If you are sat here reading this article now, you are probably wondering what on earth NPA are going on about, telling you that it’s a good idea to have your DIY and home improvements done in the Autumn and winter months, but wait, we haven’t gone mad!
Here’s a few easy ideas and basic tips to get you and your home sorted for the winter time and a few handy ways to save a bit of money, so read on!.
In the nice warm summer months, drive around any housing estate in England and you’ll see vans and trucks (and sometimes battered up estate cars but we will come back to that later), with Tradesmen and tradespeople of all shapes and sizes, doing all sorts of work to peoples homes.
This sort of activity is often solely attributed to the summer months between May and September in the UK as other times the weather is so awful, most people have the perception that it’s a waste of time calling a builder to quote you for work, as they will simply tell you to wait until after Christmas!!
The thing is, if you need work doing on your house, should you wait until after the festive season, like everyone else?
What if all of a sudden you cant get the builder in to do the work as he (or she) is now fully booked!
There is a smarter way of getting home improvements done to your house and we’re going to tell you how!
Or if you are simply looking for a FREE price quote for either;
- Exterior spray applied wall coatings
- External wall insulation
- Waterproof brick and stone sealers……
Then call us now on 0800 970 4928
………….The exception to the above of course would be emergency repairs and urgent work to your home, for example if the roof leaks, and that is fair enough, it can happen at any time and something like that has to be done NOW rather than later, however often emergency repairs can appear through poor maintenance in the first place, the occurrence of damp in the wetter months being a good example.
So why place an order for a home improvement service after the summer has gone?…….
Preparing your home for winter
1) Make sure your gutters and downpipes are clean and not blocked with fallen leaves etc.
2) If you live in the United Kingdom and cold weather is expected, (And you don’t need to be Colin fry to predict that one!) make sure pipes are lagged and insulated, and any water butts are either well insulated or drained as if your garden water butt is full, and it freezes, that water expands, and the 40 quid you spend on it will go down the drain, as the thing cracks with the pressure of the ice inside!
3) Make sure your paths are clean of mould and moss and washed down as these can be treacherous during winter time.
4) Make sure all outside lights work properly and replace any bulbs if necessary.
5) If you have an open fire, it is best to get the chimney swept and ensure it is free for any smoke or fumes to escape from any heating during the winter.
6) Make sue any garden equipment such as strimmers, mowers etc are cleaned and stored in a dry area.
7) If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool but you dont have a pool cover, be careful in draining it for the winter. If you live in a cold area, this may be a good idea but for hotter climates, it is often best to leave the water in there and add some special chemical, available from swimming pool stores. If you leave the pool empty all winter, it may dry out any grouting or seals within the pool and will then cause you a leak when you recommission the pool at a later stage.
8) Have a last minute tidy up and clean, and if you have clothes or curtains that could do with washing, do it NOW before the winter, or you will have a huge washing pile when spring time comes and you can actually get the stuff dry!
9) Lastly, make a list of the things that you think need doing around the house, and call a reputable, local tradesman to take a look and give advice, and of course to quote you on how much any home improvement work would cost. It is surprising how many builders, double glazers, gardeners, wall coatings companies, driveway firms etc are suddenly very keen for your business during the quiet winter months (and yes that does include us too!!!!) (LOL.)
Who will work on my house during the winter?
There are many so called builders who only work during the summer months, and then go on the dole during the winter.
A good indicator is if they don’t have a signwritten van, or don’t have a van at all for that matter, and turn up at your house in an old dirty knackered estate car, (often a Volvo from around 1989!!!!!! For some bizarre reason) and don’t seem to have a lot in the way of tools or equipment.
A professional always arrives in a van or truck, and has the correct tools and equipment to do the job. Another indicator would be the phrase I’ll do it for 500 cash love!. If you don’t get a receipt, or invoice, or anything in writing, they are probably dodgy and best left alone and you wont get any form of guarantee either.
Some people lately are also wary of employing some of the people who have recently arrived from Eastern Europe, often unfamiliar with uk building laws and regulations, often unable to speak good English (and therefore get the work wrong in some way, possibly) and research has shown that frequently they work on the black market for cash, or simply vanish again before their tax is due to be paid, so choose someone established to work on your home, it could be suggested.
(By no means all builders from the communist bloc are bad, some are in fact very good and highly professional, but its best no matter what, to check them out beforehand to make sure they are legally allowed to work in the UK as the blame and the law could come back on YOU, whilst they would have scarpered long ago)
Call the NPA team now on (0800) 970 4928
What sort of home improvement jobs can be done during winter?
Well, the most obvious one would be interior painting and decorating which can be done at any time, although be warned that if you are painting in a room, perhaps with gloss paint, the windows must be left wide open to ventilate the room, despite the fact that it might be minus 5 outside!
This is basically the same for most INTERIOR home improvement jobs, they can be done all year round. They would include stuff like: Painting and decorating, fitting new carpet, artexing or plastering ceilings, rendering or plastering walls, doing alterations such as building a partition wall, or fitting a new door and so on, all these can be done more or less 365 days a year, but what about home improvements and works needed to the outside?
Doing them in winter is another matter entirely, why shouldn’t I wait until summer?
Well, doing home improvements and home repairs externally, during the winter can be tricky, although Autumn often still has quite nice weather, during the day anyway, but it depends on may factors; maybe you simply could not find anyone in your area to do the work at that time?
Maybe your budget did not allow it at the time? Maybe you have just moved into a new house and realise that it needs work doing on it now rather than later?
Are there any exterior home improvements that should not be done during the winter?
There are some home improvements that can be tricky but not impossible to do in the winter, for example, rendering an exterior wall. As water is used when mixing the cement render, during the winter it has to have a febmix or additive to stop the water freezing, and also to encourage the render to cure and dry.
In some cases, and especially for urgent jobs, the rendering operative will screen off the area to be rendered and use an outside heater to raise the temperature so he can apply the render. Rendering exterior walls during cold weather should only ever be done by professionals who know what they are doing, otherwise the render will crack.
Also any exterior home improvements that require the use of lots of water, powerwashing being a prime example, should not be done when frost or ice is expected as this can not only saturate a wall, which would then crack when the water freezes, but also can make the ground area around the house icy and dangerous.
So should I make enquiries about getting some exterior home improvements done during the winter then?
For whatever reason, choosing a home improvement specialist to do the work during autumn and winter can bring some real benefits and you could save a lot of money too, plus it is more likely that you will be able to get the work done when it suits you, not when it suits the home improvement company. Many of these companies are quiet at that time of year and often will give you a keen and competitive price to get the work.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, as the saying goes!
So with a little bit of effort from yourself, and a lot of effort from a tradesman, you cold get your whole house sorted out, much cheaper than you think, and then you can rest easy in the knowledge that your home will stay warm and dry during the winter, meaning less heating bills, and also next year you don’t have to worry about getting anyone in to do the work because you were smart and you sorted it all out it in the winter and saved yourself loadsamoney!
If you have flaky paint, damp patches, wet walls, cracked tyrolean exterior wall coverings, exterior cracking in your walls, penetrating or rising damp in your house, or if the outside of your home needs work or repainting then call us FREE today on 0800 970 4928 or click here, as we can help you even during the winter! We only close for a few days either side of Christmas day also so what are you waiting for?