When you add a garden room, there are some issues that may crop up that you haven’t considered. One of these may be the connection of the garden room with electricity. That can be done; however, there are sometimes problems that arise, which may not be obvious when planning to add electrical services to your garden room.
What’s the Challenge?
For one thing, household utilities may not meet the current standards. They may even be positioned in ways that make creating a connection for new electrical circuits more challenging.
What’s more, the regulations covering domestic electrical installations were changed quite a bit back in 2015 and then updated in 2018.
Another issue is the placement of the electrical consumer unit, which could be placed in the middle or at the front of the property. This can make it more challenging to run cables to the garden room.
While it’s entirely possible to run new utility services through your garden, it may require digging trenches, laying pipes, and more. Because each home and property is different, the methods needed to connect the garden room to power will be different. It can take as long as six hours or more to accomplish this process in some cases.
Examples of Challenges
Here are some challenges & solutions that could occur when adding electricity to your garden room:
What if the consumer unit is situated directly in the middle of a home? In this case, clients don’t want to see the wiring. So, it may take a few days to route all the wiring to make it “invisible.” This means going through walls, under floorboards, behind skirting, and more. Then the areas that have been touched need to be cleaned and retouched.
What if a family wants to connect their garden room to a kitchen? The house may include a swimming pool already. So, you’d think adding electricity to the garden room wouldn’t be a problem. However, it’s possible the electrician could find that the mains connection doesn’t have enough capacity. In this case, it may be necessary to scale down plans to avoid major building problems that would cost too much.
These are a couple of examples of what we could find and the solutions when adding electricity to your garden room.
How to Overcome Problems?
First, it’s important to understand the current situation and then plan around this. For this reason, we recommend having a site electrical inspection done early in the garden room building process. The electrician should be a highly qualified site electrician who can prepare for changes to the electrical consumer unit.
The electrical consumer unit is also called the “fuse box.” This is the distribution board for your home’s electrical system. It provides power to all subsidiary circuits on your property. During the inspection, it may be found that the electrical system and/or the electrical consumer unit do not meet the current legal safety standards and regulations. It may also be necessary to add extra capacity, which is done to prevent overload from the new electrical connections.
This is also the time to discuss where the cabling can be run through your home and property safe. It can also be done in a way that doesn’t disturb the visual appeal of your home or property.
What to Consider
Running electricity from your home to the garden room can be done. Here are some things to take into consideration:
- Wiring & switches/sockets: how will these be installed in the building? Would you prefer wall sockets or sockets recessed into the floor? How many sockets will you need? How many switches would you prefer? And where should these be placed?
Then it will be necessary to consider how to get electricity from the mains to the garden office. As noted earlier, this may involve digging trenches and more.
How to Get Electricity from the House to the Garden Room
What needs to happen is that an armoured cable is connected directly from the consumer electrical unit to the garden room. This cable should be buried underground and connected to your garden room with another consumer electrical unit.
This should only be done by a professional who has the technical knowledge and expertise to follow current electrical safety rules and regulations.
They will develop a plan on how to run the cable underground from the house to your garden room. This will require a trench to be dug through your garden. Once the trench is completed, the electrician can then get to work on the connection.
This may mean that changes will need to be made to your consumer electrical unit due to the additional power draw. The cable is wired into the main consumer electrical unit and then laid into the trench. It is then hooked up to the consumer electrical unit in the garden room.
The actual steps will vary, depending on where the main consumer electrical unit is located, how long the trench is, and more.
Once all the steps are completed, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Work. This is needed if you sell your home—it will act as the P certification for legal issues. If the work is not certified, you could face a fine of £5,000.
Summing It Up
Before having a garden room built, be sure to consider whether or not you’d like to have it powered with electricity. Then this can be included in the building plan rather than done at a later point.
It’s also recommended to have a qualified electrical engineer come to:
- Check your home’s electrical system to ensure it’s safe and has the necessary capacity. They can determine if there are any challenges and how to go about addressing these issues to ensure your garden office has a safe, legal connection to electric power.
- Consider how you’d like the cables to run through your home and garden. This will help to determine any implications, such as challenges that need to be overcome to keep everything visually appealing and safe.
Once the electrician has the survey, then you’ll rest assured that running electricity to the garden room will be safe and legal. You’ll also have control over where and how the cabling is laid.
When everything is done, you’ll have a beautiful garden room that has a safe, legal electrical connection!