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A Question for Gill

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Anonymous

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Howdy Gill and All!

I've been lurking here for awhile now, finally getting 'round to poking thru the workshops and completed projects board. There I found your new garden shed, Gill. I REALLY like it. Did you get electricity to it? If so, what did you have to do to connect it to the 'mains' (is that the correct term used in Great Britain?)? Why did you decide to pour concrete when the shed has a wooden floor?

The reason for all my questions is that I'm in the planning stages for a 'back yard' ('Murican terminology) building myself. My construction will be similar but will differ in a number of respects.

Without permission, I've co-opted some of your terminology. I now refer to my bride of 44 years as 'Her Ladyship'.

TIA
BobH
 

RogerS

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Bob

Welcome to the forum and I guess Gill will be along soon.

I can answer your more general points.

Electrical connection..in the UK..this usually comes into any property (such as a house or flat) as one supply feed. At 240v single phase. In sequence it then goes through a company fuse (company as in Electrical Company...you call them utilities IIRC) usually rated at 100Amp. Then through the company electric meter and then onto what we call a distribution unit. This comes in all shapes and sizes and number of 'ways'. A way is a separate circuit that splits off the main feed to feed electricity (still 240v) to the light circuit(s), power sockets (we call them ring mains as the power circuit loops out of the 'way' , goes around the property feeding the power sockets and then returns back to the way where it is reconnected...thus forming a ring.

To feed something like a shed you will either use a spare emtpy way in the dis unit or get an electrician to connect a separate feed from the compny meter or even fuse and out to the shed. It all depends on location relative to the house. I guess in the US IIRC you do things very similarly but you don't use ring mains.

A recent wrinkle that came into play in the UK this year was an addendum to our Building Regulations called Part P. P stands for pathetically, pointless, Prescott - who was the policitican that introduced this inane legislation. :twisted: :evil: You will see other threads here where we debated and ranted over this ad nauseam.

Concrete base..well, it's the way we do things. Partly it might be mandated by Building Regulations if the building or addition such as a large workshop comes under the Regs...(a typical shed does not)...but it's good practice to lay a base of hardcore (crushed stone etc)...maybe a foot deep, then a DPM (damp proof membrane) then a few inches of concrete, then two inches of insulating material topped off by another couple of inches of concrete. This gives us a warm, dry and stable base.

Hope that gives some insight.

Central T...as in Texas? Tennessee?

Cheers Roger
 

Gill

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Hi Bob, Welcome to the forum.

Gosh, I'm flattered by your comments about my humble workplace. I've always said 'Muricans are nice people, haven't I always said that, folks? :) I'm not sure I can answer all your questions fully, Bob, but I'll have a go.

These workshops can be laid directly on concrete slabs or plinths or even hardcore, but the problem is that those bases will move over time and twist the workshop out of square alignment. We've got a small shed which is just laid on slabs on a sand base and it's now leaning like the Tower of Pisa.

The base we've got isn't as substantial as one that Roger describes. The shop manufacturers told us that a concrete plinth of 4" on top of a damp proof liner would be perfectly adequate for what we need. Bearing in mind that many garages only have 6" of concrete, this seemed quite reasonable to us and the people who laid the concrete. If we'd been installing industrial grade equipment into the shop, we'd have probably used a firmer foundation such as Roger describes, but for our purposes it wasn't necessary. Added to which, the shop has a wooden floor so you've got to be aware that you can only install machines that won't crush the floorboards. Tudors, who made the shop, told us that some of their customers had installed much heavier machinery than we were proposing, but they positioned the machinery on a piece of 3/4" ply to spread the load. We were also advised to position our heavier machines away from the door to minimise the strain on the building frame.

When it comes to electricity, I'm out on a limb, I'm afraid. Neither me nor His Lordship know a thing about how to control those pesky wiggly amps, so we took advantage of one our friends who is a qualified electrician and who had just been made redundant. His misfortune was our good luck. He ran an extension off the main circuit board in our house because it had spare capacity and sunk the cabling under the earth out in the yard all the way to the shop. There, he installed another circuit board and fed the mains elecricity into that. He ran two circuits off that board, one for the power sockets and one for the lights. Perhaps this description will enable other members of the forum who are more knowledgable than me to answer your question more professionally than I can. However, that's how it was installed as far as I can make out.

It's well worth having a proper shop out in the yard and I hope your project is as successful as mine has been, Bob. Do let us know how you get on.

Hope this helps.

Gill
 

MikeW

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Hi Bob.

I'm glad you decided to make yourself known. Good place with good people who are willing to share. And now we've got one more...welcome.

btw, Bob is from central Texas...
 
A

Anonymous

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Howdy Folks!

Thanks for the responses, Roger and Gill. It's interesting to learn how things are done in different places. When my rountuit arrives and I actually begin construction, I'll take pics and post 'in progress' shots.

My location is Temple, Texas, USA; or, as one might say, "Deep in the heart of Texas!"
 

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