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Get your home ready for the cold season

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Autumn is here and now is the time to be thinking about making your home ready for winter.

Stroll through your property and around your gardens, making note of everything that needs to be done – especially those jobs that cannot wait until the spring….

Outside:

*Check your roof, make sure there are no missing or damaged tiles and make sure your chimney stack looks safe enough to endure windy weather

*While you are up there, inspect and clear your gutters; check all your downpipes

*Check all your trees and shrubs to see if they need cutting back; rake and remove dead leaves and other garden debris, and consider giving your lawn one last trim

*Clear, sweep and clean paths, patios, terraces and areas of decking

*Clean and put away all garden furniture and play equipment; pack up your barbecue and cover everything that cannot be stored away in the dry

*Check your exterior lighting is working properly

*If you have a garden pond, clear it and cover it with netting

*Make sure your fencing is stable and ready to withstand high winds

*Complete any exterior decorating before the temperature drops and the frost arrives

*Ensure any outside pipes and taps are insulated well enough to prevent freezing

Inside:

*Ensure all your windows and doors are leak and draught-proof; make sure windows locks are working and that you have the keys

*Check your central heating system and that all your radiators are functioning properly

*Ensure pipes in the loft are adequately lagged and that you know how to turn your water off in the event of a leak or flood

*If you do not already have one, buy a programmable thermostat – if you do have one, check the settings are right

*If you have an open fire or a wood-burner, get it swept and checked for blockages by a professional – then stock up on firewood

*Replace the batteries in all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices – and test them to make sure they are functioning properly

*Consider redecorating or touching up your paintwork: you will be spending more time inside so make it as inviting as possible

*Replacing curtains and blinds can make rooms inviting through the autumn and winter – also think about getting out some cosy throws and blinds….