With no sign of an Indian Summer this year, it looks as if autumn is well and truly upon us and time to prepare the home against the ravages of winter. Mr Skill has prepared a checklist below of the most common jobs that need to be done around your property at this time of year to ensure that, when the spring arrives, your home is still in good condition and you do not have to make costly repairs.
Dealing with the 4 Seasons
The October Checklist
One of the biggest and most expensive wastes of resources this winter will be the heat that escapes through your un-draught proofed windows and doors. As well as wasting around £25.00 per year in lost heat, once you have properly insulated your doors and windows, you will be able to turn the thermostat down a degree or two and safe another £50.00 over the winter months.
You can get free quotes from handymen in London for draught proofing your doors and windows through our Tradesmen´s Directory, or tackle the job yourself with a little help from the Mr Skill Project Advice section.
Replacement Doors and Windows
If doors and windows themselves are in a poor state of repair, it may be time to consider replacing them. Typical tell-tale signs are when doors and windows stick or squeak when you try to open or close them, and installing new doors and windows can add to the kerb appeal of your property as well as saving you money by being more energy efficient.
We have a number of highly rated local window fitters in London listed in our Tradesmen´s Directory, or you may choose to install a replacement window yourself with assistance from Mr Skill´s Project Advice pages.
Central Heating Systems
An inefficient central heating system will cost you money throughout the next six to none months and potentially have its life span reduced if rust deposits and air-locks hinder the flow of water and induce pump failure. Flushing your central heating system is the best way of improving your central heating system´s performance, but it may only be necessary to bleed your radiators to ensure your house remains warm throughout the coming months.
It is a busy time of year for companies providing gas fitting services in London, so it is recommended that you use the “Post-a-Job” facility at the top of each page to get plumbers quotes from heating engineers in London.
If you have trees in you garden, it is the right time of year to prune them back and remove any weak branches that may fall during high winds and heavy rain. As well as the safety aspect of not having great weights of wood crashing through your car windscreen or damaging you patio furniture, pruning your trees in autumn will allow more light to enter your home, potentially saving you money on lighting. Local gardeners in London would also suggest that the dead and decaying would is not just thrown away, but used to make stumperies for your garden´s wildlife.
You should do a regular inspection of the walls surrounding your home – garden walls and the brickwork of the property itself – to check for cracks and damaged bricks which may suffer from the freeze-thaw effect over the winter. Our “Post-a-Job” facility will enable you to get quotes from bricklayers in London should you need to replace damaged bricks or repoint your brickwork. If the weather is kind in your area over the next couple of weeks, you may also want to consider re-painting the exterior of your property – but only once you have read our blog about “What the Exterior Colour of Your Home Says About You”!
Guttering and Roofs
It is also the time of year to clean and repair guttering on roofs, garages and conservatories. Gutters can easily be blocked at any time of year by leaves, moss, feathers, dirt and other rubbish which has blown into them and the guttering runs can age prematurely when water fails to flow away. Whilst you are up the ladder, it is also a good opportunity to check for damaged or displaced roofing tiles which will allow the rain in and potentially cause a damp problem. A good selection of local roofers in London is available in our Tradesmen´s Directory should you find that you roof could benefit from a professional´s opinion.