As the nights draw in and the mercury drops, we’re all more than likely to be spending more time indoors. But it’s a sad truth that getting as cosy and comfortable as possible in the colder months is surprisingly tough. Sometimes it all feels a little desperate; three pairs of socks, a hat indoors, curling up under your cherished childhood blanket, portable indoor heaters at full blast drying out skin and draining our electricity…..it’s a constant battle against the brrr.

It shouldn’t have to be this way. Indeed, with a few simple, proactive steps, you can make sure your house is genuinely warm and that onesie you wear every moment you’re not at work can be returned to the wardrobe. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL ways to get your home ready for the perils of winter weather.

INSULATE, INSULATE, INSULATE

Insulating your house needn’t mean massive investments and months of building work. Nope, you can take matters into your own mitts, DIY style. Proper insulation simply means preventing cold air from getting in through cracks and crevices, in turn preventing cherished warmer air escaping. Buy sealant strips from your local B&Q (other stores are available) and shore up any areas around doors and windows liable to be leaking air. Floor sealant can be applied around skirting boards; a common source of draughts. Pay particular attention to attic space, and see to any prone areas with fiberglass wool. By doing this, you’ll be reducing your energy bills while being good to the environment, too.

DAMP PROOF

Accumulating condensation and damp are common problems in winter months, in some cases leading to unsightly mould patches and worse, surfaces suffering rot and structural damage. Damp proofing is essential during the coldest season, then. This is one for the specialists; companies such as Sovereign Chemicals offer preventative timber treatments as well as damp proofing products. Visit their website for more information.

PROTECT YOUR PIPES

When the temperature drops, it’s easy for your pipes to freeze and break. And the last thing you want to be doing in winter is fiddling around in the cold, trying to fix something you’re not qualified to understand. To get all scientific, pipes burst due to a build-up of pressure within them caused by water molecules expanding. But we’re not worried about the cause here, more how to avoid it.  Prevention is clearly preferable to cure here, and the best way to pre-empt and protect from frozen or burst pipes is to keep your house at a consistent temperature, preferably via your thermostat. Even if you’re away on a winter holiday, it’s a good idea to have your heating on a timer, at least coming on for a couple of hours each day, to keep your pipes in good nick. Insulating your pipes is also a good move.

CLEAR OUT YOUR GUTTER

As winter winds begin to kick up, so does debris. And it seems like more often than not, it lands in our gutters. This presents a problem, as blocked gutters can lead to water build up and structural damage including those aforementioned damp problems. Look for sagging gutters as evidence of an underlying issue. The best way to tackle this before it gets serious is simple; get the latter out regularly and get your hands dirty.

MAKE IT COMFY FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Now we’ve covered some of the practical things you can do to prepare your home for the perils of winter, let’s talk about making things comfy and cosy for the whole family.

This winter, due to the current travel restrictions and social distancing measures, things are going to be a little different, and we’re all going to be spending a lot more time than usual at home. As such, creating dedicated spaces for the family to enjoy together and areas where members can enjoy some much needed me time are equally important.

Start by transforming your space, so every member of the family has a little corner of the home for themselves. Consider creating a cosy nook under the stairs for reading or studying. Breaking up a room by zoning your living space can help you create practical areas for all the family to enjoy. Consider an entertainment space for watching movies and playing games, an office space with a computer and desk, a mini library with a comfy chair for reading or a craft/play area for the kids. The possibilities are endless!

Speaking of kids, this year has been tough on them. Their school life, extra curricular activities and playtimes have all been disrupted. And with a long winter ahead of us, it’s important to create a space where they can do the things kids are meant to do. This is especially crucial if your kids are growing up and transitioning to their “big kid” room – they are bound to want their own space soon! If you are looking for inspiration to transform your kid’s current room into their next one, check out the tips at https://www.sparklesandstretchmarks.com, which we found really useful.

And let’s not forget about our gardens. Here’s 5 IDEAL ways to make the most out of your garden when the weather this cold season.