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big freeze

big freezeHoliday homeowners please be proactive as the country braces itself for a big freeze and snow for the remainder of February.

The advice comes as the Met Office forecast temperatures across much of the UK to plummet well below freezing and have issued a Yellow Warning for persistent snow showers in the East. Conditions such as these can lead to pipes in your vacant holiday home to freeze and burst.

At the height of the La Niña cold spell in 2010 UK insurers dealt with 3,500 claims for burst pipe damage every day (£1 billion paid out in Nov/Dec alone) *ABI.

Whilst many holiday homes are let to guests throughout much of the year, the period between Half Term and Easter is less popular, properties are often empty and therefore more exposed to extreme weather.

Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd explained; “We see more burst pipe and escape of water insurance claims than any other. Whilst the damage caused can be significant there are several simple steps holiday homeowners can take in order to minimise their risk.”

Avoiding burst pipes during the big freeze

The firm has issued guidance including a number of steps you can take in order to reduce the chances of potential damage:

  • Turn off the stopcock and drain the water and heating system; or
  • Leave the heating on to maintain a temperature throughout your holiday home sufficient to prevent pipes from freezing (above 7c).
  • If your holiday home is to be unoccupied during the winter ensure you turn the water off at the stopcock even if you leave your heating on (where your heating system allows).
  • Ensure you arrange for regular checks to be made on the property during any period in which it isn’t occupied.
  • Look to lag and insulate pipes, boilers and storage tanks, particularly if exposed to the elements.
  • Make sure your heating and water systems are regularly checked by a professional and consider installing a leak detection system or automatic stopcock, particularly if you live away from the property.
  • Refer to your holiday home insurance policy for conditions specific to your cover

Mark added “The damage caused by burst pipes can be significant to any holiday homeowner, potentially leaving areas of your home uninhabitable for a considerable amount of time. Being proactive in reacting to potentially severe weather could save you considerable potential cost and disruption.”

For more information on Boshers Guidance on property checks during extreme weather please visit:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. We’re here to help and support you as a holiday homeowner. If you require advice or an insurance quote please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweedJapanese Knotweed – two words that are likely to send a shiver down the spine of any homeowner in the UK. Now it’s top of the list when it comes to the most unwanted plants in our gardens! It’s easy to understand why if you consider that Japanese knotweed:

  • grows at an alarming rate of up to 20cm a day
  • will push its way through walls, paving and tarmac
  • left unchecked it can damage the entire structural stability of a home.

It’s estimated that to eradicate this invasive pest from the UK it would take an eye watering £1.5 billion. With this cost unlikely to be met, it’s important to understand the implications. What should you do if your home or holiday home falls foul of Japanese Knotweed?

Your legal responsibility

The first point to state is should the plant appear on your premises, it’s your responsibility to eradicated it. New laws state that landowners can be found liable. Especially if there is proof they knew about an infestation of Japanese knotweed and failed to deal with it properly.

Buying a cottage or selling your own holiday home? Property owners affected by knotweed infestation could be open to a lawsuit if they failed to act. Property insurance cover may also be refused. If the knotweed in your garden were to spread to a neighbour’s property, you could even be given an ASBO under the Anti-Social Behavior Crime and Policing Act 2014.

How to remove Japanese knotweed from your holiday home

With the stakes high, and time very much of the essence, it’s important to remove the plant from your land and ensure it’s eradicated permanently. it is likely that the most cost effective method of dealing with it is to use an established professional. The Property Care Association have members who are Invasive Weed Control specialists. You can search for one in your area here. Checking that the firm provides an insurance backed warranty is crucial. This may involve further inspections over a 12 month period. If selling this gives the legal guarantee that solicitors and conveyancers are looking for to demonstrate the issue is under control. Companies should carry adequate insurance with a reputable insurer, and this should preferably include structural damage cover.

DIY methods of removing Japanese knotweed

Explained below are some of the DIY methods that can be used to remove Japanese Knotweed if you catch it early, Although our recommendation would still be to employ a professioanl to carry out the work for you.

  1. Non-chemical controls

Whilst Knotweed can be dug out of the ground, the roots are so deep it will usually grow back. If you are attempting to dig it out remove as much of the root as possible, then repeatedly destroy the regrowth (e.g. by mowing). This will exhaust the energy reserves in the remaining underground parts of the plant, however expect it to take several seasons to disappear entirely.

Also bear in mind that if you are digging out Japanese knotweed then this is classed as “controlled waste’, meaning the remains have to be disposed of in a licensed landfill site under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

  1. Chemical control

You can try a glyphosate-based weed killer which would be available from your local garden centre. This will usually be applied to the foliage of the plant and then passes within the plant to the underground parts and roots. It usually takes at least three to four seasons to eradicate Japanese knotweed, but professional contractors have access to more powerful weed killers and may reduce this period by half.

What about my buildings insurance? 

Damage to your property caused by invasive weeds such as Japanese Knotweed isn’t generally covered under your buildings insurance. As homeowners we all have a duty of care to ensure that our properties are well maintained. This includes controlling the spread of invasive weeds such as Japanese Knotweed. If you are considering buying a holiday home in an area where it’s known to occur we recommend you have the property checked for Japanese Knotweed as part of your buildings survey.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home and property insurance to holiday cottage owners across the country. For more information on our policies have a look around Boshers website. For a quote or to ask any question please give our team a call on 01237 429444.

Photo credit – Japanese Knotweed – phlorum.com

remove algae from your holiday home

Old brick wall with moss and lichen

If you do not control or remove moss and algae it can creep up on you before you know it; so are you starting to notice green slime slowly moving up the garden path or clumps of moss protruding from the stonewalls of your holiday home?

We all know how visually unpleasant green algae and some types of moss are to the eye, but how can you control it?

We’ve put together some top tips on how to remove moss and algae at your holiday home, prevent your walls and paths becoming a slippery and ugly eyesore for your visitors, and protect your cottage from potential damage whilst doing it….

Annoying algae

Whether it’s on paths, patios, plant pots or garden furniture/fencing, Algae is one of the most diverse types of plants that can, unfortunately, appear anywhere and everywhere.

Despite playing an essential role in many ecosystems, for many cottage owners across the country it’s often seen as a pest. Not only is it unsightly, green algae can make pathways slippery when wet, creating a potential hazard for your holiday home guests and visitors.

How can you remove moss and algae?

There are two main forms of control, chemical and non chemical.

  • Chemical: Although many suggest using a hydrochloric acid based bleach or patio cleaners as a quick solution, this method can damage nearby plants and discolour some types of stone.
    • The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) suggests using a patio cleaner product based on benzalkonium chloride, acetic acid or nitrilo triacetic acid/trisodium salt. These can be purchased from most DIY stores or garden centres.
  • Non-chemical: Using a pressure washer is an effective way of instantly removing algae but will need to be carried out regularly in order to prevent it from returning.
    • Use an environmentally friendly-based product such as EcoChem, which is available at most DIY/garden centres. The fast-acting product claims to contain no harmful solvents, protects against algae for up to 6 months and will not discolour treated services. Not only is it safe for your holiday home, it’s not harmful to humans or animals either!

Tackling moss

Just like algae, moss can be found in wet, shaded areas such as lawns, cracks and crevices, and on the paths / walls of your holiday home.

Although some types of mosses can add character to a garden, others can be displeasing to the eye.

Moss can be controlled using similar chemical and non-chemical solutions to algae:

  • Chemical: There are a variety of moss killing products tailored for lawns, including ferrous sulphate based types, or others that are combined with fertiliser. Both of these can be found at most garden or DIY centres, and do ask for advice if you’re unsure which is best suited to your particular lawn.
    • To combat moss on hard surfaces such as paths and driveways, the RHS suggest using products that contain acetic acid, fatty acids or pelargonic acid.
  • Non-chemical: Pressure washing and wire brushing moss prone areas are effective ways of dislodging the plant and preventing re-growth.
  • If lawn moss is causing a particular issue, try using an organic lawn fertiliser like MO Bacter, which will help to control the plant and feed the lawn at the same time.

Tips for prevention

  • If you have any damp areas that are prone to algae or moss growth, try to improve drainage in the area by creating ducts along the edges of paths.
  • Laying a new path/ driveway? Consider permeable paving to prevent surface-run off and only pave areas that are essential. This not only reduces costs, it also prevents moss and algae build up in the future.
  • Allow the sun and wind to reach any sheltered areas by pruning overhanging plants or bushes.

For more information on how to remove moss and algae growth on decking, take a look at our ‘Essential Decking Maintenance’ blog post:

You may also find the following post on preventing slips and trips of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Coastal Gardens

Coastal GardensA combination of strong winds and salt air can create challenging conditions for growing plants in coastal gardens. If you’re wanting to add a dash of colour to brighten a dull plot or even help protect your garden from the elements with a natural windbreak, here’s some coastal gardens inspiration for your holiday cottage by the sea. These tips will ensure your plants enjoy being by the sea as much as you and your guests do…

Windbreaks      

If you’re heading to the beach for the day you’ll no doubt pack a picnic and a windbreak. Like us, plants also need shelter from prevailing coastal winds.

Shoreline windbreaks can commonly be seen in the form of wooden posts and fencing, or certain varieties of trees and bushes.

If you’re starting a coastal garden from scratch make sure you create a windbreak or shelterbelt before adding smaller plants that require more protection.

Some experts say the best garden windbreak depends on the design rather than the plants, but here are a few types of bushes and trees that can create a natural barrier…

  • Italian alder (Alnus cordata) / Grey Alder (Alnus incana) — fast growing tree that can thrive even in dry soils
  • Sea buckthorn (Hippophae) — deciduous shrub known for its bright orange berries
  • Beach rose (Rosa rugosa) — scented, summer flowering shrub
  • Populus robusta — fast growing, narrow, leafy tree

Location

The location of your holiday home will affect how prosperous your plants are by the sea; some will thrive in colder coastal areas whilst others will prosper in milder spots of the UK.

If your holiday cottage is in the north of the country you’ll want trees and plants which can cope with the wind and cooler conditions.

These can include: Alnus glutinosa (common alder), Salix alba (white willow), Salix caprea (willow), Carpinus betulus AGM (hornbeam), Berberis (Barberry), Mahonia, Sambucus (elderberry), Viburnum.

Holiday cottage with coastal gardens further south? You’re likely to benefit from milder temperatures, allowing plants to flourish all year round without being affected by harsh frosts.

A warmer climate brings with it a larger variety of suitable plants.

These include: Dichroa febrifugia, Gazania, Alyssum, Acacia dealbata, Colutea arborescens, Acca sellowiana (pineapple guava), Dodonea viscosa ‘Purpurea’.

Low maintenance

If you live a good distance from your holiday home then you’ll also have to consider which plants are suitable for you to grow and manage. Avoid potted plants and containers, along with fast growing hedges and plants, which will require frequent pruning (and cost if you employ a professional gardener to tender to your garden).

Although your options will be more limited, there are plants that require minimal upkeep, allowing you and your guests to enjoy the pleasure of a garden without any arduous ongoing maintenance.

Consider ground-covering plants such as Hypericum (St John’s Wort), Liriope muscari, and Convallaria majalis Pink (Lily of the Valley).

Rock gardens

Perhaps your holiday cottage only has a small garden, but acts as a natural suntrap. If so, a rock garden is a great way of livening up a quiet corner.

Rock gardens can be as simple or complicated as you want to make them. The best time to construct a rock garden is during autumn and winter, giving you plenty of time before planting them in spring.

Perk up a dull wall

Wanting to add some colour to the exterior walls of your garden or cottage? Brighten them up by planting a climbing plant such as clematis, which is available in a variety of colours.

Not only is it great for camouflaging a dull looking wall or fence, when left to its own devises it will still flourish every year!

Sources:

Don’t forget your garden when insuring your holiday home

For those owners who may have got carried away with landscaping your coastal gardens it’s important to ensure that your holiday home insurance is wide enough to cover additions such as statues, hot tubs, patios, hedges, fences, walls, driveways, paths, terraces and garden furniture. it is also important to ensure that your sums insured are sufficient to cover their reinstatement following an insured peril.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Tumble dryer safety

Tumble dryer safetyThe devastating affect of poorly maintained tumble dryers has been making headlines across the UK recently, with figures showing they are now one of the largest causes of fires in the home.

To ensure tumble dryer safety, maintenance is essential and as a holiday homeowner you’ll need to ensure that yours is regularly checked and maintained if you provide one within your holiday cottage.

Here are some helpful tips on how to keep your tumble dryer in tiptop condition and safe for you and your guests.

Type of dryer

There are two main types of tumble dryer, vented and condenser. Vented tumble dryers need to be fitted near an external wall so damp air can be removed via a hose, while condenser dryers collect moisture in a water reservoir.

If you’re considering adding a tumble drier to your holiday home, consult with an expert as to which type would be most suited before being tempted by the best deal.

The considerations you may need to make are;

  • Vented dryers: Do you have a suitable location within your holiday home? (remember they need to be fitted near an external wall)
  • Condenser dryers: Who will be able to, and responsible for, emptying the water container on a regular basis?

Maintenance

Although the dryers operate differently, maintenance of the two systems will invariably be the same.

Failure to regularly maintain your drier will affect its performance and the last thing you want are guests complaining because their clothes haven’t dried!

If clothes aren’t drying properly, it is usually a good indicator there is an issue with the machine and these can often be solved relatively easily.

Below are some basic checks that should be made….

Clean the filters

Tumble dryer blockages are often the chief culprit when it comes to the machines overheating, which in the worse case scenario can trigger fires and significant damage.

No matter how busy your holiday home is, the lint filters should actually be emptied after every use to ensure your machine runs at maximum efficiency. Of course, visiting the holiday home this often will be impractical for you or the letting agent, so make a note to empty it during your weekly changeover routine (and build this into your cleaner’s core tasks and checklist).

If guests stay longer, factor it in during a convenient time, for example when changing the bed linen.

For peace of mind, leave a friendly note asking guests to inform you of any problems with the tumble dryer.

Check for snags

Not only do the tumble dryer filters need emptying, they should be checked for any rips or tears and replaced as necessary. Use a brush or vacuum to regularly clean out the filter chute and where applicable the vent hose thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the vent cover on the exterior of your building which can become blocked if not cleaned regularly.

If you’re using a condenser dryer, ensure you empty the water reservoir and clean the condenser regularly. Also check the hose at the back for any excess lint that may have accumulated inside.

NB: The dryer should be cool before removing the filter.

Sensors

Some tumble dryers will have moisture sensors, which control settings such as ‘auto-dry’. In a holiday home this will be particularly useful for guests who want to make the most of their time, rather than waiting for clothes to dry.

It can also reduce your electricity bill!

Experts recommend wiping the drum every few months using stainless steel cleaner or even white vinegar!

NB: Ensure the machine is turned off when carrying out any maintenance!

Talk to an expert!

These are simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of problems with tumble dryers in the holiday home. For specialist advice and regular servicing we recommend you talk to an appliance engineer or consult with the manufacturer. We also recommend that you check the manufacturers website periodically for safety notices and details of recalls.

Guidance for guest staying in your holiday lets

As with your other appliances, it’s always good practice to provide a copy of the tumble dryer operating instructions in your Holiday Home Welcome Folder or information pack, together with a polite note of any house rules, such as, not to be left running whilst out and clean the filter between each use.

If you have found this article on tumble dryer safety for holiday lets useful, you may also find the following posts covering maintenance and health safety of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

holiday home builder

Top tips for selecting a building contractor for your holiday home

holiday home builderAutumn is a time when many holiday homeowners look to reinvigorate or renovate their properties for next season. Whilst some alternations will be merely superficial in nature – updating your decor or the change of an item of furniture for example, other developments may prove to be more substantial in size and require external help and advice.

If you’re due to be carrying out a project on your holiday home that will require a building contractor, here’re some helpful tips to increase your chances of choosing the right one and having a project that delivers on time and within budget.

Selecting a builder

  • Before contacting a builder make sure you have a full understanding of the alterations you would like to make to your holiday home. If appropriate, take professional advice and ensure that you have an outline of the works required written down.
  • Some holiday homeowners will not live in close proximity to their property. If you don’t have local knowledge of reputable contractors the Federation Of National Builders (fmb.org.uk) has a list of approved builders.
  • Always get more than one quote and ensure they’ve all quoted for the same thing. Large price differences can often occur when alternative approaches are suggested. If this is the case ask for the potential pros and cons of each methodology so you’re able to make an informed decision on the cost.
  • Be sure to ask for the contact details of a few previous customers so you can talk to them about their experiences and the quality of work they’ve receieved. 

The next steps 

  • It’s advised that if you’re hiring a builder for complex or major building works, you both enter into a JCT contract. These are standardised contracts, guidance notes and other forms of documentation designed specifically for the construction industry. You can find these at jctltd.co.uk
  • Ensure that you and your builder complete the entire contract and that there is a thorough understanding of the arrangements of the work, along with who will pay for any specification of drawings that may be needed.
  • Make sure that a payment structure is laid out and that this includes payment after the completion of certain phases of your build. Make sure these phases are specific and not ambiguous.  If materials need to be purchased some builders may ask for you to pay in advance.  Only consider doing this for materials that need to be specially made offsite for work to commence on your holiday home.
  • If you live away from your holiday home give thought to how the project will be managed. How will you communicate with your builders? How will you ensure that supplies are ordered when they need to be and that work is on schedule and budget?  Having these communication channels in place throughout the project will be vital to your success.

Do you need to tell your insurer?

If you’re having work carried out on your holiday home the need to inform your insurer will depend on the work being completed.

Works can be placed into two categories:

  • Minor works: These may be completed without reference to your insurers and include when workmen are allowed into your holiday home to carry out minor repairs, alterations or general maintenance, along with any internal or external decoration when the work does not require scaffolding.
  • Major works: You will need to inform your insurer when your holiday home undergoes major structural alterations or repair and when external scaffolding is to be used.

No matter the nature of the developments you are undertaking, you should always consider the impact the works will have on the potential costs of rebuilding your holiday home and ensure that you have the right level of buildings insurance cover in place.

If any of our holiday homeowners are in doubt if they should be contacting us we suggest that you do give us a call.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Exploring the eco benefits of replacing your old light bulbs with newer LED equivalents

Row of light bulbs. Idea concept on green background.Do you know how many light bulbs there are in your holiday home?

A strange question perhaps, but for many holiday property owners, one that has already been answered or will need to be in the near future.

In September 2012, after more than a century of lighting the world, the EU completed its phased ban on the sale of incandescent light bulbs.  The move came in an attempt to reduce the energy use of lighting; 17.5% of global power consumption is on keeping darkness from our homes.

Top Facts on the Incandescent Light Bulb 

  • Only 10 – 20% of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb generates light; the rest is wasted.
  • Prior to 2009, when the phased ban on the sale of the bulbs began, an estimated 200m were sold each year in the UK; that’s six every second!
  • The government believe the ban will save the UK £102m on lighting electricity bills over ten years.
  • Incandescent light bulbs still account for 80% of lighting across the UK

The strongest protests against the ban came from a cost perspective.  Despite longer-term savings, the higher upfront costs of alternatives such as LED have been criticised.

We take a look at LED lighting

What LED bulbs have to offer holiday homeowners:

Longer life

We’ll all have had that moment, balanced on a step ladder, attempting to change a light bulb that has burnt out. For holiday homeowners this can be an added task in the maintenance of your property; needing to get someone to the property to replace the bulbs.

LED lighting has a far greater life span, estimated to be in the region of 11 years of continuous use. That’s 20 years with your lights on for eight hours a day and means continually replacing bulbs in your holiday home could be a thing of the past.

Energy Efficiency

As we’ve said, a key part of the phased ban was geared toward energy efficiency. LED lighting operates at around 80 – 90% efficiency, compared to the 20% efficiency of its traditional counterpart.

As the light is digital the majority of your electric is utilised in lighting your home rather than heating it; the incandescent bulb can be heated up to 2,300C, meaning that a large amount of money is lost in heat rather than spent on light.

This means energy bill savings can be achieved for holiday homeowners looking to convert.

Eco Friendly

Those visiting holiday homes across the country are becoming more and more sensitive to the ecological and green credentials of where they’re staying.

LED lights contain no toxic materials and for that reason are usually recyclable. Given the longer lifespan, one LED light can save the materials and production of 25 traditional bulbs.  Over the average household that will be in the region of 250 – 350 bulbs!

Outdoor Use

As they are not dependent on heat, LED lights are better able to perform in both hot and cold conditions, making them ideal for externally lit areas around holiday homes.

This can include in and around gardens, patios or barbeque areas, allowing your guests to fully enjoy your holiday home, inside and out!

Whilst we’re used to the warm yellow glow of an incandescent bulb their LED equivalent also come in a variety of colours.

Summary

There are several clear benefits to replacing your old light bulbs with newer LED equivalents. You will however need to be realistic about the initial monetary savings; they do cost significantly more per bulb and there will be an expenditure on installation.

On the other hand they will provide you benefits over the medium to longer term. Adopting LED will need to be seen as an investment and not a quick fix.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

PAT Testing and holiday homes

PAT Testing

As a holiday homeowner it’s vital you keep your property as safe as possible for your visitors and that this extends to all areas including maintaining electrical appliances in your holiday home. PAT Testing and holiday homes

Over the years more and more electrical items have been added to the average home and this is no different in holiday properties.

A wide range of gadgets are now commonplace in the kitchen, hairdryers and other health and beauty items have made their way into the bedroom and bathroom, with games and television devices now taking centre place in the living room.

There is an abundance of electrical appliances spread across the average property.

So how do you ensure they are all safe for your visitors to use? Particularly if you live a good distance from your holiday home?

What is PAT testing?

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is an examination of electrical appliances that checks for potential defaults that are not obviously visible.  It’s important to highlight that whilst an appliance may appear fine to the eye and be in working order, it doesn’t mean that it is safe from defects and potential risk.

PAT testing should be carried out in coordination with visual checks; if your visitor reports a potential default with an electrical appliance it’s important it is checked as soon as possible and in the mean time not used.

Is there a legal requirement to PAT test your electrical appliances?

You have a legal obligation to ensure that any electrical appliance with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for visitors to use.

Whilst there is no stated legal requirement on the frequency of checks it is advised that you take a proactive approach to ensuring the appliances in your holiday home are in full and safe working order.

The nature of the appliance, along with the amount that it is used, should be considered when addressing how often you should be inspecting the item.

For example, it may be prudent for holiday home owners to check items before the busy summer period to ensure items are up to date and checked before they are used regularly over a prolonged period. It is also good practice at each changeover for your housekeeper or maintenance team to carry out a visual check on each appliance to check for damage such as fraying power leads or broken plugs and replace or repair as appropriate. It is also best practice to keep a record of such checks.

Do I need to label items once they’ve been tested?

On some electrical appliances you may have seen PAT test labels stating the last date on which they were inspected.  This again is not a legal requirement but is a good method of ensuring there is a clear record of when testing has been carried out, along with demonstrating that you have a maintenance plan in place for your holiday home.

Do I need a professional electrician to carry out my PAT test?

Whilst you’ll be able to carry out visual and basic inspection on your appliances, the person carrying out the full PAT test will need to be competent to do so and also have the equipment in order to undertake a full test.

It’s therefore best practise to have a professional carry out your tests.

Do you need to PAT test new appliances?

New electrical appliances should be supplied in a safe condition and therefore not require formal testing and inspection.  It is however sensible to do a visible check of the appliance to ensure it’s free from any damage that may have occurred in manufacture, transit or delivery to your property.

For more information on PAT testing for your electrical appliances please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg236.pdf

Checking your holiday home

Holiday home insurance specialists Boshers are highlighting the importance of property owners making regular checks on their homes.

The advice comes with more severe weather forecast and with the first school half term of the year bringing visitors in to those areas already affected by extreme wind and flooding.

Checking your holiday home

The firm has issued guidance including checking roofs, guttering and downpipes along with ensuring surrounding trees are monitored for potential damage. Mark Lavington, Director at Boshers Ltd explained; “With many holiday home owners living away from their properties it is vital that they are regularly checked in order to proactively deal with any potential damage from the weather. Identifying issues and damage to property early can make a massive difference in the cost and speed of repair.”

Mark added “The February half term has always been the first major tourism window in the calendar and we are very keen to support the message that the country is open for business.  We want to ensure that holiday home owners are fully prepared to give their guests the warm welcome they always do.”

For more information on Boshers Guidance on holiday home property checks during extreme weather please visit www.boshers.co.uk/blog

Painting a holiday cottage
10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior

10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior.

In this post we explore 10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior. A holiday let property with real kerb appeal will lift your spirits and that of your guests. First impressions count for so much, especially in the self-catering accommodation sector where guests expectations have risen to new heights as the availability of good quality UK holiday letting properties has increased. Investing the time to take a look at your holiday homes exterior with an `objective eye’ and making small improvements will surely pay dividends by way of repeat bookings and recommendations.

10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior

  1. Clean sweep – remove leaves and debris on a regular basis. Pay particular attention to drain covers which will have the added bonus of reducing the risk of flooding during heavy rain. If clearing drains by hand be sure to wear gloves.
  2. Take the pressure off with a pressure wash – paving, paths, brick and stonework can become covered in dirt, algae and lichen. Using a pressure washer can make easier work of rejuvenating the outside of your property and reducing the risk of slips and trips.
  3. Whip out weeds – not just in your gardens and borders, also pay attention to paths and the boundaries of your holiday home. Are the adjoining properties letting yours down? Why not offer to weed those too.
  4. Repair and paint window frames – preventative maintenance will keep out the rot and save you money in the long term.
  5. Revitalise paintwork – regularly washing your exterior paintwork will give it a real lift and remove dirt containing corrosive pollutants increasing the life of your paint.
  6. Put the sparkle back – there is nothing like clean gleaming windows to really make a home stand out and look loved.
  7. Keep it clear – prune back shrubs and greenery that are obscuring the front of your holiday home, overhanging paths or generally blocking views and light.
  8. Flower power – replenish planters and hanging baskets regularly with suitable plants for the coming season. Worried about watering? Why not leave a watering can for guests with a polite note asking if they will help.
  9. See the light – outside lighting can really lift the look of your holiday home when the sun goes down, as well as being important for both your guests safety and security. Replace corroded fittings and clean regularly.
  10. Spit and polish – your door furniture, house number or name plate can make a lasting impression on your guests, a fresh coat of paint on your front door and polished brass can really lift the entrance to your holiday let.

These 10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior to maintain and improve its kerb appeal has been compiled as an aide memoir. As a serious holiday let owner you are likely to be doing most of these already, indeed you may have other tips to share with your fellow holiday home owners. Feel free to use the comments box below add your advice on increasing a holiday homes kerb appeal. When employing people or directing the labour of self-employed to carry out maintenance at your holiday home, you are required by law to have employers liability insurance. One of the benefits of Boshers holiday home insurance policy is the inclusion of £10m of employers liability cover as standard. You may also find the following posts for holiday home owners of interest:

Follow this link for posts similar to 10 steps to revive your holiday homes exterior and other useful resources for holiday home owners For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

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