Are you lacking space in your Harlow home? Could you do with an extra room to use as an office, workshop, or entertaining space? Adding electrics to an outbuilding, such as a garage, shed or summerhouse could provide you with the answer. Adding electrics to an outbuilding at your Harlow home can unlock its full potential, allowing you to convert it into an office, workshop, or studio. With the proper electrical installation, you can even turn your shed into a garden pub -perfect for entertaining on summer evenings. If you are looking for an electrician to carry out an electrical installation in an outbuilding in Harlow then JJB Electrical are your local, reliable, and fully qualified electricians.

Is my outbuilding suitable for an electrical installation?

The first thing that needs to be determined before we can add electrics to an outbuilding is whether your outbuilding is suitable. For electrics to be installed safely, your outbuilding needs to be in good condition. It must be watertight and of solid construction. An outbuilding that is in poor condition or shows any signs of water damage won’t be suitable unless the damage can be properly repaired. An electrical supply must be properly protected from wind rain and extreme changes in temperature. Exposure to any of these can result in an electrical fire or the risk of an electrical shock. As reputable electricians in Harlow, we will only carry out an electrical installation where it is safe to do so. 

Why add electrics to an outbuilding?

Without power, an outbuilding in the garden of your Harlow home is usually just a storage space, full of garden tools, Christmas decorations and those odd items we all accumulate but never find a proper home for. The addition of lights and electrical sockets opens a whole realm of possibilities. Your outbuilding then becomes a useful and useable space. 

Some possible uses for your outbuilding after you add electrics include:

  • A workshop – Do you like to tinker and build things in your spare time? Would you like the space to create a fully kitted out workshop? Adding electrics to your outbuilding can help you create the ultimate workspace. You can design the space to suit your working style, with benches and machinery galore. Lights and sockets will all be installed exactly where you need them, and you can add all the gadgets you would like. 
  • A home office – This is perhaps the most popular reason to add electrics to an outbuilding. Since the pandemic, many of us are now working from home. Whilst this has undoubted benefits one of the downsides is the loss of space in the home to a working area. Many people find they have to “hot desk” at home – the kitchen table they use for work also has to function as a dinner table, kids craft area and more. This can make it hard to truly focus on the job at hand, when you’re working you can see the dishes in the sink and when you’re playing a game with the kids you can see the unfinished work tasks. By adding electrics to an outbuilding you can create a dedicated home office that allows you to create a division between work and home.
  • A utility room – Our homes are filled to bursting with the appliances essential to modern life but our often less than modern homes just don’t have the space to accommodate them all. Converting an outbuilding, most often a garage in this case, to a utility room can free up some much-needed space in your Harlow home. Adding power to your garage means you can safely house your washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge freezer and more. You can even set up an indoor line or airer to keep the seemingly endless amounts of washing out of the house!
  • A garden pub – Many homeowners dream of having a pub/entertaining space in their back garden and adding electrics to an outbuilding can allow you to do just that. Feature lighting can be added to create the perfect ambience, fridges installed to keep your drinks cool, and a music system can be added for entertainment. You can even have your own taps added for draught beer!
  • A den – Kids under your feet all the time? Noise driving you crazy? Adding power to an outbuilding at you Harlow home will give you a dedicated space for the kids to play in. You can set up a TV, games system – even a fridge for drinks and snacks. 

Planning an electrical installation in an outbuilding

Once you have decided what you would like to use your outbuilding for you will need to plan the finer details of the electrical installation. You will need to consider exactly what the structure will be used for so that the design meets your needs. Think about where any furniture and machinery will be placed. This will ensure that your sockets and switches don’t end up hidden behind a sofa or in the wrong location for your appliances. Do let your electrician know if you plan on using any machinery with high power demands. That will allow them to use the appropriate circuitry for your specific needs.

Where will the electrical cable go?

If the outbuilding you are planning on adding electrics to is detached from your Harlow home then we will need to consider the options for how to route the cable. The cable for your outbuildings electrical supply can be laid either underground or overground. The cable used will be a specific armoured cable designed to withstand outdoor conditions. 

Underground cabling is the most common choice as it is hidden from view. To install cabling this way, a trench will need to be dug in your garden in order for the cabling to be buried at a safe depth. This will involve some potential disruption to your garden planting, turf and features. If you are concerned about disruption, or if you have mature plants that cannot be disturbed, we may need to consider another option.

The second option for installing electrics at an outbuilding is to use an overground cable. Overground cable is hung along either the fence or wall of your garden. The cabling is fairly unobtrusive but will stand out more on a pale coloured surface. You can screen the cabling by incorporating trees and shrubs in your planting scheme in that area. 

Your electrician will talk you through the pros and cons of each option for your specific circumstances before they proceed with any installation work.

Who can install electrics in an Outbuilding?

You may be wondering if you can add electrics to an outbuilding yourself – unfortunately this is a big no. Adding power to an outbuilding is notifiable work under Part P of the Building Regulations. This means it must be completed and certified by a registered electrician. Also, as we have already mentioned, your outbuilding’s electrical installation will be exposed to the elements in a way an internal power supply is not. It is vital that you choose a reputable, fully qualified, and registered electrician to carry out the works. They will have the experience to manage the demands of an outdoor power supply and will keep you and your home safe. Always check your electrician’s credentials and ask them about their experience. You can also find out what their previous customers thought by checking their reviews online.

Experienced Electrician in Harlow

If you would like to discuss your options for adding electrics to an outbuilding at your Harlow home, contact us here at JJB Electrics. Our experienced and fully qualified electricians have carried out countless outdoor electrical installations and will be happy to advise you. We are proudly registered with NAPIT meaning our work is of the highest standards and that we are fully insured, giving you complete peace of mind. Contact us today.