By Martin Hart on Sun 18 October 2020
When we think of the ultimate DIY dream, we imagine a hot day in summer with a cool breeze and cooler drinks. We imagine a great time that ends with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
DIY in the winter, however, is a different ballgame. Returning home from work in the dark to a job half-done is not what anyone wants to see. Therefore, we recommend taking the bull by the horns while it is still bright outside.
In this article, we are recommending some of the most important DIY jobs for you to check up on so that you can settle in for a cosy, care-free winter this year.
Undoubtedly, the most important item on your agenda for winter preparation should be your boiler and heating. In truth, a boiler should receive yearly maintenance – if you haven’t been keeping up with this, then generally you should assume that once a boiler reaches ten years of age problems are going to start appearing sooner rather than later.
If you haven’t had any boiler maintenance for over a year, you should try to schedule some in before winter. No-one wants to be stuck in the cold without hot water or heating, and you reduce your risk of this happening to you by forward planning.
Don’t forget – your boiler and heating are important for more than just keeping you warm! If you think that you can risk a broken boiler this winter and are happy to put up with wearing extra thick jumpers during the worst of the weather, think again. Without adequate heating in your home, water freezing in pipes and crevices around your house can cause a whole host of unwanted issues.
Other Heating Checks
After you have confirmed that your boiler is good to go, it is time to consider your other heating options and prepare for the cold. To begin with, you should check that all your radiators are still working adequately, and that none need bleeding or other fixes.
If you have been having issues with the temperature in your shower or bath recently, you may also want to make sure that these are repaired before the winter sets in. Don’t leave the problem to worsen during the winter – we all know how refreshing a hot bath or shower can be after a wet, cold day.
Lastly, if you are lucky enough to have a real fireplace and chimney, you will want to be sure that these are in good working order before the cold comes in. Remember, a power cut during the summer means getting out a book or a boardgame, but a power cut in the winter often means dark, miserable evenings. Ensuring that your fireplace and chimney are ready to go can add some cheer to those darker days.
One of our radiator grilles
If you don’t have a fireplace but live in an area that is hit by power cuts fairly often, then you might want to think about buying in some candles and matches, instead.
Since you have checked all of your heating supplies, you will want to be sure that none of your precious and paid-for energy is going to waste! Get out your magnifying glass and thoroughly inspect your home; poorly sealed cracks may not only serve as a tunnel for insects to enter your home, but as an escape for your heating bills to run amok.
Inspect your skirting boards, pipe fittings, and buy or make some draught excluders for your doors to make the most of your heating. If you are considering buying some new curtains anyway, you may also want to go for a thicker set that will be more likely to keep the heat in.
The last thing you need in the winter is a leak. We have already offered some advice towards preventing – ensuring your heating will be running smoothly – but there are a couple of other steps you can take to ensure a leak-free winter.
The first thing you should do is insulate any pipes or taps that are exposed to the outdoors. Assuming your heating is running fine inside, you won’t have to worry about anything inside your home. Tie some foam or rags around your outdoor taps to prevent water from freezing in there and creating a burst.
Similarly, you may also want to check your roofing next time it rains and ensure that new problems haven’t opened up during the summer. Alternatively, checking that there are no gaps in your roofing insulation will also help you to live without fear of leaks. We have plenty of materials available to help you cope with loft issues on our loft fittings page.
The warmth of summer can help you to forget the damp that winter will inevitably bring, but whether you are checking home or the office, you should be considering how the cold is going to affect your ducting and ventilation, and how you can prepare for that.
Ensuring that your kitchen and bathroom extractor fans are still up to the task will help you to reduce the amount of humidity present in your home during the winter, and you can also purchase humidity readings to help you understand when you need to open a window to keep your home smelling fresh.
One of our kitchen cooker hoods
Finishing What You Started
The most important thing to do if you want a relaxed winter this year is, of course, to finish the jobs that you start this autumn. Whether you are deep into re-flooring your house or renovating a bedroom, these aren’t tasks that you want to be doing around Christmas.
Our store has plenty of unique fittings, fixtures and tools to help you achieve your DIY projects before winter this year. Contact us for more information regarding your projects.