We love our sheds here in Oz; whether it’s a man-sized man-cave, a play-room or a more bijou affair where you store garden tools and hide away with a book occasionally, you might dream of electrifying it.
It’s not as simple as running a few extension cables into it, though; it’s actually a longer project if you want to do it properly and safely. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to think about and do.
Work out what you want the electricity for
You may just want a little overhead light so you can read that book after putting away your lawnmower, or you might want the whole shebang of a fridge, TV, games console and air-con.
In the longer term, your shed may well change its purpose – you might have an older child coming home from college and wanting privacy, or you might decide to start up a business in it.
Why can’t you just use extension cords?
Extension cords aren’t meant for permanent use. They’re too free, in the way and too much of a liability. They can be tripped over or, even worse, cut into, causing an electric shock.
There’s also the fact that extension cords aren’t supposed to be exposed to the weather. Their coating can degrade over time and if the wires come into a metal shed, the consequences can he terrible.
You need an electrician
If you’re planning to run power into your shed on a permanent basis, then you’ll need an electrician to do this for you, with safe, protected wires that enter the structure in trenches.
Fixed wiring will need to be installed by a state-licensed electrician or electrical contractor to make sure it’s safe and legal.
Then, there’s the issue of the power dropping at the end of the cables – the electricity can start off as 240V and end up as 180V when it gets into the appliances. This can cause problems for them – and you especially if they’re high-demand appliances. Your electrician can measure the distances, demands and your existing circuitry and work out a wiring system that’s up to the job. They’ll also look at where your plumbing pipes are – remember, electricity and water don’t mix!
Get a quote
You can expect to pay anything from $1,500 to $4,500 for your electrification project, depending on what you need exactly. Don’t be tempted to do the job on the cheap, though, as there’s so many safety and legal issues to take into account – that’s why you need a professional.