The final job to do before you can start using your garden office is to connect its services to the mains supply.
Who organizes and pays for this needs to be discussed at the time of placing your order, some suppliers include the connection in the price they quote you, whilst many firms say that the customer must organize this aspect themselves.
Connecting a garden office’s electrics needs to be done by a Certified Electrician
Part of the reason that a supplier asks you to organize the connection of the electrics to the mains supply is because it needs to be undertaken by a Certified Electrician, so that the work complies with Building Regulations.
Not many suppliers send an electrician to site, so this is why they ask you to organize a local electrician.
What’s involved in connecting a garden office’s electrics to the mains?
Garden offices are normally pre-wired in the factory, with sockets and lights and a consumer unit. Once the building is assembled on site this system is ready to be connected to the mains supply.
As we mentioned above this needs to be done by a Certified Electrician so that the work complies with Building Regulations.
An armoured cable will carry the electrical supply from the main fuse box of your house to the garden office. This heavy duty cable needs to be buried underground and protected so that nobody accidentally digs through it! Armoured cables are buried deeply, they often then have a layer of stone and a marker tape buried above them so that anyone digging gets warning before they hit the cable itself.
This cable is connected to the consumer unit in the garden office, either coming in through the floor or one of the walls – depending on the positioning of the consumer unit.
The electrician will also add a earth rod so that the building is fully earthed.
Once the cabling has been connected at both ends the electrician will carry out a number of tests on the electrical circuits.
Connecting the electrics should be part of your budget
Unless your supplier is undertaking the electrical hook up as part of your price, you should make provision for this service when setting your budget.
Its difficult to advise on the costs involved because prices depend on how far away from the main house the garden office is sited, and thus how much armoured cable is needed. Also it depends if any work is needed to update your existing fuse board to accommodate the new circuit.
As a guesstimate you should budget between a few hundred pounds and a thousand for this aspect of the project.
Its not only a garden offices electrics that need connecting
As you are buying a garden office you are probably choosing a model which includes data cabling for telephones, broadband and television. These cables will also need to be connected to the mains supply of each of these services, and often an electrician will connect these services for you.
Cabling for such data cables can be buried in the same trench as the electrics, but you should keep them separate from the electrical supply in their own conduit so there is no electrical interference.
Plumbing systems will also need connecting
Many garden office buildings now have toilets, shower rooms or kitchen areas, and these services will need connecting to your mains supply. Again you need to check your quote to see if the hook up is part of the package price, in some cases the garden office supplier will fit the sanitary ware but not connect it to the mains supply of water or sewerage system – if you have what seems a cheap quote for including WC’s etc you may well find that it doesn’t include the connection to the mains!
If you have gone with a supplier who has conducted a site visit they should have done an assessment to the location of the mains system and designed your building accordingly.
Like the electrical supply, plumbing and sewerage connections need to be made in line with the current Building Regulations.