Many Australian homeowners invest in building or renovating sheds on their properties, and for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s extra storage space, providing an additional living area (man cave or games room, anyone?), an area for hobbies, or creating a new workspace – sheds are a great investment for any property owner.
Below are just a few of the things you should consider in terms of electrical work when building or renovating a shed on your property:
Separate shed wiring
Having dedicated sub-mains and electrical switchboard installed in your shed can offer a range of benefits, and really help you to make the most of the space.
It also means that you’re less likely to trip the circuit breaker to the main residence. Installing a dedicated switchboard means that you can ensure it will suit the power demands for your space. Equipment like car hoists, compressors, 15A outlets, welders and the like all need to be factored in when planning for your electrical work.
A separate switchboard also gives you the ability to add extra circuits in the future if you decide to upgrade your property in other ways. For example, if you want to install a pool pump outside, or possibly even an air conditioner in the shed.
Regardless of what you’ll be using the shed for, having good lighting installed should be a non-negotiable. Proper lighting makes the space useable at any time of the day or night, and is crucial if the shed is to be used for work, or even working on your car.
If you’ve got an existing shed and you’re sick of struggling to see with the old fluorescent lighting, you could upgrade to LED batten lights. These are much brighter, and they’re also better in terms of energy efficiency, plus they’ll last longer.
If your shed is located away from the main dwelling, you may also wish to have spotlights and/or sensor lights installed on the exterior of the shed. This makes the journey out to the shed safer if it’s dark, and also acts as a good security feature.
Powerpoints in your shed
Forget the nuisance of having extension cords running all over the place – instead, invest in having a professional electrician design and install powerpoints throughout your shed.
Powerpoints can be planned out to make sure they are easy to access, while still being out of the way. A good electrician will work with you to understand how you wish to use the space to make sure adequate outlets are planned for, so you won’t need to be using powerboards or extension leads everywhere.
If you’re using your shed for trade or mechanical work, you may also wish to upgrade some of your powerpoints to weatherproof GPOs (general power outlets). These outlets are more rugged can take a bit more wear and tear than the everyday powerpoint that you might find in the home.
EV charging stations
Electric vehicles (EVs) have swiftly become an everyday part of Australian life, and as the momentum of EVs continues to build in Adelaide, the need for having easily accessible charging stations becomes more apparent.
If you own an EV, having an EV charging station at your home is not just a convenience, it can be a game changer. If your electric vehicle will be stored in the shed on your property, you should consider having an EV charging station installed.
Solar for your shed
With the cost of power increasing, many people are considering the addition of solar systems to their sheds. Adding solar to your shed can help to reduce the operating cost of your shed and the activities taking place within it, while also giving you an option to add a battery for a backup power source in case of a power outage.
If you’re investing in a brand new shed and are thinking about solar, it’s important that you consider a few key points:
- Structural integrity – Will the shed roof be strong enough to hold the weight of the panels? If not, some re-engineering may need to take place.
- Roof pitch and orientation – Will the panels be positioned to maximise the light from the sun throughout the day?
- Cable size of your consumer mains – if your looking to add solar to your new shed we need to ensure we allow for this in the design process for voltage rise calculations
- Battery storage – If you’re not using your shed much during the day, it could be worth investing in a battery to store the power generated so that you can use it in the evenings when you might have time to use your shed.
Heating and cooling for your shed
Sheds can notoriously be quite hot places to work during the middle of the day in an Australian summer. If you’re going to be working in the shed during the day, it may be beneficial to have some fans installed to move the air around.
If the shed will double as a separate living space, games room, man cave or similar, then a split system air conditioner would be a better investment so you can heat and cool the area.
When it comes to investing in a shed for your property, take the time to engage a professional, licensed electrician for the electrical work. Not only will it ensure that your shed is more usable, but it will also be safer for you in the long run.