Just when you thought the changes affecting our industry were done, dusted and out of the way for the next few years, here comes another one!

From 1st October this year, it is going to be against the law for conservatories or orangeries to be built over or near to sewers. The reason? From 1st October all privately owned sewers are going to be adopted by the local water companies. It is estimated that there are about 125,000 miles of privately owned sewers, affecting about 10 million households.

What is the reason for this change? The Government want the water companies to be responsible for all the sewers in the country. The companies will then be responsible for any repair work, so that the homeowner doesn’t have to foot the bill.

But this is going to create some logistical problems when it comes to extensions, conservatories or orangeries. You’re not going to be allowed to install trap doors in the flooring as far I’m aware. In some cases you will be able to re-route the pipework away from the work area to get round the ruling. The downside to the customer having the work done will be the extra cost. It won’t be a great deal extra, but in a time of austerity people are penny pinching down to the nearest pound!

But there will be some cases where re-routing the pipework just isn’t an option i.e. if the structure is going to take up a lot of the garden space and it doesn’t leave much room for the pipes. Hopefully these circumstances will make up the minority of cases.

So, get your plans in, start the building work and get your projects complete before the start of October!

A helpful Q and A site can be found here.