Electrical for your Backyard Office and Garden Studio

Here is what you need to know about electrical power for you Backyard Office.

1.    You are going to need to run a cable

You will need to get you r electrician to run a cable from your homes electrical power to the backyard office. The cable will need to armoured we need to protect people because things happen. There are two ways to run the cable. The first and most common is to bury it 450mm (18’) with warning cable buried at 14”. The second is to run above ground, you will need a qualified electrician to tell you what does and what does not meets permits.

Electrical cable Electrical for your Backyard Office and Garden Studio
Source: https://www.calgary.ca/content/dam/www/pda/pd/documents/brochures/homeowner-electrical-wiring-guide.pdf page 12 (2022)

2.    You will need a sub panel

The backyard office will need a sub-panel. The sub-panel is likely going to need 4 circuits and be 60 or 80 amps. There are rules on where the panels can be installed and the distance from the floor.

3.    Lighting

For our offices we recommend Kendal track lighting, you can choose anything from 2 to even 8 lights. These are a very good LED lights, low power and with an adjustable light temperature (how blue or yellow they are).  We position the lighting on the front wall, that way we can easily hide the cabling for you. If you want to do your own lighting – go for it.

4.    Heating

The best heating for a backyard office is a baseboard heater. On dedicated circuit you can have up to a 2200-watt heater.
If you want, you can even go with remote control thermostat like a mysa controller (getmysa.com).

5.    Permits

We would love to be able to do the electrical for all of our offices and studios. Unfortunately, logistics get in the way. We would need to have an electrician who is permitted to work in BC, AB, SK (you would think if they were qualified to work in one province they would be qualified to work in all! but that not how it works) and …… Those people are rare and honestly, we wouldn’t have the work for them.
Secondly, on site (your backyard) we build our units fast. There is not time in the build for an electrician to do their work, get it inspected and signed off. We’ve tried it and ended up spending too many days on site.
Your electrician should be able to deal with permits as a normal part of doing the electrical install.

6.    Install options

  1. We can supply the office ‘electrical ready’ by this we mean we have made the cut outs for the electrician to instal the panel, power sockets and lights. This leaves the electrician to install each component its defined location, run the wiring, connect wiring and do the permit. We can also supply your electrician a list of recommended parts to make their job easier and faster.
  2. The electrician does the full install to your specifications. The cable will need to be run through plastic conduit to meet permits.

7.    Guides

All Canadian municipal districts will have an electrical guide. It will be based on the current Canadian Electrical Code. For reference here is the link to Calgary Homeowner electrical wiring guide, the main difference will be who does permitting.

Any questions give us a call 403 470-1659 or email jim@bosns.ca