As the frosty nights and icy mornings take hold, recent research uncovers effective ways to prepare yourself for the plummeting temperatures.

Leading five-star housebuilder in the area, Barratt and David Wilson Homes North East, has teamed up with industry experts including professional interior designers and landscape gardeners to share the five top tips on getting your home and garden prepared for the change in weather

From saving money on energy bills to closing down your garden and creating a home for wildlife, these are the jobs to prioritise this weekend.

Have a ‘winter’ clean

You’ll likely be using your garden space much less over the next six months or so, which is why, it’s recommended that you give the garden area a thorough clean, to keep it maintained when out of use.

The housebuilder’s experts advise homeowners to store away patio furniture that may get damaged in the blustery, icy weather or is susceptible to rust in the rain and snow. Secure any loose items down with ties or heavy weights to stop them from being picked up by strong gusts of wind.

Experts also advise making sure to give your patio or decking a good clean with either a jet wash or a hard bristle brush and some elbow grease. Finally, cleaning out gutters will help to prevent excessive build-up once the leaves begin to fall again.

Give your greens one last prune

Completing tasks such as mowing the grass, trimming hedges and pruning flowers will not only make the space look tidier over the coming months, but it will also keep it strong for next year.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes suggest using excess waste, such as piles of leaves, to create a shelter for wildlife. Leaving them in a tidy pile surrounded by chicken wire will help to keep it all together and shield it from the wind. What’s more, cutting a gap at the bottom will give animals such as hedgehogs easy access and a place to keep warm.

As part of Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ long-standing partnership with the RSPB, the housebuilder looks after the local wildlife through the use of bird boxes, hedgehog highways, and bug and bee hotels. The experts note that through the RSPB’s website, these can be easily recreated in your own garden space too, and a little will go a long way in protecting our local wildlife during the harsher seasons.

Check all outdoor lights

With the dark nights well underway, now is the time to go around and make sure any outdoor lights are in good working condition ahead of the longer nights. Check all lights currently outside, and replace any bulbs that might look weaker.

For those who may not have any outdoor lighting, now is the perfect time to install some as they’re not only handy for seeing during the night and early mornings, but they also add a layer of security to your home.

Check your heating

No matter what heating system you rely on, it’s important to ensure it’s in good working condition to see you throughout the autumn and winter.

Bleed all of your radiators and check that your boiler is healthy. If it’s due a service, it is recommended to book this in as soon as possible – heat and hot water are essential over the colder periods, and so it’s best to address any concerns immediately.

Doing this will not only keep the home nice and warm, but it could also help reduce your energy costs.

Reposition your furniture and swap out your curtains

Did you know that having large items of furniture such as sofas, beds, and dining tables in the wrong space can actually make your home feel colder? If they’re placed against exterior walls, you’ll feel the cold air from outside more than that of an interior wall. If they block a radiator, they could be stopping that warm air from circulating around the home.

Take a look at where your furniture is currently and see what swaps can be done to promote heat flow.

Whilst you’re at that, it’s also time to hang up your thicker, more thermally efficient curtains – these will make all the difference when the cold snaps start, by keeping the heat in and blocking the cold out.

Barratt Developments, which includes Barratt Homes and David Wilson brands, has multiple developments suitable for buyers within the Durham area, including Barratt Homes Burdon Green development in Coxhoe and brand new development, Old Durham Gate.

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