These days, log cabins have so much more potential than just storage or summerhouses. Offices, work studios, beauty treatment rooms, a playroom, a space for a hot tub… there are endless possibilities. However, many of the most popular uses for log cabins require one major thing – electricity.
The legal stuff
Thankfully, providing electricity to a log cabin in the modern era is a relatively straightforward task. However, safety if paramount and we highly recommend that the job of connecting electricity to your log cabin should only be undertaken by a qualified electrician. Since January 1st 2005, all electrical work must be completed in accordance with IEE wiring regulations and BS 7671, which is part of the building regulations compliancy (Part B). It also places a legal obligation that any electrical work outside must be notified to your local authority building control. Failure to comply with Part B of the building regulations can result in a fine of up to £5000.
Once you have had the electricity installed, you should receive an electrical installation certificate. It is important to keep this in a safe place as you may be required to produce these should you choose to sell or rent out your home in the future.
The practical stuff
The best advice we can offer it is to carefully plan where you need your electricity in your cabin. Do you need lights? Wall sockets? How many? Where do you need them in order for your cabin to function in the way that you want it to? Having a definitive plan in place before you start the wiring process can save significant time (and money!) down the line.
Knowing how much electric you will need will also help your electrician to design the system to account for the amount of power that you need. Most electricians will allow for around 10-20% more power than you need at this current time, so that the capacity is there when you decide you need more.
So where does the power come from? In the majority of cases, the power is drawn directly from your main consumer unit. However, an alternative is possible for low power requirements, and this involves taking power into the cabin via an existing house socket circuit that is capable of carrying the load. However, this method is only really suitable for single power sources (for example, a single socket), and if the log cabin is in close proximity to your main dwelling.
What do I need to tell my electrician in order to get an accurate quote?
When you approach electricians to quote for your work, you will invariably be looking for a good deal. However, you should make sure to provide all of the information that he needs so that he can provide you with a truly accurate quotation based upon your specific needs. Some of the details you should have to hand should include:
- The number of lights and sockets you require.
- What your overall power requirement is, either by calculating the watts/amps in each piece of electrical equipment you have, or telling your electrician what electrical appliances you intend to run so he can make a guesstimate.
- How far the cabin is from the power source.
- The current condition of your consumer unit.
- The route of supply you think will work
Running electricity to your log cabin is a modern and wise investment, opening up a world of new possibilities for your additional space!