This is the first winter that we will have spent in this house. Our first winter in our family home. This time last year we were battling a lack of central heating in a rented flat and were limited somewhat on what we could do to make a cosy home. This time around we can do what we want, and need, to ensure that our baby will be coming home to a warm family home next month.
Some jobs are bigger than others, but they all contribute towards making sure our house is winter ready and with a new family member on the way it’s exactly what we need to crack on and do.
We moved in here at the end of what had been a long, hard winter. The house had been empty for a while first, but luckily the previous owners had kept curtains drawn and the heating on. Even still though the house felt cold and it took a while to warm up once we moved in.
This time around it has the benefit of five of us living here and that generates plenty of heat. It doesn’t stop draughts though and we’ve been working our way around to try to stop them where we can. As well as making sure we have good thick curtains at all the windows I’ve also been looking carefully at what we can do with various doors to stop the cold air coming under them, or even through the keyhole. I can certainly see some of my maternity leave being spent making draught excluders.
We’ve also spent some time making sure that the loft area is properly insulated and placing reflective material behind radiators to reflect heat back into the rooms.
In my mind, nothing makes a room feel warmer than the soft furnishings you have in it. I’ve already mentioned the benefit of having thick, well-fitting curtains at the windows, but I find that a nice selection of cushions, a rug on the floor and maybe a blanket or throw on the sofa can also make a huge difference. The latter is also perfect to snuggle up under with a loved one if the evenings do get a bit chilly.
Checking the heating
The last thing you want when the weather is freezing is to have to call out an emergency plumber. It’ll cost you a fortune, and I can guarantee that they’ll be in credibly busy. Try to prevent this by making sure your heating is working before the cold weather really takes hold.
Get your boiler serviced in the autumn, and it will hopefully throw up any problems that you may have so they can be resolved now. It’s also worth bleeding radiators and if you have them checking any fires. It may be that a gas fire also needs servicing, or maybe your chimney needs sweeping if you have an open fire or wood burner.
Tidying up the garden
Remember that your home also includes outside. It’s worth taking the time and effort to tidy up your garden before winter sets in. After all, you don’t really want to be out there when it’s freezing cold. Clear leaves from paths so they don’t become slippy. Clear your gutters too so they don’t become blocked. Coopers of Stortford sell a gutter protector so that you can prevent leaves or other rubbish from getting in there and clogging them up.
Chop back anything that needs pruning and whilst you’re outside set up somewhere to feed the birds. They need your help during the winter and there’s no harm in starting straight away. It’s also a great activity to get the kids involved in.
Make sure you’re covered
Even following all these tips, you can’t guarantee that things won’t go wrong. It’s therefore worth making sure that you have cover in place for winter emergencies. This may be a frozen burst pipe, a broken boiler or even storm damage to your roof or chimney stack. Make sure you have adequate general home insurance, but also look at cover for other things like your boiler. Keep all your paperwork in one place and make sure you know where it is and what your renewal dates are. In the event of needing it you want everything to hand rather than struggling to know what is covered and what isn’t.