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With temperatures expected to plummet this week, it’s a good time to be thinking about how you can keep your holiday cottage in good condition over the winter months. We’ve been lucky so far this season, with much milder temperatures than usual but as the end of January approaches, the UK is set to experience some much harsher, icier weather. Keep your cottage safe, warm and in working order this winter with some handy tips from Sykes Cottages!

Checklist to winter proof your cottage

Cottage in winter

Katchana, Aviemore, Ref 2666

Ideally, these checks would be made before winter kicks in but there’s still time before the weather turns icy!

  • Have your boiler serviced at least once a year to give you the peace of mind that everything’s working correctly and that it won’t encounter problems when you need it the most.
  • Make sure that you take the time to clear your gutters of leaves and debris, preventing water over-spilling onto your roof or freezing and causing damage.
  • While you’re up there, give your roof a quick once over to check for any loose, missing or cracked tiles.
  • Store any wooden garden furniture in a shed or garage and ensure that all outside paintwork has recently been varnished.
  • Bleed your radiators to make sure that they are heating fully and your cottage is as energy efficient as possible.
  • If you have a real fire, have your fireplace checked and ensure that your chimney is cleaned.
  • Make sure that your loft, windows and doors are properly insulated.

Keep your cottage warm and cosy

Open fire in a cottage

Holly Tree Cottage, North Yorkshire, Ref 25346

In the winter months, we do everything we can to ensure that our home is as cosy as we can make it and the same amount of effort should be put into making your holiday cottage as comfortable as possible for your guests. We’ve compiled a short list of suggestions of easy and inexpensive ways that you can help keep your guests warm this winter:

  • Make sure that you have thick, winter duvets on the beds. Most experts will recommend a 13.5 tog duvet for adults in winter.
  • Thoughtful touches like blankets and hot water bottles will always be appreciated, especially on cold nights or for snuggling up on the sofa.
  • Provide draft excluders for doors that are particularly susceptible to letting the cold in.
  • Having rugs on wooden floors is a great way to keep the house warm as they help prevent cold air from rising through the floorboards.
  • Long, lined curtains, as opposed to blinds, also help retain heat in the cold, winter months.

Other ways to look after your cottage this winter

Cottage in winter

Clover Bank Barn, Staffordshire, Ref 20226

  • Having external lights on your cottage will improve safety for both yourself and your guests. In the winter, you and your guests may be arriving at the cottage in the dark and having outside lights will help prevent any accidents!
  • Keep a large bag of salt and a shovel in the cottage, especially if it’s quite rural. We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be so it’s always best to be prepared.
  • If you keep salt at your property, make sure that you have a good door mat as salt brought in on shoes will damage your floors.
  • Don’t allow condensation to remain on windows as it will rot any surrounding wood.
  • Keep the heating on low in very cold weather, even if your guests aren’t arriving until late, to maintain a level of warmth and prevent your pipes from freezing. You can also help avert this by insulating pipes in unheated areas.

Whether you’re one of our holiday cottage owners or one of our customers, we hope that you have found these tips to be useful! If you have a holiday cottage and you’re interested in finding out more about joining Sykes Cottages, please visit our Cottage Owners page.

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