Does My Shed Need Electricity?

This is a question that is best asked, and answered, before the shed is erected. Naturally, much depends upon the use to which it is to be put. Simple storage of summer items in winter, and vice versa, you can probably manage without shed electricity, if you don’t worry too much about falling over a hard and spiky piece of garden machinery on a dark November evening.

A couple of lights would never come amiss, and it might be that motion sensor battery lamps mounted inside the shed above the door and on another wall will be adequate. Just.

However, if the shed is to be used for almost any other purpose, you probably will need electricity, not only for lighting, but also for power; for the lawn mower if it is a simple garden shed, for the computer and peripherals if you are using it as an office, either by choice or because working from home has become part of everyday life.

Now you must turn the question on its head, and ask yourself whether your shed is suitable for electricity. If you have buckets on the floor to catch the drips from a leaking roof, if the walls feel damp even after you have patched them with a bit of plywood, then no. No conscientious electrician would agree to install light or power in a shed that could pose a fire risk, with water seeping into sockets or junction boxes.

Please do ensure that your electrician is not only competent, but also qualified. Before you even lift up the telephone to ask for a quotation for the work, check that they are registered with Safe Electric, which is operated by the Register of Electrical Contractors of Ireland on behalf of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities.

This is not a job for an amateur, although, when you have found a qualified electrician, you might discuss work you could do yourself. Digging the trench for the wiring, for example, would be fine, and the planning of what needs to go where, how many sockets you will need (add at least two to the maximum number you calculate) and where the lights should be placed are all a matter for you personally rather than your electrician. Would a weather-proof outdoor socket be a good idea for garden machinery to save running the cable through a door or window? Are there some items that need to be plugged in at all times, for example, a computer running a continuous monitoring program? Make those decisions, and then discuss them with the electrician.

Unless your shed is sturdy and damp-proof, installing lights and power is not a good idea, even if you could find an electrician who would be prepared to do it. You need a shed that will not leak, or rot, or that might be damaged by an Irish winter gale, let alone burgled by an opportunistic thief armed with nothing more than a crowbar. Quite apart from the matter of the dangers of electrical fires, you really want the peace of mind you will get from a maintenance free shed built by Irish craftsmen and installed by experienced professionals.

C & S Sheds are the ideal, and your qualified electrician, who might by now have become quite discouraged by the number of tumble-down shacks they have been asked to modernise, will smile and heave a sigh of relief. PVC-coated steel cladding on a galvanised frame will not rot, and will certainly be strong enough to support anything that needs to be mounted on walls or ceiling. When you plan the design of your shed, take account of the positioning of light switches and power points as you consider where doors and windows are to be placed. C & S sheds are very versatile, so this will be a simple matter. Ask their experts for advice if you’re not sure.

The electrician’s inspection will take minutes, and the verdict, “That’ll be fine”, will be what you expected.

Perhaps you had better take a look at the house’s fuse box. The electrician will want to, and it may be that it’s not in a fit condition to take the extra wiring. Some features in a house are enhanced by age and antiquity, but fuse boxes are not one of them. It might be time it was replaced.

After that, leave it to the professionals at C & S Sheds and to your qualified and competent electrician. You will have gained not only power and light to your shed, but also peace of mind.

And that is invaluable.