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How to winter-proof your home and avoid a huge bill!

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As the nights start getting colder, having a warm and functioning home becomes even more important.

The tradespeople comparison website for finding affordable tradespeople, HaMuch.com, has put together some advice on some of the key steps you can take to winter-proof your property, and save money in the process.

Servicing your boiler

Your boiler is your friend during winter, so top on your list should be giving it a service, which costs between £50-£100. If you need to carry out maintenance or repairs you’re looking at £80-£200.  

Meanwhile a power flush, where you remove rust and debris to clean your boiler, costs between £200-£400.

These measures are cheap as chips compared to replacing a boiler or a major part of it. In such a circumstance you could be looking at a bill of £1750-£3000.

That would put you off your Christmas pudding.

Check the roof

It’s also important to ensure your roof is in good shape before the cold comes in. You want to check for cracked or missing tiles, as well as other parts of the roof like the facia or soffit for damage.

Paying a professional to inspect the roof for you would cost £100-£200, while a minor roof tile replacement would only cost £50-£100. 

The worst-case scenario is cracked or missing tiles letting rain into the roof, causing damp and rot.

If that happened, you could be looking at anything from £50-£100 for a minor roof repair to £4,000 to replace the whole roof.

Clear gutters and drains 

Things like leaves and plants can clog gutters and drains and then lead to water damage, so a clear out before winter can be vital. Clearing debris costs an estimated £5 per metre. 

If you let it build up the blockage could lead to water damage and damp. 

In terms of replacements, in that situation, you’d be looking at £30 per metre for gutters or £25 per metre for downpipes.

The combination of repairs could amount to £200 upwards. 

Inspect and insulate water pipes

It’s worth ensuring downpipes are not cracked or split, while you could insulate pipes to stop them from freezing, getting blocked, or busting. Adding insulation by fitting pipe jackets would cost you £50 and up.

If they ended up freezing or cracking you’d suffer leakage and water damage.

To install new pipes you’d be looking at least £200 while redecorating due to the water damage could cost you between £375-£500.

Check windows and doors

It costs around £150 for a general inspection of your windows and doors. You’re checking whether they are in disrepair, while woodwork outside should also be checked to ensure there’s no rot or damage.

If you run into a problem over winter you’d need to replace damaged or unsealed windows.

Paying for a double-glazing replacement would amount to £300 (for a 1xm1m window).

Review insulation

It’s worth checking your insulation, as the loft can lose a quarter of the property’s heat if the roof is not properly insulated.

Other forms of insulation to look at include cavity wall insulation, as well as the insulation of water tanks and pipes.

For a blanket insulation replacement, you’d be looking at just £80, which could save you money in the long run. Indeed, it could save you £250 a year if you improve the energy efficiency of your home.


Installing a full loft insulation costs between £275-£500.

Radiator checks

It’s worth checking your radiators are working, while it costs just £80 to have a plumber bleed (remove excess air from the pipes) 5-10 radiators. 

This could increase the efficiency of the radiator and remove the need for a replacement. Buying a new radiator costs around £180-£200.

The chimney

It’s worth cleaning out any obstructions or blockages with your chimney if you have a fireplace, which costs £50-£90.

Leaving it alone risks chimney fires, which can be costly and dangerous.

Owing to the varying severity of a fire it’s hard to put a figure on how much it would cost you – though it’s clearly an issue you’d want to avoid.

“Prevention is so much better than a cure,” says Tarquin Purdie, Founder of HaMuch.com.

“At this time of year it’s wise to think about mitigating the things that so often go wrong as boilers are cranked up again, fireplaces stoked, and bare pipes exposed to the rigours of winter’s elements. Our suggested measures are sensible precautions that householders can carry out for themselves in most instances, although you may be surprised how little a professional might charge you to carry out the checks quickly and properly. Either way, it will certainly be at a lower cost than waiting for a leaking tile or burst pipe to ruin your week and your bank balance”. 

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Property

Homes with the best broadband speed are the cheapest!

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With Labour’s plans to give away free broadband if they get elected, national fast sale estate agent, Springbok Properties, has looked at the current house price cost in areas with the best broadband speed and how it varies across the board. 

Springbok Properties looked at each category of broadband speed across every constituency in the nation and how house prices in these areas corresponded, as well as looking at the best and worst areas when it comes to house price cost for every megabyte per second of broadband speed.

The data shows that on average, homebuyers are paying £5,324 in house price costs for every one of the 48.79 megabytes per second of broadband speed.

Perhaps surprisingly though, the lowest average house price is found in areas with the highest broadband speed, an average of £189,077 for homes with 70+mbps.

The sweetest spot for property values? Between 50Mpbs to 60Mbps with the average house price in areas with this broadband speed hitting £283,959.

But where is home to the best value?

When looking at the best value based on the cost of property paid for every Mbps of broadband speed, Liverpool Walton comes out on top with an average broadband speed of 61.3 and an average house price of just £75,000 meaning homeowners pay just £1,223 in property prices for every Mbps.

Kingston upon Hull East was the next best value (£1,253), with Burnley (£1,585), Great Grimsby (£1,605) and Aberavon (£1,624) also amongst some of the best value spots in the UK for a mix of house price value and good broadband speed.

At the other end of the table, the Cities of London and Westminster ranks as the worst constituency for broadband property price value. With an average house of £1,115,000 and a dire average broadband speed of 24Mbps, it costs home buyers £46,458 in property prices for every Mbps of broadband speed.

London dominates the worst value areas with Kensington, Westminster North, Chelsea and Fulham and Bermondsey and Old Southwark also amongst the worst value.

On a regional level, London is also the worst value at £9,066 for each Mbps, while the North East provides the best value at £2,670 for each Mbps.

Founder and CEO of Springbok Properties, Shepherd Ncube, commented: 

“It’s amazing how something like broadband has become such an integral part of our day to day lives that it now influences everything from political promises to home buyer choice, but while good broadband can clearly influence a buyer’s decision, it seems that the homes that benefit from the very fastest speeds are actually the most affordable of them all. 

This suggests that although broadband speed is important, it isn’t the most influential bargaining chip when it comes to negotiating price as long as you aren’t stuck in the dark ages or in a Wifi blackspot.”

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