New Year’s resolutions – for your home

Taking more exercise, drinking less and quitting smoking are what Mary Poppins would liken to pie-crust promises – easily made, easily broken, and indeed once the initial enthusiasm wears off, how many of us can really claim to having stuck to our resolutions?

New Year’s resolutions don’t just have to be about yourself though, why not include your improving your home?

It doesn’t have to be big expensive projects, although the goal of a new conservatory through moderation in your daily spending is an excellent reward, as many projects will require very little time and expense in comparison to the way they’ll change your lifestyle or save you money.

Here’s our top 5 home improvement resolutions:

Don’t neglect your roof.
Carry out a visual inspection of your roof, taking note of any loose or missing tiles, blocked or leaking guttering etc. Early action and maintenance will save you a huge bill later on, not to mention the potential for damaging the interior of your home if a leak is allowed to develop.

Service your heating system.
Regular maintenance of your heating system will ensure that it’s burning at peak efficiency, plus you’ll cut down on the risk of costly breakdowns or worse, poisonous fume leaks which could threaten you and your families safety.

If you haven’t got them already then think about fitting radiator and emersion tank thermostats to help you save money on your energy bills.

Insulate your loft and your pipework.
Loft insulation is relatively straightforward and cheap, yet the savings can be huge, plus there are many grants available for loft and cavity wall insulation.

Lagging your hot water pipework will ensure you’re not wasting energy.

Donate unwanted belongings.
Clear out the loft, empty the basement or rummage through the garage. Whatever you do, you may find the reclaimed space opens up possibilities of loft or garage conversions, increasing the usable family space of your home without having to go to the expense and hassle of moving.

Stop draughts.
Hang a curtain over the entrance door, use draught excluder around old door frames and don’t forget letterboxes. Old windows also deserve attention. There are a number of draught excluding products available from most DIY stores etc to seal old windows with – from strips that fit around window openers to films that fit over glass panes and surrounding frames.

Re-putty loose or missing putty on the outside and use sealants around frames and non-opening panes.

Long-term, think about replacing your old windows and doors with a-rated double glazed units.

And finally, if eating more healthily is on your resolutions list, then consider updating your kitchen. Fitted kitchens were the big story last year as homeowners improved, rather than moved. A trend that looks set to continue in 2011.

photo credit: sasha wolff

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