can be incredibly useful for storing tools and materials, but they’ll become even more useful if you hook them up to an electricity supply so that you can plug in your power tools out there.
There are lots of different options when it comes to adding electricity to your wooden shed, and some of them are easier and more practical than others. In this article, we’re going to take you through the most common steps that people follow so that you can learn how to hook your shed up to an electricity supply to make yourself more productive than ever before. Here goes.
How to Add Electricity to Your Garden Shed
1. Work with a qualified professional
The very first thing that we need to mention here is that you shouldn’t even think about taking on the job yourself unless you’re a qualified electrician. Electricity can kill, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing with it, and if you don’t take what you’re doing seriously then you’re putting yourself – and your family – in danger. Make sure that any provider who carries out work for you is accredited by a reputable organisation, too.
2. Install an SWA cable
A steel wire armoured (SWA) cable will run out from your property and into the outbuilding. Different types of SWA cables are designed with different use cases in mind, which is another reason why it’s a good idea to work with a professional electrician so that you can tap into their expertise. Your SWA cable will need to be buried underground and to resist everything from water to temperature changes and natural wear and tear.
3. Determine where the sockets need to go
Socket placement is too often left as an afterthought, but it’s actually one of the most important decisions that you’ll make when you’re adding electricity to your shed and will even determine the layout of your circuits and potentially the direction in which you trail the SWA cable. The more sockets you add, the more complex the job will be, but it’s better to be left with too many than too few. You might want to consider adding some outdoor sockets, too.
4. Identify where the cable will run
Now that you know where the sockets are going to be, you can start to plan where the cable is going to run. In many cases, you’ll want to connect it to your existing fuse box, but sometimes upgrades will be needed and that can add an extra cost. Plan out the route from the source of the power to the outdoor shed and make sure that there’s nothing holding you back such as planning permission or water pipes in the area.
5. Prepare the trench to receive the cable
With all of the planning complete, it’s time for you to mark out where the trench is going to be and to start digging. Try to minimise the amount of time between when you dig the trench and when your electrician arrives to lay the cables, as that reduces the chances of heavy rain or some other inclement weather coming along and destroying the site before you even get started. Bear in mind that if you’re trying to keep costs down, you can always dig the trench yourself.
6. Carry out the work
Now that you’ve carried out all of the planning, developed a feel for where your outlets are going to be and where the cables will be and obtained any planning permission that’s required by local authorities, it’s time for you to carry out the work. The good news is that with the preparation all taken care of, the work itself is the easy bit. You’ll be hooked up to the grid in your garden shed in no time.
7. Test that it all works
You might be tempted to call it a job well done once your garden shed has been wired up, but there’s one last step that you’ll want to take before your electrician heads home. We’re talking, of course, about testing the circuitry to make sure not only that the plug sockets themselves work but also that everything’s safe and that there’s no chance of anyone being electrocuted.
8. Regular checks and maintenance
Congratulations – you’ve finished adding electricity to your shed! With the testing out of the way, you should be able to use your new outlets right away. Just make sure that you carry out regular safety checks to make sure that the equipment is still in good condition, and that you carry out repairs and upgrades if it’s necessary.
Adding electricity to your garden shed can make a whole world of difference, and as this article has shown, it doesn’t have to be super difficult. All it takes is a little upfront time investment and then it becomes a gift that keeps on giving, because once you’ve installed electricity outlets, you’ll be able to continue to use them as time goes on without any further effort required on your part.
So if you don’t have electricity in your garden shed already, perhaps it’s time for you to think about adding it. The benefits outweigh the negatives, and as long as you involve a qualified electrician on the project, you can sleep soundly at night. So what’s stopping you? Start adding electricity to your shed today!