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4 Home Improvements For The Holidays

There’s never a better time to enjoy the company of your family and friends than the holidays. With all the dinner arrangements and visits going on during this time, you need to make sure you’ve got the right ambiance and enough space to accommodate your visitors. Here are a few home improvements you can definitely take on before the crowd pours in:

Expand your living area by removing the chimney

If you’re one of the many people who don’t use the chimney anymore at all, you can create more space in your living area by removing it entirely. This renovation, which may affect the stability of your internal walls, should only be carried out by contractors specialising in this. While this home improvement is under permitted development, planning permission might be required if you’re living in a protected area.

Once you’re over the arduous first step, you’ll be surprised about how much space you freed up. And there’s an endless possibility with this space! If the chimney happened to be in the bedroom, you can build a walk-in wardrobe over it or bring in an extra bed for your visitors. If it’s in the living room, you can place a quaint coffee table with matching chairs. The chimney is usually the focal point of any room. Whether you’re going for a decorative or a functional space, your home will surely feel airier than before.

Give your patio a deep clean

Besides the get-togethers, the holidays are also the perfect time to do the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off for the rest of the year. Welcome and entertain your visitors to a pristine patio with the help of some power cleaning. Unlike manual scrubbing, power cleaning gets rid of the deep-seated dirt on your patio – and driveway! – without tiring out your arms or handling tough chemicals. You can leave the dirty work to the nearest contractors.

Install PVC cladding

If you want a fresh look to your home but don’t have the budget to tear down the walls, why not install an aesthetic cladding? With the unpredictable and very wet British weather, your home can definitely use an extra layer of protection from the showers. Durasid cladding waterproofs your home’s exterior without making it look like a flimsy giant doll house. With the natural wood-like finish in classic colours, it will instantly blend with your home’s aesthetics without the high cost.

Convert your garden to a driveway

Here’s a problem you couldn’t ignore when you’re welcoming a lot of guests: parking space. Converting your poorly-tended garden to a very functional driveway not only boosts your home’s kerb appeal; it also saves you from a lot of cleaning time throughout the year. Impress your visitors with a newly installed block paved driveway or even extend the paving to your patio for a unified look.

Since this one is more on the expensive side in home improvements, you can take your time in choosing the kind of driveway and stones you want. For a clean, modern look, you can opt for (paving variant 1) or (paving variant 2). For a more timeless look, go for (paving variant 3) or (paving variant 4). Either way, a new driveway is a great investment to have as in can last you about 15-20 years. Among driveway options, block paving is also the easiest to maintain as you’ll only need to replace the broken block in case it cracks and not dismantle the whole thing.

The holidays need not be a stressful. With the right preparation, you can have the space and the confidence to entertain your guests and keep your home looking great for months or even years after.

8 Tips On How To Waterproof Your Home

As you already know, torrential rains are a year-round worry for us. Unlike in other parts of the UK, we seem to experience scattered rainfall throughout the year. With a climate like this, keeping your home waterproof is a top priority. Here are a few tips on how to prepare your home for heavy rains:

Check if you live in a flood-risk area

Check whether your area is prone to a heavier downpour at the Environment Agency website. If your property is indeed prone to flooding, you should subscribe to flood warnings via email, phone or text. This will help you prepare if your home is affected.

Have your gutters cleaned

If you haven’t had your gutters cleaned in a while, it’s best to have it done by professionals before the rainy days come. Better yet, ask your local contractor to install gutter guards to keep twigs, dead leaves and other debris off your drains.

Assess your windows and doors for gaps or holes

Even if you think your windows and doors are already shut tight, water can still seep through the gaps and holes especially when the wind is strong. Check for tiny entryways and fill them in with a sealant.

Be safe with electricity

Electricity and water is a dangerous combination. If there’s a risk of flooding in your area, make sure that your sockets are all covered, electrical appliances are stored in a dry place, and the kids are away from the fuse box.

Cover air vents

One of the most common ways that the rainwater gets inside the house is through the air vents. When a heavy rain hits, covering your air vents from the outside wouldn’t suffice. Protect your home from water intrusion by covering your air vents with a thick plastic sheet inside and outside.

Clean up your drains from up to down

The clean up shouldn’t stop at your gutters. Make sure that your stairwell drains, window and gutter drains are free from any blockage as well. For drains connected sump pump system, you can test them out by pouring water down the drain line.

Check the driveway

If your driveway is made of a permeable material like resin, water should be able to exit your property without a problem. Otherwise consider having block paving, resin or tarmac driveway installed while there is still time for it to set. Also, make sure that there are no holes or downslope where water could accumulate.

Keep water away from your foundation wall

If you’ve done any landscaping around your home, keep the soil touching your foundation wall just below its top. This will keep any rainwater from pooling next to your home and sneakily causing damage to your foundation.

These tips are only meant to keep the water from getting inside your home. If you’re looking for long-term waterproofing solution, you should enlist the help of a professional. This way, they can do a thorough assessment of your home and you can get detailed recommendations.