Seven checks to get your home and garden sunshine-ready

With winter behind us, our thoughts are turning to the longer, sunnier days ahead. Together with our home insurance provider, RSA, we’ve collated the best hacks and tips for freshening things up on the outside of your home, all ready for the summer. Plus, qualifying members of The Nottingham can receive £50 cashback* on new Take Your Pick home insurance policies so you can enjoy a bright and breezy spring and summer with some money for BBQ supplies in your pocket!

1. Outdoor lighting
Outdoor lights are so important in the winter, as we've mentioned in our 10 winter home tips to keep you safe and warm article. During the cold winter months outdoor lights can get worn with the wind and grubby with cobwebs. Before summer arrives it's a great time to clean your outside light fittings and check all bulbs are in working order. If any need replacing, opt for energy efficient alternatives to reduce your electricity bill. 


You could even add some character and atmosphere to seating areas or patios with outdoor fairy lights. Make sure they're waterproof and easily removable if you're not comfortable with leaving them outside all the time. 

2. Exterior appearance
You might have caught the cleaning and organising bug for the inside of your home but spring is the time to give your home a little TLC on the outside, too. Clean and touch up any paintwork, re-stain woodwork and replace door furniture such as numbers and letterboxes to give your home exterior a fresh new look. Wipe down uPVC windowsills and doors, wash your windows and change doormats to make your house look clean and inviting.

3. Paths, patios, decking and fences
Use a pressure washer to bring paths, decking and patios back to life. You could use this opportunity to repair or replace broken flagstones or paving, too. Perhaps you could re-stain your decking and repaint fences whilst also checking for any loose panels that Storm Gareth might have created!

4. Plants and gardens
If you have a lawn, it's definitely the time to mow it and use some grass seed if you have any patches. Tackle your borders for weeds and prune any overgrown shrubs - you'll also be able to see any gaps that you have in your borders to fill by doing this. Refresh with some new plants and brightly coloured flowers and your garden will have an instant face-lift! If you don't have borders, inject some floral fashion with hanging baskets or stylish tubs that can brighten up your outside space, you can also use them to hide ugly features like drainpipes. 

5. Guttering and drains
Clearing out any leaves and winter debris that could make sure any blockages are removed and any April showers will be able to flow freely away from your home. If you have to climb a ladder, make sure there’s someone to hold it steady.

6. Deep clean
Garden furniture and BBQs can gather dust over the long winter period but once the sun comes out, we guarantee you'll be wanting to whip them straight out. So, during the spring it's a great time to get them ready. Scrub off the grime from your BBQ and stock up on whatever fuel you'll need to get it started when the time comes. 

7. Declutter your garden
What's the betting your shed or garden is full of outdoor toys that children might have grown out of, broken pegs, wobbly washing lines and holey paddling pools? Get everything out, sweep the debris out and have a full on declutter. Invest in some storage for your shed and keep things tidy in there to make your garden easier to work around during the summer. 

There we have seven things to tick off as the weekends roll by until the summer is officially here. Get kids involved with gardening, painting and planting and why not set up a chores board for gardening and watering plants to keep kids occupied? Let them earn their pocket money and keep your garden in check at the same time! 

*£50 Cashback on Home Insurance: Cashback is only available for qualifying members taking out a new 'Take Your Pick' or Landlord policy in March and April 2019. A qualifying building society member is someone aged over 18 who has a savings balance of at least £500 and in addition: - Has held a savings account with us for at least 12 months OR - Currently has a Nottingham Building Society mortgage. Qualifying members purchasing a new annual Home or Landlord insurance policy through The Nottingham between 01/03/2019 up to and including 30/04/2019 will be entitled to £50 cashback if the policy remains in force 90 days after the policy start date. Members with separate buildings and contents insurance will only be entitled to one cashback offer of £50. For offer terms and conditions see thenottingham.com/members



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