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Adding electricity to a garden shed

Adding electricity to a garden shed

03 May 2024

In our latest guide we look at installing electricity in your shed or garden building – the regulations you need to know, and the dos and don’ts to consider.

Do I need electricity in my garden shed?

If you are using your garden shed for storage alone, the chances are you can probably manage without an electricity supply to it. However, for many of us who use garden structures such as summerhouses and workshops, for everything from home-working to entertaining, an electricity supply is an essential addition. If you need power for tools and equipment (laptops, printers etc.) then you will need sockets inside the structure. But if you simply need power for a lawnmower, perhaps an outdoor socket is enough.

The benefits of having electricity in a shed

There are undoubtedly several benefits to having electricity in your shed.

Year-round use – a power supply means you can make use of your summerhouse even in the coldest weather with the addition of heating.

Light – again, being able to illuminate your space will let you use it in the dark winter months and is vital for creative spaces including art studios.

Parties – using a summerhouse as an entertainment space will be made better with the addition of music and mood lighting.

Teenagers’ space – give your teenagers their own space to entertain their friends where they can game, watch TV, or just listen to music.

Security – an electricity supply in a shed lets you install security lights and/or cameras for added safety and peace of mind.

The regulations for electricity supplies to a garden shed

In England and Wales, any work that involves using your domestic electricity supply to provide power in your outdoor space, including running cables to a garden shed, has to comply with Part P of the building regulations. This cannot be avoided as, in the event of you going on to sell your property and garden buildings, you would need the correct certification. Compliance also ensures that any work carried out will be to the correct standards, ensuring you will not be liable for any claims against you for damage incurred through the installation.

Can I use an extension lead?

Using an extension cable provides a fast solution but, this must only be considered a temporary measure. For example, if you need light in the shed for a short time (perhaps while you are sorting it out), it would be acceptable to run an extension lead from the house to the shed. Extension leads must NEVER be used on a long term basis and should be disconnected immediately after use and put away. Using an extension lead on a permanent basis is dangerous and irresponsible, with risks to the cable that can lead to damage. Where you have the need for a long term power supply to your shed, you should seek professional advice.

Installing an electrical supply in a Sutton Sheds garden structure

At Sutton Sheds, our sheds, summerhouses, workshops, and timber garages have been used for everything from basic garden storage to housing a hot tub, and many of our customers ask about an electricity supply. We always advise that, unless you are a qualified electrician, you should only use a Part P compliant and qualified professional tradesperson. We do not carry out electrical installations but we can recommend professionals in whose work and credentials we have confidence. For further details, please contact us by email or phone on 01526 342777.


Sheds & Workshops