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Home & Interiors

Top 4 ways to add value to your property

Are you planning to rent out your property? Before doing so, you should consider updating your property to ensure it appears attractive to tenants. This not only increases tenant demand, but it also enhances your property’s prospects, allowing you to up the rent and helping you receive excellent returns on your investment.  There are several ways to add value to your property. Here are a few ideas which will help you enhance your property and achieve success as a property investor.

Enhance room decor

decorative feature vase

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Is your living room or bedroom looking a bit worse for wear? This will be off-putting to a lot of tenants; therefore, you should make sure every room in your house looks presentable before advertising it. This may just mean applying a new layer of paint, which will cost you next to nothing but will give your property a well-needed revival. On the other hand, it may be that you need to undertake a complete renovation, including new flooring, wallpaper, and furnishing. While this may cost more, the changes will be worthwhile in the long run, as your property will be much more appealing.  If you’re struggling for decor inspiration, you should take a look at the stylish north-west developments backed by property investment specialists, RW Invest. These properties lead the way in modern decor design, with contemporary furnishings that generate a massive amount of interest from landlords and tenants.

Perform necessary repairs

There is nothing more off-putting to tenants than a damaged property, as the reason people to choose to rent is so that they avoid the responsibilities associated with owning a home. To avoid scaring away tenants, you should make sure that everything in the property is functioning and well put together. For example, it is vital that any structural problems are fixed by a professional to make the property as safe as possible, while also preventing it from looking like an eyesore.

You should also check every inch of the house to ensure that nothing is broken, especially if you’re renting out a furnished property. This could include white goods, furnishings, and any electrical fixtures which may need to be restored or replaced.

Improve heating systems

thermostat

Pic Credit: Pixabay

A property’s central heating system is one of the most important elements. Therefore, you must do what is necessary to ensure it is working efficiently. If the heating system or the boiler is faulty, you should seek help from a professional, unless you’re qualified to fix it yourself. This will ensure that everything is running smoothly when your tenant moves in.

There are further steps you should take to ensure your home is efficiently heated, such as sealing or replacing any doors or windows to prevent cold entering the property. You should also consider updating your insulation, as this will not only keep the cold out but will also retain heat, meaning the heating will be used less which will result in reduced energy bills.

Update your exterior

Boosting your property’s kerb appeal is one of the most effective ways to add value. This is because it is the first thing that your potential tenants will see, and if this looks aesthetically-pleasing, their interest will increase. To start, you should sort out your garden, whether that is in the front, back, or both. To improve your green space, you should rip out any weeds, fix fences, and add colourful florals to make your garden more appealing.

Another way to update your exterior is by updating your front door, which may be the first point of focus for any tenants coming to visit your property. Therefore, you should make it stand out by using a bright colour like red or blue, which will highlight the entrance and make it look much more attractive. You could also consider implementing a porch, as this will frame the entrance making it look more homely and inviting.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

5 Questions You Should Ask Before Installing Fancy Skylights

Fancy skylights are a beautiful addition to any home. They let natural light in, give you a glimpse of the outside, and give your home that extra detail that can change the entire aesthetic. Plus, installing skylights in your home can increase the overall value as well. There are many positives to adding fancy skylights to your home. However, before you go ahead and do so, you should be sure to ask these five questions to ensure you’re getting the best skylight to compliment your home.

Should the skylights have the ability to open?

Not all skylights have to open—some are merely there to let natural light in, rather than to let in air. This is something that will ultimately be left up to you; however, talking to your contractor about it can give you a better idea as to what will work best for your family and your home. By having the ability to open your skylights, you have the option of letting a cool breeze into your home. However, that isn’t always practical. This can be a concern if you have high ceilings, which would make it difficult for you to be able to reach the skylight to open it. There are workarounds to this, such as opening the skylight with a remote-control system rather than manually. If you have a budget that you need to stick to, be sure to ask your contractor how much something like this would cost to install and maintain.

What kind of glass is used in the skylights?

skylightIt’s important to ensure the type of glass being used in your skylight is durable and of the highest quality. This will minimize the need for future repairs and be much easier to maintain. The best glass to use is tempered glass, and we highly recommend this is what you have installed. Tempered glass is much more flexible than other forms of glass. In the event that it does break, it only fractures into small pebbles, rather than entirely shattering into sharp shards, which is much safer. For instance, in the unfortunate event that there is a storm and a tree falls on your home, the tempered glass would better protect you. You won’t have to worry about any glass shards falling on you or your family.

Are these skylights energy efficient?

Not only will you be helping the environment by installing energy efficient skylights, but you will also be saving yourself money in the long run. Hot air rises. Because of this, if you do not install energy-efficient skylights, this hot air will leak out of your home during the winter, resulting in a chillier home. This will, in turn, cause you to constantly feel the need to turn up the heat or trigger your furnace to continuously pump heat into your home, costing you more money. One way to ensure the skylights are energy efficient is by asking your contractor if the glass being used is at least double-paned. Additionally, be sure to ask about thermal breaks, as this will help minimize the amount of heat loss caused by induction.

Are there any accessories I should be adding to my skylight, and if so, what?

Sometimes merely installing a fancy skylight isn’t enough. There may be some accessories that will better this new addition. As briefly mentioned above, a remote control can be an extremely beneficial accessory to install. You may be able to choose this addition regardless of whether or not you have a high ceiling. If you prefer to not have to manually open the skylight, choosing the remote-control option may be in your best interest.

Further accessories that may be available for your new skylight are interior trim kits, sun screens, and blinds. When it comes to blinds, you may be able to choose from light-filtering blinds and blackout blindsall depending on what exactly you are looking for. We understand that there may be some days you don’t want to have all that natural light radiating into your home.

Will I be able to clean my skylights and how?

It is no secret that glass gets dirty. However, it can be more of a challenge to clean skylights, depending on the height of your ceilings. Plus, these should not be cleaned like just any other glass windows you currently have in your home. Using the usual water, ammonia, and dish liquid should suffice; however, it’s important to remember to clean the frame of the skylight while you are up there as well. When it comes to drying your skylight after the wash, do not be too harsh. skylight

You will want to clean your skylight at least twice a year. Before you install your skylight, be sure to ask your contractor if there are any special cleaning tips or tricks you should know about and be able to prepare for. Your contractor may also recommend a more frequent cleaning schedule, depending on the type of glass or area it has been installed in.

When it comes to installing fancy skylights, there are a lot of questions you’ll want to ask before getting started. These are simply a glimpse at some of the most common, and very important, questions that you should be asking. It’s important to always think about what works best for your home and your family. This will help you figure out where exactly the skylights should be located and whether or not they should have the ability to open.

Additionally, be up-front with your contractor about your lifestyle and what you’re looking for. The contractor should be able to provide you with suggestions, maybe even some you haven’t thought of or didn’t even know about.

Also, visit with a roofing professional about any considerations regarding your roof’s structure or ability to support a skylight. At Interstate Roofing, they’re happy to talk with you anytime about how installing fancy skylights will work with your roof, or any other roofing questions or needs you have. Feel free to give them a call or stop by and meet with one of their staff. They promise to relieve any stress you maybe have and answer all your questions.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Picking The Best Hardwood Engineered Flooring

Engineered hardwood flooring is just like having the look and feel of real solid wood but without the maintenance and installation process. It gives you the aesthetics you desire in your home without all the work and extra expense which is why it’s such an appealing option to many.  The engineered flooring Melbourne homeowners get from Market Timbers are made of high quality material. They can then discover a range of options suitable for their specifications and budget requirements.

With all wooden flooring though, there are some practical elements to consider before you go out looking and buying. This article will consider exactly what you need to look for and how you go about choosing the best engineered wooden flooring for your home.

How To Choose Engineered Hardwood Flooring

What’s the difference between engineered and normal wooden flooring?

First, get to know the differences between engineered and solid wood. These are the main two types of wood you will see in the stores. Solid wood is much thicker then engineered wood and is on average 18-22mm thick. Engineered wood however can be a very thin cut of real solid wood that is placed onto a plywood or cheaper material.  Once you have decided on the thickness, you will have an easy journey as it relates to the extent that the floor needs sanding and refinishing touches.  

Know your budget.

Costs can become higher or lower due to a number of elements. The wider you go when looking at boards, you will be looking at higher prices compared to narrower ones. So, if you don’t mind thinner wooden boards on your floor, this may save you some money.

Get guarantee for your engineered wood.

As with any high-priced item you will want to ensure you get suitable cover for your flooring. Even though it’s natural so will be susceptible to everyday wear and tear, there are some things you can get covered on. However, it is your job to maintain them as best as possible by not dragging furniture around and not walking in heels on the wood for example.

Find out what finish you will like.

There are two types available on the market: oil and lacquer finishes. These two offer a variety of different visual appeals and benefits so they are important to consider when choosing the wood. 

Oiled engineered hardwood will help promote a more genuine and natural looking finish. However, it might easily be marked when there are spills. This means that if you have a younger family you may want to consider lacquer which offer more protection over spillages.

Now you have a bigger picture of what to look for when choosing hardwood engineered flooring, you’ll be able to move closer towards what you really want.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

How to create a vintage vibe in your house

Over the last number of years we have undertaken some seriously extensive renovation work on our home.  While pouring over articles on interiors one trend kept popping up time and time again….the vintage theme.  This trend has really stuck around over the last number of years and its really easy to see why.  More and more we are seeing the mixing of high street with high end to create the perfect vintage vibe. Some tips I have gleaned from my research are below:

  • One of the first things I learned and come up many times in my research was that “vintage” and “old” are not the same thing!!

    Vintage tea pot

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

  • Mix and match! By mixing new with re-purposed goods you can add that extra dept to the project. For example these gorgeous glass wall lights from Cox & Cox give that vintage feel and when paired with for example some vintage furniture, it would really compliment the look
  • Be realistic with the old products you buy. If something requires an inordinate amount of work carefully consider whether its the project for you especially if you are DIY challenged like me
  • Simple, simple, simple, as tempting as it is to include every vintage style piece, ornament etc be clever with what you use in the space.  I love the look of a couple of cool statement vintage furniture pieces which do the talking for themselves paired with some minimal ornaments and modern pieces for that added depth.
  • Carefully consider the floor covering, look for features that will help to make your flooring last such as a product that is stain or scratch resistant, that has clean sharp line and wont detract from the furniture which is the feature piece of the room.  Ideal option is a floor covering such as a resin floor.  Particularly in a family house, will hopefully increase its longevity and ultimately add to that vintage vibe, making the floor the ideal back drop to showcase that vintage inspired room.
  • Those more in the know that me suggest adding plants works well in a vintage themed room.
  • Avoid the twee accessories – bunting im looking at you!! You want to create nostalgic feeling.
  • Include your own personality, I really feel that is critical

If anybody has  more ideas id love to hear them. While im no DIY expert I really do think this interior trend is not going anywhere soon.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Our sitting room makeover with DFS

Over the last number of years on the blog you will have seen references and posts about our renovation project. We are so very close to completion. The final piece of this mammoth undertaking was the sitting room. We decided that this would be the last room completed. Its the first room you meet when you come in the front door and what we really wanted was a calm, relaxing, clutter free place to chill out together as a family or to entertain family and friends when they called over.  We deliberately took our time on this as we wanted it to be perfect.

Generally my house is like any home to young kids full of toys, food stains. I had the kids well warned in advance that the new sitting room would be a food free zone!  There are plenty other places to eat in the house, the sitting room just wont be one of them.  Life in the Mamma Fairy is hectic, from full time work, to school work, to kids sports/ activities and day to day living therefore quality downtime is paramount, that’s time to chat, converse and enjoy each others company. I suppose in reality the sitting room is the heart of our home. If I was on Home of the Year I would be putting the red circle here as my favourite spot.

Here a little pic of the before, there wasn’t anything wrong with it as such but it didn’t invite or encourage that vibe that I wanted to create.  The wallpaper  had got to the stage I pretty much couldn’t look at it any longer, I was so sick on my second wee man that I spent days on end staring at that while on bed rest.  The mere sight of it brings back those emotions.

The Dada Fairy is in the construction business so he is mega fussy and incredible safety conscious about all work that goes on in the house and products we buy. Quality products are of paramount importance and he knows quality when he sees it 🙂

The products

A little drumroll please……………………and here is the finished product. I love love love it, its exactly the vibe I wanted to encapsulate, calming, welcoming, soft natural tones.

Panelling

The panelling was completed by Customised Creations by John O’Shea.  We paid for this ourselves, not sponsored or gifted in anyway, we are just extremely satisfied customers. The carpenters who were on site with us were professional, discrete, and so tidy in terms of cleaning up after their days work. The spent some very long days and nights here to get finished up in time for Christmas and we are very grateful for that.  Honestly, would have no hesitation in recommending them. We have had them back since to do built in wardrobes which I will also be sharing on the blog when completed.

Sofas

I’m not sure many purchases generate as much argument debate than the purchase of the sofas in a house.  I really thought I wanted leather, thinking about the kids and cleaning the inevitable spills etc, however a visit to DFS provide a wealth of valuable information.  You can get the fabric sofas coated with a stain proof prior to delivery to overcome this very obstacle.  We fell head over heals for the Zinc collection, fitted my brief perfectly, natural tones, relaxed yet stylish.

However one of the lesser known facts about DFS sofas are that have been awarded the BSI Kitemark indicating they reach the highest possible standards and are guaranteed for 15 years.  That to me shows a dept of confidence in their brand. 15 years of bottoms on seats, of kids jumping around and they are willing to stand over their product for 15 years?? To my mind that shows trust in the quality of their brand.

DFS has was the first and only UK and Ireland furniture retailer to be certified to the BSI Kitemark™ for upholstered furniture.  The BSI Kitemark is one of the most established and  recognized symbols of quality and safety throughout the world thus giving consumers an independently verified quality seal of approval.  Interestingly as a result DFS factories will now receive annual audits to ensure this consistent high standard is met.

 

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Home & Interiors

Keep your Home Warm with Stylish Heaters

keeping warm

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The last thing we want when we’re lounging around at home is to be cold, and although we can wrap up with a blanket or jumper, it’s just not the same as being wrapped up in the heat of the house.  Although we may have timed the heating to come on when we get in from work, and we’ve even popped the fire on, sometimes getting warm can be hard – especially given the harshness of the UK’s winter weather. But what about heaters?

Although you may have an image of big and bulky electric heaters that just spoil the room, you can get a wide selection of stylish heaters these days from places like Coopers of Stortford. Let us talk you through your modern-day portable heating options.

Style and Substance

Of course, the last thing you want is something hideous in your living, dining or bedroom. But today’s heaters are a long way from the historic ones you can remember. Now you’ll find them in sleek, slimline designs that resemble something of an Apple product, which sit wonderfully in the corner of your rooms just waiting to be switched on to give you that extra blast of heat.

Old School Charm

Of course, maybe your décor theme isn’t modern, which would make an Apple style sleekly designed product a bit of a no go. However, even if you’ve gone for an older style of décor in your home, you can still find a wonderful electric heater that’ll add a little bit of décor magic to your home, while also bringing that extra bit heat. You’ll discover this in stove style designs that look like old fashion fireplaces, but are on hand for that added warmth when needed.

Hidden Away

Perhaps you prefer a more minimalistic style in your home, in which case the sight of a portable heater, regardless of how sleek and slimline, is just going to stick out like a sore thumb. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept that little chill every now and then. Instead, you can opt for mini heaters that can be easily hidden away. But how you may ask, well that’s easy. These mini heaters can be plugged into the wall like an electronic air freshener, meaning it can be hidden away at all times, depending on where you’ve chosen to plug it in.

And there you have it, three quick and easy ways to add extra warmth to your rooms at all times, without affecting the look of your home.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Upgrading sash windows to keep the kids safe

Single glazed sash windows look beautiful, they are extremely elegant, and fit perfectly into a period property but they do come with a few drawbacks. These include being noisy, could, draughty, but most importantly if you have young children, extremely unsafe. In this article we will take a look at why single glazed sash windows are unsafe for children and what can be done to improve them to give you peace of mind.

Single glazed sash windows are unsafe and what to do about it

  • Thin glass is dangerous – One of the main reasons single glazed sash windows are unsafe is because of the slender glazing.
    red sash window

    Old Style Sash windows Pic Credit: Pixabay

    Originally sash windows were made with just 2.5-3mm single one glass. This was partially down to cost but just as much technology. Glass this thin breaks far too easily, if you have an original sash window with this thickness of glass it can literally be broken with a sturdy tap from any heavy object. This doesn’t have to be a hammer, something as soft as a tennis ball would be enough to break the pane easily. This normally occurs on Georgian sash windows more that are broken into several panes. The smaller panes gave rise to thinner glass which was viable. A large sheet of 2.5mm thick glass would break far too easily. For larger panes the thickness normally starts at 3mm which is still very vulnerable because of the surface area in total. If a child leant into a pane of 3mm glass firmly it would be a serious problem. So much so, it’s a legal requirement to have a minimum of 4mm glass installed into your sash.

 

  • What to do about thin glass in your sash windows – Luckily you have glazing have two obvious solutions. The first is safety laminate glass. This breaks in the same way as the windscreen on your car. So if an object strikes with enough force it will not break into many pieces, instead the sticky film in-between both panes of glass will hold everything together. Not only is this much safer because it eliminates the risk of your child cutting and seriously injuring themselves on the glazing, it also means that if they were playing a bit rough they wouldn’t be able to fall through the glass as it’s much safer.The other option is toughened glass. This process is exactly the same as the side and rear windows on your car. If struck hard enough, it will shatter into thousands of small pieces. This is a very good solution for your home, to date I haven’t seen an example of toughened glass break in a home and there are many sash windows companies installing this type of glazing that come with an excellent reputation.  To protect kids and adults alike any glazing below 800mm in height, be it sash windows or door need to be toughened or safety glass. This is a legal requirement.

 

  • Single glazed sash windows can open fullywhen a catch is undone a sash window can open fully. Normally the lower sash in most standard properties is at a height that would allow children or toddlers to climb out. This is a serious risk and it makes most parents screw sash windows shut or lock them and never open them. Since the meeting rail where the sash meet and the catch holds things closed is up high enough, that seems to be the average solution but doesn’t solve being able to safely use your window.

 

  • What you can do to remedy a sash window opening fullyThere are sash windows companies that sell security restrictors that are installed just four inches above the lower sash. This means that you can lift your sash four inches but never need to worry about the gap increasing. This makes security restrictors the ideal solution for sash windows and this upgrade isn’t all that costly either, normally in the range of £12-£18 per set. You’ll need an 8mm drill bit and a hexagonal key to install them.

 

In summary traditional sash windows are dangerous but with modern technology there’s no reason you can’t keep your windows as they do look very lovely in a period property.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

How Safe Is Electric Underfloor Heating?

Heating the floor in a room is not a modern concept as the Romans had this technology two thousand years ago. However, it is a concept which is seeing a resurgence in popularity, especially in small rooms such as bathrooms. With one of the most popular systems to heat the floor being electric, it is a common question as to whether it is safe to have this in a room that gets wet such as a bathroom. The short answer is yes!

large airy sitting room

Pic Credit: Unsplash

How Does An Electric System Work?

An underfloor heating works by placing a series of wires on a mat creating a heating mat. These mats are then installed on the base floor level, and the floor goes on top. The systems vary in wattage between 100W and 200W, and the wattage your room will require will depend on a few different factors. It is essential to consider these factors as ignoring them could leave your room too hot or too cold.

What You Need To Consider

The first factor that you will need to consider is what the floor surface underneath that you will place the heating mats on top of is like? Ideally, the mats will be placed on top of a layer of insulation to help ensure the heat travels upwards. You will also need to consider how much insulation the room already has and if it is well insulated, you will require lower wattage mats. You will also need to look at the shape as well as the size of the room to work out how many mats you will need t heat the room. The last consideration is what the floor surface on top is going to be? If you are using brick, stone, or even a thick tile, you may require a higher wattage heating mat than if you used a wooden floor.

Installing The Heating System

The metal wires are all connected and sensors are also installed. The heating system is then connected to the mains supply and thermostat control unit. The sensors will help to regulate the temperature and stop the room from getting too hot. When you install a new system, it may take a bit of adjusting to get the temperature just how you want it, so do not be afraid to play with the settings.

Connected To Your Homes Circuit Breaker

As you will be using the mains supply to power your underfloor heating, it means that the system is also going to be protected by your circuit breaker. The heating maps will usually be covered in a thin layer of a concrete screed, and then the floor material you are using will be placed on top of this. With the electric cables being enclosed in a thin layer of the concrete screed, it gives them sufficient protection from water to ensure that the wires are kept dry. Electric underfloor heating is more popular than a water-based system, as they are much easier to install. You can get lots of excellent information on various websites on electric underfloor heating that gives you a detailed look at this type of heating system.

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Home & Interiors

A Guide to Antique Bureau Styles

There are many styles of writing desks, or bureaus, as they are also  known, which is hardly surprising when you consider that furniture was designed in all corners of the world. Some of these styles have stood the test of time and if you are thinking to add some character to your study with a period bureau, here’s a brief guide of what is available in the antique market.

  • Mazarin Bureau – An early version of the “knee hole desk” that has two recesses to accommodate the knees.
    antique desk

    Pic Credit: Unsplash

    These first emerged in the mid-17th century and have two or three tiered drawers on either side, with a single drawer above the knee space. Stylish support with either 4 or 8 turned legs that are strengthened by X or H shaped stretchers gives this piece a distinct look and this Louis XIV era item is usually superbly decorated with Boulle Marquetry. A classic writing desk that has no doubt inspired many European writers over the centuries.

  • The Butler’s Desk – A short, compact desk with a drop-down front and a noticeably square look, this piece is ideal for the writer that has many items. Behind the writing surface are many small drawers and slots and there are 3 or 4 drawers underneath the writing surface, this mid-19th century item was extremely popular in England for around a century and there are many variations – a few actually have a sliding door on the lower section that reveals numerous drawers. Of all the antique bureau styles, the Butler’s Desk is quite a common piece and would look great in the right environment.
  • Cheveret – A tiny and delicate looking desk typically used by ladies in the mid-18th century, popular in England and all parts of the British Isles. Who knows how many love letters were answered while sitting at this desk? The ideal item for the career woman with style, this petite desk serves well in a room with limited space.
  • Ship Captain’s Desk – Rugged and sturdy, as one would expect from a vessel-based writing desk, the ship captain’s desk is narrow and has a sloping writing surface, ideal for writing in the captain’s log during those long and stormy voyages around the world.
    writing desk

    Pic Credit: Unsplash

    Many clever little compartments and cubby holes can be found to accommodate the many objects a seafaring captain would use. Ideal for an attic study, this robust item was also used by military commanders in the field of battle. This style was prominent in America and Europe in the late 19th century. Earlier version were quite basic and they became more ornate over the period of 80 years and were to be found in many manor study rooms across England.

  • Front Fall Desk – Very practical, this solid piece of furniture originated in Spain during the 16th century and would usually have 6 deep drawers across the lower section. The drop section was fashioned to look like another layer of drawers when closed, giving it a balanced look. There are many versions and some are exquisitely adorned, making a perfect feature in the aristocratic office. This sturdy desk was the foundation of the emerging European middle class.

There are many other styles on the market, and if you are planning to acquire one for your study, browse a few online antique dealers and you are bound to see all of the above, plus a good few other styles that might just be what you’re looking for.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Home & Interiors

Where to Invest in Your Home This Winter

energy efficient

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The nights are drawing in, and winter is just around the corner. With it comes many pleasures, such as snuggling up by the fire to watch a film with your loved ones, taking brisk winter walks and calling in to the pub for some hot food afterwards, and the joys of the festive season. We’re used to inclement weather in the UK, and for the most part, it doesn’t bother us, we just get on with things as normal. However, if your house is letting in draughts and you can see your breath when you wake in the morning, your home isn’t going to be the cosy haven it needs to be to sustain you through the winter. Now is the time to act and make sure you don’t suffer from a cold home before the worst of the winter weather strikes.

Insulation and drafts

One of the most important aspects of keeping your home warm is making sure it’s well insulated. You could be pumping heat into your rooms all day, but if it’s escaping through your old windows and through cracks in the doors, you’ll still struggle to keep warm. If you don’t already have loft insulation, or what you have is getting on a bit, you should arrange for new insulation to be installed to stop warm air escaping through the roof. Windows and doors are the next most likely culprits when it comes to poor insulation. If your home has old windows or doors that don’t fit properly, and you haven’t got double glazed units, it’s worth looking at getting them replaced. If you have an older home, you needn’t worry about having to put UPVC frames in, because companies like Timber Windows Direct can make bespoke double-glazed wooden windows to fit any age or period home.

Heating and hot water

If you’re using gas or oil, how old is your boiler? Do you have it serviced regularly and have you taken out an insurance policy to cover you for emergency repairs if it goes wrong? Boilers are one of those things that tend to get ignored when they’re working but can cause havoc if they break down. If you don’t have a modern condensing boiler, chances are you’re spending more than you need to on oil or gas, as older boilers aren’t as energy efficient as newer models. Installing a new boiler isn’t cheap, but if you consider the cost savings you’re likely to make, plus the reassurance that you’re less likely to have problems with a new boiler, then installing a new one could be a wise move. Having a service schedule in place will ensure your boiler is professionally maintained, and your engineer will be able to advise you when you should consider replacing it. Insurance against breakdown will give you further peace of mind, and help avoid expensive repair bills.

It’s always worth checking whether you could get a grant or contribution towards your home improvements because there are still incentives in place for some types of work. Most importantly, spending a cold, miserable winter won’t be good for you, your family, or your wallet, so invest in your home and keep yourself warm this winter.

Note: This is a collaborative post