A rare warm breeze is a playful reminder that we are now into autumn, the summer months having passed us by.
Blue skies peppered with clouds will seemingly quickly turn to rain. Mornings start with wet ground underfoot, while the nights are already drawing in and the streetlights in and around Torbay will be glowing earlier.
Children are collecting conkers, and while some of us relish the walks through the fallen golden leaves, others might be looking forward to snuggling down at home in the warmth.
It’s the perfect time to get our homes and gardens in order, ready for the rest of autumn, the slow onset of winter and the cold, snowy weather it often brings.
So, we’ve put together six things you should be doing right now to prepare your home and garden for the weeks ahead.
Store your garden furniture - you may already have been prepared and put all your summer items away, but some of us just haven’t got around to it yet, reluctant to say goodbye to the slim chance of just one more warm and sunny day!
It’s a job that must be done though, so make sure that your patio furniture is stored away in a garage or a shed, or at least has a protective sheet over it.
Chances are, you will have spent a few pounds on the furniture so you should look after it.
TOP TIP: Give your garden furniture a good scrub before storing, as not only will it mean things are clean, it means you won’t have to spend time doing it when you bring your furniture out of hibernation in spring next year.
Don’t leaf it too late - many trees and plants have now shed their leaves, and you might love the look and sound of those crunchy piles as they mount up against a wall or fence, but it’s best to sweep all the fallen debris up before it begins to rot and leaves an unsightly mess in your garden.
Similarly, ensure your gutters are free from mud, leaves and twigs.
TOP TIP: Invest in a composter. That way, you have somewhere nearby to put garden clippings and leaves in, and, if managed carefully, you’ll have the beginnings of great compost.
Check your pipes and drains - as the days become colder, it makes perfect sense to make sure that you don’t get any headaches from broken pipes or blocked drains. With drains, ensure that they are not blocked by leaves or soil.
With pipes, it’s best to ensure that they are well insulated. It’s also recommended that you keep your heating at set temperatures, even if you are away from home so that pipes don’t keep contracting and expanding, making them prone to damage.
TOP TIP: Landlords who let out properties have a duty by law to have gas safety checks and boiler checks, but it’s easy for homeowners to skip an annual service. It makes sense to us here at Ridgewater Sales and Lettings for every homeowner to make sure their heating and boilers are in good working condition. It’s safer and more efficient, saving the pennies.
Ensure insurance is in place - no matter what you do, sometimes things go wrong, and it can prove costly.
Through no fault of your own, harsh weather conditions in winter can mean leaks, breaks and cracks can happen. Check that your insurance is in place and that it covers you for everything you need.
TOP TIP: As you’re checking your insurance cover, take the time to do an audit of other bits and bobs of paperwork too. Perhaps your car insurance needs looking at, or you need to renew policies or update your will. Seriously, spending time doing essential paperwork can save you money and heartache.
Sound the alarm - with the coming cold weather, chances are you’ll be spending more time indoors – the kettle is on, the fire is roaring, candles are lit, the heating’s on.
While you’re indoors, you need to know you are safe, and that if anything should happen, you will be quite literally alarmed.
Get a smoke alarm fitted, and a carbon monoxide alarm too. A few pounds spent could save your life.
TOP TIP: If you’ve got your alarms sorted, do you have a plan of what happens if one sounds? Make sure you and your family know what they should do in the event of a fire or other emergency, including escape routes.
Seal up for winter - no matter how new your house may be, a little gap here and there can let in drafts – and allow heat to get out.
Make sure your insulation is good and do any work to make sure doors close properly, or gaps in window frames are sealed. It’ll keep you warm and save you money.
TOP TIP: A nice draft excluder by the front door can actually add to your decor. If you’ve got children, perhaps they would like to make a draught excluder out of old clothes and textiles as a fun project!
These are just a few tips to help you prepare your home and garden for autumn and winter. If you would like any more advice, Ridgewater Sales and Lettings will be more than happy to help. Call 01803 525100 or email email@example.com