Britons spend more than £200 a year on their gardens, but some of the improvements carried out could increase the risk of their home flooding, an insurer warned today.
Homeowners have spent an average of £633 carrying out work in their gardens during the past three years, according to Direct Line.

Garden sheds are the most popular addition with 61% of people installing one, while 58% of people have added a patio and 51% have added outdoor seating.
Nearly a third of people have had a summer house built, 26% have added a water feature and 17% have taken the more drastic action of concreting over their front garden to create a drive.

But Direct Line warned that some of these improvements could be increasing the flood risk faced by properties.

In his interim report on last summer’s floods Sir Michael Pitt said laying impermeable surfaces, such as paved driveways and patios, could increase the amount of surface water run-off after rain, leading to flooding.

The Government is planning to introduce legislation later this year requiring homeowners to get planning permission if they want to lay impermeable surfaces.
Frances Browning, spokesperson for Direct Line, said: “Homeowners should be fully aware of the potential implications of their garden improvements and choose their development materials carefully.

“There are plenty of permeable paving materials now available which absorb water and so will not require planning permission once the Government changes the law.”
:: Opinium Research questioned 2,139 people during March.

By Andrew Wilcox

I love sheds Founder & judge of Shed of the year - Wilco writes mainly about sheds. About the blog Enter your shed into #shedoftheyear