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Spring is in the air – are you ready for the home improvement season?

When the spring season finally kicks off, people reach for their tools ready for DIY. While some homeowners have DIY skills, others do not, and to those who don’t, we can only give one word of advice: find a quality tradesman who can help you. Hiring an expert means no botched jobs, no stress and no injuries.

So what might need some extra care after these cold months?

Image from Dreamy Whites

Roofing and guttering

After months of freezing temperatures, chances are that your roof and gutters might have taken a hit from rain, snow, frost and wind. Ensure that no tiles have been dislodged, and that the gutters are intact. In many cases, gutters can break from snow weight, as well as from thawing and re-freezing.

If the gutters are clogged you risk damp problems, as the gutters overflow and the water runs down the exterior of the property, affecting windows and brickwork. If you didn’t clear your gutters in October-November, chances are also that there’s a build up of old leaves and dirt that need to be removed.

Exterior painting

Whether you’re thinking of selling your property or not, kerb appeal is always something to keep in mind. Not only does it attract new buyers, but you help keeping your street or neighbourhood looking its best. As with guttering and roofing, the harsh winter weather takes its toll on the exterior of a property, resulting in the paint peeling and flaking.

Spring is the ideal time for exterior painting, as the weather conditions are less extreme. There’s no hot sun that causes the paint to blister, and no frost that causes the paint to look lacklustre. If you’re also looking to re-paint your windows, remember that preparation is key to make them last as long as 10 years. A good tradesman will scrape off any loose paint, brush it off, sand the wood for a smooth finish, fill in the gaps with caulk and then paint a base coat before it’s ready for the top coat.

Outdoor decking and gardening

As soon as the sun’s out, everyone wants to sit outside and take advantage of outdoor space. Before the heatwave really kicks in, remove dirt, moss and leaves, using a pressure washer that will effectively clean your deck to the core. Repair fences and trellises, as there’s less growth around them at this time of year. A gardener can start helping you pruning early flowering shrubs, as well as trees with dead or damaged branches. Weeding is also easier in spring, as the roots are still shallow.

The RHS has a calendar of what to start planting now in March.

Image from Red Bubble

Extensions

Now’s the time to start thinking about any large-scale projects, so they don’t run too late into the season. Improve rather than moving could save a 2-bedroom homeowner £56,122, with the typical cost of a single storey extension costing around £21,000. Buying a 3-bedroom house is 31% more expensive than a 2-bedroom house, as you also have to think about stamp duty, estate agency fees and solicitor costs. The cheapest form of extension is building out the back of the house; the attic or the loft comes next, with basement excavations being the most expensive project.

Beware of unqualified tradesmen

The spring (and summer) season is a time when unskilled tradesmen can come knocking on your door, asking if you need any help with roofing, gardening, paving the driveway etc. Remember, that it if a deal is too good to be true, chances are it probably is. Be very careful to employ any tradesman without checking his/her references. Ask for public liability insurance, pictures of previous projects and never pay the full amount upfront.

To find a local, quality tradesman post your job on RatedPeople.com. We’ve got tradesmen across 24 different trades, from gardeners to roofers, and they’re rated by previous homeowners on quality, reliability and value for money. Up to 3 tradesmen can get in touch to quote and you’ll be able to read their reviews and decide which tradesman is right for you and your job. 

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