With winter drawing in there are lots of jobs that will need to be done around the home to make sure it is winter-proof. This year the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is warning people to be careful if they are thinking of doing any winter preparations themselves as each year more than 200,000 people are injured whilst carrying out DIY activities to upgrade or maintain their property.
Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
"There are many seasonal jobs that may need to be done to get your property ready for winter, such as checking the roof for missing or broken tiles before any wet weather sets in and clearing leaves and debris from pathways and gutters. But doing it your self could be a false economy; not only may you end up seriously injured, you may not do anything for the value of your property if the work is unprofessional."
"As well as the seasonal tasks, it is also worth considering having insulation added as this will provide you with some protection from the rising cost of heating your home. The current Building Regulations state that the minimum recommended level of loft insulation should be 200mm (8"). If your current insulation is 100mm (4"), or less, you should invest in having it topped up to the 200mm level. As 25 per cent of the heat, you have already paid for, is going through the roof it makes good sense to prevent the loss, save money on the heating bills and enjoy a much warmer home environment. You could also be losing a further 35 per cent of your heat through the walls of your home. What can be done to prevent heat loss through the walls, thereby saving your money on heating bills, depends on the type of walls you have. Most houses are timber-frame construction, solid walls, or cavity walls. A good builder should be able to advise you on the best course of action."
"A further 25 per cent of heat in many homes is also lost through inadequate draft proofing. To ensure that you do not lose a quarter of the heat you are paying for through windows and doors, check that they close properly. If there are gaps either use a draught excluder or fit draughtproofing strips around the sides of the doors and windows. Alternatively heavy, properly fitting curtains around windows and doors will reduce draughts. But make sure you do not drape your curtains over radiators as this will stop the heat circulating round the room and will instead send heat straight out of your windows."
"If you have any seasonal jobs that need to be completed but you don't want to run the risk of messing up or even worse hurting yourself, we would recommend visiting the FMB's Find A Builder service for an FMB member in your area or asking friends and family. We also always recommend that you get at least three quotes, use a contract and agree a payment plan with your builder before work begins."