“Finding your dream home can be a challenge. You might need a larger property if your family is growing, or if your children have left home, you might be looking to downsize. There are advantages of both upsizing and downsizing in 2018. We asked our Guild agents for their opinions and advice on what is happening in the market that makes it good for either upsizing or downsizing.”
What a dramatic photograph taken by Nick Rogers. It is Kirkgate in Ripon leading down to the majestic Cathedral. Please come into our Ripon office if you would like a copy of our magazine.
If you would like to send in a photo in of Ripon, Thirsk or the surrounding villages/areas that you think would be a great cover image, please email email@example.com. The photo needs to be at least 2mb in size so that it has a good print quality, thank you.
Check the roof. Have any broken or missing tiles or slates replaced and other damage repaired. Keeping the rain out is one of the most important things you can do.
Clear out the gutters. Clear out leaves, moss and debris from rainwater gutters, downpipes and gullies. Reset any displaced joints.
Check the roof insulation. Birds, squirrels, rats and mice can displace the insulation in the roof, and so can we when rummaging about. So, check the insulation and consider increasing it, as this could help keep down your heating bill. It needs to be at least 10-11 inches (270mm) thick of insulation.
Boiler Serviced. Have the boiler and heating serviced and check that all thermostats and programmers are working and set at a sensible temperature. And when the house is unoccupied, turn the temperature down. Again this will save on heating bills.
Don’t get too cold. If you have a large old brick or stone house with thick walls, don’t let the structure get too cold as it will take a lot of energy to rebuild a comfortable temperature. Doing so may cause condensation on the walls, which sometimes results in mould and spores. These can prove a hazard particularly for those with breathing difficulties and should be avoided.
Draught proofing. As to keeping the heat in your home, ensure outside doors and the windows fit well and consider fitting draught proofing strips where there are gaps between the frames. Keep doors inside the house closed to reduce heat loss from unnecessary air circulation.
Don’t forget the curtains. Draw them after dark and use thicker ones if windows are single-glazed.
South facing windows. Keep south-facing curtains open during the day to take advantage of the sunshine, which will help heat the house.
Check the woodwork. Check the woodwork on windows and repair now if necessary. Otherwise, there will be a risk of penetrating damp affecting the interior of the house.
Check the paintwork. Check the paintwork on the window frames and redecorate before the weather deteriorates. Thorough preparation of the surfaces and use of good quality paint is key to providing a durable finish.
Bleed your radiators. A great way to warm up your home is to bleed your radiators. This releases any trapped air, allowing hot water to fill every part of your radiator and warm your home more efficiently.
Find your stopcock. Make sure you know where your water stopcock is located. If you suffer a burst pipe you’ll be happy you found it in advance!
Create a power-cut kit. Be prepared for the possible winter power cuts by putting together a power-cut kit i.e. torches / blankets etc.
Sweep your chimneys. If your chimneys are in use, make sure that they get swept every year. This will remove the build up of dirt and grime from your chimney walls.
Smoke Alarm Check. Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in full working order.
Emergency Numbers. Keep a list of useful numbers handy in case of emergency. Include your plumber, gas installer, electrician and doctor
AND IF YOU ARE AWAY FROM YOUR HOME….
Leave your heating on for at least an hour a day while you are away from home
In severe weather, or if severe weather is forecast, you should leave your heating on day and night at your usual temperature setting
Check that loft insulation is laid over, and under pipes in the loft
Consider asking a friend or relative to visit your home every day while you are away. This will mean that, if you do suffer a burst pipe, it will be detected as soon as possible. Make sure that they know where the stop tap is located.
If high winds are forecast, make sure objects such as garden furniture or ladders are fully secured