With the winter months now in full swing, estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk has produced a guide to winter-proofing the home to ensure everyone stays warm while maximising energy efficiency.
The first thing homeowners should do is ensure their boiler is working correctly. This should be done on an annual basis and, if a replacement is not required, can cost as little as £50. If, however, a replacement boiler is required, the expected cost rises to between £1,750-£3,000.
Another vital thing to check is the roof. Cracked or missing tiles, along with damaged or misaligned facias or soffits, can let rainwater into the home causing damp and even rot. Any checkups must be carried out by a trained professional. An inspection should cost around £250 while a minor fix to a tile, for example, will add another £70-£100. If, however, damage to the roof is severe and all of the tiles need replacing, it could cost more than £7,000, so regular checks are vital.
Water damage can also come as a result of blocked guttering and damaged water pipes. If gutter repairs are required, it usually costs £30/metre, while properly insulating pipes costs around £50 and replacing them if they’re damaged can cost £500+. Water damage can also be caused by inadequate brickwork pointing. A simple pointing repair costs £35-55 per metre but can rise to more than £300 if left unchecked.
Insulation is another vital consideration. It starts with the windows and doors: are they properly sealed? To find out, an inspection will cost around £150, and if double glazing needs replacing or installing it costs an average of £300 per window. Meanwhile, roof insulation, vital to reducing heat loss, can cost £50-£80 to partially replace or repair, while a full replacement brings the cost up to as much as £500. Further insulation issues can arise from poorly installed window trickle vents, repairs for which can cost £60 per window.
If radiators are leaking or aren’t properly and regularly bled, they don’t heat the home efficiently. A simple checkup and bleeding cost about £80, but if any radiators need replacing, they can cost £250 each.
Finally, if the home has a chimney, it must be regularly inspected before winter use to ensure it isn’t blocked. If homeowners fail to do this, the risk of a house fire is all too great, the resulting damage of which can be incalculable. A checkup and clean cost as little as £50.
Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, commented: “In the winter, the efficiency and integrity of the home are often taken for granted. But as the weather turns cold, it can highlight some serious flaws in construction and insulation, flaws that can be very pricey to fix. Addressing such issues at the earliest possible opportunity is the best way of minimising expenses and ensuring a warm and safe winter for everyone in the home.
“But if major repairs are required, it’s essential that qualified professionals are hired for the job. Not only is it unsafe to try and handle repairs yourself, but the quality of the repair will also be inferior and therefore need repeating again much sooner than should be required.”