1. Get everything checked out
As winter approaches, it’s really important to conduct thorough maintenance checks on your holiday home. Doing this now will identify any issues you need to take care of, and prevent small issues turning into big problems! As a minimum, we recommend checking the following areas to prepare your holiday home for winter.
- Boilers and heating – the heating systems should be regularly serviced and radiators /storage heaters checked
- Windows and doors – ensure all locks and seals are in good working order
- Pipes and insulation – ensure all vulnerable pipes are fully insulated
- Roof and guttering – get the roof checked for lose slates and clear leaves from guttering
- Garden and garden furniture – undertake seasonal pruning and secure/store garden furniture
- Security and alarms – check any exterior lighting and burglar alarms
If your holiday home is going to be empty for a period of time during the colder months, the UK’s Met Office recommend setting the heating to come on for a short period each day to avoid burst or frozen pipes.
2. Organise maintenance in advance
Once you’ve completed all the above checks, organise any maintenance that is needed at your holiday home. It is a good idea to do this well in advance, before tradespeople get booked up. We recommend booking in dates for any planned maintenance such as boiler servicing, plumbing work or general repairs and then blocking out your calendar. Doing this ensures you don’t take bookings which you later need to cancel due to unplanned maintenance issues arising at the property. Similarly, if you or family/friends plan to use the property at any time, block the calendar to avoid accepting bookings for dates the property won’t be available.
3. Have a list of trusted tradespeople
As part of your winter holiday home planning, we recommend putting together a list of trusted tradespeople you can call on, in the event of an emergency at the property. This should include a plumber, heating specialist, roofer, electrician and groundsman/gardener if you have a large garden that requires regular maintenance.
Unlock the potential of your vacation rental
4. Sort out the garden
Alongside sorting out the interior of your holiday home for the upcoming winter months, it’s also important to take care of the garden or any outside space. We recommend:
- Pressure washing and re-sealing decking areas
- Pruning trees and shrubs
- Trimming lawn edges
- Clearing up fallen leaves
- Securing any boundaries e.g. fences and hedges
- Reviewing your security arrangements e.g. external cameras and security lights
If you are thinking about getting any landscaping work done in the New Year such as a new patio or pathway, or perhaps some new planted borders, now is the time to source quotes. Get in touch with recommended landscape gardeners in your area now so you’ll be ready to go ahead with any work before they get booked up!
5. Add some winter extras
Guests will really appreciate some winter extras in your holiday home. We recommend:
- Providing extra duvets and blankets in the bedrooms, and some cosy throws for the living area or lounge.
- If you have a log burning stove, providing a complimentary basket of logs, as well as a good supply of firelighters and matches is a nice idea.
- In the kitchen, you could provide hot chocolate and marshmallows alongside tea and coffee.
- Guests will also appreciate clear instructions on how to use the heating system in the property, including how to increase the temperature if they wish.
- If your property is in an area likely to get snow during the winter months, putting a couple of sledges in a shed or utility area is a nice touch that guests will appreciate to make the most of the wintery weather!