When the nights get chilly, and the clocks go back, it's time to think about the DIY projects you need to finish before winter arrives. There'll always be projects you can take up any time of year, but getting some tasks boxed off before the first frost will have huge advantages.
To get yourself ready for long nights in your long johns, we’re going to inspire with:
- Garden tasks you want to get done before winter.
- How to save energy through the winter.
- Home décor ideas that will bring a homey atmosphere.
Plant a Hedge
Autumn is the perfect time to get a hedge planted. They’re perfect for marking out where the garden stops and the veggie patch starts or adding some privacy on a boundary. It’ll take years to get to a good size, but you might as well get it planted now.
There’s a lot that goes into choosing which hedge to plant, but your main choice is going to be between evergreen and deciduous. Decision made, and plants bought, it's time to dig your trench where you want to grow your hedge. Loosen up the roots of the plant from the root ball, and space them around 30-60cm apart, depending on your plant.
Nothing much will happen above ground all winter, but the roots will be able to take hold ready for a spring growth spurt.
Seal the Fence
With your hedge in its early stages, your fences are still going to be your main garden boundary. Preparing your fence for the onslaught of a UK winter will prolong its life.
Here’s a quick DIY guide for getting your fence ready for winter:
- Check your fences for any rot – new fence panels will be in order if there’s any damage.
- Remove any debris like piled up leaves and clean the panels with a pressure washer on a low setting.
- Choose an oil-based stain to offer protection against wind and rain damage over the winter.
- Trim back branches that might fall with a heavy dusting of snow or in a gale.
Insulate the Loft
The Association of British Insurers reckons that burst pipes in the winter cost an average £8,800 to put right. If you've not got round to it recently, you should upgrade your loft insulation to keep your pipes toasty over winter.
- Your first task is to clear out the loft; a challenge in itself.
- Choose a good quality mineral wool insulation material.
- You’ll need to do two layers – one between your joists and another at right angles on top of the joists.
- If you want to still be able to use the space, put boards down, so the insulation doesn't get squashed.
Depending on your house, you could save about £150 per year with a well-insulated loft. It’s definitely worth the time, effort, and money to put down.
Revamp the Dining Table
Once you have done the practical tasks, it’s time to get your rooms ready for winter with some DIY. A popular DIY project with Christmas just a few short months away is to update your dining table. How many years of holiday photos has it been part of? Is it looking tired and scratched after serving you well over the years?
Solid Wood Dining Tables
When your dining table is made of wood, you can sand the surfaces back to remove the current finish. You can do this by hand with sandpaper, but buying or hiring in a sanding machine will make life a lot easier. Consider borrowing a sander from the neighbours in return for dinner at your new table.
Once you’re back to bare wood, the paint and stain aisle is your oyster. Choose a simple varnish to preserve the wood effect or opt for a funky colour to really change up your dining room. Be sure to do a base coat and a final layer of clear varnish to protect the paint from wear.
Metal and Glass Dining Tables
You’ve got less surface area to work with, but you can still revamp your metal frame. Take it down to your local chemical dipping site to. A chemical dip will take it back to the base metal then simply choose a new paint that works with metal.
To get super creative, you can invest in some glass paints and add a pattern or a design to the underside of your glass tabletop.
Rework Your Lighting
Make your home the best place to be for winter with some warm lighting. Breathing new life into a lamp can be a simple way to add depth of light to your living room. Pick up a plain lampshade in the size and shape that you want and add paint, stencils, or a new layer of fabric on top to make it perfect for your home.
If you’re looking for something to build over the weekend, you can get creative and make your own lamp. Your imagination is all that limits you; drill holes for light fittings in a piece of driftwood or create a bespoke lighting unit to brighten up a dull corner.
Other Jobs to Do Before Winter Hits
Along with whole-day or full-weekend tasks, there are some little things you can take care of before cold mornings and dark nights become normal. Here are some other chores to get you ready for winter:
- Check and top up your car's oil, coolants, and screenwash levels.
- Prune back bushes and remove low hanging branches in the garden.
- Arrange your annual boiler inspection.
- Clear out the gutters of autumnal leaves.
Winter is the time for putting the slippers on and watching a good movie on a long afternoon. Before you bed in for the winter, there are still DIY projects you can complete to set your house and garden up. Get your outdoors ready, your loft and pipes prepared for freezing temperatures, and bring some fresh interior ideas to life to prepare your home for winter.