This time of year is a pile-up of short days, long nights and cold weather, with its fair share of rain to boot.
It's enough to take its toll on anyone - and our homes are no different. Winter weather poses a host of issues for our properties, meaning we need to take steps to keep them protected.
It's not too late to find a great tradesperson to get your home set up, so read through our quick checklist and find out what you need to do.
If there’s one job that’s probably been hanging around in the back of your subconscious for ages now, it’s this. An annual boiler service will ensure your heating and hot water flow freely all winter long, meaning no freezing mornings or icy showers (unless that’s how you prefer to wake up).
When something goes wrong with your boiler, it can be an expensive fix, whereas the cost of a boiler service is usually around £80, and should give you peace of mind for the next 12 months.
Getting a heating engineer booked in is a no-brainer, and means it doesn’t have to sit in your brain bothering you any longer.
Another job that can play on your mind for ages is making sure your roof is leak free.
As we enter the wettest period of the year, now is a good time to check for any loose or damaged tiles that might let water in, as well as checking for damaged flashing that can also let moisture creep in and cause issues.
A single slipped tile can be a relatively cheap and quick fix, and one that will save you plenty of hassle in the long run.
A roofer should be able to inspect your roof and show you pictures of any areas of concern before you tackle it.
Christmas adverts are on TV, most of the trees are looking bare, and December is days away - if you’ve managed to keep the heating off until now, your home is either very insulated or you just must have a lovely collection of jumpers.
If you don’t have the lovely insulation, then your home could no doubt do with some.
There are lots of options for improving your home’s insulation, and while some can be significant projects, adding loft insulation can be a fairly quick and simple job, and one with big rewards.
Better insulation means retaining more heat, which means less need to use the heating, meaning less energy used and wasted, and money saved on your bills.
If you act quickly to find an insulation specialist, you may also be able to make use of the government’s Green Homes Grant scheme which can help pay towards the cost of your insulation - there’s nothing better for your peace of mind than doing something good, and it being a bargain at the same time.
It’s easy to get used to things like stains and cracks on your walls and brickwork - they just become part of the background, something you can get round to dealing with one day, but aside from a vague sense of worry, nothing you focus on too closely.
But why not rid yourself of any lingering worry and sort the problem at its source? Lots of stains on external walls come from leaks in damaged guttering and downpipes, and while the problem mainly seems like one of appearances, the water can actually be causing damage that you can’t see so quickly, penetrating into your walls and causing damp.
A guttering specialist can diagnose your issues and replace broken sections, clean out blockages, and make sure it’s all firmly attached to the wall, meaning you don’t have to worry about any more stains appearing.
Think back to the last time there was a storm, or the wind really picked up - was your fence swaing a bit more than it should have been? Are the holes where the foxes come through getting bigger and bigger each week?
It’s one of those things where, because it’s outside in the garden, you can keep the worry at bay, but deep down you probably know that it’s something that needs to be fixed.
Sturdy new fencing will outlast not just this winter, but many more to come, meaning you don’t have to worry about panels flying down the street or crashing into your neighbour’s conservatory.
Find a fencer now who can make sure your fence is safe and secure, and take a small piece of stress out of your life - after this year, you deserve it.