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Essential diy jobs for the winter

hands clearing gutter 27 2 12Don’t let Jack Frost catch you out. Combat the chilly season with these five savvy jobs.

1. Sort out your insulation
If you only do one job this winter, make sure it’s this. Foam should be pumped into wall cavities to keep you snug, and consider mineral wool or foam insulation in your loft to lock in heat. It may cut into the Christmas budget, but it will pay for itself in no time, saving you money in the long run, as well as the planet.

2.  Don’t let heat escape from your doors and windows
It’s pointless forking out for insulation if this isn’t carried out. Draught excluders applied under doors will keep rooms toasty and inserting a rubber seal around loose windows will prevent cold air getting in.
3. Clear your guttering
Haul out that ladder and get rid  of any autumn leaves clogging them up before the rainy season hits. Excess water may freeze and the weight could pull your gutters away from the house. While up the ladder, place some plastic or wire mesh in the gutter to prevent future blockages.

4. Install outside lighting
Get added visibility near your porch or front door, as winter can be treacherous underfoot (as last year testified), so this measure will make access to and from your house safer during the dark and icy nights.

5. Patch up cracked roof tiles
Even small holes will allow precious heat to escape, wasting your efforts on insulation (as well as lots of money heating your place), and rainwater can also seep in, causing damp, which will be a potential nightmare in the future.

This article was first published in at home with Sarah Beeny in December 2011. [Read the digital edition here]

Photograph: Shutterstock

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