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5 New Year’s resolutions for homeowners

Created: 19/12/2016

Most of us are now winding down for the holidays, with the Christmas and New Year festivities allowing us all to enjoy a well-earned rest from the stresses of daily life and the chance to relax with friends and family at home.


However, looking ahead to January and the year to come, ‘home’ is one of the things that should be upmost in your mind. All too often, we are so wrapped up in the daily routine of working life that we can neglect issues that really need attention in our houses. And, of course, by the time the weekend comes around, the last thing that most of us have on our minds is springing into doing all those outstanding little jobs!

Nevertheless, bitter experience will have taught anyone who has owned anything other than a new-build property that the maintenance does stack up if you don’t put aside the time to take care of things. So, if you are one of the millions who find it all too easy to put off until tomorrow what you should really do today, have a read of the below list. Here, we name the five household duties that can’t be delayed if you want to make sure your home continues to be a safe and affordable place to live.

1) Get your electrics checked


We’ve put this first because it’s simply the most important thing you can do. Whilst you should ideally do this before exchanging on your home, a recent This is Money article indicates that two-thirds of buyers currently fail to do this.

Getting an Electrical Installation Condition Report carried out by a qualified electrician can cost up to £200, but it is well worth the price when avoiding a devastating fire can be the reward.

You should also check that you have a modern consumer unit that includes Residual Current Devices (RCD) switches. These are of huge importance and no house should now be without them – the switches automatically disconnect electricity when dangerous conditions are detected, making them potential lifesavers.

2) Get your boiler serviced


This is another of those little tasks which (like getting extra keys cut and shopping around to switch your insurance) tends to be filed in the ‘I can look at that later’ category and shoved to the back of our minds!

You should really remember to get your boiler serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer annually. Like getting the state of your electrics checked, this is a relatively inexpensive service (you should expect to pay around £70), when you consider that it will probably save you a great deal of money – and keep you safe – in the long run. For more information on the benefits of making sure your central heating is in full working order, and how doing this can add up to £5,000 to the value of your property, read our previous blog post here.

Whilst it’s unlikely, there is a possibility that a faulty boiler can start to leak deadly carbon monoxide. Just because this doesn’t happen often, that’s no reason for you to be complacent. When arranging a call-out can be the difference between life and death, getting things like this sorted is really a no-brainer!

What is more common is for boilers which aren’t functioning 100% properly to start costing you money through the inefficient use of energy. To this end, you might also consider having a room thermostat installed if you don’t already own one. This simple measure could allow you to save hundreds of pounds a year compared to using a traditional heating system.

3) Get a chimney liner installed


If you’re lucky enough to own a wood burning stove, the chances are you’ll already know that having a chimney liner installed is a recommended course of action. However, for whatever reason, many chimneys still do not have them fitted; as with the electric checking and boiler servicing examples above, people who do not arrange for this to be done are putting their lives at risk unnecessarily.

The costs of having a liner installed can vary massively, but it is not unusual to spend upwards of £1,000 if you want the job done by a fully qualified HETAS engineer. Again, you will have to weigh up your options; if you have your chimney swept once a year and only use your fire sparingly, then you may not need a liner immediately. Bear in mind, however, the potential consequences of this decision – the chance of having a chimney fire or carbon monoxide leak will increase significantly if you do not have a liner installed.

4) Get a roof survey done


This most likely takes up even less space in our minds than any of the aforementioned tasks, but is of comparable importance. When you think about it, the roof is probably the most important part of our property, but it also one of the most commonly neglected.

A thorough roof survey will give you a whole load of information about the state of various aspects of your roof, including its coverings, guttering, chimney stacks and more. Blocked gutters and leaks are the kind of things which can develop into major problems if they are not dealt with quickly, and an annual check will probably save you lots of worry – and, of course, money – in future.

The good news is that a roof survey may not cost you anything; inspectors only need to charge if work has to be done. The truth is that most roofs do need some maintenance and repairs carried out at regular intervals, but – unless something is seriously wrong – this should only cost you a couple of hundred pounds at most.

5) Get the painters in 


And finally – just to finish on a slightly lighter note - is something that isn’t safety critical, but is still important if you want your home to be the envy of all who enter (and who doesn’t want that?).

Most of us have at least one room in the house which we would like to redecorate but never seem to get around to. What’s more, when you do finally set aside some time to get the paintbrush out, you’ll usually find that there’s more to painting a room than first meets the eye. Skirting boards, ceilings, and all those little nooks and corners you never usually think about it will probably take a lot more time than you had expected and, unless you’re an expert, you’ll also have to learn to put up with occasionally leaving some paint where it’s not wanted!

Perhaps just as much as with the aforementioned jobs, repainting is something where it is always wisest to ‘get someone in’. There is little more frustrating activities than spending hours of your precious free time on decorating, only to find that the work you’ve done doesn’t come up to the standard or has left a mess. Err on the safe side – contact professionals like Handywork Solutions to do all the work for you at an affordable price.

As you can see, there may be more to get done at home next year than you’d thought. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with your nearest local handyman today and get some of those pesky jobs booked in!

Image Credits: nick@ PhotoAteller Adrian Scottow Zabdiel Alan Cleaver

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