With Spring almost here, if you’re a homeowner like myself, you’ve probably already got a whole list of home improvement tasks to undertake during the warmer months. But with so much to do and so little time (especially if you’re a northerner in the UK like me), it often turns into a race against time to get as much done as possible AND be able to enjoy the sun in between! But, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with some essential home improvements you should probably check on in and around your house this year:
Plumbing & Heating
Plumbing is an integral part of any home and involves an intricate system of pipes and their installation. Not only is it essential for efficiently transporting and supplying us with clean water around the house, but it also helps with draining wastewater. Furthermore, without the correct plumbing, pipes could start to leak which leads to rot and mould. Therefore, it’s crucial to undertake an annual review of the plumbing system within your home, because smaller issues can often escalate into bigger emergencies as time goes on, which also means more expensive replacement costs! Alongside this, it’s also important to get your boiler inspected for any drainage issues and repaired when required, because when your boiler goes wrong, it’s an urgent thing to fix. Without it you have no central heating and no hot water, so suddenly boiler installation becomes a top priority. This may also be a consideration to take into account, if your current boiler is an older model, as a newer one could possibly help you save a few pennies on your gas bill by working more efficiently and heating up your home more effectively with improved water flow.
If you live in a hard water area it’s also worth considering a water softener. This will protect your pipes, boilers and appliances from limescale build-up to maintain efficiency and prolong their lifespan. When hard water evaporates or is heated it leaves limescale, the build-up reduces the flow of water in pipes and the efficiency of heating systems by up to 12%. Water softeners will remove the calcium and magnesium from the water that causes limescale, saving you money on costly repairs, replacements and inefficient systems.
The electrical wiring running around your home is just as important when undertaking home improvement as the plumbing discussed in my last point. It’s crucial to hire a qualified electrician to inspect the wiring in your home and help you with finding a solution to any electrical issues you may have. Your electrician will also ensure that there are no safety hazards in and around your home (such as unprotected live wires) and that all the switches and sockets are in good condition. It’s important to have any old or faulty wiring repaired or rewired because it can instantly cause your house to black out leaving you in pitch darkness due to constant tripping or blown fuses, or worse, potentially cause a spark leading to the ignition of a fire. It is recommended that a periodic inspection should be carried out every 10 years for an owner occupied dwelling and 5 years for a rental property or at the time of a change in tenancy.
Wood Rot & Damp
During the process of getting your plumbing and electrical wiring looked at, you should also consider having the internal structures of your home inspected for signs of wood rot or damp. This usually includes the structure of walls and beams as well as gaps in windows or exterior doors alongside your basement and roofing, as these are all common places where water can seep in or humidity levels are high. For small cases of wood root or damp, affordable solutions from your local DIY store can be purchased, such as wood treatment kits and damp proof paint, but if you feel it’s become a large scale problem, be sure to hire an expert!
Insulation & Glass
Your home is always withstanding the effects of the harsh weathers to keep you warm and protected inside. However, from the blistering heat to the icy cold, signs of wear can start to show both internally and externally. This can cause a negative impact on how efficient your house is in keeping the heat in and the cold out! Therefore, when undertaking home improvement, it’s important to ensure your windows are in excellent condition so that they don’t leak and cause further problems such as damp. Furthermore, insulating your home will allow you to keep it at an optimum temperature all year round and enable it to be very energy efficient and save you money on your bills in the long term.
Roofing & Gutters
As mentioned before, inspecting the roof on your home is important in ensuring it does not leak. However, another reason to fix your roof and ensure there are no missing or broken tiles is so that there is no development of mould or mildew. Whilst you’re patching up your roof, it’s also crucial to examine the gutter on the exterior of your house because it’s what helps to transport rainwater from the roof to the downspout, preventing flooding and other water damage. Therefore, clear out any leaves and other debris which may cause a blockage and disrupt the system. Also, consider patching or replacing your gutter if necessary, as heavy storms and high winds can sometimes misalign it whilst a gutter at the end of its lifespan may have rust or corrosion.
When undertaking home improvements, it’s obvious that redecoration will be somewhere on the list so decide on the colour scheme you’d like and get started on it as soon as you’ve got the other tasks out of the way, because there’s no bigger disappointment than ruined paint work! Consider current trends if you want to stay on top of the game, but if you prefer something timeless, stick to a traditional aesthetic. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed neutral tones, because not only do they give the home a cosy ambience, but they look great all year round!
To conclude, many of these home improvement tasks can be simply sorted by yourself, but if the job is on a larger scale, definitely consider hiring an expert to make things easier for yourself.
Until next time.