Electrical safety for extensions. Contact us for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Adding an extension to a property also increases its value, but it is important that the work is carried out by professionals to ensure the maximum value is added – otherwise it could become a costly nightmare.
An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission subject to certain conditions.
However, larger extensions will require planning permission before any work can take place.
Therefore, it would be wise to see if the planned works does need approval beforehand or is in fact permitted development.
Whatever the size of your extension it will almost certainly be subject to building regulations. This will include regulations for all types of work carried out including structural, plumbing, flooring, foundations and electrical.
Any electrical work will have to comply with Part P of the building regulations (England and Wales only). House extensions in Scotland may require a building warrant prior to any work commencing.
The Department of Finance and Personnel has produced Technical Booklet E: 2005 and also refers to other deemed-to-satisfy publications, such as British Standards, to support compliance with the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.
A straightforward way of meeting the Part P requirements (England and Wales) is to use a contractor who is registered with an electrical competent person scheme such as NICEIC or ELECSA. They can self-certify the work and notify the local building control body on your behalf if it’s needed.
If the work is notifiable you will then receive a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate confirming the work has been carried out to the required standard as well as receiving an electrical certificate for the works.
What to consider
Undertaking an extension on a property is a huge job.
Due to the nature of the work involved and the disruption it can create there are many things to consider.
It is almost certain that you will require additional power and lighting.
It might be that power and lighting can be supplied via existing circuits or it could be that a new consumer unit is required. Consult with your NICEIC or ELECSA registered electrician before any work is carried out to ensure you get the best and most appropriate advice.
Some people might also want to consider the condition of the electrics in the main part of the property. If the wiring is old (over 25 years) then a full re-wire may be advisable.
A full rewire usually takes place when major building work such as an extension or conversion is being carried out. This is due to the nature of disruption involved such as ripping up floorboards and chasing out walls.
Undertaking a full rewire will mean all cabling throughout the property is brought up to date.
Upgrading the electrics also means you can add extra power points to the room. Many people in this position take the opportunity to replace single socket outlets with double ones or as is more common now – sockets with USB ports built in.
If you really want to add that extra touch to your extension you might want to consider smart home technology which allows for lights, entertainment, blinds and security to be controlled at the touch of a button on a tablet computer or smart phone.
You will also need to make sure the appropriate precautions against re are in place.
Any additional space will normally need mains powered, interlinked smoke detectors installed.
Your local NICEIC or ELECSA registered electrician will be able to advise you on the most appropriate solution.
If you plan to install an additional bath or shower room within the extension then extra precautions are necessary.
Water and electricity are a potentially dangerous mix so when it comes to installing any electrical circuits or items, a bathroom is considered a special location.
Why use an NICEC or ELECSA registered contractor?
Choosing an NICEIC or ELECSA registered contractor is a householder’s best way to ensure a safe job. Electricians registered with NICEIC and ELECSA are assessed on a regular basis to ensure high standards and their work is checked against the IET Wiring Regulations as well as other standards.