With winter out of the way you might find yourself doing more around the home, but this advice could save you a lot of hassle this spring.
Doing it yourself?
Longer days, lighter evenings and a sudden urge to tend to those things that have been waiting all winter to be fixed often make us get the DIY bug at this time of year. Some of us find DIY relaxing, others find it frustrating, and unfortunately more than a few of us find it painful because DIY is one of the major causes of accidents in the home. These simple tips can make sure you don’t need fixing up after fixing things in the home:
- No matter how well you think you know how to do a job, always read the instructions first and make sure you have everything you need to complete the task properly and safely. That should include protective gloves, glasses, masks and headgear when needed.
- Keep sharp tools safely covered to avoid accidentally stepping on them or injuring any other part of your body with them – it’s easy to do!
- If the job could potentially be dangerous, wait for someone to help or be around in case anything goes wrong.
- If you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s properly secured, solid and stable. Don’t over-reach or stretch too far.
If you’re not sure you can do the job properly yourself, call in a professional but remember to always get at least three quotes. Be wary of any that are much cheaper than the rest – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Discuss the job with the trades-person beforehand to decide exactly what you want done, and make sure you have a detailed quote in writing, signed and dated. Don’t pay cash upfront.
In the garden?
If you’re giving your garden a makeover, or even just a tidy up, remember these all-important safety tips:
- Always use a circuit breaker when using power tools.
- Wear protective gloves and glasses when you use a hedge trimmer.
- Don’t use a chainsaw to cut back trees unless you’re fully competent.
- If you’re laying paving or moving heavy ornaments or large branches, wear strong shoes, preferably with protective toecaps. This is no time for flip-flops!
Avoid the showers
With downpours common in spring, take the time to protect your home from being damaged by water.
Before the April showers arrive, check drains around your property and remove any debris that could cause water to flow away more slowly or block the drain entirely. This can help prevent small-scale surface flooding.
If you live in a flood risk area, check the Environment Agency’s guidance on the subject.
It’s easy to underestimate the value of your home contents, with research consistently showing that millions of homes in the UK are underinsured. You should check your home insurance policy for the level of cover you have, then do an inventory of your belongings and work out a rough cost of replacing them from new.
The easiest way to do this is room by room, making a note of the contents and the cost of replacing them. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts for any valuable items you buy, for reference.
If you do find that your contents come to more than you’re covered for, it’s good to know that increasing the contents cover limit on your home insurance policy shouldn’t make too much difference to your premium. But it will make a huge difference if you ever need to claim, especially in the case of a fire or flood.