Why it is Better to Do Home Improvement Projects in the Winter

The chill and the snow that the off season brings have long-since been known to bore homeowners to tears without much to do, especially in cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago. A home improvement project can be one of the fun and creative ways to enjoyably stay on the go and productive in the frosty months. So instead of keeping these tasks piled up for the coming spring or summer to do, why not tackle them now? No matter how low the temperature hits, home improvement projects can still be successfully done and winter even brings additional benefits for you to take advantage of.

Adding value to your home and enhancing the quality of your living should not be left to hibernate with the coming of winter when everything is already blanketed with snow and ice. A good sprucing through a home improvement project is even a fantastic way to welcome the coming of the holidays. And what better way to start the year than with some fabulous makeover or repair in the house to maximize its appeal, comfort level and functionality?

Known as the off season, winter is a time when businesses catering to selling products and providing services including that in the contracting and home improvement industry and market greatly compete to keep the business still fruitful. This and other reasons like the year-end inventory makes these months a perfect time to shop around for materials with the considerable discounts offered. Great buys abound with high quality products to be at very low prices.

Finding a qualified contractor in the winter is also much easier than that with the rest of the year. Because business is not as lively, these skilled and experienced craftsmen would be more than willing to accommodate whatever possible home improvement project you have in mind. Most contracting companies and professionals even compete for your project through tempting special offers such as giving discounts or doing additional small jobs absolutely for free. Without a long list of clients in their schedules, your hired local contractor would certainly be able to focus on one job and that is making a success out of the task in the most efficient and timely manner. This extra focus on every stage of the project as well as the littlest of details would eventually yield to the highest quality of results.

There are lots of home improvement projects that can be accomplished in the winter. Though not very popular, you can still do outdoor works as this can be the most ideal time for such. Repairing or installing cover to your gutters would help prepare your home for the coming wet season. Having your trees pruned is also a viable job because without the leaves, dead and broken branches are much easier to spot. Other outdoor projects can be done before it really gets cold and snows heavier. One idea that has increasingly been becoming popular is to have heated driveways that prevent your house from getting buried in all the ice. Most indoor home improvement projects on the other hand, can be done without much difficulty.

Part P Electrical Certificates – Home Improvements

I recently had a conservatory installed on the side of my house by a company based in Tadley, Hampshire. The owner of the conservatory company, uses an electrcian who is employed by a local NHS hospital. I soon learnt that despite being employed as an electrican doesn’t not necessarily mean that they are suitably qualified to do electrical works in the home.

The purpose of this short article is to highlight potential problems in using such an electrician in a home improvement scenario.

Competent Person Scheme

In the United Kingdom, the law requires a registered electrician with a Government Approved Scheme to carry out most electrical work in the home. After completion of any work a suitably registered electrician will issue you with an Electrical Safety Certificate to confirm it meets the requirements of the Building Regulations. For electricians, that means being registered to one of a number of government approved registers for Part P Registered Domestic Electrical Installers (both full and defined scope). These inlude:

  • NAPIT (National Association for Professional Inspectors and Testers)
  • BSI (British Standards Institute)

Building Regulations Approved Electrical Installations

All electrical work should follow the safety standards in BS 7671 (the ‘wiring regulations’). Readers can find out more by visiting the BSI website. Suffice to say, I will cherry pick the most important parts that are relevant in this situation.

A cable concealed in a wall or partition at a depth of less than 50 mm from a surface of the wall or partition shall:

  1. Incorporate an earthed metallic covering which complies with the requirements of these Regulations for a protective conductor of the circuit concerned.
  2. Be enclosed in earthed conduit or be enclosed in earthed trunking or ducting or mechanically protected against damage sufficient to prevent penetration of the cable by nails, screws and the like, or
  3. be installed in a zone within 150 mm from the top of the wall or partition or within 150 mm of an angle formed by two adjoining walls or partitions. Where the cable is connected to a point, accessory or switchgear on any surface of the wall or partition, the cable may be installed in a zone either horizontally or vertically, to the point, accessory or switchgear. Where the location of the accessory, point or switchgear can be determined from the reverse side, a zone formed on one side of a wall of 100 mm thickness or less or partition of 100 mm thickness or less extends to the reverse side.

Works Carried out by the Electrcian

The wiring installed by the electrcian was not installed horizontally or vertically, and was simply done in a fashion to use the least amount of wire. You can see photos of this wiring at my website listed below.

Upon completion of the works I asked the electrcian for a Certificate of Installation which he was unable to provide. At this point I had to get a properly registered electrcian to come and re-install the wiring and then issue a valid certificate of Installation.


If you are having electrical works carried out on your house, ask to see the Competent Person Scheme details of your electrician. If in any doubt, don’t let them near your house!